Living with a Rising Rat (and mouse) Population
Both Oregon and Washington are home to native and non-native species of rats. Sure, there are quaint differences, but when you get down to it, a rat is a rat. When you have poultry to tend and feed to protect, those rodents can pose a serious risk. To make matters worse, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of rats in the urban and rural parts of both states. Here are a few ways to keep those invaders off your property.
Are There More Rats This Year?
According to Oregon State University Extension Service, there does seem to be more rats in the region. However, it could be because there are more rat habitat and food than ever before.
Because rats are designed to eat almost anything, there is an endless supply of nutrition throughout our cities, suburbs, and wide-open spaces. Bowls of pet food left outside, chicken feed, and compost bins can feed a family of rats for a long time. Check out our article Controlling Unwanted Winter Pests for some advice that works all year long.
Traps Don’t Always Work
Yes, you’re bound to eliminate some of the population, but those rats will continue to multiply. According to the experts, the best methods are to simply eliminate food and habitat.
- Keep pet and livestock feed stored in plastic bins (whether outside, in a barn, or inside a house).
- Remove dense brush and vegetation (including thick ivy, etc.) where rats can shelter and create homes.
- Use baffles under bird feeders to catch seeds before they hit the ground.
- Keep bird feeders in the open and away from fences.
- Use a closed or contained compost system.
- If you grow strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or other types of fruit, be sure to pick when it’s ripe. Leaving them to fall off the vine is an invitation to rats.
- Use a garbage bin with a closing lid.
- To keep rats out of chicken coops and other areas, add several inches or wire underground.
- Repair any chicken wire holes larger than an inch wide.
- Rats build nests in attics, trees, shrubs, underground, in the subfloors of sheds and outbuildings. Reducing those options can keep rats off your property.
- Critters that hunt and eat rats include owls, foxes, coyotes, weasels, snakes, and hawks. If you can live with some of those, you might cut down on the rats.
Coastal Takes Rats (and other invaders) Seriously
You’ll find traps and other rodent eliminators and deterrents at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. Whether they’re trying to get into the chicken coop, beehive, tack room, or your living room, we have everything you need to make a solid dent in their population.