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As implied by today's balmy weather, spring will have sprung by this time next week--and if you are lucky enough to have some outdoor space to call your own, it's quite possible that something other than a deck-envying neighbor is already eyeing it.
We're talking rats. And over on Brownstoner.com, they're trading war stories and guerrilla tactics.
Bait, netting, and concrete seems to be the common refrain in the war on rats. Make that copper netting, which comes in rolls: "Mice and rats can't chew or dig through it (or don't want to). You use it to stuff the holes around pipes and other holes that the vermin made. Steel wool works too, but it rusts!"
You could go the humane route, with plug-in noise makers as a kind of Pied Piper in reverse: You can't hear it, but they can and they stay away from your house. (However, see our recent post casting doubt over a similar device's effectiveness on mice.)
Others swear by rat-zapping traps that rely on six D batteries and dog food as bait, you can go for the kill and zap 'em. "HIGHLY satisfying to see their tails sticking out of the trap. Dump them in a plastic bag (no touching). After three dead rats, and a bunch of bleach down their holes (killed the ivy, but what the hell), I have not seen any in a while."
For some more tips, check out our previous post on the subject: Hold that hotdog! 4 ways to ratproof your patio before the other guests arrive.