Any input on this subject would be appreciated.
I have noticed this spring that I have many more rats in my flower and vegetable gardens. I was feeding birds with a hanging bird feeder close to the flower garden, which I’ve done for years. The birds would push the seed on the ground which, I think attracted the rats ( probably stating the obvious ). I have quit feeding the birds 2 weeks ago and the rats are still there regularly. I have a dog who is outside often. I’m worried about my very big dog killing a rat and the repercussions that brings.
Does anyone have any thoughts on natural ways to eliminate the rats from my area?
First of all, you did invite them. It’s only been two weeks since you took the feeders down, so they’re probably still reaping remnants of seed. If they haven’t moved into (or under) any structures on your property, such as sheds, wood piles, etc., there’s really nothing you can do except to wait it out. Which is really the best option anyway, as poisoning creates many new problems – such as the possibility that your dog will catch a dead or alive poisoned rat, thereby ingesting the poison, or the rat will die somewhere you can’t reach it. The only real way to address a rat problem is not to provide food or shelter for them. They will eat your strawberries, though.
If you don’t want to wait for them leave, John at Adept Pest is the best pest guy around. He’ll probably tell you all the same things, just like he did me, but he could look things over for you to see if there is a problem that won’t go away on its own.
We have been seeing a lot more rats. No feeder in our yard, but neighbors maybe. Two different neighbor dogs have caught rats in past week (3 total), one dog got sick afterwards–rat had probably been poisoned. We drowned a 4th, sick rat found. With a puppy we need to monitor any off-leash time in our yard. Check out youtube videos for Rat Water Trap for a non-toxic solution.