I don't mean the human kind, LOL. I mean the rodent kind. The reason why I ask is because, I found a dead rat the size of my little chihuahua on the sidewalk, outside thank goodness I would have died it I would have found it inside. I know that since some of us have large quantities of food that we store. There is the potential of have these kind and other kind of pests. As soon as I found it I called the pest control guys, and they are coming out over the Christmas holiday. It is going to cost big time, but I am not taking any chances. My DH said it was eating the dog food that is stored in a container behind my building in a shed, and my big dog killed it and dragged it out playing with it. Should I take her to the vet? I am not sure. I have heard that they carry rabies, I have had her for a long time and I do not want her to get sick. I am telling you guys I am glad I get up early, because I have a lot of order pickups today and my customers would not even got out of their car, if they seen it. I know I wouldn't have. We live in the country and my shop is beside my house, so I want to know how you all control these type of pests?
Dog food will attract all kinds of pests - big and small - I would start by moving that away from your building. Besides that I don't really know other than what we do to control the snakes which is ground up moth balls (they don't like the smell - sprinkle around the outside of your building and get a cat - Good luck and let us know what pest control suggests.
You could have the rat checked for rabies, not sure what that would cost. That would save your dog from the pains of rabies shots. Even though I live in the city (we have racoons and skunks in our neighborhood) I store all my bulk ingredients in large plastic tubs. I would speak with your vet to be on the safe side.
Definately move the dog food.
One more note: make sure the pesticide which will be sprayed will not harm your dog in case he licks it.
We get field rats out here too. We live in the country and sometimes when they mow one of the fields the rats will migrate up here. (we have 3 dogs outside and the dog food does draw them).
Check the foundation of your couse. All the way around. If you see holes dug they have bored under your house.
If you have outside pets it is a little harder to handle the rodents. At Lowes you can get rat poision (it comes in little bars and is green) the rats will eat it and they will die. Here is the problem though. They are drawn to water after they eat it. So they will probably look for it under your house or at the dogs bowls. If the dog eats the rat he could get poisioned.
Another alternative is Rat traps. They are large and look like the mouse traps. Put peanut butter on it that has the strongest smell and they will go for the peanut butter. This is the safest way with dogs around.
As for rabies. Any animal can carry rabies. Rats do not automatically carry it. If your dog broke the skin on the rat I would take it to get a check up just to be safe. Mine has killed rats out here before but they have never broken the rats skin.
Another thing. They can't easily get in your house. But here are a couple tips. The pipes that lead through the floor under your sinks. Take steel wool and stuff down in the hole and then buy some thin sheet metal or use a pie plate to cover the hole. You do need to staple or nail it down. The rats or anything else will not eat through the steel wool so they cannot get into you house.
2. Make sure to keep your Dog Food secure. We stopped storing ours outside. I use to do that as well in a container until I saw a rat run across my back porch to get to it. Now I store it inside the house in the utility room.
3. Try not to leave large amounts of food out for your dog. Even if this means feeding the dog several times a day that is better than leaving a lot to last all day. We had the automatic feeders so there were lots outside all the time, big mistake.
4. Set traps around in places that the dogs cannot get to them. Under the house, under the shed, places like that to catch them.
Good luck, it can be a long process. Took us a couple weeks to get rid of ours but you have to be consistant. My friend has dogs and hers got so out of control that they did get in her house. It got into all of her food and she even found one in her silverware drawer when she opened it. It really took her months to get rid of them. So start early before they take over your home like they did hers.
Looks like Patticakesnc has covered it pretty well! One more thing, my Aunt Hazel says that rats travel in couples (apparently they are monogamous) so if you saw one....there is probably another! I know that doesn't make you happy, but, that is what she says; and let me just say....she is 75, grew up in the country and knows where of she speaks! She was right when I had a "TOWN RAT" chew through sheet metal to get into my home! LOLL and YUK!! We used the "green stuff" and boy does it work! No little or big pests for years now!
Beth in KY
LOL it is a subject near and dear to my heart LOL. I just went through it in Oct.
And yes they will crew through the sheet metal. That is why when you do your sink you need to stuff steel wool first in the hole. The steel wool if they chew it is so fine it will kill them and they can't make it to the other metal.
Get a cat it keeps them away I haven't had my house sprayed for anything in two years since I bought this house and I dunno if the people that used to live here did but my cat is a big hunter and I have heard rat's can smell cats and they won't go near your house well at least I know my cat does keep everyone away including stray cats good luck I would be horrified if I found a rat even outside I also tell me my cat
" No Gifts Please"
There was hole in a pipe in my basement and rat got through there once. I didn't even know about it. I had a pile of towels in my basement waiting to be washed and I tend to procrastinate so it was a few days before I went to wash them...well I went to pick up the towels and rat ran out of them! I never screamed so loud in my life! I got sticky traps (because I didn't want a rat decomposing somehwere in my basement where I couldnt find it) but they didn.t work...the rat even crapped on them as if to rub it in my face that my traps didnt work, I broke down and got the poison and that worked,
I am not too concerned with them getting in my house or my shop, My Dh is an engineer and when building my building he designed it to be almost bug and rodent proof. My dog drags in all kinds of stuff for us to see, she has dragged in snakes, rabbits, and other types of stuff. I called the vet and he is coming out to look at the rat and see if we need to take more action. The pest guys told me that he can be here within the hour. So I am relived that all this will be taken care of. It just scared me more than anything I guess. My neighbor must have thought I was crazy, screaming while I picked it up with a shovel and put it in a box. I have Never in the 5 years I have been living here and operating a business had a rat, mouse or any type if bug in my shop. I guess I have been lucky. My DH is going to move the dog food, but where to move it to. I am not sure. The shed which we store it in is over the hill beyond the tree line away from my shop. We live on a small farm. We have all kind of places; I will ask the pest guy what he suggests. Thanks for all the suggestions guess I needed some support and wanted to know how you all deal with this. I know that this is an issue that we all have to deal with.
Store the dog food in a metal trash can... when I lived in the country, mice would come to the shed because to dog food was in the bag it came in and was easy to get to... I bought a metal trash can, lined it with a nice, thick, extra large trash bag and poured the dog food down into that .. then I covered it with the lid and made sure it was sealed really tight .... the mice moved on as I never saw them again ...
Most of the animals that carry rabies are ones that eat carrion, like raccoons and foxes. Other like squirrels, opossums are very unlikely carriers. I think rats fall into this last category. I think it was actually the fleas on the rats that carried the plague, but that doesn't explain why Prarie Dogs carry plague. Armadillos carry leprosy. In the western US desert areas the rats and mice feces carry a deadly flu-like virus (fatal only to humans). I think it is called the Hunta-virus. Okay, I am bored and its the last day of work before the holidays.
The best way to keep rats away is take away their food source by storing food sources in galvanized cans or heavy tin lined wood bins (that's how we store grain in the barn). Dog food and cat food are stored in metal cans with tight fitting or lacking lids.