Sic semper evello mortem rattus norvegicus

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+1 for steel wool, at least for mice. Lived in an ex-student-flat in a 200-year-old building above a restaurant: the place was infested. Blocked up every whole I could find with steel wool, introduced a rigid vacuuming/sweeping/mopping regime, put down traps and poison and plugged some of those ultrasonic deterrent things into the wall: a couple more visits, and then I never saw any ever again. Traps remained unsprung and poison uneaten.


Good story. My wife told me several days ago that we had mice in our East Bay home. She had seen their turds. I did some looking around and realized she saw some of my roasted barley I use to brew Porter.


Sad to say…but the snap traps will only beat them back temporary. The only thing that works is poison. It’s not elegant but it will get the job done.
Also, rats are smart…and seeing their buddy in a snap trap makes them cautious of little flats of wood with springy metal on them.
Also…they don’t like the poison opened and left out for them. Ours wouldn’t eat the poison unless it was in the box pretending to be a people food and they opened it themselves.

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Bucket rat trap, filled with water. Poison is best, use it after drowning as many as possible. No reason to buy the spring traps in quantity, a colony figures them out pretty quickly. Good luck.


Hey, welcome to Boing Boing - I love your user name, and thanks for sharing your rat-killing wisdom!


I wonder about how well steel wool works against rats. Our recent invader chewed through two different metal window screens trying to get back in.

We’re in an urban interface zone with coyotes, endangered hawks, owls, bobcats, etc. so poisons of any kind are out of the question. Our pets are too damn inquisitive to trust any device that is exposed so we’re stuck with the more expensive kill boxes.


One of our whippets is getting himself a quite a reputation as a rat hunter. The little fella follows me down to the compost bin at the bottom of the garden and waits while I push the compost around. A rat or three has been known to scurry out. He is on them like a flash. Shakes the shit out of them to kill them, parades around for a bit with it in his mouth as a trophy, then leaves it for us to deal with.


If you want to extend rat killing to your pasttimes, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying game features a Rat Catcher job. Then again, rats managed to become a global treat through magic and the influence of chaotic gods… but you can train a pup!


Whatever you do, AVOID Victor’s plastic spring traps. They are super easy to set and much safer for the human, but they don’t kill the rat. Our experience with them was nightmarish, and involved finishing the job with a shovel in the driveway, and when I went to post a warning in the Home Depot and Amazon reviews I found that many people had exactly the same experience.

We’ve had pretty good luck with electronic zapper traps, though if you don’t pay attention and a dead rat sits in one for more than a day or two then they pretty much have to be tossed out, which is expensive.

During a big invasion some years back we used poison, which did take care of the rats but left us with a couple rotting inside the walls, plus one crawled into my car and bled out all over the seats. Never again.


D-Con Rat and Mouse bait, specifically (served up in a cardboard “cheese wedge”-looking thing) is extremely effective. Make damn sure you keep it away from where other rodents (squirrels, chipmunks, et. al) forage, though!

It’s also significantly less poisonous to most pets and humans than most poisonous bait, although certainly not safe to eat in any way.

Yes, but how does he pronounce it? “Sodder”, like odder (the wrong way); or “solder” like folder, older, bolder or colder (the right way).

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I envy you. Our husky never even bothered to investigate the audible chittering of rats at play on our patio during the height of our neighborhood’s infestation.

Ah. Our local wildlife is considerably less exotic than that. Some squirrels and some scabby pigeons, and that’s about it.

You probably have rats in the yard, you just aren’t seeing them because they are nocturnal. Especially you are going to have them if you have anything they can hide in, or fruit trees, or a compost pile, or anything else that they might find appetizing.

I read it as “one who solders.”

Ha! No yard.

I realised that was a typo fairly quickly, but I briefly thought you were making a Pratchett reference:


I used snap traps to get the mice out of my house in the woods when I first moved in. Throw the dead rodents outside and something would eat it as it was gone by the morning. After that I did everything to encourage owls and hawks to hang around my yard and mice were never an issue again.


Oh yes, I agree. But it is the pronunciation that concerns me. Is he/she a “sodderer” or a “solderer”.