Rats under my house #229586 - Ask Extension

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Rats under my house #229586

Asked March 04, 2015, 11:41 AM EST

I have a rat problem. One of the crawl space has a hole in the screen and rats h been coming and going. I am about to repair the hole in the screen and make the crawl space rat proof. I would like the rats to leave before I make the repair and realize that the rats just will not lesson and leave. If I leave the rats that may be in the space and seal it up the rats just may chew in to the heating duct work in hopes of getting into the house. That's not a good thing so I am trying to get rid of the little varmints. If I put poison into the space and kill the rats all is good but if one of the rats eats the poison and some how gets out one of my dogs might get the rat and eat it and be poisoned also. Any help would be great. Dave

Benton County Oregon

Expert Response

Dave,
Poison will not cause your dog's any harm.
Rats require multiple methods because they are smart. Traps work until they figure them out. Poison works but they may just stock pile it up for later. 
You are correct about them chewing their way out if needed. 
Our recommendations are to use traps and bait them without setting and let them get used to the easy meals, then set all the traps. The traps will only work once. After the traps go to bait checking the consumption daily. If they are stock piling the supply will drop fast. After a few days start putting bait on the traps again but not setting them after a while they will start taking the bait again. Once you see the bait on the traps getting taken well set the traps again. Repeat the process until the rats are gone.
Randy Williamson Replied March 06, 2015, 9:57 AM EST

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