Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:08 pm Post subject: Rats and Mice.
One has to understand the enemy.
1st know your enemy,
2nd, knowing your enemy enables u to choose and control the battle feild...
The war may not be won, but u never loose a battle.
Rats will travel to their food source, even 50 or 100m, mice tend to nest very close to their food source.
1/ If one keeps small quail, they will often flap around every so often at night, even after a while will roost on high ledges
2/Small piles of seed husks behind the seed trays, or they will carry the seed to a cnr or behind a rock and eat there.
3/Sometimes one will see droppings
Rats and mice are not so much as a problem in suspended aviaries, thu good maintenance still should be under taken. Generally regular laying of poison baits and traps around the area and seed storage areas.
Normal Ground Aviaries:
This is far more of a problem. Vermin can become 'wise' to traps, poison is not really a good option inside the flights.
One can build with very small mesh, high kick boards, and even encase with clear plexie glass or similar, also suspend feeding trays...This can stop the rats Due to their larger size, but mice, they will find a way. Even suspended feeding trays have spillage.
We have tried alsorts Concrete floors, flooding nest holes, fumigating holes with ammonia and lime sulphur....(we don't and never had a major problem as maintenance has been continuous, mice rather than rats are the problem.)
Accidentally, and due to basic laziness we now have successfully got our mice under control.
When we built out aviaries with concrete floors (see thread on building aviaries)I did not concrete (lazy) the safety area. The mice have created a network of tunnels under the concrete, with exits in the small safety room, where rain, cats, etc cant get at them.
I was going to concrete these areas but fortunately just didn't get around to it. Instead I would drop small portions of poison blocks into the holes. Always keeping some there. After a week no more poison was being taken, nor have I had to replace for 3 weeks.
We have decided not to concrete these small areas. As this is what the mice like, it is very easy to control and maintain them within this area.
A special note on mice here...keep an eye on nesting boxes...mice will nest in these, along side a a bird sitting on eggs and feeding chicks, quite happily
Rats, since these travel Distances.
Rat maintenance is not just an issue for bird fanciers...it is part of routine house maintenance, like keeping roof gutters clean each yr.
So the 1st step is basic house maintance....
Rat baits usually have a hole thru the centre, this is to enable screwing or nailing to a heavy block of wood. ?If on doesn't do this the rat will take the block to its nest and store it to eat later...so one ends up eventually killing off the nest and a fortune of poison blocks left in the mt nest.
Rats/mice will tend to look for warmer dryer conditions as autumn comes on. the attic, under the house, workshop etc. DON'T ever assume u haven't rats, they WILL be there. So as the weather changes start laying poison, in the roof, under floors etc. As a block is eaten replace, after a while the blocks are not touched, don't get complacent, check every few weeks anyway.
Compost bins...the general opinion is "oh No these attract rats, rat proof" or "never have a compost bin" WRONG!!!
The compost bin will attract the rats for food, to an area U KNOW where they will go, and where u know where to lay baits. The compost bin is like a huge hub of a wheel for vermin. So if u have it down the back cnr of the section, it not only attracts the rats from your place but those of the neighbours. So why poison the neighbours?
Simple, think of it like this...rats are like a pond of water...remove a bucket of water from the pond, it doesn't leave a hole...rats/mice continually multiply and spread into areas of low population.
Similarly general advice is don't leave a pile of garden trimmings laying around....keep a pile...its a great place for rats and mice to nest in warm seasons, once again u have provided a magnet, located where u want, at your convenience, where u can maintain poison baits.
Most of the above is against modern thinking...I come from a long line of gardeners, I have practised the above for over 30 yrs, very successfully, as did my parents and grandparents. I have also not had compost bins, not have a pile of garden trimmings and its been much harder to control vermin as easy or effectively.
Once again this is a very old method to repel vermin and not for those light of heart. Your dead mice/rats/possums (NZ) chop them up finely and spread around areas as a repellant...Dont put it in your house roof or under the floors or in your aviaries ...it rots and attracts flys. If they where poisoned they are mostly likely for have enough poison left to to kill your birds or make pets sick.
Aviary seed storage...Should be in sealed containers..see section on "Parrot Seed" _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
doncha hate rats and mice! we break evey one of the ubove "rules" rats and mice are common about here!. only mice seem to make it into my aviary, very annoying and hard to be rid of, had a rat nesting in the roof of the aviary once aswell!
never ending battle i am afraid!
We have recently waged a war on rats in our aviaries. I found a young normal hen one morning sitting on the perch with a deep gash down the side of her face. At the time we had several young pairs in the holding aviary and I wrongly assumed that one of the other birds had attacked the hen. We have concrete floors and I didnt think a rat could get into the aviary. Two days later I discovered how wrong I was.
Whilst feeding the birds I discovered feathers all over the floor. On closer inspection I noticed a cock bird was missing. I found his chewed out remains down the side of the aviary. By tracing the trail of blood I found a rat had managed to squeeze in under the frame which was slightly above the concrete due to drainage fall on the concrete. The rat had made his tunnel from under the neighbours fence and found a way into the aviary and had attacked both birds whilst they were sleeping on the front perch. We have 12 inch panels between the concrete and the wire but rats can jump that height without any problem.
We have since captured the rogue rat but at the expense of losing one bird and injuring another. This is the first time we have encountered rats in the area and shows how quickly they can create havoc. We now have a pest control company doing regular checks and using commercial type baits to control the situation.
Dont ever believe this cant and wont happen to you. If you keep birds you will have mice and rats in the general area. This particular rat was nesting in a neighbours wood pile. The neighbour hasnt used his wood fire for a while and the rats found a safe place to nest and breed. From there they simply spread out looking for food. Set baits in a safe place and check regularly. It may save you from the heartache we have been through.
With Kiki we also keep/breed pet rats before you scream no the rats will never be out at the same time as Kiki. Anyway the reason for the post.
Just a general warning I've read that several people have concreate floors for there outdoor aviaries. Rats can if they want chew through concreate without much effort and all they need is a hole the size of there head to squeeze through. _________________ Regards :
Simon, Gray, Kikee Megan the dog and the rest of the Zoo :)
this is true, rats and mice never cease to amaze me!
If you have a hole that they are getting in through, plug it up with steel wool, they wont chew on that for long, really good if they are getting into your power box and getting so fat they die and stink out the house!
Another good tip which we discovered when we had a wild rat chew its way into the spare bedroom (where we was keeping our rats) was if you smear around the hole its made with Deep Heat (used to releave muscle sprains) then stuff the hole the rat will then never go to that hole ever again. Not as effective as poisons but it saves your house stinking up if it dies under the floor. _________________ Regards :
Simon, Gray, Kikee Megan the dog and the rest of the Zoo :)
When I laid my concrete base I used a layer of crushed glass on the bottom on top of that I used a light chippings with 2 layers wire mesh on top of that My concrete mix was made of 6 parts aggregate to 1 part cement on top of that.
The mesh acts as reinforcing and it makes its difficult for them to chew through as does the glass.
Check your safety gates if you can get a pencil under it a mouse will get under it as they have the ability to flatten their body's and skulls.
A simple brush strip fitted to the bottom will prevent ingress.
I worked in pest control for a well known company in the UK for a number of years and hold several diplomas in prevention and control of pests.
I'm always cautious about using rodenticide where pets and none target species habit due to the risk of poisoning either through the rodenticide or secondary poisoning through urine and faeces especially with mice as they are incontinent.
My preference is to use break back traps in covered boxes which restricts the access of none target species
A few years back you used to be able to use glue boards but in the UK these are no longer available to the general public and now only avaible to qualified technicians not sure if glue boards are freely available elsewhere but these work really well when used correctly.
Someone asked if they can chew through the mesh the answer to that is yes depending on the thickness teeth are like tungsten this is why it's always advisable to double mesh flights
Hope this helps
One can build a fortress ....and even then avairies.. even the ave home is prone to a infestation.. if they cant get to the flights they WILL hit other places.
So at the end of the day its all about REGULAR maintenance where one keeps birds or not.
40 / 50 yrs ago the local councils in NZ used to provide free rodent baits and traps
Then they stopped.. the advertising stopped... and what for generations had been as routine as washing windows and clearing gutters.. disappeared.
Now 2 generations on.. mention to someone about if they regularly do rodent maintenance around their home and one gets a blank look... let along for them to know how to do it.
Now rodents are like pigeons....they establish a population over a wide area.. and if one exterminates or just reduce a small area in that wider environment, they fill in and repopulate very quickly.
Now put the above 2 paragraphs together and one now sees why REGULAR maintenance is even more critical in this day and age.
Now lets throw in another curly... rodents become immune , resistant to poisons....and this happens because occasionally one doesnt get a good enough does to kill it it... and this happens ... just like bacteria become immune to antibiotics....a bait is pout out, taken and everyone thinks thats the end of it
It takes some 4 to 6 days for the rodent to die...
A single nibble is generally enough to kill a non resistant rodent.
So without bait stations being replenished, and kept replenished as the bait disappears...those occasional rodents dont get a good enough and long enough does and become resistant.
We maintain small thumb sided baits around sheds, around aviaries, ceiling spaces, basements, certain garden areas and boundaries...
If a bait has gone its replaced...
No we dont have issues with animals eating, except hedgehogs and in this country they are a pest anyway... nor have any issues with birds.. thrush, blackbirds starlings , native wood pigeons, kaka , tui , fantails white eyes etc.
Once one has things under control and it becomes a maintenance thing a wander around the section house etc dropping thumb sized baits in appropriate places once every 2 to 3 weeks...often longer as time goes on.. one doesnt need to build a fortress of an aviary or worry any more about ceiling , wall cavities sheds....and the 'vacant area of your environment actually gets bigger into adjoining properties creating a rather large buffer area around u.
Its not rocket science or hard work, just a little old school stuff that ppl cant be bothered with these days then get into a panic when get a rodent thats been there for yrs and they just noticed it.[/b] _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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