Ack! I saw a rat - are ultrasonic repellers safe for other wildlife

I love how the flushed emoji was used. Its so perfect when its stuck in at some point you dont expect.

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Oh and about the rats, I had this one rat for months that every single night it would come out in the dark and scratch the life out of my door. I would spend nights with very little sleep from either trying to catch it or the sound would keep me up. The thought of using a mouse trap was horrible but I was fed up so I got a sticky one, and actually to my surprise it actually got stuck in it. I peeled it off slowly and stuck it outside, after that it never came back.

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Oh, gosh! I’ve heard just horrible stories about sticky traps . I would never risk such an outcome even with a troublesome rat.

I mean, I’m glad you were able to rescue the stuck rat, but sometimes it is quite tragic. Think how sad it would be if an owl or hawk swooped down to get that stuck rat and got stuck with it.


Glue traps are the worst possible things, don’t use them please, it’s a long suffering death for everything that will get in it (and it can be anything).


I just thought it would be better than to instantly killing it since Id be able to take it off. But when it did get stuck I was scared it might chew one of its limbs to escape. I wont use them anymore, do you have any other suggestions other than the snap ones?


Maybe it was mentioned somewhere, but is this an Old World rat (Rattus) or possibly a woodrat (Neotoma)? The latter can set up their stick nests around homes, crawlspaces, under decks but are usually not locally abundant, which makes control by live-trapping and removal easier. I can’t speak to ultrasonic repellers (never used one, never heard a positive review about effectiveness) but am skeptical.

A Sherman-style live-trap or small Havahart or Tomahawk live-trap are the best bet, followed by a trip down the road to a vacant lot. Assuming you want to avoid lethal means.


I am fairly sure it was not our local dusky footed wood rat this time. I do not see their stick nests in a nearby stream or adjacent meadows. It looked like the classic rat shape to me. I think dusky footed wood rats are more slender and gracile than the one I saw.

I am pretty confident the old ultrasonic device (Sharper Image) under my sink works for mice . I used to find ‘little black rice’ under the sink. I have not seen such since. Also, above, I relate about finding a mouse stunned next to that ultrasonic repeller when I tried it outside. That was indicative that it affects mice at close range, at least.

I would not want to release a Norwegian rat on my neighbors or to breed, though. Much as I’d be repelled and sad, if I have to use a trap, I want it to be a clean quick kill - preferably in a container I can throw away after it’s triggered.

There’re live traps too, boxes with trigger mechanism deep inside them, so when rat touches it, door closes, but can’t garantee the rat will buy it all.

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Ohh I think Ive seen those, one of my neighbours keeps putting these metal boxes with rats outside and they always turn out to be dead. :(

You need to check them regulary of course, but there’re different boxes, I know big ones that kill purposefully too, but ones I talk about can’t kill it physically.


Actually, most cats are not that proficient at taking out rats:


Great article!

I was struck by this statement: “Once that rat hits puberty, [it’s] way too big and nasty for the cat to deal with,” he says. “You can watch a lot of cats and rats accommodating one another, easing by one another, eating out of the same trash bag.”

This suggests rats are good mothers, or those cats would be wiping up in the nests.

The local outdoor cats rarely take down a rat, though I saw heard about it happening once… as the article reinforces, cats usually go for smaller, less aggressive targets.

My cats catch both rats and mice, more than any other animal. It is possible that the rats they catch are younger though.

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Yeah, it sees rats will take cats easier than the other way around! :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, the cats I do see hunting around the neighborhood always seem to have a lizard, bird, or, less often, a mouse. Reportedly, Gunther, a neighbor’s cat caught a rat once. His brother, Masha, mainly gets lizards and the occasional bird. Both cats are known to catch baby cottontail rabbits :pensive:.

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I know they also prey on moles and once we found a dead muskrat in a place where it wouldn’t go presumably killed by a cat, and it’s very big! But rats are very aggressive.

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and then there’s this -

It also depends on where you live and what kind of rats you have. Because of Bergmann’s rule or Insular dwarfism or something like that, the native rats in my area are small enough for cats to kill. They would probably run from a Brown Rat which is much bigger. One of my cats specializes in baby rats.

I’ve seen a rat bite off a chickens head!

You are not wrong. A couple of years ago I found a list of rattlesnake fatalities for the last 60 years in the US (I think it was a CDC site, but can’t find it now). Even before the invention of the anti-venom, there were shockingly few deaths from rattlesnake bites. More than 90% of the people who were bitten and died were men who were drunk or doing something really stupid. Many had successfully captured a snake with their bare hands and then were bitten. Usually when I try to catch them, they rattle and look fierce, and run away when they have a chance.