Rat Trap!

No, this is not a Boomtown Rats discussion!

We have an infestation of rats, the second in 4 months. Rentokil charge £400 per treatment and £200 per quarter thereafter. This seems outrageous just to put down a few baited boxes. Does anyone have any recommendations please for reliable types/makes (available in the UK) so I can buy them myself and keep them filled with poison? Also any particular brand of poison that is 100% effective?


What’s attracting the Rats ?. Extermination aside, removing the food source (which usually encourages them) is worth doing.


I do have a veg patch and the last infestation cleared all of my beetroot. The burrow is under one of the compost heaps but I only put green waste in it and we do not even have a bin for food waste. The only veg left in the ground are leeks, parsnips and perpetual spinach.

Flip n Slide rat and mouse trap might work. It sits on top of a bucket (they tell you to put water in the bucket to drown them, but I don’t do that - seems unnecessary and cruel), bait it and you have a large live trap.

I always thought rats were good swimmers

Find a good local pest control business. We have an excellent one man band around here who charges just over a quarter of the charge you mention for minimum of 3 visits dealing with the whole house and garden.


That is precisely the same rat problem we have! They’ve burrowed into the compost heap to live (and gnawed a hole between the two halves) presumably for warmth. We have some beetroot outside in a raised bed, and there are others in a greenhouse. They burrowed into an empty greenhouse and went through the low level louvre window from there into the one with the beet. They lifted the beet, took them back through the louvre window into the adjoining one, where they (presumably) ate the taproot, leaving a neat bundle of leaves from each one. I closed the louvre, and put a cage trap in the empty greenhouse, baited with half a beetroot taproot. They ignored the trap, and managed to dislodge one of the panes of glass in the louvre window, to take more beet! Next step: I blocked up the louvre window, and added a date to the trap (I know sweet things like dates attract mice). One night passed. Another… nothing. Went away for Christmas, and returned to find… a dead rat in the trap!

In my experience, and advice from a family member who runs a hot food takeaway, cage traps are the most reliable. Rats are notoriously good at triggering spring traps without getting caught. And poison means dead rats somewhere else (my first rat catching experience was in my previous house, where a dead rat somewhere under the floorboards was not an attractive proposition). And a live trap means no risk of killing some other animal. Just keep resetting until no more . Disposal is simplest with a tub of water deep enough to submerge the whole trap - simply drop in with the rat when caught, and later remove, drop rat into the bin, and reset the trap.

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They are - but eventually they will get cold and/or starve, I suppose. It also stops them from being able to jump.

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I once had a (juvenile) rat in the house, I didn’t realise until after though. I thought I was dealing with a mouse!

I tried baiting the traps with nutella, peanut butter, etc. all the usual stuff they mention. Then I added a trap with a bit of sausage as bait, caught it that night. Even though it was the last trap I’d touched, so you’d assume they’d be more wary of it.

Maybe just pot luck, but perhaps worth trying.

The trap was a little nipper mouse trap, so I was also lucky it was a juvenile. It wouldn’t have done anything but annoy an adult I think. They do also have rat traps.

This is my experience too.

Get a cat or two.

Summer before last. Adult & juvenile rats were frequent visitors. They’d burrowed underneath the compost bin.

One warm afternoon, I was walking our (as then) 15 year old Zebedee on his lead (he is an indoor cat) around the garden. I hadn’t even seen the victim….and I didn’t know the arthritic old bugger (ie Zebby) could move so fast!! Problem then was that he set off for the house - obviously to bring home his catch (not a chance, Zeb) and by the time I’d persuaded him to relinquish his prize, it had gone to meet its maker.

The others lasted a couple more weeks before they too succumbed to the local moggies and/or foxes.


A couple of diamond pythons around the house and they’ll be gone in a few weeks, mind you any small pet you have may vanish as well. :grin:


There are lots of cats around our way - I’ve seen them get mice and birds, but not the rats.

Have you tried calling the local council? They may have an officer whose job it is to control them.

We had a few infestations. Rentokil just put down poison (if you think about it, permanently getting rid of them would be a bad business model).

The council sent someone who found out where they were getting in, fixed the problem and them put some poison down. Problem solved.

I think most councils have farmed pest control out to private operators, hence the cost, and the growing pest problem…

We had a major rat problem for 2 or 3 years. We love watching and attracting birds and have a feeder. The rats loved the seed. We stopped putting out seed and within a week or so, the rats had disappeared.
It’s been about 2 years now with no rats, but we don’t have many birds either, so that sucks.
All I can suggest is, lose the compost and any veg they like.
Best of luck.

A word of warning for anyone attempting to drown rats. It is illegal to kill vermin by this method. Futhermore, if the rat is caught it a humane trap it must be provided with food and water, and the trap checked at least daily. If you trap a rat you then have the problem of what to do with it, do you release it (on someone else’s property) or get a qualified person to kill it?
There was a recent case where a person was reported for drowning a grey squirrel, they were convicted of cruelty and fined around £2000.
If you need to trap vermin, shoot them with an accurate shot from an air rifle, or get a qualified vermin control expert to dispatch them.


I’m not a fan of putting poison down for rats; it does work but I’m not 100% happy about the collateral damage. Standard traps also have collateral damage problems unless you go for catching live and then using an air gun (last house we used to get a few in the back garden… direct lead injection worked fine).

However see… gets excellent reviews.

Interesting! Do you happen to know the specific legislation that says that in UK? Perhaps the solution is trap, then empty into a deep tub with smooth vertical sides, and either poison them in it, or drop a heavy weight on them, etc. (As an aside, the poisons commonly used for rats such as the coumarin group cause a slow death, typically 2-3 days -or a week with the older warfarin - with death actually by internal bleeding, so is unlikely to be within most people’s understanding of “humane”!).

As for air rifle, aside from having to be an extremely good shot, one would have to position oneself in a place they are known to frequent and sit still for possibly several hours, and in the dark… (At least, ours seem to be active at night.) Or of course shoot them in the trap.

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In our case the rat would appear within 30 mins of filling up the bird feeders… we assumed they could hear the noise made by the birds. So it was a case of open kitchen window wide with a gun pad to support the barrel. When the offender appeared, one shot from 10 yards and problem sorted.