Killing rats outside house

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Most of the time, people are only concerned when rats get inside buildings and attics. Who cares if rats live outside? Of course they live outside! But in some cases, rats outside cause problems, and people want to know how to kill rats outside.
  • Get a pet cat, or even a good rat dog
  • Keep outdoors clear of debris, such as wood piles, garbage, etc.
  • Keep pet food inside, as well as garbage or any other food
  • Harvest crops and fruit diligently, and don't let it fall on the ground
  • NEVER use poison of any kind!
  • The A24 Automatic Rat Trap kills up to 24 rats at a time

The problem is more complex than solving a rat issue inside a house or other building. To keep them out of the building, simply seal shut their entry holes. But how to eliminate rats in the outdoors?

It's not so easy. The best bet, as always, is to address the exact problem they are causing. If you don't like rats outside because they are eating your friut or pet food, then keep that stuff cleaned up or indoors.

Reader email: I have just read your article on why you shouldn't poison rats/mice and was wondering what your solution would be when the problem isn't in the house but outdoors. We live in the country and the recent spate of mild winters has to a glut of mice and rats (carcases always being seen on the road where cars have hit/killed them). We have tried traps and they are either being set off by small mice or voles or the local rats are clever enough to get the food (tried melted cheese, peanut butter, bacon rind, all firmly attached to the trigger plate) without getting caught. The ditches either side of the property behind us (long grass, empty, believe awaiting decision in a court case over who owns it) and the numbers are too high for me to kill just by trapping. They don't come into the house and our cat kills the mice that are stupid enough to enter, but I am worried because my daughter has rabbits outdoors in hutches (can't bring indoors as not enough room) and the neighbour breeds partridges. While he has poison boxes everywhere, and as a result doesn't seem to have a problem with rats eating partridge food) I am worried about those around us, I have seen one and it was the size of a small cat. I have never seen any dead rats from the neighbours poisoning and suspect they probably die in the graveyard the other side or the empty field at the bottom. What would you advise, have been advised to try both glycol and generic rat poison, both in boxes that are inaccessible to cat/dogs. The only real wild life around here are wild birds although I think I have heard foxes calling some nights. ps: I live in Ireland but the problem is the same.

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