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When dealing with rodent (specifically Rats) infestation and or prevention. What is the best way to deal with new rats finding the existing burrows (even after the entrances have been sealed).

IOW - After evicting several rats and about a week past since any activity - an existing hole was re-opened. Assuming these arent the same rats, but new ones (hence the time gap) -- how/why do they find the areas of interest, and what can be done to mitigate this?

Original Question - not a direct Home Improvement Question

CITY/ALLEYS/RATS -- I get it, they exist

We have an area in the back yard, that had an impressive rat burrow under a concrete slab. After 2 months of smoke and traps, we got 8 rats evicted. We've closed the holes, and for over week there has been no movement around the known entrances.

Just this AM, there was digging at one of the most frequented entrances.

Im trying to understand how rats work. Do they migrate to other feeding areas/burrows through the week, and are now coming back to this one? Or is this a new potential potential occupant for that burrow - but how do they know it's there?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not about Home Improvement as defined in the Help Center – Machavity Jun 12 at 14:55
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    @Machavity its not outlined as being one of the off topics though, and does improve a home - as having no rats is an improvement in my books – cgmckeever Jun 12 at 15:05
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    The problem here is that while pest control (fixing a pest entry or killing pests) is on-topic, your question is about the behavior of pests. That might be a better fit on Pets.SE – Machavity Jun 12 at 15:14
  • fair point .... – cgmckeever Jun 12 at 15:16
  • Can you reword your question. i think it is a important one to have,and useful to a home owner. If you have one rat, it goes to ten fast,And they will find another spot even,next door let them be aware. When we do demo.a pest control must come and look and sign permit . Before any work is done. – user101687 Jun 12 at 16:36
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Rats leave behind a scent as they enter and exit burrows. When you "evicted" those rats, that scent was still there and at some point, another rat came across it and thought "Hey, someone else was digging here, there must be something good there!" and started digging again. That's how you always end up with rats re-digging tunnels or chewing through a blockage in a hole, they appear to be pre-programmed to investigate anything that another rat has done and given that they tend to be prey for so many types of predators, its a good survival strategy for the species.

The thing that I found has worked is to get fox / coyote urine crystals and sprinkle them around the area after you evict them. That overrides their curiosity factor with a danger factor. You can order it on-line from numerous sources. Just be forewarned; your dogs will be VERY VERY interested in that smell too. This by the way also works to keep skunks away from going under porches and decks.

I am currently experimenting with pouring liquid ammonia around their excavations to see if that has a similar effect, based on the fact that urine eventually breaks down into that at some point. So far so good actually, but right now is the peak of their invasion season as they begin looking for places to raise their babies, so it remains to be seen if it really stops the onslaught.

  • This is insightful, and makes a lot of sense .... – cgmckeever Jun 13 at 19:48
  • [for some reason I cant tag] @J. Raefield ... Any brand recommendations? I got liquid coyote pee, and the rats dont seem bothered – cgmckeever Jun 24 at 13:40
  • I had been using a product called Shake-Away Critter Repellent, which is 5% fox urine crystals. Worked fine, it's just not cheap. I've been trying the ammonia as a cheaper alternative. – JRaef Jun 24 at 23:53
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I know at my farm when I move stuff around the mice and rats do leave for a while, they are getting away from the heavy equipment and all the noise, you used smoke & traps, now that it is quiet they are returning , I have a trap that really works well or better than snap traps called dunk the rat or walk the plank I can’t remember I purchased the one that looked like it was better built. It uses magnets when the rodent is out on the lever getting its lick of peanut butter the plank lets loose and they fall in a bucket with water (yes they drown) then the lever comes back up and the magnet holds it in place (the magnet is adjustable) I purchased the larger one as we do have both rats and mice, I have only gotten 1 rat but close to 50 mice and voles. We know there are rats because when we move a unit of hay we find there nests and have killed them in the past. We haven’t seen as many after several months with the mouse swimming pool as my grandson calls it and the electronic shock traps, but when the weather changes we do get more then also so yes they move around with noise and seasonal changes.

  • I just purchased the DUNK TRAP rig form ebay -- Im about to build a canister out of two home depot buckets for height – cgmckeever Jun 13 at 19:36
  • I cant convince them to go up the ramp :( ... but it looks pretty sweet! – cgmckeever Jun 24 at 13:39
  • Read your instructions mine works great , as the accepted answer has some clues and info on rodents read that I saw this info in the video for the model I purchased. – Ed Beal Jun 24 at 13:57
  • LOL, yeah .. they just dont want to go up .. they are happy heading back to the alley to forage .. – cgmckeever Jun 25 at 16:43

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