We all want to be rat free in our home life, but we don’t want to harm the most magestic birds of prey that grace our skies with their beautiful presence.

In the Homegrown adventure, sometimes you may have to deal with house guests that are not welcome and not invited. You know the type, the visitor who moves in with you, hoping their presence will go undetected until they start wrecking your belongings, eating your food, waking you up at night, and making a mess. They may even make you sick or kill you, they may accidentally cause fires and floods to your home. I am taking about our little buddies here, the rodents. Like a nemesis pet gone amok, the presence of rodents makes us explore our cruel side, even if we believe in being humane to animals.

The temptation is there to do anything, whatever it takes to get rid of the little bastards. This is where we must think carefully. Rodents exist for a reason, even the really ugly and nasty ones. They exist to provide food to the majestic and culturally iconic birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks and owls. They provide hours of entertainment for cats and dogs, and the occasional snack. There are hundreds of animals who depend on the rodent population for their day to day food supply, and that is why it is unwise to poison them.

However, using a fake poison can rid your home of the unwanted pests without harming them or their predators. I am talking about getting a restaurant supply sized bag of cyanne pepper, the hottest and strongest you can get, and laying down a 2 inch wide strip of it outside of any holes or obvious rodent walkways and trails. Their noses will sting, they will become afraid and perceive that they are being poisoned, which will cause them to leave the area. They will walk through it and lick their paws, and experience cyanne pepper in their mouths, which gives them the idea that this is not a place to live or eat in. Which gets them out of your house, sheds or areas that they are causing problems in. When a rodent becomes sick or suffers averse effects of a substance, the tendancy is for the animal to go outside. It may be less aware of its surroundings, and an easier target for its preditors. This is how commercially avaialble rodent poisons end up killing your beloved pets and helpful preditors who would keep the rodent populations down if warfrin wasn’t also killing them off in a secondary posioning effect.

Next step up is the scaring device. If you have 110 plugs available, get some sonic deterrents, they put out a high pitched sound that humans and pets are not bothered by, but is unbearable to rodents. (unless of course, your pet is one of the small rodents closely related to mice and rats, then the sonic device will tourture your pet. The rats and mice can leave the premisis, in fact, that’s why your doing this, to get them to go.)

You can make a home made live trap with a large garbage can. Put a stick across the top of it, a thin and flimsy little stick. Put a can with peanut butter smeared on it on the stick, and a ramp to the rim of the garbage can. The rat or mouse walks out onto the stick attracted by the peanut butter and then the can tips them into the bucket. In the bottom of the bucket, they will squeak, attracting their buddies to come and see what is happening. The end result is you have a garbage can with all the rats or mice in the place inside it, live. You can do whatever you want with them. Relocate them to uninhabited areas, or to your local politicians office for natures very own file shredder. Should you want a large supply of rats and mice, here’s how to get them. If you don’t want to deal with live rodents, just put 12 inches of water in the bottom of the garbage can.

There are the usual array of live traps and snap traps available that are not poisonous to rodent’s predators as well, but the fake poison of cyanne pepper and the sonic scarers work really well. The garbage can trap does too.