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Old 09-01-2008, 01:27 PM   #1
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'Rat in me kitchen, what am I gonna do?......'

Surely every live aboards worst nightmare!!!

I can here him running around the bilges at night and knawing god only knows!

I have laid a couple of traps but he has an uncanny way of removing whatever tempting morsel I bait it with and I set these traps with a hair line trigger! He's SAS trained! He has got me on edge, the slightest noise at night and I am wide awake. Sleep deprivation has successfully been used as a form of torture and although I am not hallucinating yet, I'm sure I have now developed several involuntry twitches!

Poisoning obviously isn't a viable option, he would probably crawl into the darkest corner some where unaccessable beneath the engine and slowly decompose attracting every bluebottle within a 5 mile radius.

I have seen ultrasonic plug-in type devices and wondered if anyone has had any success with such devises? Any practical advise at this stage would be appreciated, I don't want to put my master plan into action just yet, as it involves a ferret and a 12 bore!
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
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I think blue bottles would be preferable to a rat!
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:59 PM   #3
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Glue traps. There are rat-sized ones. Killing Vermin with Glue Traps

In the U.S. this is the only permissible way to control rats and mice in any establishment that handles food, including warehouses.

When we were in Sebana Cove Marina in Malaysia, a nearby boat that had been stored there had to be deratted by the delivery crew that arrived to bring it to its new home. When the pre-departure checks showed that the bilge pump didn't work and the engine wouldn't start they discovered many chewed wires and concluded there were rats. They were called something like coconut or palm rats. They used glue traps and caught an entire family of rats.

Mind you, the traps do not kill the rats, just glue them down, so please use heavy leather gloves when removing the rats.

Another device would be a Have A Heart Trap, but that's even worse for disposing of the caught rat afterwards. We caught a rat in Boston that way once, and tried to drown it by immersing the trap in a bucket of water. Distressed me terribly.

Good luck, and hurry before too much damage is done.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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Glue traps. ...

Good luck, and hurry before too much damage is done.
Yes, do hurry before your wires are nicked up.

One advice about glue traps--you can remove the critter caught using veggie oil. So, you pour the oil on the trap and gently massage to release that part from the trap. I've done it with mice that we set free in a forested park several miles away from our home. With a rat, I can't quite imagine massaging the paw...

To kill the rat "kindly" dunno. I'd be thinking about rigging my little portable Honda generator exhaust to provide some good carbon monoxide into a box (with rat in it) on deck. I do digress...

P.S. besides the bottle fly problem if you kill a mouse or rat and cannot locate it on board, I know Nancy Erley (author of 101 Hints for Circumnavigators and skipper of the Tethy, a sail training vessel for women) swears by carbon monoxide as THE way to rid the boat of roach infestation. Putting the portable generator so that it exhausts into the boat, close up tight, go away for about 10 hours. Come back, air out the cabin (and bilge!) and believe it or not--no more bugs. Gives me some comfort to know that "should I" need such measures, I've got the means to gas the little buggars...

Best of luck to ya!
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:48 AM   #5
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We saw UB-40 perform that song in Guam!

I will not stand for rats on my boat as they are destructive enough to sink a boat by gnawing through plumbing and / or wires.

When the seasonal rains came to St Thomas each year, the high grounds around the mangroves flooded the rat holes and they made an annual exodus out to the end of the docks... and a onto our boat, among others.

One year, I literally caught and killed a dozen in one week by placing four, hair-triggered, black plastic spring traps (with teeth) baited with peanut butter. Super Chunky. I nailed four on the first night!

I placed two along the port & stbd wire runs, one in back of the the galley stove and one on deck by the first dock line cleat. Each was attached with light line so they wouldn't drag them into hard to reach places while trying to escape.

Now that we're out here and on the move, I simply store the traps in place, out of reach of my young son, baited and locked & loaded should another un-welcome varmit wish to crash our party in a foreign port. They can swim, you know.

I have little sympathy for rats. Not on my boat. Not on my watch.

Few rodents make good cruising pets and you'll be in trouble if a mating pair go on a honeymoon cruise with you.

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:47 AM   #6
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You want to get rid of them by traps or anything possible in the shortest possible time. Their 2 front teeth can wreck havoc on systems, pipes, cables, wires, bulkheads that has taken me over a year to repair and many, many thousands of dollars. And I only had one mangrove rat onboard. It was impervious to all traps, glue paper, and even poisons that would drop a man in seconds. Mangrove rats in toxic harbors are immune to all legal poisons and two times smarter than any human. The peanut butter works well with young inexperienced rats, but the older ones can pick anything off the trigger of a trap without springing it. I had 3 black and blue finger tips for 5 months trying to get the traps on the most "hair-trigger" possible. To keep him from devouring more of the plumbing and wiring, etc. systems I started feeding him copious amounts of imported foods. Finally, I killed him by overfeeding him. He got so fat so fast, he has a coronary and fell into the main bilge and drowned.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:55 AM   #7
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....... I started feeding him copious amounts of imported foods. Finally, I killed him by overfeeding him. He got so fat so fast, he has a coronary and fell into the main bilge and drowned.
IMPORTED FOODS???

Paté de frois gras, caviar, Kamchatka king crab, truffles? 'Tis a hard life as a gourmet rat; the Egon Ronay of the rat world.

First we spoil ourselves and our children then our pets and finally our pests. Strange world. Would the vermin not eat localy produced foodstuffs or was he not concerned about adding to global warming by transporting luxury food items all over the globe?



I am pleased you got rid of the critter though!

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Old 09-17-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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One night, I was sitting on the dock surfing the net by dialup with my cat beside me. A dog from one of the other boats came by and sat down beside us.

I was aware that my cat was slightly nervous--arched and backing up in his chair a little--but that wasn't unusual for him around larger dogs.

After a while, I reached over to pat the dog on the head.

As I did this, I looked up from my laptop and realized that the dog was, in fact, not a dog but a dog-sized rat. It was gray with a pointy rather than rounded snout and a round tail. It was significantly larger than my cat. I revised my decision to pat it.

We all stared at each other. It sat with us for a bit longer, then wandered away. My cat showed no inclination whatsoever to move from his chair.

If it had showed up on the boat, no trap much smaller than an oil drum would have been useful.

Admittedly, this was probably not a common black or brown rat but some sort of large muskrat or water rat. They all look like rats to me.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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If in North America, probably not a muskrat--which has a rounded snout, is rather curious but shy around people. There is a round tail water rat/ muskrat but it has a rounded face like the regular muskrat.



Could have been a possum, which is also shy but can be made a pet and has a pointy snout and a "curly" rounded tail. In North America, having a possum around isn't bad--since they eat mice and rats! You can read up on North American possums here: http://www.opossum.org/ and learn why it is a bad idea to kill one here in North America.

baby possum--



Full grown possum--



For the record, we LIKE possums--they're migratory and they kill things we don't want to have around
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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I have heard people have good luck with glue traps.

Don't give up on poison. Some keep the animal from processing water and it ends up taking off looking for water.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:38 PM   #11
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One night, I was sitting on the dock surfing the net by dialup with my cat beside me. A dog from one of the other boats came by and sat down beside us.
Probably what the Cajuns call a "Neutra Rat", they live around swamps and bayous and such. Just thought I'd ad this entertining little quote from " The Quotable Sailor"

"Do you know, I've never been in a boat in all my life?"

"What?" cried the rat openmouthed: "Never been in a - you never - well, I - What have you been doing then?"

-Kenneth Grahame
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:49 AM   #12
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I thought it might have been an opossum, but I didn't notice the head being a different colour from the body. It was all gray.

I wonder if it might have been a giant Gambian pouched rat. I heard they grow as big as raccoons. I was adjacent to Grassy Key, where there is a breeding population of them, for some reason.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:41 AM   #13
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I wonder if it might have been a giant Gambian pouched rat. I heard they grow as big as raccoons. I was adjacent to Grassy Key, where there is a breeding population of them, for some reason.
Very much like a rat in general shape but huge 30" long inc. tail - the last half is white.

Not a true rat but related to Hamsters - hence the cheek pouches where they store collected food when foraging . Good pets - had one as boy.

Now also a population in Florida

Gambian Giant Rat
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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'Rat in me kitchen, what am I gonna do?......'
Message from me cat:

Yum yum. Invite me on board. Rats are my favourite food (closely followed by bream, fresh out of the net). -Safira-

Seriously, though, get a cat. Make great on board pets and quite seaworthy although mine are partial to a hammock when the seas are rough. No more rats, guaranteed. I had one under the sofa at my old flat, and the cats sat there in rotation, dead still, and stared the thing out for what must have been 48 hours, before the rat got overly curious and insufficiently cautious, ventured out and got eaten. Even if you can offer to house-mind a cat for a week you'll lose your rat in no time.
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