Author Topic: Rat and Mouse Hunting Feed Stations FAQ  (Read 569 times)


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Rat and Mouse Hunting Feed Stations FAQ
« on: November 26, 2017, 11:50:27 AM »
I've been killing off Rats and Mice at a pretty good clip all summer long. Thought I'd share a few things I've learned.

Goals: Eliminate as many  Rats and Mice on my property that I can.

Location: San Francisco Bay Area. We are close to grasslands, and get more than our share of mice, and rats. Our weather is moderate all year round. It never gets really cold, though it does get hot in the summer. This summer was sweltering at times. Lowest temperatures will be in low 30's but it seldom stays cold for long.

Bait: Rodents love Peanut Butter. It is a perfect bait for these varmints whether you use it at a feed station or for a trap. Sun Flower seeds work also, but they attract too many birds during the day. I have taken the lid or bottom of pellet tins, and screwed them on the shelf, and filled with peanut butter. But that uses too much, and the rats tend to run in, get peanut butter on their noses and dart out. Hard to shoot. But if you smear a thin layer of peanut butter on a rough textured fence board, they tend to stick around and use their teeth to scrape the peanut butter out of the grooves and rough areas.

Feed Station: I have built a bunch of feed stations, and some work better than others.  They are all wood, and made from scraps I have laying around. Old fence boards are my favorite, as they look and smell pretty natural to the critters I think.  The simplest feed station is just a shelf I screw to a tree at about 4-6' off the ground.  Other more complex designs include a substantial rubber mulch filled box made from 2x4's that weighs almost 75lbs. Other designs use a simple wooden box filled with clay like duct seal.

Feed Station Location: My best results have been from the simple shelf screwed to a cotton wood tree about 5' off the ground. I am currently experimenting with feed stations directly on the ground, and they work fine for mice.  All stations border with good cover for the rodents. The trees have foliage right up to the station, and the ground stations are close to a lot of English Ivy. I think the rodents do better with plenty of cover.

Lighting: All of my feed stations now have battery powered LED lights I purchased from Amazon. They use rechargeable AAA batteries that I work hard. This has been an well worth investment, both for the lights, the batteries and chargers.  I drill holes through the backs of the lights and hang them above each feed station from 12-18" above the peanut butter location. These LED lights are remote controlled, though the range is only a few feet.  I also have a plugin LED flood light that lights a large area, and helps me detect other varmints such as raccoons, possums, and skunks.

Varmints: I have had fits with skunks and possums eating up my peanut butter, and chasing away the rats. When the possum is around the rats vanish. I don't want to shoot either the skunks or possums since I think they are beneficial. Both tend to carry away the dead rats and mice, and for that I am grateful. But I've had to experiment with a variety of techniques to keep the critters at bay.

Skunks: Skunks don't climb very well, and if you raise your stations off the ground, the peanut butter generally gets a pass. I have strewn around blackberry branches, and installed bristly wire fencing around my stations, and this also helps.

Possums: Have a young possum grow up before my eyes over the summer, and it has been a total pain in the neck. I've wrapped blackberry branches around the feed stations and the trees the stations are screwed to. Have installed galvanized fencing with individual wires cut and bent so as to cause pain. Have made the feed station shelf so it is spring hinged so as to not supply sure footing for the possum. Added carpet nail strips all over the place. All of these help but do not completely hinder the possum. I may just have to give in, and find a recipe for possum. Sigh.

Distance: I have stations at 25 and 35 yards away, up on the slope of my backyard. It's pretty steep, and I think adds to the difficulty in shooting. If they were on flat ground it would be and easier situation.

Shooting Setup: I shoot from the corner of my house, and am mostly hidden. A camera tripod is setup with a rice filled bag to help with support. I shoot standing up. Early on I sat on a saw horse, and shot from the tripod, but I kicked the sawhorse by accident too many times, so I scrapped it.

Rifles: I started out using my .25 Sumatra Carbine, and at one point used a QB78 in .22. Now I am using a tuned by Travis Whitney .25 Gen 1 Marauder.

Scopes: Started with a Leapers 3x12 scope. Switched to a SWFA 10x, but am now using a 4 x 16 BSA. (more details to come).

Rattus Rattus: is the black rat, also know as the ship rat, roof rat, house rat is an introduced species to California. It prefers living in buildings, the ground, trees etc. It is an omnivore.  It is a carrier of several pathogens including the Bubonic Plague via the rat flea. You do not want these varmints in your living space. I am convinced I need to remain vigilant and kill them as often as I can.
First Installment - more to come, pictures and other findings.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 05:13:31 PM by steveoh »

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Re: Rat and Mouse Hunting Feed Stations FAQ
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 11:43:02 AM »

You have spent some designing I see, LoL.  ;)   8)

Have you thought of using Hardware cloth, comes in various sizes of openings, 1/8" thru 3/4" square openings,
and make a lid of it to fit over your bait can.
That way the rats/mice have to stop and stick their nose into a opening to get the bait,
instead grab and run etc.

A Idea, for what it is worth.

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