R eproductive rates of rat populations are highly dependent on environment: the more shelter, food, and trash, the higher the rat count. So, if you want rats to survive and multiply, offer them the holy trinity of life support systems: food, shelter and peace. In other words, feed them with edible garbage close to hidden nook and crannies and leave them alone to breed. With this in mind, how then do we start to rid our environment of rats? Not as difficult as it may seem
#1; Stop feeding them. Keep all edible waste, animal feed or even kitchen provisions either out of the reach or secured in containers that rats can’t get at. Think glass and metal not plastic and fibre.
#2; Expose any hiding places or nooks and crannies that might encourage nesting. Brown rats are burrowing animals that are widest at the skull, so they can slip into any space wider than that (including the pipe leading to a toilet bowl). A difficult task to achieve in older properties but essential to minimising the opportunity to nest.
#3; Make the environment hostile not friendly.
Rats that feel ill after a bite or two stop eating the bait. So the extermination industry uses anticoagulants, or blood thinners, which don’t affect rats for hours and don’t kill them for several days. The rats eventually die from internal bleeding.
In some cities, workers have tried injecting burrows with dry ice, or frozen carbon dioxide, a more humane approach to killing rats. As carbon dioxide gas wafts off the ice and seeps through the burrows, rats fall asleep, then never wake up.
An unfortunate fact is that, very few who kill rats for a living hope for more than local or temporary success from a single eradication. After rats are poisoned in an area, the survivors simply breed until the burrows are full again, and the new generations still find huge mounds of trash bags set out on the pavements of the city every night. Until cities radically change how they deal with their trash, “the rats are winning this war.”