Marauding rat

Thrymskvida

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I'm not entirely sure if this is the right section, but it's my best guess.

A small and extremely brazen rat has today taken up residence in my room, which my Guinea pigs share with me. Their C & C cage is on the floor. The little rat, who seems famished, has been slipping through the bars and helping herself to the pigs' pellets and greens! She was chased off by one of the sows initially, but now they have seemingly made peace with each other and even sniffed one another.

If I loudly tell the rat off when I catch her in the cage, she'll scarper, but I'm not always around and my loud tone scares the pigs too. I've set up a humane, non-lethal trap to catch the little monster, but does anyone have any ideas on what I can do in the meantime? I do not want my pigs or the rat to be injured by the other!
 

Thrymskvida

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I've covered the enclosure over as best I can with sheets, and stacked some cardboard against the edges where the rat sneaks in most often. I hope this'll be enough to keep the animals separate while I sleep. With any luck, Miss Rat will get herself caught in the trap in the next couple of hours.
 

Siikibam

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Sorry I’ve no idea. Perhaps set more than one trap. Also see where it may be coming into your room from and block it off.

You’ll have to try and make sure no food is left in the cage as well.
 

VickiA

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The OP is in South Africa.

Can you check where the rat is getting in and block the entrance? And apart from that just multiple traps to try to catch it.
 

Thrymskvida

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Thanks! I've just gone and set up another trap.

I think she got in through my window to escape the cold (it's been freezing lately; 18° on average) and rain. I'll be keeping it closed for now. I have a suspicion there may be a small rat collective in the garage (which is partly joined onto my little granny flat) so she may be part of that group - I'll have to get a hold of more traps for them.

Will remove any food except hay from the pig enclosure now. Thanks again!
 

Siikibam

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Is there no other hole in the wall where they could be getting in through?
 

Thrymskvida

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Is there no other hole in the wall where they could be getting in through?
No, not that I can see. Walls are solid, thick brick and cement. The other avenue is from the garage into my ceiling, then outside. From outside, it's a short jump onto my windowsill and into my bedroom. I'll triple check tomorrow, though.
 

Free Ranger

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Good luck on catching the rat. It's kind of you to go for a humane trap - I guess you'll have to take her some distance away to release!
It's always sad to have to trap things... but better to do it now before she tells all her friends about the free meal. You could always take some pellets to the release site to give her a head start before fending for herself.
If you have peanut butter to bait the trap it's always popular with UK rats!
 

Thrymskvida

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Well, it seems the rat has outsmarted me for now! She managed to get at the dog pellets embedded in peanut butter that served as bait in one of the traps. They really are ingenious creatures! I think I'm going to try the old baked-on bread trick, and cover that with a little peanut butter (@Free Ranger - our SA rats go mad for it too!).

I returned from breakfast to actually see the rat sharing a food bowl with a pig! It seems I'll have to stick around and keep watch while the pigs eat their greens and pellets, then remove the bowls.

I actually feel kind of bad about trapping the little rat, but I think it's the only option. She'll be getting some delicious dog pellets and hay for bedding when I drop her off in the veld a few kilometres away, though, so she won't have to start again from nothing.
 

alpacasqueak

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Well, it seems the rat has outsmarted me for now! She managed to get at the dog pellets embedded in peanut butter that served as bait in one of the traps. They really are ingenious creatures! I think I'm going to try the old baked-on bread trick, and cover that with a little peanut butter (@Free Ranger - our SA rats go mad for it too!).

I returned from breakfast to actually see the rat sharing a food bowl with a pig! It seems I'll have to stick around and keep watch while the pigs eat their greens and pellets, then remove the bowls.

I actually feel kind of bad about trapping the little rat, but I think it's the only option. She'll be getting some delicious dog pellets and hay for bedding when I drop her off in the veld a few kilometres away, though, so she won't have to start again from nothing.
Sorry naughty ratty is causing you trouble! After keeping rats for lots of years (as pets) they definitely outsmart you the monsters! Very intelligent animals!
So pleased you’re using a humane trap, so kind of you to do so definitely don’t feel bad, just really hope you can catch the naughty madam! You must be feeding very tasty food and she wants to join the herd!
Not really got any ideas you’re not already trying but best of luck!:)
 
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