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Most rat baits are toxic to other animals if they happen to chew or chomp on a dead rat. This is a deadly but non-toxic method to kill rats by using Instant Potato flakes or powder. Here in Australia they are marketed as "Deb" Instant Potato and there are also generic or 'home' brands available. The brand doesn't matter at all.
Simply make a small opening in the sachet so the rats get a smell of it and place it in a dry place where the rats can find it. The rats will gorge themselves on it and it makes them thirsty. When they take a drink, the potato flakes/powder expands to many times in size and it bursts the gut of the rat and they die instantly. It's no more painful than the slow death by internal bleeding that is caused when the usual rat baits are used and if an animal happens to pick it up there's nothing toxic that can harm them.
Source: My local Nurseryman who uses this method to safely kill the rats that eat his young vegetable plants.
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I am in dire need of advice. One single (fixed one already) mouse or perhaps little rat? is destroying my life. I just discovered that I have no way to fix it without extreme procedures such as lifting the washing machine. As I have third-ear neighbors, I'd rather keep it quiet. So how do I get the pest into the open? I got lucky with the first one which got its tail glued by duct tape. Thus I discovered the hole from whence it came. I duct taped it and apparently the second black one got through. I got the hole iron-wool-wired, now the "rat" is trapped in the bathroom. It apparently goes nowhere else (but one never knows how many and where they roam). All this apparently happened after deratisation (extermination) on the 4th floor. They use the vent and other crevices (researching, fixing).
Materials like naphthalene are hard to find, even iron wool is nowadays. I am in Rijeka, Croatia, Europe.
Reading of (common?) carbonated soda? Borax?
The architect of this 5-storey must have been rat not only in past lives. He could add stairs and cheese atop since cellar vents the size of monster-rat abound galore for their nestling. Then they hit the stairs, vents and everything. To think that I trained 777 kung-fu styles!
I'm not sure this is a single rodent. Keep in mind that their gestation is about 3 weeks, and they can give birth to 3-14 at a time. I would swallow my pride and get someone in to exterminate.
if you have them, the entire building has them. Time to call in an exterminator.
First question: Are you leasing/renting?
If this is the case you should contact your landlord - start with a phone call and follow up with a certified letter. Keep record of dates/time and who you talked to as well as a copy of letter, even a photo at the post office before the clerk sends it off (date stamp on letter).
Remember - this is a health issue and the landlord must follow up. They have probably had other complaints so do this ASAP and maybe it will be taken care of quickly. They should also make sure all openings are sealed off.
You can call your local health board if the landlord does not follow through promptly.
Here are a couple of sites that give information about how to trap mice/rats but it not fun:
In the event that this remaining rat got through the hole which you have now secured with steel wool, and that no other rats are getting in elsewhere, you could borrow a "have a heart" trap and set it with food, catch the rat, and let it free far from your place. Sometimes farmers supply stores or local animal rescue groups will lend out the traps. Also, your animal control officer in town may have one to lend you.
You can detect whether other rats or mice are getting in by shaking or dusting baking soda or sand around the perimeter of your rooms. If a rat has come out at night it will disturb the baking powder, showing you it's path and where it came in from. Then if you plug up all of the entry ways you can live peacefully in the building even if your neighbors have rats. That way you can avoid repeated exposures to dangerous pesticides.
If you have mice, you will see there droppings everywhere they go. Their droppings look like little black caraway seeds. You will see where the mice are coming from because they will also disturb the sand. If you see mouse droppings on your kitchen countertops you'll need to look inside the cabinets especially under the sink where the pipes are. Pull out the refrigerator and stove too. Plug up all the entry ways. To deter mice if you live in an old farmhouse for instance, I have noticed that making a sachet or filling a sock partway full with "Ajax with Bleach powder" deters them. Leave a few of these in the corners and shake them once in a while to release more powder. You can easily catch a mouse by setting up a five gallon pail or small trash can with food in the bottom and setting it right next to the counter. The mouse will jump in but not be able to get out. You can let it outside. If you have plugged up where the mice are coming in you may just find a few mice that were hiding somewhere in the house. This is an easy way to find and release them. Good luck with ushering the little critters out of your place.