Rats have been among us for many centuries, and just like back then, rats are pests that needed to be controlled otherwise they will spread like wildfire into rodent populations. Before the invention of the traditional snap trap, poison, and the bait box, people needed to rely on certain animals to get rid of rats.
While this is not one size fits for your rat problem, it might solve or prevent some of it. In this article you will know the best natural predators, that can aid you in natural pest control.
Best Animals Used to Get Rid of Rats
Cats are rats’ No.1 enemy but while you may think that a cat is the best natural solution for rats, that might not be the case. Most domestic cats don’t hunt for rats, they might chase and toy with them until it dies or runs away.
The majority of cats will not kill or eat the rats (contrary to wild cats), and can even become ill if an infected rat bites them, but all of this is due to a simple fact, domestic cats don’t hunt rats because people overfeed them, and therefore, they don’t have the need to hunt for food.
Also, the fact of having a source of food (like cat food) around the place without supervision might attract even more rats. But you can fix this and train your cat to be a rat-killing machine, first of all, don’t overfeed it and always remove the remaining food after the meal is done.
This will make your cat less satisfied and actually encourages him to snap any rodents that come nearby your house to taste some extra meat. This should be your first line of defense before spending any money on ultrasonic devices or bait stations.
Who would imagine that certain breeds of dogs are perfect to hunt rats?
Well good news, they are! For example, terriers are one of the most awesome breeds to hunt, they are fast and energetic and they can dig holes to go after rats. If they get stuck in rats’ hiding places they are very easy to pull back with those thick tails.
Other breeds include German pinschers and dachshunds, they are also known to be great rat killers. If you have one of these breeds, it’s no surprise if you see dead rodents around once in a while.
Snakes love rats, and they love to hunt them too, owners who have pet snakes feed them a lot with frozen rats. Using a snake to hunt a rat that invaded your house might not be the best solution, if the rat decides to fight back, it might injure your pet snake.
And having a loose snake inside your house might be problematic for your family and your snake (if someone steps on it). But if you decide to feed a fresh-caught dead rat to your pet snake, it might probably thank you for the nice meal.
4. Ferrets and Weasels
These little furry cuties may not seem the typical rat-killing machine, but underneath those coats lies a ruthless rodent killer. Their quick speed and agility lead them to fit quickly into holes and other entry points to go after rats, but just like any other animal, they can be injured while hunting them down.
They can be a great rodent control option, if you’d like to train them to hunt and get rid of rats, the best way is to feed them first with fresh-killed rats, once they gain a taste for them, no trespassing rat will be spared.
They are no match if you have a rodent problem, they can crawl spaces that are difficult to reach, small spaces, open spaces, and other entry points.
5. Birds of Prey
Natural wild birds will do a nice job when it comes to exterminating rats, birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls are common predators that feed on rats and they will keep your rat infestation to a minimum.
Hawks and falcons will do the most hunting during daytime and howls during the night, if you create certain conditions for these animals, you might get free rat extermination for life. Just place an above-the-ground water source and you’ll get special attention from them.
Barn owls are experts in terminating rat populations and small rodents run just by their presence of them. It’s also a good idea if you happen to see some feathers lying around, don’t dispose of them, instead, put them in rat burrows, this is an effective way to scare rats away.
6. Humans in Other Cultures
While we tend to run away from rats, there are some cultures in rural areas, that love to include these rodents in their diet. It’s a viable solution for certain tribes that have limited rations due to the region’s limitations, especially during the cold weather season.
Also, they’ve done this for several generations, small children start their role in tribal societies by being rat hunters. In Polynesian and Indian cultures rat meat is a part of their traditional cuisine. So, if you want some information on new food sources such as rat meat recipes, now you know where to start.
Pro tip: You don’t need to be a tribe hunter to get rid of rats, just try some home remedies to get rid of them.
Can Wild Animals Invade Your Household in Search of Rats?
Yes, they can! But have no fear, despite birds of prey and other wild animals that hunt rats for food, can find a way to enter your house, it’s very unlikely that they’ll do it. Owls and such may hang around inside barns and warehouses, but snakes, weasels, and others are more likely to invade a rat burrow than to invade your house chasing prey.
You probably may have them invading your house for other reasons than to feed on pesky rodents, the owl for example could potentially do that due to poor eyesight during daytime.
Still, if you are concerned that one of them may enter your place after a rat, be sure to check for:
- Rat droppings
- Items that have bite marks
- Shredded paper or shredded insulation is used to make nests
- Chewed wires
- Gnaw marks
This is an important step to check for rat presence, don’t forget to clean your place up, if there are holes that lead somewhere else, be sure to seal them with strong materials to prevent rats from coming back.
Check those places from time to time to see if the fix remains untouched.
As you can see there are positive and negative points in using certain animals to do the rat killing for you, but if you are unsure about what to do, don’t hesitate in searching for the help of a professional exterminator.