I was going to write this post as a “guide” to rats in your horse barn–a few tips to help you determine if you have rats followed by useful suggestions on how to get rid of them. I realized after drafting a rather dry albeit informative piece that none of my carefully crafted points really meant a thing. I could easily cut all the wordy fat down to two encapsulations.
Do you have rats in your barn?
If you have a barn, you have rats, get over it.
What do you do about it?
Kill them, kill them all.
I’m not going to gloss over how I feel about rats, specifically the rats that take up in my barn. I hate them. They chew holes in everything, they jabber incessantly, they dash about my feet, they eat my horses’ food, they nest in my horses’ hay and they POOP EVERYWHERE!
I’m not going to offer suggestions to keep rats away because none work. Well, they might work for a day or two but don’t set your extermination expectations beyond that timeframe. Even if you succeeded in killing every rat in your barn today, you’ve really only created a vacancy for more rats to move in tomorrow.
And they will. Rats are freeloading non-essential life forms and your stable provides them every comfort they desire: protection from the weather, a source of food and water, a warm place to sleep and a secure home for–God help us–making more rats.
Now some of you might feel guilty about killing rats. I admit that when I accidently make eye contact with one, my first thought is “oh, he’s kind of cute” then I pinch myself hard and remember that last month that cute rat ate the starter wire in my car that cost $80 for a tow and $240 to rewire the starter, and I had to use a vacation day for car repairs. Dang it! Okay, back to hating rats again.
Perhaps you haven’t personally experienced a rat problem? You will. So, I have compiled a helpful list to guide you to the light.