Oh Rats!

With two bird feeders filled with sunflower seed almost year-round, it's going to attract a host of species 24 hours a day. During the daylight hours you'll see the birds and the squirrels, but do you ever wake up in the morning wondering why your bird feeder is empty? If it's accessible to raccoons, thats more likely what happened but raccoons are not likely to raid those feeders hanging from shephard hook poles. The problem could be rats, at least thats what happened to us. We have a large shephard hook supporting a bird feeder at the top. About halfway up the pole is a plastic squirrel baffle. So how did the rats access my feeder if there's a baffle blocking the path? Easy, they chew a hole in the baffle just big enough to squeeze through it. Rats love sunflower seed, and they breed like crazy so I took matters into my own hands. I started with my old Red Ryder BB gun and shot a couple but I was having trouble with the BB's not shooting very accurate. So I purchased a scoped air rifle from Amazon for $75, the Remington Airmaster 77. Combined with Crosman 0.177 caliber pellets and a 4x scope, this air rifle has proven very accurate and powerful. I've nailed several rats so far and now started noticing not as many. In fact, last night I didn't see any at all. I know there's more though, it's just a matter of catching them off guard. Here's a photo of my new air rifle, everything you see is what you get in the box.


Wild rats can host many diseases and parasites, some fatal to humans and pets. A common myth is many rats carry rabies, though this is not entirely true. It's not impossible for a wild rat to carry rabies, but it's not likely. There have been very few cases reported in the United States of a person actually contracting rabies from a wild rat. If biten or exposed to rats though, your more likely to get Rat-Bite Fever (bacteria infection), parasite worms, Hepatitis E., and several other bacteria and viruses. They also spread fleas and ticks to your pets, and eventually your homes. So don't comment about how cruel it is to shoot rats. I don't go outside with guns blazing like rambo, shooting everything I see. I'm only targeting rats and shooting them with air rifles is alot safer than setting out live traps or even rat poison. With live traps, squirrels can injure themselves if caught. With poison, you risk poisoning yourself if not handled correctly and poisoning anything that touches it, raccoons, squirrels, dogs, cats, etc.

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