Are Rats Bad?

Another section by popular demand. If you want to talk about anything else that grows that is not livestock, herbs, fruit or vegetables here it goes.
User avatar
mamos
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:17 am
Location: FCUK Falmouth Cornwall United Kindom
Contact:

Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215164Post mamos
Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:11 pm

Hi All

Besides all the 14th century plague paranoia and the fact that they might spill the contents of your bin all over the yard, what is the actual scientific reason for our hatred of rats.

We have rats living in our garden. We also have birds (including seagulls which do a better job of rubbish distribution), squirrels, badgers, Bats, foxes (that have taken 9 chicks this year), hedge hogs and a host of other wildlife.

Why is it that people have an aversion to the humble rat?

Who was the last person you heard of who died or was even mildly ill from direct contact with rats?

I wouldn't want rats running around my house but then I probably wouldn't want any of the above, or come to think of it most humans running amok inside my house but as long as they remain outside I am happy they are there.

Why do the general public feel the compulsion to deposit poisons at the mere sight of a rat?

This was sparked by a discussion on another unrelated forum.

mamos
If you are interested in Self Reliance, Frugal Living, Gardening and becoming Debt Free, follow my Blog Tiny Allotment

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215172Post oldjerry
Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:37 am

I think the prob with rats comes when you keep livestock.Because of their capacity to breed,so quickly,they spoil feedstocksand what starts as the odd rat can become an infestation(bit like rabbits really.) I've nothing against rats per se,I've known people keep them as pets,but it's not an irrational hatred,most food producers are far too busy for such indulgencies.

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215177Post Millymollymandy
Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:46 am

I don't know why I find mice cute and rats disgusting. Rats are only bigger mice. :dontknow: :dontknow: :dontknow: At the same time we don't want plagues of mice either around our feed bins as I've seen how the little buggers chew through plastic to get at it! If rats stayed out in the wilds of my garden somewhere without me noticing them I'd happily leave them to it, it's when they tunnel into the chicken house that it becomes a problem.
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

User avatar
The Riff-Raff Element
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:27 pm
Location: South Vendée, France
Contact:

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215179Post The Riff-Raff Element
Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:09 am

Amongst other things, Rats (and, to a lesser extent, mice) can spread Weil's disease to both humans and livestock (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weil%27s_disease for details & symptoms), which is a very good reason for controlling them. Their gnawing can also do appreciable damage, and they will sometimes take chicks.

Overall, in the garden / farm / home environment, we're better off without them, I'd say. Of course beyond the fence it's a case of live & let live as far as I'm concerned.

User avatar
citizentwiglet
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Just outside Glasgow

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215204Post citizentwiglet
Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:23 am

*shudder*
I took my dog to play frisbee. She was useless. I think I need a flatter dog.

http://reflectionsinraindrops.wordpress.com - My blog
http://www.bothwellscarecrowfestival.co.uk - Scarecrow Festival
http://bothwellcommunitygarden.wordpress.com - Community Garden

User avatar
frozenthunderbolt
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215205Post frozenthunderbolt
Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:26 am

They also spread leptosporosis and the original aversion is that they were the carriers of the fleas that carried plague
Jeremy Daniel Meadows. (Jed).

Those who walk in truth and love grow in honour and strength

Big Al
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1640
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:28 am
Contact:

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 215253Post Big Al
Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:28 pm

Ratsd are bad simply for the speed of reproduction and the fact that they carry wiels disease. As for the last person to die, a woman in my neighboiurs allotments died earlier this year after being bit by a rat. She was clearing a piece of rough ground and the rat got caught in a bit of netting. Instead of smacking it with a spade she tried to pick it up and remove the netting. It bit her and she died 3 weeks later in excrutiating pain, aparently. Also the rat is the only living thing that a buddhist monk can kill with no comeback.
Member of the Ishloss weight group 2013. starting weight 296.00 pounds on 01.01.2013. Now minus 0.20 pounds total THIS WEEK - 0.20 pounds Now over 320 pounds and couldn't give a fig...
Secret Asparagus binger

cocobelle
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217195Post cocobelle
Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:47 pm

Rats have never done much good in my opinion having kept livestock for some years. They eat and ruin feed, they spread disease that can be passed to human and livestock, and bigger rats have lots of courage and will eat baby chicks; one large dog rat attacked a small cat that I had. I think they'd possibly have the bravado to attack something bigger if needed. Interesting about the rats and buddhists Big Al - I never knew that.
Organic Baby Clothes made with natural, sustainable fabrics.

User avatar
greenorelse
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:56 am
latitude: 52.52
longitude: -8.9
Location: East Clare, West Ireland

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217218Post greenorelse
Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:44 pm

Big Al wrote:Also the rat is the only living thing that a buddhist monk can kill with no comeback.
That's really interesting; thanks for that.

User avatar
fruitcake
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: Argyll

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217224Post fruitcake
Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:25 pm

For me, they are 'specially bad when the cat brings them in live to play with in the bedroom - 2 days in a row, as she did last week! :angryfire: They were quite cute tho..... :scratch:

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4305
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217230Post Thomzo
Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:12 pm

I do agree that the amount of hysteria about rats is totally disproportionate to that shown towards other vermin, especially squirrels. In my book (and my garden), the tree climbing versions with the cute fluffy tails are far worse pests than rats.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217240Post oldjerry
Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:32 pm

But they are so handy for teaching an 11 yr old how to use an air rifle........as ever all compaints, hate mail etc c\o The House of Commons SW1.

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5139
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217251Post MKG
Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:11 am

Rats are highly intelligent creatures and, actually, rather beautiful when they're in good condition. It's that intelligence which draws them to humans - we do tend to make very attractive rat supermarkets with our endearing habits of waste disposal and slapdash food storage. Yes - they carry some naff diseases (not by choice, I hasten to add), and that means we should discourage then from joining our tidy society. But let's not go over the top and let loose rat Armageddon. They're just animals.

Shrews, by the way, can give you a really nasty bite which will fester for weeks and could make you extremely ill. Parrots carry some particularly frightening diseases. In the UK, we're now gathering together a collection of some spiders which make me shudder. We have scorpions in the south of the country. Rabies - remember rabies? - can be carried around by your pooch or even Tibbles (oh - no, that's a bad example because we have that one under control. Remind me - did we do that by killing every dog or cat that came within range?).

Bats carry rabies, though - where are those screaming for the death of bats?

Here are the figures ... "In England and Wales, leptospirosis..." (that's Weil's Disease) "...is very rare, with an average of 40 cases being reported each year. Since 1996, there have been three deaths from leptospirosis".

By way of comparison ... "There were 5,554 motorcycle riders killed or seriously injured in 2009. This is down from 6,643 in 1999".

We'd all be better off shooting motorcyclists (and they do it voluntarily) rather than rats.

Mike

PS - I'm thinking about shooting every bird in sight next year because they keep stealing my elderberries.

PS2 - for Big Al. Not often I disagree with you, mate, but ...

All living things fear being beaten with clubs.
All living things fear being put to death.
Putting oneself in the place of the other,
Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.

Dhammapada 129

I'd be interested to see the rat exclusion clause.
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217270Post oldjerry
Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:02 pm

All living things fear being beaten with clubs.
All living things fear being put to death.
Putting oneself in the place of the other,
Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.

Dhammapada 129

I'd be interested to see the rat exclusion clause.[/quote]


I don't rate the total annihilation stuff either,it's much more about the human psyche than any actual threat, but isn't last bit anthropomorphism at it's worst?...no offence,shoot me down if I've got the wrong end of it.

User avatar
greenorelse
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:56 am
latitude: 52.52
longitude: -8.9
Location: East Clare, West Ireland

Re: Are Rats Bad?

Post: # 217273Post greenorelse
Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:19 pm

oldjerry wrote:All living things fear being beaten with clubs.
All living things fear being put to death.
Putting oneself in the place of the other,
Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.

Dhammapada 129

I'd be interested to see the rat exclusion clause.

I don't rate the total annihilation stuff either,it's much more about the human psyche than any actual threat, but isn't last bit anthropomorphism at it's worst?...no offence,shoot me down if I've got the wrong end of it.[/quote]

I see what you mean, oldjerry - but does it refer to humans or all living things?

Post Reply