Rats and Other Rodents can be a Real Problem after TEOTWAWKI

In the past, I have written several articles on rats and other rodents.  Most of us have never had a real problem with rats.  In many of the areas in which we live rats are hardly ever seen and rarely cause a problem.

After a real disaster this would change.  Without the controls and efforts of government and the easy availability of poisons, rats and other rodents will multiply over time.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we may have a short respite right after the disaster while the rats recover and start to multiply.  Check the article   Rodent Control Problems After TEOTWAWKI for more information on this.

Ok so how do you keep the rats under control?  First, take advantage of the lull.  Kill every rat you see so that they don’t get a chance to multiply.  Once they are established its much harder to get rid of them.

So why are we so concerned about rats?  Mainly for two reasons, they complete with us for food and they spread disease.  This includes diseases like Hantavirus, Leptospirosis and the plague.  The plague killed thousands of people during the dark ages in Europe; it was spread by the fleas the rats carried.  The rats will attack your food supply and contaminate what they do not eat.  Rats mark their territory with urine and feces as they explore their surroundings. This helps them keep a scent-marked path that they can safely use over and over again. They will urinate and defecate on your food.  Make sure your foods are properly package and stored in rat proof containers or areas.  Rats can chew through 5 gallon plastic buckets, so we store them in a rat proof container.

You need to kill every rat that you see and at the same time make your home as rat proof as possible.  You need to keep the following building supplies on hand so that you can properly maintain your home and do any needed repairs to keep it rat and rodent proof.

  • Cement
  • 19-gauge or greater metal mesh, wire screening, or hardware cloth (1/4-inch or less spacing is preferred),
  • steel wool,
  • heavy-duty caulk or elastomeric sealant
  • Expanding foam.
  • Small holes can often be covered with metal that you recycle from tin cans.

Killing rats

We plan to tried one of these this year. But we will make it with a 55 gallon barrell and a two liter soda bottle.

We have expanded our preps to include rat poison, rat traps, and a reel mower to keep the grass down around our home.  Minimizing the available cover near your home that rats can live in will help.  This sometimes is a problem because the thorny bushes you plant to keep people out provide great homes for rats and other rodents.

If you have poultry, remember that nothing, attracts rats and mice faster than chicken feed. Keep it sealed in a metal container, and don’t put out a lot of extra. A good cat can help.  But our best solution has been traps.  With our homemade ones we have been able to catch several rats at a time.  The two following posts talk a bit about how to protect your home and the second tell you about the homemade rat traps we have used.

The problem of rats and rodents can be solved, but a bit of preplanning can make it alot easier.


9 thoughts on “Rats and Other Rodents can be a Real Problem after TEOTWAWKI”

  1. Don’t waste a resource.

    Millers in Onion Sauce (from ‘Lobscouse & Spotted Dog’, Grossman)

    6 prime rats, about 6 ozs after skinning, cleaning & cut into pieces
    Flour, salt and pepper
    4 – 5 tablespoons of bacon fat
    1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 1/4 cups of stock

    Saute onion in fat in large heavy pan over medium heat until soft and golden. Set aside. Dredge rat portions in seasoned flour and brown on all sides. Set aside. Deglaze the pan with stock then return all to pan. Bring to boil, cover then simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with peas and boiled small red potatoes. Serves 6. Delicious!

    1. When I went through survival training, we ate rats. It was difficult to get past the fact that it was a rat, but you never know what you are capable of until you are truly hungry. I don’t mean missing a few meals… I mean really hungry. I’m not so sure most people could do it.

  2. Make a paste of borax and cheap pancake syrup and place where rats can get to it, taking care to keep it out of reach of your children, pets, livestock or poultry. I’ve found it as effective as commercial rat poisons at a fraction of the cost.

  3. The copper scrubbies you buy for dish washing are very good for stuffing around pipes…one of ours got dislodged recently and we had two mice after a winter of, praise be, no mice in this leaky old farmhouse. Can’t be chewed thru.

  4. Another important reason to wipe clean with bleach water any tinned food storage items before opening them.

    During food service sanitary inspections it is common to find tiny stains of mouse or rat urine on metal can tops. Over the long term these cause rusting and will damage the integrity of the cans. An effective preventive measure is to spread moth flakes or moth balls around and inside opened crates of canned goods and to cover any exposed cans with shrink wrap!

  5. Americans have been collected for too long with the food industry competing about who will deliver the best taste. Our palate demands the complicated food that will not be available WTSHTF. The first experience I had with survival food was in the Navy. A one man life life raft in the gulf of Mexico. I ate raw fish that was caught and dried on our raft. Many couldn’t take that first bite. I see so many children who wont eat plain food. Now is the time to introduce your infant to plain and raw food. it may save their life. Many say they will eat if they are hungry . Many things we eat are poison when eaten raw. We must know the ones or we will die. We need people to live and thrive. our brain is our greatest survival tool it has served man well with his ability to adapt. Without knowledge our chances for surviving a crisis go down. Our internet is filled with great information but too many look at the Altoids box that fits in your pocket as a primary way to insure survival. If this is your plan make arrangements for someone to cover your body.

  6. Taxdn2poverty

    If we are reduced to eating rats after teotwawki then we sure as hell didn’t plan and prep very well, did we?

    1. Perhaps. However, embracing another food source, even one that is culturally distasteful, would serve to make the preps last longer, right? Any port in a storm, as they say.

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