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Hi folks after the last squirrel met its demise I've noticed a couple of rats around the bird feeder. Hopefully I can shoot them the same way as the squirrels but I was thinking maybe I'd need night vision, are the cheap scope add ons on the bay any good. Its only for a few shoots and I could do without spending a fortune. Any advice welcome, cheers.

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8 minutes ago, jamesleee123 said:

Hi folks after the last squirrel met its demise I've noticed a couple of rats around the bird feeder. Hopefully I can shoot them the same way as the squirrels but I was thinking maybe I'd need night vision, are the cheap scope add ons on the bay any good. Its only for a few shoots and I could do without spending a fortune. Any advice welcome, cheers.

Have you thought about making your own? You can save a shed load and for ratting at air rifle/close ranges, you don't need anything more. they're not complicated particularly and I'm sure if you google it, you can find making guides. There might be a thread on PW somewhere if you searched; I know it's been talked about - I probably commented on it too!

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5 minutes ago, jamesleee123 said:

Could I just use a lamp with a red filter? I've never shot at night.

You could and depending on the ambient lighting, it might be just as effective. Rats lack the long wavelength cones that allow them to see into the red light phase. however they would be aware of a change in ambient brightness. Not a problem if there's other light sources around to hide the contrast, but if it's completely dark, side for the sudden appearance of a perceptible greyness, that could be enough to spook them. 

The downside to a screen-based night vision set up is glare from the screen. That light has a significantly shorter wavelength including blue, which rats see very well. Screen shades and not holding your face too close to the screen mitigate the evidence of light. Personally, I prefer a NV set up to lamping. I just found it easier to be accurate, but I've never been good at lamping, so that's no surprise!

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Another idea is you can light the area you want to shoot,  put a filter over the light so it's not really bright, might take a few nights or a week for the rats to get used to it though, they don't like change.

I'd also look at what food your putting out if there is enough around to be attracting rats, no one wants them near their house.

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Just now, Mice! said:

Another idea is you can light the area you want to shoot,  put a filter over the light so it's not really bright, might take a few nights or a week for the rats to get used to it though, they don't like change.

I'd also look at what food your putting out if there is enough around to be attracting rats, no one wants them near their house.

In the long run this can be a useful tip. Rats being neophobic's a pain at first, but it can also be an advantage. once they're used to a dull light, they'll come freely enough and you'll be able to get an easier shot. But yes. Neighbours and rats never mix easily. I'd kill off the rats and then see if you can change food patterns/habits to stop them coming back. 

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I saw a few below my bird feeders during the summer .so i sat out a couple of evenings with the nv .expecting more at night .I saw and shot non .

They were visiting during the day around lunch time. So I waited till the weekend where I had time to wait and shot 4 over a couple of days .

If your seeing them during the day shoot them at that time .

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9 hours ago, jamesleee123 said:

Could I just use a lamp with a red filter? I've never shot at night.

Hello, have shot lots of rats with torch and red led, the beam is more pronounced than white with red filter, if it is only go to be the odd rat about there's a good torch in lidl with filter that many on the UK airgun forum have bought, or something like a Night sabre on ludicrous lumins web site and torch mount like an 8 with thumb screw fixed to a day scope, what air rifle you shooting ??

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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I've got three mk4 fenn traps out permanently, but rarely catch anything in fact I've had more squirrels than rats. My feeders are all hanging types, but neighbours either side have open tables so think that may be attracting them. I was putting peanuts out to shoot the squirrels though! Going to have a session Saturday afternoon with my lad, let him clear them.

I've got a BSA R10 se .177 the boy has a Goldstar se. 177 usually just shoot targets. I've got a clulite  lamp which I use with my Saluki's when lamping, might try that first.

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Sounds like the rats may be using your garden as a run then.

I only feed sunflower hearts,  Nyger seed and fat balls/suet in my garden because I find the birds dump loads of bits they don't want to get at the good stuff if I put out general seed.

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13 hours ago, Mice! said:

Another idea is you can light the area you want to shoot,  put a filter over the light so it's not really bright, might take a few nights or a week for the rats to get used to it though, they don't like change.

I'd also look at what food your putting out if there is enough around to be attracting rats, no one wants them near their house.

I lit our bird table with a string of cheap LEDs and a 12v motorcycle battery. After a few nights they got used to it and it was then very easy shooting, in fact better contrast than daylight.

I used liquidised dog food as bait so that they stayed still.

Edited by amateur
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I have rats in the shed. They have gnawed through the inch thick floor to get in. They were first after the sacks of peanuts and bird food. I caught two (badly) in fen traps. I am now hanging the food from the roof and I have the floor littered with traps to no avail. They have removed smeared peanut butter from the fen traps and from the self setting mouse traps, without springing them. I have now put in a live trap to see if I can get them with that.

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44 minutes ago, oowee said:

I have rats in the shed. They have gnawed through the inch thick floor to get in. They were first after the sacks of peanuts and bird food. I caught two (badly) in fen traps. I am now hanging the food from the roof and I have the floor littered with traps to no avail. They have removed smeared peanut butter from the fen traps and from the self setting mouse traps, without springing them. I have now put in a live trap to see if I can get them with that.

Are you sure it's not slugs taking the PB off the traps, the only time I have it happen you can see the slime that's left.

20201211_144631.jpg.c2cb5f73bdd3a25bbf98e9a85d82bfe0.jpg

20201211_144610.jpg.1dba7e3401b4a57caa6bf1267814bcb9.jpg

Not my traps, but you don't bait the fenn you want the rat going past to get to the bait, WHACK.

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I originally baited with peanuts around the trap and on the plate and caught two by the ****. I reckon the others must have seen it as now they are taking any loose bait off. I tried the butter and this has gone too. 

rat traps.jpg

Edited by oowee
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4 hours ago, oowee said:

I originally baited with peanuts around the trap and on the plate and caught two by the ****. I reckon the others must have seen it as now they are taking any loose bait off. I tried the butter and this has gone too. 

rat traps.jpg

Owee, That’s more of  a rat assault course! - I hope you are wearing safety boots in the shed.....😩

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