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Thread: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    Hi guys, I have a HUGE problem. Let me preface this by saying I am fully aware that this forum is pro-indoor guineas and while my girls used to live inside, my boyfriend is very allergic and they had to move outdoors when he and I started living together. Fortunately we live in a mild climate and the house, with a run, is warm and water tight. It's just not rat proof!

    Wild rats are getting into my guinea pigs' house. Obviously this is very concerning since I don't want the rats to pass on any disease, fleas, mites, etc. They also keep stealing the pellets and hoarding them. This has been occurring for a few weeks and so far all my attempts to stop the rats have failed.

    So far I've:
    -wrapped the downstairs part of the cage in small wire mesh to prevent them getting in. I think this has worked for that part of the cage. I can't really do this for the wire window area on the upstairs since that's what I open to feed them, get them out, etc.
    -wrapped the entire cage in bird netting, which the rats of course just chewed through.
    -put the entire cage inside a 'cage' made of old wire closet shelving - the rats just climb over it.
    -I've also put some rat poison down where the rats scurry off to after I scare them out the cage - well out of guinea pig reach. But they are smart little rodents, these rats, and refuse to take it!

    I would LOVE to know if those sonic rodent deterrents would affect my piggies - my assumption is that yes, they would, and it wouldn't be pleasant for them whatsoever.

    If anyone has encountered an issue like this or has some ideas that might work, I'd love to hear from you. At this point I'm open to just about anything (aside from getting a different cage since I can't afford it) and if I had the balls I would have whacked one of rats on the head when it got caught in the bird netting, this is how much I am sick of these guys invading my girls' home.

    Thanks,
    Sam

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    NO you may not use sonic deterrents. You can have your boyfriend get allergy shots. There a LOT of things you can do to decrease allergy issues. Sounds more like a boyfriend issue to me. Reconsider the boyfriend or reconsider the pigs or work TOGETHER on solving the allergy problems. I'm guessing an intelligent approach to allergies is likely out of the question with the boyfriend. Sometimes, you just can't have it all and you have make tough choices.

    "and if I had the balls I would have whacked..." as I was reading this, I was rather hoping for a different end to the story.

    And in all likelihood, the rats have already passed on fleas and God knows what else. Your pigs need to be indoors. We are adamant about this for darn good reasons, not just because it's 'nice.'

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner RodentCuddles's Avatar
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    Re: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    I really hope you and your boy friend can figure some things out, I see you live in Auckland.
    If you would need a week or so to figure it out I'll be able to look after your piggies till you can get things sorted out. I run a rescue/re-homing program in Auckland for rescued and surrendered piggies so I do have 10 pigs (6 are my own little ones) at the moment but can make room for a week or so to give you some time to sort it out. (:
    All the pigs are inside, have fresh veggies twice daily as well as being handled and cuddled daily everyday.

    This is just an suggestion.

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    Cavy Slave lifesvr7's Avatar
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    Re: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    You need to get them to rodentcuddles or inside immediately. One bite from a wild rat could kill them. I would also be concerned about the poison. If the rat eats it and then poops in piggy cage or something it could also kill them. If you have rats near where you live, which clearly you do, they will ALWAYS be trying and ALWAYS will be able to get to the piggies. They are after the food. Do some research about rats. They can literally chew through everything. . . even concrete. They can also climb, they can basically do whatever it takes to get to the free easy food. They need to be seen by a vet to make sure they have not already been exposed to one of the MANY dreadful diseases rats carry. Even if there is no visible bite wound, they can still be exposed through urine or feces. Not getting them out of that situation and / or not getting them to the vet can constitute animal neglect in many places. Please do what is right by the piggies.

    As for the allergies. I think I am allergic to my pigs too and posted a thread no the issue yesterday. There were various replies about how people manage them. Your boyfriend came into the relationship knowing you had the animals. Its just like having a kid. To love you is to love them (even if its from a distance). You took responsibility for them and should have considered their health and well being BEFORE you decided to move in with him, not after they were in a literal life or death situation.

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    Moderator / Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Inle_Rabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    Is it the actual guinea pigs or the type of hay your BF is allergic to. More often than not it is the type of hay and not the actual piggies.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    I appreciate much of the feedback, particularly regarding the health issues. I will get the girls to the vet and find alternative accommodation in the interim. The rat issue has been the last 2-3 weeks only, I think, since that is when I started to see rat droppings and found a rat in their house (obviously this long enough/not good). Of course, the rats may have been there before then and I didn't know, based on their being absolutely zero evidence of rats being around. However, I am inclined to think it has been a recent occurrence rather than ongoing since February.

    After doing more research online, I have learned many people have had success with rat traps, which I will try, and I will also make more permanent modifications on their cage with tiny, strong, wire mesh, among other things.

    I would like to say, though, that I absolutely do not appreciate the comments regarding my relationship and my partner, essentially suggesting that my partner is some sort of fool/mean person and that we don't have a good relationship. Sorry, what? How on earth can anything of the sort be assumed from what I wrote? Please use your intelligence people and remove your jump-to-conclusions hats. His allergies to the pigs & hay are bad and we did not realize this until after we moved in together, due to me only having them a couple of months and him not having spent large amounts of time around them before the move (it was a sudden move, if you must know, due to varyious circumstances). Medications have not helped much, nor did moving their location inside the flat. It's only been since moving them outdoors that his allergies have subsided and I have no intention of making my partner ill when there are hundreds of examples of guinea pigs living outdoors in perfect health and happiness. To each their own.

    Also, he most certainly did not 'come into this relationship' knowing I had guinea pigs, because I did not at the time, and he did not find out about this allergy until January, when he moved in. Why I feel the need to explain myself, I don't know. I certainly shouldn't have to. The bottom line is that some replies have been darn rude and it may be helpful in future to attempt more cordial approaches to communicating because it certainly doesn't make for a very inviting or helpful space. I want to know how I can fix this problem and make sure my girls are healthy and happy, not be judged for having an allergic boyfriend who takes medication and still has huge problems (and outdoor pigs, though I expected that last part given the nature of this forum).

    Have a nice day, and thanks again for the helpful feedback. I have a clearer idea of the problem and what I need to do to fix it.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Piggie cage being invaded by rats. Guinea-safe removal solutions needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by RodentCuddles View Post
    I really hope you and your boy friend can figure some things out, I see you live in Auckland.
    If you would need a week or so to figure it out I'll be able to look after your piggies till you can get things sorted out. I run a rescue/re-homing program in Auckland for rescued and surrendered piggies so I do have 10 pigs (6 are my own little ones) at the moment but can make room for a week or so to give you some time to sort it out. (:
    All the pigs are inside, have fresh veggies twice daily as well as being handled and cuddled daily everyday.

    This is just an suggestion.
    Thank you so much for the suggestion. I have just made arrangements for them to stay with my parents, indoors, until I can get the rat problem under control and modify their home better.

    -Sam

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