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I have a vegan dilemma.  Okay, it’s not always easy being a vegan in today’s world, the often limited choices eating out for one.  But, I recently faced a dilemma around the large rat living in my back garden.  Apart from telling it to “Shoo!” (which it didn’t), I have struggled on how to get this rat out of my garden in line with my vegan ethics.  As someone who often has the back door open to air the house, I can no longer do this.  It seems every time I go into the garden or shed, it’s there, waiting, lurking just so it can ‘piss its sides’ laughing as I scream and run back to the house.

Yes rats carry diseases, some of which may be fatal to humans, but so do many other animals, see here and it’s not only rats that transmit Weils disease (leptospirosis), cattle can too, RoSPA.

I’ve been brainstorming ideas as serving it 28 days notice to vacate is not an option (obviously), duh, everyone knows rats can’t read.

By the way, I have named the rat ‘Fluffy’, I had to name it something cute, so I’m not so scared, it didn’t work, but the name stuck!

So here are some options I toyed with or were suggested to me:

Humane Rat Trap

Yep, I purchased a humane rat trap from Amazon, perfect, I can get rid of ‘Fluffy’  from my garden and release it to some rural area.  I read very conflicting information which was really dependent on the motive of the writer; first was to release it at least 1 mile from your property, otherwise it will come back knocking on your door telling you they’ve “changed” and want to “come home”.

I then read an article from an obviously more compassionate writer who advised releasing a rat in unfamiliar territory means almost certain death (for the rat, not you).  I then found out, it is illegal in the U.K. to release a live rat, so with none of these options appealing, the humane trap remains unused still in its Amazon’s box.

Rat Poison

Sorry, no can do!  This has been suggested to me by numerous people.  Rat poison would ensure ‘Fluffy’ has a slow and excruciatingly painful death.  Nope, I can’t inflict that on any living creature, especially Fluffy who I am kinda warming to now.

You also risk killing other wildlife, so nope, not a rats chance in hell (excuse the pun).

Snap Trap

Advocators of killing rats, suggest this is a quick death, it’s still a death, and I am not convinced it is quick, some actually survive, so nope to this again.

Pest Controllers

The aims of pest controllers and councils are to kill rats, they either make suggestions for you to do a DIY kill, often by way of poison or they come out and do the job for you for a fee.  Either way, I don’t want to be responsible for suffering and death.


Yes, I did read that you could take it the vets to be ‘put to sleep’.  Apparently some vets do this, but then I would still be extinguishing a life, so yet again not an option.

Borrow a Cat

Now, how the hell do you borrow a cat?

The Outcome

So, I bet you’re wondering which option I went for?  well errmm …..   none of the above.  I did a bit of research and have decided to encourage Fluffy to move on voluntary.

So how am I going to do this?

Apparently rats have an excellent sense of smell, even better than dogs, but there are a few smells that repel them; essential oils such as citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, and also cayenne pepper, chilli powder etc.  So I am going to make a chilli concoction and spray the garden with it, so it packs its little rucksack and moves on to pastures new.

Sorry Fluffy, but time for us to part ways!  Good Luck and I’ll let nature take care of you when your time comes.

Posted by:Jane