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Sitting in class on my computer tonight I heard commotion on my patio and looked over and saw a beautiful light chocolate dumbo rat (female I believe), also saw a grey one further away. I have heard critters playing on my patio for a few weeks now, and figured it was a possum or something, after all I am in Texas.

Anyways, I don't want to harm these wild rats, but I also don't want my dogs to get a hold of them and chance getting something from a flea or bite.

Any affordable suggestions for trapping them and releasing them somewhere safe (like where?)?

I just want my animals and myself to be safe, without killing or causing injury to these pretty wild rats.

Is it possible they are here because they smell my boys? Or more likely due to our compost bin in the back of our yard?

Any and all responses with helpful ideas is welcomed. Thank you in advance.
 

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If they are colored really chocolate and grey (blue) then they are not wild rats. Wild rats are agouti, a brownish color. It is possible the rats you saw were agouti but just looked different in the light? Or it is a possibility they are not wild and are someone's escaped/released pets.

If you can manage to see them again and snap a pic?

They make safe humane traps. You can probably buy them at any hardware store. I like tractor supply if any are near you.

If they are wild honestly i'd probably leave them alone, but make sure there isn't food or anything in the yard attracting them. It is not likely that they are attracted to your rats.

If they are not wild, I would trap them and try to find a rescue to take them or see if they are missing.
 

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I agree with moonkissed, they likely arent 'wild' rats, just feral pet rats especially if one is dumbo (pretty sure dumbos dont occur in wild rats)
 

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From what I read, rats can return to their home up to 2 miles, so if you do trap and release, drive them far away from your home.

The idea of taking them to a rescue sounds superb. They can make the judgment call whether the rats are too feral to adopt out or not.
 

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I would try and live trap them. Wild rats are pretty savy to traps and usually won't enter them, domestics are much more trusting and will usually go right in if there is food. It sounds likely that these are domestics.

Wild coloring looks like this:

moojoo.jpg
 

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You might try calling the rats, if they appear docile and take treats from you, they might be discarded pets that can be pets again...

On the other hand they might be part wild rats regardless of what they look like and are something you shouldn't get too near... like pure wild rats they can be dangerous.

In any case, never try to corner or grab them.
 

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You might try calling the rats, if they appear docile and take treats from you, they might be discarded pets that can be pets again...

On the other hand they might be part wild rats regardless of what they look like and are something you shouldn't get too near... like pure wild rats they can be dangerous.

In any case, never try to corner or grab them.
Good point. If they were someone's pets, they might come to you if you offer food. You could do this as a routine and then eventually lure them into a cage and not even bother with live traps. Then you can decide to try to adopt them or take them to the rescue.

It sounds like they might be too wild for that, but the worst thing to happen is you stand there like a fool for 5 minutes making kissy noises with food in your hand.
 

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Woah, all wild rats are that color!?
I live way out in the middle of nowhere and found a black and white hooded rat in the feed shed a while back! Its EXTREMELY unlikely it was an excaped pet because the nearest neighbors are miles away.
 

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Actually... all wild rats are not the same color.... Genetic mammal mutations take eons do develop naturally, so very likely there have been a few hooded rats in the world for a very long time as well as albinos and other color morphs... But they were likely very very rare.

Human breeders most likely didn't "invent" these mutations, they simply bred for them.... If someone would like to argue that a true wild hooded rat might be a one in a million find... they would also most likely be right.

This leads me to another interesting possibility.... that of a part wild rat, like we had... She didn't look wild but was the result of what I believe was an intentional wild outcrossing and then another back cross to a domestic rat. She looked very much domestic, but lived outdoors on her own for 5 months and had all of the typical wild traits. To make things more interesting, what if she had a litter of pups while she lived outside, and offspring from those crossed with pups of the blue hooded rex rat that ran away from us... would not some of those possibly look like domestic rats? But odds are they would act very much like wild rats.

Did either of our girls contribute their domestic coloration to the local wild genepool? Who knows, but there's a chance that within the next 20 or so years there could be a blue or a rex or a hooded wild rat running around town that is anything but domestic... which of course might happen even if our rats aren't involved. It would just be a lot less likely.

Below is a photo, one of the pics is Fuzzy Rat. She was a bred for meat rat and 100% domestic, the other rat was our part wild girl... the result of a recent outcross to a wild rat. Fuzzy Rat didn't even eat bugs, Fluffy, killed mice on sight and tore up the hand of an X-delta force soldier just back from Iraq when he tried to pick her up...

IMAG0050.jpg IMAG0052.jpg
IMAG0050.jpg IMAG0052.jpg

Sorry they posted twice....

But one rat is a friendly domestic, the other is a vicious wild type rat... Both were actually great friends and loved my daughter... But even I had to handle Fluffy with caution... She bit fast, hard, repeatedly and tore flesh. She never ate foods she didn't taste the day before, she could squeeze under doors and run straight up walls... and she never made a sound... she could stroll right over my keyboard without depressing a key.... There was nothing domestic about her personality to which the cats she drove off our property can attest.

If you grabbed Fuzzy Rat you would have made a new friend, if you grabbed Fluffy... you would be headed to the emergency room.

But also to be clear, Fluffy never attacked anyone... she just defended herself by flinging herself into the air and tearing anything she could reach to shreds.

Your porch rats are no threat to you unless you grab them or corner them. If they are escaped domestics they will most likely respond to treats if they are wild type, they will keep their distance... in any case NEVER grab them.

Best luck.
 

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Hybrid animals are different than a wild animal or pure domestic. But a random poodle looking dog in the woods that may have some wolf somewhere in it's genetics...is still a poodle in woods and not to be mistaken as a wolf.
 

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Rats haven't been domesticated as long as dogs have... they are actually still more similar than different. Much of the difference is in instincts and temperament and not physical. A wild rat can have rex hair and still be a wild rat.
 
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