Shedside Massacre: Exterminating The Rats Under My Shed With Carbon Monoxide From My Lawnmower

There is a serious rat infestation in our neighborhood. It started years ago thanks to all the diligent backyard gardeners, open compost piles and chickens. I’ve had them in our house a couple of times, and in three of my rentals. I’m now as good as any pest control company in eliminating them from houses. But they’ve still been in and under our garden shed complex. This year I decided to get serious.

Step one was installing strong 1/4″ wire mesh over any openings, at the rafters, eves, windows, etc. Then I covered any holes in the wood and at any gaps with sheet metal. That should keep them out, which is really the key to dealing with rats in houses or any structures. But they’ve also created a warren of tunnels to nest in the gravel under the concrete slab the shed sits on. Yes, I’ve baited and trapped (I found two desiccated carcasses today). But there’s always more under there. So I decided to gas them.

I covered up all the various openings to this warren with 3/8″ minus gravel, except this one. I had an old 3″ dryer vent laying around; one end went into the last hole, the other I cut and firmly attached wired on to the muffler of the recently found (at the curb) fresh B&S engine which I mounted on my beloved lightweight aluminum ’60s Montgomery Ward mower, and let it run for almost half an hour.

Tomorrow morning I will check all the gravel-covered openings to see if anyone survived and dug themselves out. I’m betting not.

This is one job an electric mower would not have been capable of.