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How To Keep Rats From Eating My Cables?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the increase-their-cocaine-ration dept.

Networking 1032

An anonymous reader writes "I am curious to know what vermin prevention/eradication methods are used in other locations. I am working at a dealership and we have an exterminator man who puts out glue traps and bait stations, but they still come and eat my cable. The latest was a couple of fiber runs — very expensive. I have threatened my boss with a cat for the server room (my office), going so far as to cruise the local Humane Society's website and eye-balling a nice Ragdoll-Siamese mix. Even if I do feel like dealing with a litter box, cat hair in the equipment and pouncings on my keyboards (and I'm not sure I do), that only covers the server room. We have multiple buildings on the campus which get locked up to prevent theft, but it isn't secure enough to keep out the critters and the latest chew spot was in the ceiling. Any ideas?"

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Three options (5, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834853)

Rats and mice don't eat cables...They chew the insulation off to make their nests...or if it happens to be in their way. So your best be it to figure out what the hell they're eating, and shut down their food supply. They'll move on shortly thereafter.

The word "campus" may put paid to that notion, however. Campus implies lots of people, lots of garbage, and lots of space. God help you if it's a college campus, the promised land of vermin the world over, where bulldog sized rats subsist on half a cheeseburger out of the dumpster. If that's the case, then there is no way you'll be able to shut off their food.

Introducing predators isn't necessarily a bad idea, but its a measure that can, in no way, co-exist with traditional methods of poison and trapping. Your predator will likely set off the traps and poison itself on the bioaccumulated toxins in the bodies of its prey. If you do get a cat, better feed it a bunch of activated charcoal with its kibble.

Which brings us to poison and trapping. It's not that they don't work. They work GREAT. If they're not working, it means you're not using enough. You need to come to the budgetary equilibrium where the amount you spend on extermination makes sense based on the cost of cable replacement.

So if you can't shut off their food, and you can't stomach the thought of your kitties/ferrets/snakes keeling over dead from poison every month or two, you're going to have to up the extermination.

Re:Three options (3, Insightful)

kaputtfurleben (818568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834935)

He said he works at a dealership, and I can only assume that he means a car dealership. Have you ever seen a car dealership on a college campus?

Re:Three options (4, Funny)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835033)

Have you ever seen a car dealership on a college campus?

Sounds like a great idea though. College kids are notorious for irresponsible use of credit. (Really, my friend bought a car on his American Express while in college...).

Re:Three options (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835507)

(Really, my friend bought a car on his American Express while in college...).

If he waited a few years he could have defaulted on it and gotten a Governmental bailout ;)

Re:Three options (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835077)

Good call. I spaced on that part. That's almost worse though, because of what may be nearby. A river, some fast food places, one of those goddamn toxic peanut factories.

All the same points apply though. Stop the food. Or get some exterminators...Some good ones if the rats are coming from a neighboring property. Maybe see if you can report your neighbors for excessive vermin?

Re:Three options (5, Informative)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835031)

They could also try to secure the installations with expanding urethane foam sealant. This is the stuff the Mythbusters used to "prank a car", and that Mike Rowe used a few weeks ago to seal a mine shaft.

http://www.homeenvy.com/db/9/49.html [homeenvy.com]

Re:Three options (4, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835115)

In addition: as much as it's great to bring a cat home from the shelter so they can take in another one (especially now, with people abandoning cats when their houses get foreclosed... who would do that?!?), ask yourself why you're getting the cat.

Make sure that you're not just getting the cat to be a roving rattrap. You're going to be responsible for the care of a living being, remember -- regardless of whether the cat is actually a good mouser, it's your responsibility to give it a good home.

Also, just to warn you, Siamese cats are very loud and whiny. We just got one, and she's very needy, and talks your ear off if she wants something. Look at some Youtube videos of Siamese cats. I have no idea how a mix would be, but I just wanted to warn you...

Re:Three options (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835263)

you faggot hippie.

Go Wireless (5, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835169)

Can't eat air!

One of the great reasons why wireless networking and phone technology is popular in Africa is that the copper thieves can't steal the wires. One area I visited often, many years back, had a 25 mile long telephone cable to a phone that never worked. By the time the installation crew finished the installation the first half of the line would be gone and they'd wait for the next year's budget and start all over again...

Re:Go Wireless (4, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835369)

Depending on the application, wireless might simply be too slow. I've worked on a wireless connection in my office for a few months, and it was torture. The main problem was that we weren't using commercial wireless access points, just regular home ones due to budget issues. I was so happy to get a regular wired network connection after.

Re:Three options (5, Insightful)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835259)

Rats and mice are also different problems. If you have mice, cats are very effective. Mice will not even approach anywhere they think a cat lives. If you have rats, you will need a larger predator. At least a big cat, that you know will take out rats. Rats are much larger than mice.

I would consider lining everywhere there are cables with glue traps. That will catch anything that goes near the cables. Unfortunately, it could also be highly annoying. Line everywhere a cable enters or exits a small whole with steal wool. Mice are almost impossible to prevent entering a building, because they can move freely through such small entry points. They also seek out heat.

Finally, if the problem is rats, then it is much easier to block entry to the buildings. Rats are much larger than mice, so physical protection methods work better against rats. Be prepared to use concrete and steel solutions. Rats and squirrels can chew through wood. My experience is that rats will eat plastic much more readily than mice. Rats are much larger than mice, and are tougher to catch. Mouse traps are ineffective against rats. Consider sheathing your wiring in metal and/or concrete. Quick setting concrete is an easy way to plug oddly shaped holes. Metal conduit can be terminated with liquid tight fittings. Between the two solutions, you should be able to prevent mice and rats from either going through conduit, or going around conduit and exploiting holes in the building walls.

Re:Three options (5, Insightful)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835281)

Rats and mice don't eat cables...They chew the insulation off to make their nests...or if it happens to be in their way.

I wish I had a source for this... but I remember reading somewhere that rats are generalist foragers who will try nibbling on just about anything they come across to see if it's edible or not. When they come across a foreign substance (a seed, a fruit, a piece of garbage, a nice shiny cable), they'll try a few bites of it. if it makes them sick, they throw it up and remember not to eat it again- apparently they have very good memory.

This is what makes poisoning them so difficult, and why rat poisons are designed to have a delayed effect. Plastic, on the other hand, won't necessarily make a rat sick in small quantities (it isn't exactly digestible), and new plastic products often "outgas" just enough to produce odors which rats can pick up on. So, when a rat happens across a foreign object with a funky smell (your newly laid cable), it's inclined to take a few nibbles.

Two additional options (not exclusive) (3, Informative)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835393)

one is a coating for the cabling to "discourage" chewing [hytechdistributors.com] .
popular choices are anything capsaicin based or something with a bitter substance (bitter to rodents that is)

another is those ultra-sonic repellers (it's worth a try....some rats may not give a "rat's" ass about it and still continue to do their deeds)

In the end, it may not be just one thing but a combination of things.
poisons to kill off the rats, deterrents to prevent them from chewing on cabling, and making it very unpleasant for them to live on the lot.
Especially, yanking out the welcome mat from under them.
Those rats who don't learn not to leave and not to chew on the cables will get poisoned.

Battle Stations!!! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835413)

Clearly, you need to deploy one or more Rat Zapper Battle Stations [ratzapper.com]

They work great. Rats die humanely. Things that eat rats, don't.

I mean to say, things that eat them don't die, not that they die horrible, lingering deaths.

Well, of course they will die, eventually. But not from this.

I mean, unless they're other rats.

Nuke 'em from orbit? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834859)

No, wait, that's the wrong movie...

Conduits (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834873)

And if you can't "afford" conduit, make your own. Garden hose (which rats don't eat through), PVC, etc.

Re:Conduits (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834975)

For a big install that may not be possible...If all the wire is already pulled, for example, you can't unpull it all and add conduit without a huge expense.

On the other hand, it may be pulled in quantities that exceed common conduit widths. I've seen even small buildings with bundles of cable the diameter of a soccer ball, and if the conduit is that big, it's more likely a convenient rat super-highway than a deterrent.

Re:Conduits (3, Informative)

Yobgod Ababua (68687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835237)

There's always a way to get a protective sheath overtop of a cable run.

You can slit a large rubber tube or PVC pipe section and slip it over the cabling in the exposed sections.

You can also take ducting metal and screw it over the exposed cables to connect it up to whatever wall or corner it's running along. It -will- cost money to do, but that cost is almost certainly less than the cost of replacing fiber, and so should be an easy sell.

Re:Conduits (1)

Entropy2016 (751922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835345)

To avoid unpullig wires, couldn't you just just cut the garden-hose open down its length, wrap it around the wires, then glue/tape the hose shut? (I'm not familiar with the subject, so I'm merely speculating).

Get a Cat! (0, Redundant)

jacob1984 (1314123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834877)

... oh wait

Re:Get a Cat! (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834901)

Maybe a Wheaton Terrier, they don't shed as much.

Cats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26834905)

Cats have been used to deal with vermin for so many generations that we've forgotten. With the exception of the Black Death misunderstanding (where we killed the witch-cats and thus eliminated any hope of naturally controlling the vermin which were spreading the disease), this relationship has been quite satisfactory.

If your exterminator can't do the job, then hire another exterminator. Trying to eliminate modes of entry into the server room for the vermin is also an idea.

But ultimately, there's nothing wrong with getting a few cats to patrol your campus.

metal conduit (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834911)

or, was that too obvious?

you could always go back to old style 10baseT 'thickwire' cabling. I'd like to see ANY rodent chew threw that! plus, the vampire taps might scare the mice away..

Re:metal conduit (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835195)

I think you mean 10BASE5 [wikipedia.org]

10BASE-T is unshielded twisted pair, similar to what we use for 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T, and now 10GBASE-T. (though obviously with higher cable standards at each speed)

Re:metal conduit (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835417)

I was pricing some 1"PVC stuff today at lowes. It's pretty cheap at about $1.50 for 10 ft. Metal was much more expensive though. I guess PVC could still be eaten though.

Cats ? (0, Redundant)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834917)

Cats have been used widely to get rid of rats and mice since the beginning of time. perhaps you should get some of those ?

Re:Cats ? (4, Informative)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834977)

Cats have been used widely to get rid of rats and mice since the beginning of time. perhaps you should get some of those ?

Not all cats are good mousers, however. It really helps to have one who was properly taught by their mama-cat how to do it.

Re:Cats ? (1)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835063)

This is very true. I have seen cats get the dry heaves when they see a dead mouse. I have never had a cat that was a mouser (read that as my female companion never had a cat...). Which pretty much means the cats did nothing useful, other that fill a plastic tray with shit and piss and get hair all over.

Re:Cats ? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835159)

Funny, our cats at the farm catch and kill all sorts of things: mice, iguanas, snakes, birds. But then again we don't feed them all that much, just dry food - so they're always hungry enough to go hunting for "fresh meat".

Re:Cats ? (2, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835137)

Not all cats are good mousers, however. It really helps to have one who was properly taught by their mama-cat how to do it.

Say what? I'll agree that some cats are better hunters than others, but I've yet to meet a non-grossly overweight cat that doesn't show immediate interest in anything smaller than it scurrying about. Seriously, stick any cat in a building where all kinds of interesting sounds and smells are going on, and they are good to go.

Re:Cats ? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835387)

Find a cat from a Farm born of outdoor parents. We kept Cats around for this same reason. Second, don't over feed them, feed them just a bit less than you think they need.

We went on vacation once and apparently didn't leave enough food out. We came home to a few partially eaten rabbits in the front yard. These weren't small rodents either (and rabbits are damn fast compared to rats).

Re:Cats ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835151)

If you'd read beyond the second sentence of the summary you wouldn't have asked that question. Jesus Christ, did you even read anything besides the headline?

Re:Cats ? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835495)

Cats can also destroy cables... Plus, it could be pretty hit or miss depending on how territorial your cat is. Your office may smell like cat urine all the time (very unpleasant).

The Simple Option (5, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834919)

Rat Poison.

Yeah, this is "inhumane" etc, whatever. But that's the only way to reduce the population fast enough to make a difference. Most pest control people want to use poisons, because they know it's the only way that works, but then people insist "omg no! you have to be humane about it!"

Look people. If you want the pests gone, there's really only one option that works.

Boring (5, Funny)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835043)

Use high voltage cables and let evolution do the rest.

Re:Boring (5, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835163)

My god - high voltage resistant rats

Re:Boring (4, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835225)

My god - high voltage resistant rats

You sir win 2 internets and owe me a new monitor and keyboard.

Re:Boring (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835391)

And then what are you going to do to get rid of the highly evolved electrocution-resistant rodents?

Re:Boring (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835443)

I had a rabbit (inherited from a gf who turned out to be allergic to it) what could take the insulation of a 220V cable without ill effect. Ill effect to the rabbit that is, the effect on me upon finding the spot was rather pronounced. I don't think high voltage is the solution ;)

Re:The Simple Option (3, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835111)

Rat Poison.

Yeah, this is "inhumane" etc, whatever.

It's arguably less inhumane than the glue traps they're using now.

Re:The Simple Option (4, Funny)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835187)

Glue traps are the absolute worst! Anyone here ever think of what happens? The mouse gets stuck on the trap until it dies from starvation or dehydration. Plan old spring loaded mouse traps work great, and kill it instantly. Although, have a sick story on the glue traps. 20 years ago in HS, working at McDs, I had a cheap manager and a lot of mice. He bought glue traps, and wanted to "reuse" them. By reuse, he thought he could just pull the mouse off the trap. We, he is pulling on that tail, and that mouse is squeaking like hell, and he pulled so hard he pulled the damn spine out of the mouse. The was a quick end to the glue traps and the real exterminators came in the next day.

Re:The Simple Option (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835193)

Heh. I wouldn't have pegged you for a big poison proponent. I agree though; if you can't shut off their food, there really isn't any other option.

As far as humane-ness, if you're killing them, does it really matter how?

Re:The Simple Option (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835199)

The problem is not just that it's a tortured death.

After the rat starts lurching around, a cat will find and eat it. After the cat starts lurching around, a hawk will kill it. After the hawk, a coyote, then a mountain lion will ingest it. Repeat a few years, and pretty soon condors are on the brink of extinction.

Or maybe the local food chain will be spared and the rat will just die in some inaccessible cable run and decompose there for your olfactory enjoyment.

Re:The Simple Option (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835295)

This is an easier, and less poisonous solution... Call your local pest control and solve the rat problem.. It is cheaper than changing cable, and you do not have to worry about one running out while a customer is around..

Re:The Simple Option (2, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835339)

One caveat with poison: it doesn't kill them right away. I put rat poison in my attic to get rid of the mice that were chewing the insulation off the A/C. Eventually it worked, but not before one of the little fuckers crawled down out of the attic, into my closet, curled up in the toe of my slipper, and died. And I didn't find it until about a month later (although I did think my closet smelled funny.) Don't poison the rats unless you're comfortable with the idea of finding rat carcasses where you least expect them for the next couple of years. (I expected carcasses in the attic, but I also found a dead mouse under the tub when I remodeled.) Mice are pretty small, they dessicate and mummify pretty quickly. Rats would be much worse.

Re:The Simple Option (1)

eccenthink (1312043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835487)

It's not inhumane; I take on dose of rat poison every day. Hasn't killed me yet!

I bet you know a lot of people that ingest rat poison [wikipedia.org]

How about F.E.A.R. 2 cats? (2, Funny)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834945)

*glances at the article below this one*

One of the editors couldn't wait to put these two together, could they?

Re:How about F.E.A.R. 2 cats? (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835009)

Good news they will be unemployed Saturday...

Armored Cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26834963)

You can get armored cable. It is designed specifically for this problem. Our telephone company laid a lot of fiber (underground). Within a month the fiber stopped working. They dug it up, found gophers had chewed through the fiber. They re-laid the fiber, the second time it was armored.

Terrier dog (3, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834965)

there's a breed called the rat terrier, not as common as it once was, but probably other terriers could do for this work. Possibly you can deal better with typical dog behaviors better than cat behaviors.

Re:Terrier dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835215)

Generally speaking, ratting terriers* deal with rats that have been suddenly evicted (eg by turning over a henhouse or forklifting bales about in a barn) and are running about trying to find somewhere to hide. They're amazingly efficient at killing rats like this en masse, but this is unlikely to be any use in a rat-infested building with wall, floor and ceiling spaces that can't be torn open to expose the rats.

*which can be all sorts, not just Rat Terriers, BTW - Jack Russells, Patterdales, Staffies, Manchesters, Borders and others.

Re:Terrier dog (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835503)

That's what Yorkshire terriers are for. You don't think them miners were keeping them for pets?

Deer repellent/hot pepper spray (capsaicin) (3, Informative)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834969)

You can get this at any hardware or garden store. Basically it is just a spray bottle full of capsaicin, which is what gives chili peppers their kick. It is commonly sold as rabbit or deer repellent sprays. Aviaries, which have huge rodent problems, will mix hot pepper powder in with bird seed because birds are not affected by it, but the rodents won't touch the seeds then. But a warning - DO NOT get this on your eyes or hands and apply it to the cables in a well ventilated area or outside. And if you put it on cables, you need to wear gloves in the future when handling them.

Re:Deer repellent/hot pepper spray (capsaicin) (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835083)

Exactly what I was going to suggest. Just spray the whole damn thing through and put warnings saying it's coated in mace/pepperspray.

Snakes (5, Funny)

hodagacz (948570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26834971)

A couple of Ball pythons in the cable runs, and those rats will be history as will anybody poking around where they're not supposed to...

Re:Snakes (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835103)

You mean, "Snakes in a dealership"! One problem: you will need many snakes to eat all the rats. It's not like they eat several a day. He may also not be in the right climate, and introducing species into the local ecology may be an issue.

Re:Snakes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835105)

Is there any problem Python *can't* solve?

Re:Snakes (1)

harduser (1451499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835153)

Yeah, python - they use it at NASA.

Re:Snakes (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835427)

Yeah, but then cables might get damaged from all the humping....

Re:Snakes (1)

pjtp (533932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835441)

Yeah, and a few in the patching just to make sure.

Give it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26834989)

I think the best option is to leave them CAT 5 offerings every afternoon.

I think it starts with lizards... (5, Funny)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835005)

Well, you could always introduce some sort of lizards to eat the rats. And then, after the lizard population explodes you could...uh, well, I'm not sure of the exact steps, but I think it all ends up with gorillas freezing to death in the winter. Or something like that.

Re:I think it starts with lizards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835379)

LOL! An obvious joke with a delicious ending +1 funny for you!

Use Cat-5 cable (5, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835013)

Mice are five times more afraid of it.

Terminate them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835025)

Class 5 laser cannons in the ceilings.

Instill Fear (5, Funny)

Nyall (646782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835027)

Mount their little heads on spikes.

I always wondered (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835061)

There HAS to be a reason why cables are usually put in conduits and/or PVC pipes. If you have bare cables lying around, you're asking for trouble.

Those weird noise makers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835081)

There are those weird things you plug into the wall outlets that deters rats by making some noise at a frequency that irritates them so they leave. Don't know how well it works, but might be worth a shot.

Conduit (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835121)

I know this is a strange concept, but there is this stuff called conduit. You know, that metal tube stuff that has been used in buildings for eons. That stuff that you run wire through.

It is available in both flex and solid. You can bet all *MY* fiber runs are in steel conduit (even though all my wire stuff is not).

BTW- I like the word "stuff".

Remove food, remove rats (2, Insightful)

jamie (78724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835141)

Get rid of their food source and they'll move on. Get a garbage dumpster with lids that seal. Remove trash bags from the trash every night. Vacuum the carpets every night (and tell the slob who eats at his desk to eat somewhere that the crumbs can be swept up). No food in the cupboards unless it's in jars or cans. No birdfeeder outside. And so on - use your imagination. There is no solution apart from this one, and it has to be building-wide. If there is food for them, they will return.

And glue traps are incredibly cruel; other killing traps almost as much so. Live-trap [google.com] them and drive them (a few miles or more) to someplace green without buildings around, make them work for a living.

The short-term solution is probably one layer of spiral cable wrap [google.com] , topped with another layer of split-flex tubing [google.com] .

Re:Remove food, remove rats (3, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835165)

He also needs to find out what wise ass coated his cables with peanut butter - and take appropriate retaliatory measures.

Re:Remove food, remove rats (3, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835451)

Can't have been peanut butter...The rats are still alive.

Conduit is the only solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835157)

G'day there,
I work for a large University here in Australia - We have rats the size of your propsed cat around here - the food and water sources far exceed my capability to erradicate them. We have started installing SWA electrical cable between buildings, through our walkthrough inter-building tunnels.

For data cables, I've been placing the cable in a way that makes it hard for the rats to get purchase whilst shreading the cable. The cables sit supported on the cable tray by about 2ft, or suspended from a catenary wire off the tunnels roof.

For in-building installations, We have pretty much done the same - catenary wires support the cable bundles and the fibre is encased in flexi-duct.

We get 2 or 3 cable shreads per year, the last one was a 192 core cable that the little buggers cut and ripped so badly I had to replace 40M of line before it was able to be respliced.

I feel your pain..

You could try to nearly-hermeitcally seal the room (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835173)

in a block of amethyst.

Or, you could make the room an insulated compartment, like on a ship. You'll need knee-knockers type doors. That is, pseudo air/watertight doors openings cut into the plate of the compartment. The rats shouldn't be able to climb or jump over the coaming. Wait, if they are genetically endowed, they just MIGHT leap 8 inches up.... i've had indications they were able to leap over stickies i laid down, so i had to lay extras in their landing path. That worked.

As for the cabling, you need stuffing tubes or solid stuffing and jacketing around the cabling. If it's all sufficiently high with nothing for them to claw up the walls with, then hopefully they won't get in.

If you have discretionary funding, you might want to get laser sweeps (the kind that take dimensions to measure tanks or large spaces) or something based on alarms (not talking about zapping them... if you cook them, it'll be messy as hell to clean up...). Tie it in with inert gas. I don't know that you could trip Halon without corroding the wires, destroying your gear, and being a potential life-safety issue, but some gas might be available for use after hours. Set it up so that during work hours, the delivery mechanism or discharge hose port is disengaged, and when you close up shop, shut the door and the safety tags drop into view as the attachments seal and are on stand-by. During working hours, have screens in place that they can't negotiate.

But, that's expensive. It may be cheaper to encase the servers and put stickies in perimeter defense of the equipment, but, it sounds like you tried that.

Fire Suppression (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835457)

You could try to nearly-hermeitcally seal the room

Activate the Halon fire suppression system and run ...

Alternatively, simply adding a bunch of dry ice in an enclosed space below floor level will likely clear out any living organisms too. Be careful that you don't suffocate too.

Finally, there is always the old cyanide gas trick ... No need to worry about suffocation with cyanide.

Safety Warning: Don't actually do any of the above.

Cat Fur (1)

SandwhichMaster (1044184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835207)

I read somewhere that cat fur alone can be a deterrent to rodents. Something about the scent...

Cat's shed a lot. Find someone with a cat and spread the shedding around the problem areas. If it works, great. If not, it didn't cost you anything... you know, except more cable

What RIAA executives are eating cable? (2, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835211)

Is it the last stand and the final gasp of RIAA lawyers trying to stop the downloads. What? you mean REAL rats? oops.

Cybernetic Lolcatz (1)

WamBam (1275048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835229)

All the cool nerds have them now. Not only will they protect your precious cables but they'll use your connection to upload pictures of themselves doing cute things, raising your geek cred.

Poison = Rotting carcasses (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835231)

Cats = decapitated rotting carcasses.

If you want to help the economy, waste your money on some kind of pest management regime including exterminators and poisons.

If you want to help the Human Society, adopt a cat. Just hope you adopt one that is too dumb to realize that hunting rats is a hassle compared to dumpster diving or finding a soft-touch to feed it Fancy Feast every day.

The best way to get rid of rodents is to prevent them from entering your building(s). Period.

Not cats, cats with LASERS! (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835233)

Ok, that might be dangerous. How about you run a few more cables with the others and hook up some 110volts on it. I'd suggest using a red/orange/yellow cable and mark it on both ends. I'd also advise against putting regular ends on it. It probably wouldn't be good if someone plugged that into a switch. Just run a really long red ethernet cable, and put a lamp on the end of it ;)

hair in the equipment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835243)

get a Sphynx! part of the problem solved.

it sounds like you have tasty content (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835253)

stop all streaming video of "ratatouille" and blog posts of rat porn, and start serving up content that rats don't like. introduce random packets of lolcat jppegs, maybe streaming video of "mrs frisby and the rats of nimh". you'll soon find the rats aren't as interested anymore at chewing into your cables to get to the content on your network, as they will find it unappealing

Red Hot Chile Peppers (1)

tripmine (1160123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835267)

I had heard before that hot peppers were used to coat cables, since rodents apparently hate it. A quick google gave me this: this. [zianet.com]

Cats and cables (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835269)

eye-balling a nice Ragdoll-Siamese mix

Cats can also chew on wires. My Ragamuffin (related to the Ragdoll breed) as a kitten chewed through an AM antenna wire for my stereo and still chews on some of the plastic sheaths around cat-5 cabling in the house.

If you're going to let a cat roam around a noisy air-conditioned machine room, it may be humane to get one that is already naturally deaf, though that will likely impact its ability to hunt light-footed vermin or alert you with its meowing, and it may take to knocking items onto the floor to get your attention. (Make sure it can't reach let alone operate the scram switch.)

Re:Cats and cables (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835493)

Psh, and you thought the cat in cat-5 meant category.

Ba-dum-ching! Thank you ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the veal. I'll be here all week.

My favorite Tom and Jerry Cartoon (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835279)

featured a robot cat. There were some problems for sure, but the technology must have improved since the 40s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV4kYuTZ02A [youtube.com] > Perhaps Roomba has one now.

THe Old Ways Are Often The Best. (5, Informative)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835293)

.22 air rifle, 3 Beers and 2 cans of Redbull. Make a night of it.

The obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835299)

I'd say we nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Rats are smart. They can be trained. (1)

MaxToTheMax (1389399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835335)

Electrified sheathing around your insulated cables, surrounded by a layer of duct tape. Make sure the floor is grounded. One or two nibbles is all it takes.

Steel Conduit? (1)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835377)

If you can't control the rat population, why can't you work on rat-proofing the cables, i.e., putting them in steel conduit? Am I missing something obvious, like regulatory considerations? Surely protecting the cables once and for all would be cheaper than frequently replacing them plus working on population control?

Two thoughts (2, Informative)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835401)

My basement door doesn't exactly seal right (my goal this year is to replace it) and we used to have mice coming into the basement all the time.

The fix was to get one of those high-frequency boxes you plug in and clicks every now and then. Ever since I put one near that door, we haven't had a mouse problem.

Second thought. If you do decide to use snap traps or glue traps, be sure to use peanut butter instead of cheese. Cheese dries out too quickly and they never eat it. PB stays good for a long time.

Third thought (yea I said two, here's a bonus). The very popular anticoagulant called Warfarin (AKA Coumadin) was originally used as rat poison.

Armored cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835423)

The standard has always been armored cable. [occfiber.com] .

Every manufacturer offers it. In the meantime, set out bowls of automobile antifreeze for the rats to drink (but it won't work in California -- bitter taste added to antifreeze).

Shutgun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835429)

Case closed

Supersonic pest repellents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835433)

What about some of those supersonic things? Supposedly they emit a sound or something that keeps certain pests at bay

Think about the smell.... (1)

sonic_assault (1194739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835435)

Most modern poisons have diuretics that literally make the mouse/rat/cat get thirsty. This typically makes them go outside in search of water, where they then buy the farm. However, if they don't make it outside, be prepared to endure the stench of a rotting animal(s) for a few weeks.

easy - other predators include rattlesnakes, (2, Insightful)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835453)

boas, pythons, owls, hawks, monitor lizards, ...

I mean a python crawling in the ceiling eating mice while your coding python.

How cool would that be ?

Its simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26835465)

Eat the rats before they eat the cables!

Victor Electronic Rat Trap (2, Interesting)

krakround (1065064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26835497)

This, baited with peanut butter, is irresistible death. Place one at known rat entrances or run ways. I could catch dumb rats within an hour of placing the trap. Some smart rats took a day or two to give in to the temptation. Also, eliminate any other sources of food. A fat rat is an unmotivated rat. There is no blood, nobody dying in your walls.
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