I live in SE Portland and we have a rat problem here in the city. How do I get rid of rats making a home in my backyard?
Multnomah County Oregon
Rat control in this situation will be an ongoing project. A combination of habitat modification, exclusion (if they're entering your home or structures), and population reduction. A good first step will be to eliminate any accidental provisioning such as spilled bird food, pet food, downed fruit, access to slow-composting yard waste, or rodent-accessible garbage. Population reduction, especially in an urban area with children, pets, and other non-target animals around, will require careful use of snap-traps and/or toxic baits inside CONTROLLED BAIT STATIONS. I will attach this older pdf about rats for information's sake http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/ro_b105.pdf however
be aware that most of the toxic baits mentioned are restricted use pesticides and require a state pesticide applicator's license. In some cases, homeowners might want to contract with a licensed and trained wildlife control operator (WCO) to get a handle on the problem. A current list of Oregon's WCOs is here http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/license_permits_apps/wildlife_control_operator_contacts.asp