Yum! BBQ Rat!

Yum!  BBQ Rat!

Yum! BBQ Rat!

bbq rats.JPGLike most people, I enjoy firing up the BBQ grill to cook dinner outside. I’m usually a big fan of steaks, marinated pork loins, and the occasional chicken breasts. Last week, however, I almost tried a new cut of meat… RAT!! Ugh. My husband opened the lid to light the grill and, much to his surprise, a rat was scurrying around under the rack!

Unfortunately, this isn’t our first rat encounter. About a month ago, I was in our backyard and saw two rats run across our wooden fence. I FREAKED! We just had friends in a subdivision a few miles down the road who had one rat do $8,000 damage to their new house when a rat in their attic chewed through AC lines! And now, the nasty little vermin are daring to venture into my yard. Let me make it clear – I don’t do RODENTS!! I immediately called our exterminator who set some bait boxes by the fence and some glue boards in our attic just as a precaution. The exterminator checks the boxes every week and – lucky us – we have “lots of activity”! Do I win a prize? Is this supposed to make me feel good? Apparently, according to the exterminator, it’s a neighborhood problem. Lovely.

So, after seeing the rat in our grill last week, I frantically hopped online in hopes of finding more ways to deter the rats. It seems many people have had success with placing cotton balls saturated with peppermint oil around the house. Yep, you can bet I immediately ran out to buy lots of peppermint oil… I’ll try anything. I’m not sure yet if it works since it’s only been one day. I’ll keep you posted. If anyone has any surefire ways to deter rats, please comment, I’d love the help!

In the meantime, my next project is to clear the patio and only keep the bare essentials so the rats have fewer places to lurk. Right now, we have patio table umbrellas and too many toddler toys stacked in the corner of the patio. So, my hubby Mike and I decided it’s time to put a shed in our backyard to help eliminate clutter from both our patio and over-flowing garage. At first, Mike wanted to make it a “manly” project and build a wood shed. However, we have a sloped yard with lots of trees that really only allows one ideal flat spot for a shed… in the far back corner wedged up against the fence on two sides and trees on the third side. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that a shed with real shingles requires a city permit. The city permit requires a shed to be three feet from the fence… which we can’t do. So, to make a long story short, now we’ve been looking at Lifetime’s sheds. With the realistic-looking plastic molded siding and shingles, it still looks classy (unlike comparable-sized metal sheds). It will be quicker and easier to install than actually building a wood shed and we can even take it with us when we move. And, best of all, since it’s not a permanent structure, it does not require a city permit… so it doesn’t have to be placed away from the fence! Overall, it seems like a pretty good route to go. Now, we just have to do some measuring to see which Lifetime shed is best for us. I’ll let you know what we decide and how it turns out in my future posts. Rest assured though, whatever we choose, there will be lots of peppermint cotton balls inside!

Oh… so what ever happened to the rat in our grill? Well, it jumped out and ran under a storage bench we had beside the patio. I quickly grabbed some rat glue boards. My husband placed the boards on each side of the bench and then pounded on the bench to scare the rat. Bam, it ran right onto the glue board! I am now too freaked out to even think about opening the grill and my husband obviously is still slightly skittish. However, my 4-year-old son thinks it’s pretty cool that "Ratatouille" and his friends live in our backyard! Ugh.

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Jan_Claborn0004_web.jpgName- Jan

What I do for a living- First and foremost, I'm a doting mommy of a second grader and a 4-year-old, and a proud wife of a USAF F-16 fighter pilot!  In my pre-children life, I was the Communications Manager for Lifetime Products.  But, once you're a Lifetime fan, you're hooked!  So, after a few years of hiatus, I'm now a WAHM and am happily back on board at Lifetime as a freelance PR Consultant.  In addition to blogging for Lifetime, you can follow and chat with me on Lifetime's Twitter account @Lifetime365 and on the Lifetime Products Facebook page!

Topics I blog about- How I use Lifetime products in my everyday life at home, for kids parties and community activities, as well as inspiring stories... and GIVEAWAYS!  :)

My favorite products from Lifetime- 4x2 Table, 30” Personal Table, Chair, Youth Kayak, and Wheelbarrow.  Although, our Shed and Yard Cart are pretty close favorites, too!,

On a Saturday afternoon you can find me- I used to quickly answer this question with answers like snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, and rollerblading.   Now, as crazy as it may sound, I relish simply being able to catch up on computer work, and clean and organize the house while my hubby is home to help out with the kiddos.  After a little productive time tackling my “to do” list (which by the way, I LOVE lists!), we’ll usually try to do a fun, family-oriented activity like swimming, visiting parks, riding bikes, or tubing the river. 

My favorite escape- Oooh, that’s a tough one.  It completely depends on the type of day I’ve had.  Honestly, organizing (anything… closets, cupboards, files, toys) is a great stress reliever for me.  I know it’s pathetic, but I’m also a huge reality TV junkie. :)   I love entertaining and having couples over for dinner and games…although I tend to be quite competitive which isn’t always a good thing!  But, if I need to truly escape and unwind after a rough day with the kids, a massage, some retail therapy at the outlets, or going out with my girlfriends is always perfect spontaneous pampering! 

Other blogs/websites I can’t get enough of- Friends’ personal blogs…since we are in the military, we have friends stationed all over the world. I love being able to peek at their adventures and keep up-to-date with their families.  about.com, emarketer.com, allrecipes.com.

Read all posts by Jan



1/20/2009 7:47:30 PM

Any luck with the peppermint oil?  We are having problems with rats getting into our outdoor grill also.  I can't seem to find any helpful ideas online.  Thanks!



1/20/2009 8:20:41 PM

Hey Michelle,

Well, we haven't had any more rats in our grill...thank goodness!  I can't say for sure that it was the peppermint oil that did the trick, but at least we haven't seen any more in our grill.  I know for sure that we still have rats in our backyard (yuck!) because our bait boxes are always empty.  So, call me superstitious, crazy, or whatever, but I still replace the cottonballs in our grill and on our patio periodically.  I also put them in our garage as a precaution...and an added bonus is it masks our trash can smell!  :)  Just make sure you use peppermint OIL (available at health stores) not peppermint extract so you don't attract sugar ants.  Good luck.



8/8/2009 4:28:59 PM


we just had one run out of our bbq, went directly next door into the neighbours bbq when i scared it away. some nerve.

now i feel too disgusted to use the bbq again because he left some pellets behind.

good luck



8/9/2009 8:47:17 AM

Oh Eric, I know exactly how you feel about being too disgusted to use BBQ after having a rat in it!  I scoured ours about 5 times and burned it twice before I grilled on it again.  Knock on wood, we haven't had any more in our grill, but I'm still too freaked out to start the grill...my husband has to do it!



3/27/2010 2:05:07 AM




7/9/2010 6:16:31 PM

Here is something interesting - we got a new BBQ about two months ago and have already had 2 rat encounters. And, our new BBQ looks just like the one in the picture above!  Prior to that, we had a cheaper BBQ in the same place for 6 years with no rat issues.  I think it has something to do with the design of the BBQ and the cabinet underneath.



9/14/2010 8:45:51 AM

I would echo the same comment as the one above.  We recently had a rat in our grill (under the grate.)  I was shocked since it was a new grill (less than three months old.  It too looked just like the one in the photo above.  We NEVER had one in our old grill that sat in the same spot for 7 years!  Makes me wonder on the design.  YUCK!!!



1/18/2011 2:15:47 PM

OMG I was so shocked when this happened to us too last night! Our story is the same and so is the grill. I am so getting peppermint oil and cotton balls tonight. I found droppigs in the grill just now when I cleaned it. I'm a country girl so I am used to rats in the barn and such but violating my grill space?!!?



3/30/2011 1:09:47 PM

It's not the design of your grill - it's the food particles left behind. They are BAIT for all kinds of critters!!! You need a Grill Blaster. It's a grill cleaning device - you put it on your grill after you bbq and it cleans/disinfects both sides of the grill so there aren't any bits of food (read: bait) left over for the rats or other critters. It's also a GREAT way to clean you grill - hassle free. We got ours on amazon but your local hardware store may carry it too. I think it was about $30 and well-worth the cash. (Chemical-free too - cleans your grill like a self-cleaning oven.) Check it out. Good luck!



7/4/2011 8:28:52 AM

Well I am sure happy to find this blog! I recently moved into a house from a condo so the whole rat/bug thing is somewhat new and with my first encounter being a rat in my BBQ... not cool! The design of the BBQ has changed so there is easier access to the char bits. I will check out the grill blaster.



7/20/2011 11:34:18 AM

WOW! As all of you had mentiond that is something you are not looking for when taking the cover off of the grill!!! This one has been hanging around for quite a while i guess. My dogs sniff around and obviously have been trying to tell me something! Like a real tough guy i went armed with a Tennis Racket and of course my Hockey stick! I know, tough guy! LOL! My wife yells "there it is!" Thank goodness he ran the othre direction! Now I don't know how to find him!!! Thanks for all the great information and i'll be on the hunt tonight!!!



8/3/2011 3:29:59 AM

Same problem as you guys but the rat is in my grill every other night. The only answer in my mind is Death! It seems like the same rat. He scurries to the same hole in my fence when scared out. I figured FRY HIM! I have caught him and turned the burners on several times. One time for 30 to 40 seconds with all 3 burners going and still he gets out. Next step, Block the holes after he's in there and Light him up. My question is what health trouble am I looking for by cooking a rat alive in my grill. I'm sure there are already droppings in there just for the amount of time he's in there. Any thoughts would be helpful. Don't mind sanitizing the grill afterward


Dean Carvery

11/11/2011 12:18:36 PM

Wow!!! Just reading all this make me want to have a party to discuss rat bashing. I'm going through the same issue right now too. A couple in our neighbourhood left garbage in there back yard over last winter and I guess the rats had a hay day. Huge breeding ground which in turn, made all the rest of the residents suffer from their neglect. I just bought a new bar b 2 months ago due to the fact that my old one was just nasty and rusty. First day, I cooked something, everything was fine until the next time I went to turn on the grill and lots of piss and rat droppings everywhere. So disgusting. Of course after some thorough cleaning, the barb was ready to go but the thought was still there. Since then, I made an old fashioned stick, string and box trap with food for bait and have caught 3 of them. Lucky they are big ones meaning that, if they are ready to have babies, it wont happen anymore. Sounds cruel but wow. They are just nasty creatures. It has been a week now, and after buying poison and setting it in strategic places, of course away from where a kid would play. I have no pets so no worry and my backyard is completely fenced in. I noticed that one of my bate packages were dragged from it's location, smushed and crumbed, and also on the side trays of my barbq. I also noticed that there were way more droppings than usual either meaning multiple or the rat had the runs. I hope that did the job. I was also told that rats will usually bring food back for their young to feed. I hope this is the case. I just cleaned up the mess and now just awaiting more evidence. I will keep you posted.



6/8/2012 7:54:36 AM

my dad was cooking and found a rat living in are grill and ares is the same in the picture



8/11/2012 3:35:55 PM

Rat party: Was about to BBQ for the summer and found tons of rat pooh on the grill & below (GROSS!). Boy did they have a party & their last meal. So far I put one to rest and the other got away but not without his tail; got left behind in trap. Now I'm bleaching the grill & burning to at least 800 degrees before I attempt to BBQ again. I heard using outdoor bleach from Home Depot works as the rats like to mark their territory. Best of luck.


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