Relocating rodents sounds like the humane choice. It gives you the opportunity to remove the rodent from your property without having to kill it. For those who prefer to choose humane methods, it sounds like the best option available.
The only question is whether they survive. Most people do not think beyond the initial relocation. They assume that, because they did not kill the rodent, it will be fine. That is not always true, however.
Rats will often perish outside of their usual territory. If you relocate it, there is a high risk that they will die, sometimes a painful death. If you relocate it, you will have to think about the life it could live.
In theory, relocation sounds great. You remove the rodent and it stays alive. To most people, that is the best option on the table. It gives them a clear conscience, it is easy, and it removes the problem from their property. That is only in theory, however. In practice, there are some major concerns to keep in mind. The biggest is that rodents cannot survive well out of their usual territory.
Rats are social animals that stick within set territories. If you separate them from their pack and relocate them somewhere else, they may not have long to survive. Rats can suffer starvation, thirst, injuries, and death by predator. All of these are incredibly high risk for relocated rodents. Again, this may sound good in theory, but you have to think about the life the rodent lives afterwards.
Relocation and Your Options
You can relocate. You can even kick the rodent out into your yard and let it relocate itself, assuming you seal up your property so that it cannot reenter. This remains an open possibility. However, due to the life the rodent can live, you have to think about what is truly humane for it. Is it humane to let the rodent suffer in its relocated position, or is it more humane to instantly kill it so that it does not suffer? You have to think about what is best for the rodent here. Whatever you choose, know that relocation is not a perfect solution. Like any, it comes with its downsides. The rodent is not going to live a long, comfortable life after relocation, and may end up suffering more as a result. What you do depends on whether you think that risk is worth it.
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