|A large rat-chewed hole in one of the prized gourds.|
The rat that ate the small gourd last week, leaving it looking like an apple core, has moved over to the next trellis. He nibbled on a number of those small round gourds then got to one of the prized large gourds. He ate a hole into the side. Bummer! Bad rat!
Ok, he's got to go. He just ate a potentially $300 gourd. Not acceptable. So out come the big guns. I put some poison pellets inside the hole. I'm sure he'll find them tonight. Normally I would not be using rat poison, but I've had standard traps out in the nearby greenhouse without success. Two days ago I saw that one of the traps was sprung, but no rat. Since then the rat has been avoiding the traps. No droppings near them at all. So he's become trapwise.
I actually feel bad killing the rat. He's just doing what he does in order to live. Totally natural. But I have to draw the line somewhere, because I too need to live. Actually in this case, a friend of mine depends upon those gourds. It's her livelihood. Losing this gourd is a major blow.
Hawaii has an over abundance of rats. Cute furry rats. But they spread a nasty disease called leptospirosis. And they ruin our food, water, and supplies. Plus they have a severe negative impact on native flora. So this rat just has the bad luck of having set up house in the wrong location.
Boy, I'll be glad when the kittens are old enough to do rat patrol!