Friday, August 30, 2013

Continuing Rat Attack on the Gourds

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! 


  1. I hope your kittens are more interested in the rats than our cat is. He does all his hunting in the kitchen cabinet; cans or bag. Our dogs like to chase, but they can chase down Jackson chameleons, chickens, not rats or mice.

  2. I asked my neighbor down the road what he did for rat control - he uses a "varmint rifle" (CO2-powered pellet gun) equipped with a night-vision scope. He says their eyes glow so brightly, they always are dropped with head-shots. Don't know if those WMD are allowed in da islands, tho.

  3. Sue, I had to laugh. So many of my own cats are freeloaders, totally inept or disinterested in rat chasing. But I finally had two, possibly three, that are real keen on it. At the community garden, there is a little of feral kittens being tended. Wild little buggahs! They already are interested in everything that moves, so hopefully when they are big enough, that will include rats.

    Barry, I've got an air rifle, but I just don't have the time to sit at night waiting for a rat. I also have a 22 with a scope that is deadly for mongooses. Would work on rats too. Mongooses are easy to bait and shoot. But the roof rats are another problem. I find that the electric zapper rat traps work best, but they have to be kept dry, a problem out in the garden. By the way, this rat didn't touch the poison bait. It's abandoned the gourd too. So who knows where it will strike again.