Monday, August 26, 2013

Rats Branching Out

I can just imagine it.... furry little rat sitting atop this gourd, nibbling away.
I've found rats sleeping with my Paloma, staying warm no doubt. Rats living in the ceiling insulation, like a fiberglass Hyatt Regency. Rat motels under the roof edging (less luxurious than fiberglass insulation). Even rats in the car engine compartment....camping out?

Number one favorite food....macadamia nuts. Where macnuts are abundant, I don't see them eating much of anything else. Thus the reason they are hard to catch in a traditional trap or with poisoned bait. But I have had some successes by gluing a macnut to the trigger of a trap.

Down at the community garden we've recently become plagued with rats and mice. Sadly the garden lost its resident cat to a dog attack. When the cat's away, the mice (and rats) will play! Living in the wings, so to speak, is a litter of kittens, but it will be awhile before they become proficient ratters.

The one thing that seems to be controlling some of the rodents is the fact that there are no macnuts there, as a result they are stealing the slug bait. At least that seems to be the reason it's disappearing. I've seen both rat and mouse droppings in the bag.

But one serious rat apparently hasn't visited the greenhouse where the slug bait is kept. This one is in the gourd patch. Evidence-- partially consumed gourds with markings matching those of rat incisors. Dang buggah is eating the gourds! Boy, if it isn't bugs getting the gourds, it's rats! Just can't win.

So far it is only one variety of gourd that the rat is eating. A rat with discerning taste? High class rat, I suspect. Regardless of his sophisticated palate, he's got to go. I'll be putting out traps tomorrow, baited with.....macnuts, of course.

Gosh, who'd have thought rats would eat gourds?

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