I hate all of God's little creatures.

orchidnickFebruary 18, 2014

I have a big Oncidium sphacellatum that was working on 5 spikes. Now it's working on 3 as 2 of them have been decapitated by some devilish fiend. At first I suspected snails and spead plenty of gourmet food for them around the GH. The next day the buds of a Maxillaria were no longer there. That's more than snails can do so I put out a rat trap and sure enough the next morning the little beast had gotten it's just reward.

I'm going to join PETA (People who Eat Tasty Animals) are rats tasty? I know chocolate covered grass hoppers are and so are snails, need to look into that some more.

I classify God's little creatures by the number of legs they have. None go with virus, bacteria, fungus snails and slugs. 2 belong to Homo Sapiens which occasionally can be a problem when my grand kids come around. No effective spray or traps for them. Never had a 3 legged demon but cats, dogs rats possums, squirrles and mice with their 4 legs do plenty of damage. Between poisons, traps etc one can keep a lid on them.

6 legs belong to insects, mites, aphids, grasshoppers, butterflies (they don't do any harm but they lay eggs) and ants. 8 legged spiders generally leave me alone, a few nets here and there, no biggie. Many legged caterpillars can do a lot of harm and are hard to find as they tend to hide during the day.

If intelligent design is the reason for the onslaught of monsters one has to wonder who is up there? A teenager going wild designing computer games? If evolution has something to do with it, I'm doing my part by killing as many of them as possible. Maybe they'll get the point and evolve into something which does not eat orchid spikes and buds.

Nick

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pumpkineater2

YAY!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:14PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Awwwwh, how sad.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:50PM
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westoh Z6

Good work Nick.

My issues are with 'tree' rats. Thankfully no real rats around where I live.

Bob

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:00AM
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orchidnick

This is the first 'real' rat I have seen around here. Easier to deal with than tree rats because it went for cheese right away. Tree rats are hard to tempt as they are true vegetarians. I wonder where that thing came from? We are in a solid, well kept middle class neighborhood , no freestanding garbage etc. They are usually associated with slum conditions.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:45AM
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lucillle

Rats can do a lot of damage. I'm sorry for the loss of your flowers, how frustrating.
I'm sure you can step back and see the big picture and that you don't hate ALL critters.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:54AM
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orchidnick

I like hedgehogs.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:57AM
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philpet

Oh my god,Nick I am having the same problem and they go for the new growth on my dendrobiums.they are so hard to trap,I use poison,glue and also traps.they manage to cause havoc on 5 of my dens before I could trap them,and if that's not enough I saw new rat droppings this morning.so here I go again,I say if they choose to eat my babies then they choose to die.happy riddance.Velleta

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:37AM
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lascatx

I try to live in peace with the critters, but my neighbor had a rat infestation (finally treated when the house as sold). They were going after our garden and trying to get into our garage. I read online about a Ratzapper -- shocks them so you can rid of them without poison, which I don't want in my dogs or the ground and groundwater. I bought mine through Amazon. You can go through a lot of batteries, but they work. We never had any other critters found in them though at least one skunk got shocked and hurled the thing across the yard, leaving his calling card as he ran off (smelled it the next morning).

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:50AM
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orchidnick

The trap with a big chunk of fresh cheese was untouched this morning so my little friend was a loner. I'll leave it out for a few days to make sure his friends don't takeover where he (or she, looks like a pregnant female) left off. Ivy or tree rats are a bear to get rid off since they don't go for cheese. I found that a combination of peanut butter and guacamole seems to attract them.

The only thing my neighbor's cat is good for is irritating my dogs, why can't cats keep areas free of rodents. My neighbor across the street thinks that squirrels are sooooooo adorable and feeds the little buggers. Luckily they have left me alone, they can be a problem too.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Leafhead

My biggest pet peeve are squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. Haven't seen any rats, thank goodness. I saw a lot in So Florida, though.
In the 6 legged category I have Japanese Beetles which do quite a bit of damage. I hand kill every one I find and use Milky Spore on the larvae.
Butterflies I garden for, so I actually encourage caterpillars in and around my flowers.
I don't use any poisons or sprays, because they go right up the food chain and into the ecosystem. I actually have a good balance of beneficial bugs and "pests" which is important.
I put up c the 4 leggers because they are native and were here long before we were. I just do a lot of chicken wiring in the Winter to protect some of my smaller shrubs. I keep my orchids indoors away from little nibblers.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:36PM
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westoh Z6

Nick,

My neighbors would 'croak' if I started trapping and getting rid of the tree rats. Heck, some even put out peanuts for them.
Luckily the Bernese Mountain dog next door 'likes' squirrels as much as I do and regularly gets rid of/chomps them. Ah, nature at it's finest...

Bob

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:22PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

I just saw on national geographic that Easter Island was denuded of palm trees by rats. They ate every seed and the palms could not regenerate.

It seems we are supposed to struggle. The weeds grow with no effort. I wish my veggies would work that way. The environment around here has lost its balance on bugs. The local predator bugs are few and far in-between. And globalization has allowed multiple infestations as a side affect. The foreign bugs hitchhike on banana boats and cargo ships. The spiral white fly has caused billions of dollars of damage.

The answer for the white fly and other pests in nasty systemics. Now blamed for bee colony collapse. A very big deal.

Lot of questions and not too many answers. However the orchid blooms keep me smiling.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:58PM
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orchidnick

We are doing our best to screw up this planet but I'm not the least bit concerned. If even only a few amoebas will survive the onslaught of Homo sapiens, nature will start all over and produce the most amazing creatures.

I read a parody where 3 legged archeologists with a single large eye in the middle of the forehead, 100 million years from now, are pondering over the reason for the mass extinction that is happening right now and are looking for evidence of a meteor impact or a super volcano eruption but cannot find one. Little do they realize that one of the species that became extinct, namely us, was the reason for this mass extinction.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 3:18PM
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ashes_of_the_fire(6B)

In my yard, the rabbits only bother my garden in the winter, eat my iris leaves to the ground (despite them supposed to be rabbit proof), and I have to cover my rose of Sharon and any small trees that I don't want topped. Squirrels are evil, if you dig, they dig, and over again.

You've gotten a field mouse Nick. They don't eat garbage, they eat nuts and seeds and the like, we get them from the grain elevators next door. The dogs have dug up their little burrows in the fields. You neighbors who like to feed the squirrels are likely where they're finding food. Fats are much bigger and uglier than what you've got, be grateful!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:15PM
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orchidnick

Field mouse, ivy rat, tree rat, I've had them before. They are about 1/2 the size of this beast. I would not expect to find the Norvegian rat in our well manicured neighborhood and hope you are right. It did go for the cheese, the vegetarian ivy rats usually don't. No more plant damage but I did see another one near the dog's food. Traps our out in full force 'We shall overcome'.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:04PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Here's my tree rat...his favorite tree is the one with all my orchids hanging. He knocks them down, sits on them breaking buds and spikes...

Loves nothing more than sitting in the baskets and pulling out all the coco fiber.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:45AM
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Leafhead

Nice Kitty---NOT lol

Is that a Loquat tree?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:03AM
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orchidnick

Several years ago, one of my neighbors had a cat which loved to tease my dogs. It would come to my place and allow the dogd to get enraged over it's presence and chase it all over the place knocking over plants. Of course they could never catch it but it loved the chase and kept coming back for more.

I knew that my neighbors had no way of stopping her from doing this so I never said anything but eventually caught the furry beast in a medium size animal trap. This is a wire cage 2' x 10" x 10" in which it was trapped. I treated the cat to a preview of the hell where I'm sure it's going to go eventually. I soaked it in cold water, allowed the dogs to bark at it from inches away, banged at the cage and generally gave her 1/2 hour of living hell. Then I put her in a safe place and after she was dry let her go.

She never set foot in my place again and the neighbors kept their pet.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:14AM
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orchidnick

That trap is 2' x 10" x 10", not 10 feet long.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:58AM
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westoh Z6

My other neighbor used to trap the occasional ground hog or possum in that type of trap and every now and then he got a cat. I woke up one early morning and was astonished at how a trapped cat sounds like a baby crying after it's been in a trap a little while. This has not been an issue since the BMD mentioned above moved in next door!

Bob

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Leafhead

SWEET!! I broke my dog Cricket years back of "bad garden manners" in a similar way, by chasing her with a cheap plastic broom all over Creation. I would yell and smack the broom behind her letting it CRACK on the sidewalk. (Only the bristles contacted her). I broke the broom as well hehehe. She became the best squirrel /cat chasing friend a bird feeder ever had. And what a rat killer! And she never chased birds.
She never again bothered shoes either thru this method. It worked so well that when I gave her a Rawhide shoe (she loved rawhide), she wouldn't go near it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:33AM
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ashes_of_the_fire(6B)

Oh live traps! A simple and effective way of scaring the bejeebers out of any animal unlucky enough to get into it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:41PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Yes, thats a Loquat tree. This cat is a tuff guy. Never turned into a nice, mushy, purring kitty. Semi feral and can be quite nasty. Not sure what would happen if he got caught in a trap, but I'm not sure it would change his behavior. He walks around with a big chip on his shoulder.

He's been sprayed with water, hit with magazines and whatever was within reach. I can't keep him out of that tree. I've shot him with the hose and he just won't budge. The wind blows the pots and baskets and he goes crazy.

My neighbor next door has two dogs. They are afraid of him. He climbs the fence and chases squirrels or whatever ignoring the dogs. We think he has a screw loose!

Sorry, couldn't resist...

but notice the downed pot on the ground and the Catt about to be stepped on by the cat.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:21PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Jane..I has to stop by and tell you that is a beautiful kitty you have there..

And Yay for being able to let your Orchids run free outside..lol

Wonderful..I hope you love it down there..I sure would and would love to put evert plant I own outside all year long! Hoping your doing well..I always think of your Angracium...Did it flower this year>

Mike

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:48AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

meyermike,

It is not as easy as you think here in south florida. The most work is in the winter. It gets colder than most orchids like. Every winter we will have temps in the 40's. I'd guess in the 30's every 3 to 5 years. And it freezes about once in ten years. A few years ago we had 2 years in a row of freezes.

For certain it is a lot easier than up north. I admire the efforts growing orchids in colder climates. And I wonder if I would even try to grow orchids if I lived in a colder climates.

We are not living in the garden of eden. We have our challenges. But I'm living where I want to be. And happy to be here.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:39AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

We haven't had a cold winter this year, maybe a night in the low 40's, but the sun always warms it up during the day. I appreciate the cool nights as many orchids need the lower temps to initiate spikes.

The biggest challenge I face is fungal issues and my cat. If I can get a handle on those, I'll be a happy camper!

Good to see you again, don't be a stranger. Yes, my Ang bloomed again this year and won a ribbon.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:31AM
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orchidnick

Love your Angrec is it an eburnum? Also love that cat, if it were mine I would test to see how may lives it really has. I am now dealing with a 3 legged pest for the first time ever. My rat problem is not over. I caught 2 of them and they are a little smaller than the first one so definitely tree or ivy rats. I also got the front leg of another one of them in one of my snap traps. The snap came down and severed it's front leg but the rat escaped.

So now I have a 3 legged rat out there now who probably is really pissed at me, don't blame him. I caught the other 2 since then and both have 4 legs so the handicapped one is still out there evading me. As I said, for the first time ever I have a 3 legged pest to deal with.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:15AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Nick....It's a shame such cute animals like that have to be so destructive..I deal with skunks and squirrels on a daily basis at times in summer AND IT'S NO PICNIC...

Too sunny about the lives of the cat...Mine has about 20..

Jane..What a cutie and what a nice place for it to play and destory..lol...I seems quite content there just as much as your orchids do...

I love the and it even LOOKS bright there...
Your Angrec is to die for..No wonder it won first place! It has always won first place with me since I have seen it...It's a beauty..I hope it doesn't take years for mine to get like that..The most flowers I have gotten are three...Woopie...But still something I guess..

Now I am going to say that is not an Eburnum since they grow long spikes with flowers all the way up and down...I think it's an 'Angraecum Sesquipedale'?

I just recieved another Ses and last week an Eburum..I saw one at the orchids show and fell it love with it..Boy, did it have a day fragrance verses a night one on the Sesq!

What do you do about the Fungal issues? Do you use Physan20..That si what I have been using..So far so good...I also here Capan does wonders but can ruin the actual flower..

Nice talking to you....Hope to see you back soon:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:58PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

I hate squirrels, but I don't get off on torturing them. What a miserable person you are.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:37PM
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orchidnick

When I see a round flat pot of Pterostylus curta with about 30 plants all in bud decapitated, a pot of 3 Cypripediums with leaves poking out of the ground by 3" decapitated, an Onc sphacellatum with 5 spikes reduced to 3 spikes, a Maxillaria grandiflorum in bud with first bloom decapitated, a Phalanopsis schillerianum in glorious wide branching spike decapitated, I do get very miserable. You got that straight. But I think I'm gaining on them.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:35PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

nice..

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 22:41

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:40PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I've never been on this forum before, but on others here at Gardenweb. I just saw this title to the side of another forum and just had to look.
Just wanted to say that humans have caused the majority, if not all of these problems. Don't forget to give them credit for it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:50PM
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saldut

Gorgeous cat, Jane..too bad he has such a nasty appetite! My son has a cat that earns her keep, every day she brings him at least one or two rats, mice, squirrels, and sundry creepy-crawlies, all my kitties are so old now they just yawn at the sight of prey...I wish they could catch the squirrels that love my orchids, in a Guava tree....;.LOL,.sally

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Callirhoe(6a)

Like Catherinet, I'm not a member of this forum. I saw the title pop up on the recent posts lists and couldn't believe it. I was sure it was a joke and was appalled to discover it wasn't. Gardeners, as a whole, are a compassionate and generous bunch but I think this thread proves that there are exceptions to the rule.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:28PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Peta will be knocking on your door!

Actually, my kitty is quite good at keeping wildlife at bay. Last week I walked out on my patio and noticed, what I thought was a large leaf, laying by the door. When I got closer, I discovered it was a tail. A long furry tail. Apparently squirrels drop their tails when caught - live and learn. The squirrels in Florida are skinny rats compared to NY squirrels, but they run up the trees and knock over my pots.

So kitty goes after them and knocks over my pots and brings home tails. He really love the lizards which run around here. They run away from him by jumping in my pots which he proceeds to throw to the floor. Lizards also drop their tails, but at least they don't have fur.

The regulars on Garden Web know you are a kind and gentle animal lover and would never hurt one of God's creatures. You always write these funny threads.

I bet your cat was really the one who caught that rat.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:51AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Mike, I forgot to answer your question. My Angraecum is 'Crestwood.'

Angraecum Crestwood is a multi crossed hybrid. Starting with an Angcm. sesquipedale and crossing it with an Angcm. eburneum; coming up with Angraecum Veitchii. Take the Angcm. Veitchii and cross it with Angraecum sesquipedale again. You end up with Angraecum Crestwood.

The flowers face forward on Crestwood where the Veitchii face down. It looks more like Sesquipedale but the flowers are whiter.

It is a monster plant which is now like a shrub. I can't lift it anymore.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:00AM
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orchidnick

I do love animals, have a regular zoo with dogs, a 150 lbs Sulcata tortoise, a giant Buffo frog, a big aggressive Flowerhorn who talks to me and other fish. No cat, they are like little women in fur coats, unpredictable, loving only when THEY feel like it etc. Dogs are like little men in fur coats, lovable, dependable, predictable and a little bit dumb. I'll stick with my dogs.

However I have no problem disposing of pesky pests, just because they also have a mother or are a mother etc does not mean they get to destroy my stuff and live. 4 rats are down now but all have 4 legs. Maybe '3 legs' suffered other injuries during his encounter with the trap. Or maybe he is on his way to Socchi for the other Olympics, the handicap one.

Your Angreceum sounds like it desperately needs to be divided. It is gorgeous, as is your sweet kitty.

Nick

1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:24AM
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westoh Z6

Nick,

People pop in for a quick look and don't have a clue...

Besides, who wouldn't want to kill a rat that was destroying stuff. Heck, trap them and send them to their houses if they like them so much!!!

It is easy to complain about how someone else deals with things, but...

Always nice to have visitors from other forums...

Bob

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:05AM
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Leafhead

When I lived in Florida, I had a modest orchid collection in a Kumquat tree-and a huge squirrel problem! They would nibble all my new growth, roots and flower spikes.
Then I saw on a job site a huge orchid collection in full bloom on Citrus surrounded by Live Oaks-and a lot of squirrels. I noticed that I was getting bitten by something as I was cutting dead wood off the old Citrus. Tiny ants were living in that dead wood, and also were feeding on the waxy secretions on the Orchid buds. They were bright red and very small, and itched intensely when they stung/bit. I could just imagine a naughty little squirrel getting stung on the nose!!
So I saved all that dead wood and stacked it around my Kumquat, and problem solved :)
The ants settled right in, and the squirrels found other fare in the garden, namely my Avocados and bird feeder!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:42AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

That's an interesting trick, Leafhead. My problem is the tree is fruiting and now the birds are all over the tree as are the squirrels chased by my cat.

I'll be moving all my plants out of the tree tomorrow. Its a free for all out there.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Leafhead

Yikes! Sounds like a lot of drama XD

I had a Loquat tree as well at another property. Survived two hurricanes.

I don't have an ant for Loquat LOL but my dog loves to chase squirrels and bunnies out of the garden :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 3:49AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Jane.

.TOOOOOO funny!! It does sound like a lot of drama going on in the yard, and in fact everyone here who can keep plants outside...Maybe mines arer better off behind closed doors in my greenhouse unless of course some rat finds a way to dig into it and stay warm..lol

My cat actually runs away from squirrels and anything else on four legs except for dogs...
Once, he got so scared by a squirrel on the roof, that it chased him right off as he fell a good 25 feet down into the pond..lol

I had no idea that was a Crestwood...Now, what do you think I was doing for a good couple of hours after I found out? I could not find one for sale...
I can can't believe it has gotten so big that it's hard to left..Yikes..Be careful with your back, please:-)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 7:00PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Nick, your subject line made me laugh out loud!

Are you sure that was a rat and not a vole? (see link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Images - vole

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 7:25PM
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orchidnick

I've been exposed to and dealt with rats all my life. Just like the late Supreme Court Justice Thurmond Marshall said about pornography: "I can't define it but I know it when I see it", so I can state with absolute certainty that this is a rat.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 7:37PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Nick, you're correct that it was a late Supreme Court justice. However, it was Potter Stewart in 1964, rather than Thurgood Marshall (who wasn't appointed to the Court until three years later).

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/09/27/the-origins-of-justice-stewarts-i-know-it-when-i-see-it/

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 8:29PM
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orchidnick

I stand corrected. I guess I'll always associate Marshall with porn as he could not get enough of it. He screened every minute of every flick that ever made it before them.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 8:41PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

A three -legged rat and a tail less squirrel.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:07AM
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Leafhead

OUCH!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 3:10AM
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orchidnick

Lost another spike on an Oncidium but caught another rat (4 legs). Whew will it end? Just have to keep baiting the traps until there is peace in the valley.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Leafhead

You'll just have to invest in a good ratter, such as a tough-guy Tomcat or a Terrier of some type. Rat Terriers and Jack Russells are best, though they're a bit high strung.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:09PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

You're welcome to take my cat although he'll probably break more spikes than the rats.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:12AM
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terrestrial_man(9)

Interesting title but I am definitely an animal lover though I am not too keen about encountering a bear or cougar in my yard!! But rats! Years ago I had several nice paphs and one day I discovered most of them had been eaten down to the roots!! It turned out a neighbor's boy had dumped his rats into my yard and they found their way into my greenhouse and had something to eat!! I used traps.
But over the course of the years I learned that the best rat catcher was not a cat but a possum, who also eats slugs. I also have leanred about using nonlethal tactics to protect your plants. That is just leave food in an area regularly that is away from the plants.
However with the arrival of raccoons forget all the above!!
Not only do they make a mess of things but much of the time it is done in sheer play, even carrying off my doormat and tossing it around!!
So I just let it go. Plants are nice but I am adverse to killing animals who are hungry and dealing with situations that have been and are being created by the ineptitude of man.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:59AM
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orchidnick

Great suggestion but where do you get a pet possum and can you teach him to stick around. We do have possums and I never chase them as I know they are beneficial. The problem seems to have been eliminated, at least a week now when tempting cheese and peanut butter has been ignored and no more apparent plant damage. Hopefully this is the end,--------for now I know eventually they'll be back.

Nick

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:02AM
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Leafhead

No such thing as a pet possum, but you could release some native rat snakes into your Eden...
One whiff of snake and rats HIT THE ROAD!! And rat snakes are as harmless to people as earthworms LOL.
A lot of people have an aversion to snakes, but keep in mind that they play an important role in Nature and they are rarely seen during the day.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 3:54PM
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