Rats--grrrrrrrrr.

orchidnickSeptember 10, 2009

I have a rat invasion. Noticed a medium sized brown rat scurrying from a pot of Epiphyllum a couple of weeks ago. Epi leaves had been chewed but I thought it was snails and put out snail bait. Now I put out packets of rat poison but found out soon enough that it was not to their liking, they ignored the poison. Next came a rat trap, like a mouse trap only bigger and stronger, it could break your finger if it snapped full force. They ignored cheese, peanut butter and tuna fish as bait!!! What the h--- do they want? Toro sashimi??

Lastly I tried dry dog food sprinkled around the trigger and got one. That should solve the problem right? I got a rat every night for 7 nights now, how many of the little devils are there?

Talked to an exterminator and he said there are 2 types of rats, the Norvegian rat which is associated with garbage and disease and the smaller 'Ivy' rats who are vegetarians and much more like gophers, they are not attracted to garbage and are usually are not blamed for spreading disease. These are also a little harder to eradicate as they like to munch on greenery and sometimes ignore the bait. They are also common in Beverly Hills and other upscale neighborhoods with large patches of vegetation! Ha ha!!

I guess all I can do is keep putting out the trap until there are no more, what a pain. I prefer critters with 0, 6, 8 or more leg than the 4 legged or even worse 2 legged critters that bother my plants. The 2 and 4 legged critters have larger brains and are a little more difficult to deal with.

Nick

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crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)

Must be the time of year as I'm finding epi leaves on the ground as well as some vanda roots. I thought it was squirrels as I have cats (you know, the ones that knocked over my orchid table and broke all my pots) and thought no rat would be dumb enough to hang out by cats. Then I heard noises in the attic. Still not sure if it was squirrels or rats I put the cats up there and told them they owed me big time and get to work. I was presented with a semi-dead squirrel the other day, but unsure if he came from the yard or the attic.
Lori

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:54AM
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stitzelweller(Md)

A tree rat (Sciurus carolinensis) rooted around in one of my most prized bromeliads yesterday. Today, the Hav-A-Hart trap gets set. I will start baiting with tomato and continue changing baits often.

Rats (Rattus norvegicus) LOVE bacon and peanut butter. Consider fruits like apple for bait also. All are excellent for use with standard rat traps that SNAP!

Yesterday, a bromeliad. Tomorrow, an orchid? NO WAY!

--Stitz--

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:35AM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

I use bologna for bait. Doesn't have to be Oscar Mayer.

When I built my small greenhouse, I trenched around it and ran the fiberglass sheeting 12-24" into the ground (it's on a slope) to help prevent burrowing under by various fauna and put screening over every opening -- behind the exhaust fan, behind the gravity vents, all windows, and the screen door. I have been rewarded with almost 10 years of four-legged pest control.

As for the plants summering outside, gotta watch the ducks -- they like orchid leaves and will nibble on any they can reach. The squirrels are already obese from stealing bird seed and not interested in the plants.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:59AM
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orchidnick

Forgot to mention that my Burmese python appreciates these snacks very much. He won't eat room temp delicacies, they must be warm otherwise he ignores them. When no one is looking, I give the dead rats 20 secs in the microwave and then the snake is very enthusiastic about strangling the dead rats and eating them.

He is big enough now that he could handle any misbehaving cats so if any one of you with a cat problem (crueltyfree) is in my neighborhood, bring the little darling and say farewell to your cat problem.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 11:53AM
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littlem_2007

hello, Nick, you are hilarious. how come you did not bait your trap with epi leaves? sorry, couldn't resist!
sue

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 2:58PM
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orchidnick

They are surrounded by Epi or orchid leaves, need something sexier to entice them.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 3:43PM
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stitzelweller(Md)

I would LOVE to bring my HERD of felines into your neighborhood. WHERE is this snake? Against a POSSE of felines? SHEE- *T ! Gimme a break!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 3:58PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

" need something sexier to entice them. "

How about some nice, Laelia blooms, artistically arranged? Maybe a slice of lemon or lime on the side in case they enjoy a splash of citrus?

K

I've been trying to get a rabbit for weeks now. Every morning, the trap is sprung, the carrot gone, no rabbit. I've even duct taped the carrot to the trap. Still, trap is sprung, carrot gone, duct tape still in place, no rabbit. -

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 4:14PM
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stitzelweller(Md)

Hey Kevin,

Good rabbit dogs -- scent hounds or sight hounds. These dogs are relentless. They get the job done! :)

--Stitz--

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 5:15PM
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littlem_2007

hello, Nick, how about removing all the epi's & orchids and just leave a few leaves in the traps?
K, I heard that rabbits like dendelion greens even more than carrots - you can wrap the greens around, and over and under the trap. a friend of mine has a couple of rabbits and she leaves them on her lawn and her lawn is always dendelion-free (we are not allowed to use pesticides on lawns, etc so we pretty much grow weeds here instead of grass - except my friend's, of course)
sue

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 7:42PM
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orchidnick

I could also turn the 10' Burmese Python loose and let him take care of business. There are however a couple of 'Rugrats' in the neighborhood that I would be worried about and if my neighbors yippidy little mutt should disappear they would slice the snake open to inspect the contents of the bulge.

I guess I will stick to the trap which appears to be working.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 11:55PM
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crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)

Here in Florida, no joke, they are having hunters hunt pythons. So many people have turned pets loose that we are being overrun with them. They say in the everglades they're getting big enough to eat alligators. There is a law that owners have to microchip their snakes, and then if that snake is found in the wild, the owner is in trouble.

Lori

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 9:26AM
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orchidnick

For Florida and Australia it is NORMAL to be overrun with non-native species. So many Buffo frogs on the warm road after sunset that you could slide off because of the the squishy mess! The rest of us are not used to dealing with these guests from hell.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 12:08AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

hi
i have an ongoing rat problem mainly because I keep seedeating birds so there is a constant food source.
Traps are the only thing I've found to work,nothing as wonderfull as poisoning a rat squirrel,possum raccoon and having them die between the walls . I use chimmney flues so the rat must enter head on ,catching one by the tail or leg results in a gruesome chase. Occasionaly I catch a lizard ,gecko, have even caught a palmetto bug lol.
I use peanut butter firmly worked into the trigger but palmetto bugs can remove it without setting off the trap.
Have plenty of Buffo toads but by elevating the traps I seldom catch one. they mostly hang around the water gardens. Snakes don't work with them due to the poisons lol.
So far have not caught Iguanas, Pythons, Anacondas or Knight anoles but they're out there lol.
On the bright side ,the wife NEVER goes into the shadehouse . She was far more destructive than any critter lol Good luck with you trapping gary

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 5:49AM
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orchidnick

Are you worried she would she trigger the trap?

Nick

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 11:33AM
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ntgerald

If she triggers the trap, YOU are dead meat.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 9:43PM
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stitzelweller(Md)

OUCH!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 8:18AM
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orchidnick

'OUCH!

Not yet, she has not taken the bait yet!

Nick

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 9:12AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Not likely I'll ever catch the wife as the traps are located in the attic lol.
The shadehouse has always been a bone of contention. While I see it as a place for tropical plants mostly epiphytes she sees it as a handy place to grow herbs
While I see it as "lush and well laid out" she sees it as "Overgrown and Jungly" lol Every square inch has at least 3 types of plants and she refuses to turn sideways on the path or to step over various gesneriads growing between the stones. Has never went through it without stepping on something. Her trips through the "jungle" are
reduced but not eliminated by the various critters that call it home. She also has a bad habit of snipping various flowers for "arrangements"?? no beast I've yet to encounter has done that!!! lol gary

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 5:17AM
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orchidnick

10 rats and counting! Amazing how little damage and how little 'evidence' so many rats left. I thought the first one or two were isolated cases but the number is staggering. To look at my growing area and realize that only 2 weeks ago there were 10 more rats living there than are present now is sobering. The rat poison I put out is left untouched by them but the trap baited with dog food (dry) seems to work best.

Obviously a pair of rats successfully raised a litter so there probably are more. I'll just keep putting out the trap until there are no more takers and the food is left untouched.

On critters:

2 legged are the worst
4 legged next on the list of villans
0 legs very annoying (Bush snails the worst)
6, 8 legs, no problem
many legs also no problem

My grand children got annoyed with me because I chased and killed a butterfly until I was able to explain to them that butterflies come from caterpillars who love to munch on plants. In the long run there is room for every one and some kind of balance is always achieved.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:30AM
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stitzelweller(Md)

Balance in my neighborhood is achieved, once again!! The neighborhood FOX returned, that is !

It temporarily relocated for maybe 3 weeks. In the meantime, the local tree rats were scampering onto my property. I am now at peace.

Except that the household FOX TERRIER is again at risk! :) One small dog in the open against a big fox? Not a good match, if you're the dog!!

--Stitz--

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 1:04PM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

We stopped seeing our foxes about two years ago. Loved to see the kits come with their mother. Now we are engaged in the 'battle of the beavers.'

Howard, a fox only weighs 7-15 lbs. It's the same as with parakeets: wet 'em down and they are actually half the size they appear. Your fox terrier probably weighs more and would be a pretty fair opponent. However, vet bills are high for dogs whereas the wildlife people will treat foxes for free. Best not to have a confrontation unless you have pooch insurance.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 2:08PM
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helga1

Nick, call the IRS. If anyone can put rats away, they can.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 4:40PM
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orchidnick

You got to be kidding me! I'm glad they finally forget about me, I don't want to remind them I'm still around. Let sleeping babies and sleeping IRS agents sleep undisturbed.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 4:45PM
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