The Care & Feeding of Rats or How to Attract Rats to Your Wormbin
Last month I bought a couple Coconuts. Upon opening one of them I found it to be rotten and so I thought 'here's a new food, let's see how the worms take to this'. I cut out 2 pieces and buried them in one of the bins. Well the worms didn't seem too excited at first so I left it for a couple days. when I checked back after a week, something was different, there were bits of thread and feathers and fluff (things I hadn't put there). It also looked like something had been burrowing in the bedding. On closer inspection I found that something had gnawed a neat hole (2" across) in the side of the bin. The worms seemed to be okay but the coconut was gone. I cleaned up the bin and patched the hole, then I went out and bought a large 'catch-em-alive' varmint trap (the kind with a hair trigger and the door slams shut), and I baited it with coconut. Two nights later I caught a large rat (I've caught three so far), which is pretty good seeing as how my bins are on my patio, three floors up. I decided to conduct a scientific experiment. Knowing that worms breathe through their skins and have the ability to live (for a period of time) underwater, I wished to see whether rats could do the same. So I found a container larger than the trap, set the trap inside and filled it with water. Though I've only had two subjects on which to perform this important experiment (the third appears to have died from indigestion (perhaps too much coconut)), the results are conclusive: Rats Cannot Breathe Underwater; giving credence to the maxim: 'Drowned Like a Rat'.
Moral of the story: Save the coconut for baiting the rodent traps and keep it out of the wormbin.
P.S. A friend who spent some time in Hawaii relates that the Coconut growers there surround the tree trunks with sheets of tin to keep the rats from climbing the trees and gnawing at the fruit.