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Rat damage? (large photos)

Posted by dav4vid 10 San Diego (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 26, 10 at 18:50

Here are some "before and after" pictures of what I think is the result of rats eating the new growth of some of my plants. Does anyone else have this problem with outdoor plants? I have a rat-bait box but they still seem to prefer some of my plants. These are only the latest victims. I could sure use some answers.

Cereus forbesii monstrose before:
Cereus forbesii monstrose (Ming Thing)
and after:
Cereus forbesii monstrose
and close:
Cereus forbesii monstrose
Now my baby Trichocereus pachanoi, which is showing new growth after having the tip chewed off last year:
Trichocereus pachanoi
and just today...
Trichocereus pachanoi
HELP!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

I would find that very very annoying and frustrating!

Only two things I can think of.
A) Get a 'cage' of some sort with a top and put it around your plants...this would probably look awful and the rats may be able to squeeze through the bars...I know mice are crafty that way...dunno about rats as they're fatter.

B) Get spinier cacti where if they try to chew it the spines will go through the roof of their mouths and into their brains. Morbid and gross...perhaps. Effective...dunno.

I wish the best of luck to you.

Oooh, or C) Get a killer cat...I'd give you mine but she's fat and definitely not a killer.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Forget the cages , just get a bottle of whiskey and a shot gun . Stay up all night and blast em as they scurry by. Have fun ! :)


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

We do have several cats that patrol around the neighborhood at night, but the rats are apparently very patient, and wait until the cats are on another beat. As for the shotgun idea, I would think that might do a bit more damage to the cacti than the rats are doing; not to mention the complaints from the neighbors...and besides, I can't stand whiskey.

No way I'm going to put my plants in cages (they would feel trapped).

Oh, and there ARE many other (and spinier) cacti that seem to deter them. And the poisonous Euphorbias do a good job too. Perhaps I should simply allow Darwin to decide which of my plants will survive.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

What would Charlie Brown say?

Oh yeah...

Rats!


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Hi...
I like the idea of have a glass and blast...I agree you wouldn't have any cactus left,but you'd have fun....lol
seriously....
mix a hot pepper sauce and water in a spray bottle
and spray the plants, have to redo after it rains,(rain will wash it away).
will not harm the plants, and it should keep the rats from eating...and any other critter that might want to take a bite....it works for any plants out doors that are being eaten on....I have used it, it works...
if you have trouble with squirrels in your bird feeders, mix hot pepper flakes in the bird seed,(does not hurt the birds) works for them little guys....
good luck...linda


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

You sure its rats? It could be slugs or snails. Are those slime trails or spider webs?


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

The damage is from SNAILS...I caught them IN THE ACT! :(

They quickly became snail MASH!


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Glad you found them! I was away for a while and just found your post and was going to comment about the snail turds in the third picture... that squiggly black thing... and also on your Trichocereus at about 2:00 and 4:00. But then I got to stanofh's post and your response.

Congrats on finding the culprit(s). Nice job "stanofh"
Don't assume you got them all! They're very prolific!


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Hehehehehehe! I found the poop too after you mentioned it!


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Paulzie, if you are referring to me finding them...I am not the original poster...if that's what you thought. That would be David...who hasn't yet responded to these latest remarks. I should've said I caught them on MY plants in the past. Sorry for the confusion. :)


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

I was going to suggest that as well, I am putting out snail bait tomorrow. It's that time of the year. Norma


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Well I sure that I haven't got rid of all the snails in the garden. But could those little critters cause this much damage? WOW! I really need to get some of that organic snail bait mentioned in other postings. But now I forgot what it was called, only that is was very expensive


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

It's called Sluggo. You might be surprised how many slugs/snails come out at night/early morning. You can always take a flashlight & see for yourself. :P


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

I see the snails every morning and pick up as many as I can, throwing them with gusto into the street. They love to hide in Aloe nobilis, and I pluck them out with a set of 12" forceps usually reserved for weeding near spiny plants. Snail on Aloe nobilisBut alas, I cannot seem to keep up with their reproductive rate, so SLUGGO it is! Going to get some today. Thanks to all for your help.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

I've posted many times about my battles with Helix aspersa. At first I went out on nightly patrols with a flashlight, about two hours after dark is a good time. Two hours before sunrise is also a good time to hunt, they will be coming home from the nightly forage and are easier to spot. I still hunt them at night after rain, but rely of Sluggo most of the time.

I use my fingers to pluck, and my feet to crush. Sluggo is more efficient, and will save you a lot of time, so it's worth the extra cost. I use one of the large ten pound containers each year. It's iron phosphate (fertilizer) in corn meal. The iron phosphate dehydrates the snail (imagine eating a pound of salt), and they can't drink water, so after eating the yummy corn meal pellet they begin to feel a little sick, stop eating, and crawl back to their hiding place from which they never emerge.

Spread Sluggo right after rain, when you will see the most snails. To have the kind of damage you show, there must be a massive army of hungry gastropods, with many very very small baby snails you won't see. Patrol every night for a while with a good flashlight, the brighter the better. They have favorite foods, my Echeveria minima is a snail magnet. They managed to do a lot of damage this winter even though I was spreading Sluggo around the small clump frequently. I caught a couple of big ones in the act, and summarily executed them without trial. Some folks like to eat them, but that is a very messy affair.

The adults who eat Sluggo are destroyed, but the little ones just keep on eating and growing until they become larger, hungrier, and more destructive gastropods, ready to eat, and breed. A combination of nightly patrols, especially after rain, and Sluggo will rout the adults. You can never get rid of them all, but you can dramatically reduce the damage by killing off the big ones who do all the reproducing. Soon, they will become dormant, resting until the breeding season in late summer, so go get 'em!

Brad


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

wow, i never knew there was so much animosity toward snails on here. not saying it's not warranted. i hate snails, too. and always throw them into the empty yard across the street when i find them. i guess i just haven't had enough damage yet...(knock on wood). they seem to like my agaves and aeoniums.

Bri.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Has anyone ever tried buying Copper flashing and circling each plant with it? They can't climb over it.
I searched for it at Homedepot.come because one site mentioned getting it there for $65 but only found is at the link below for only $3.83. It would probably work just as good... but if you go to the store, you'll probably find it

Here is a link that might be useful: Oatey No. 33918, 3/4 In. x 10 Ft., Copper Coated Steel Hanger Strap


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Animosity toward snails??? Naw! THIS is how I like to see 'em...

...especially when you go out to view your pretties, only to find they've used them as a smorgasbord!


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RE: copper

Paulzie, I tried copper once. It didn't work for me. Besides the cost would be enormous to put around as many pots as I have & I don't like the look either.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Rosemarie:

LOL. i guess that snail isn't going anywhere anytime soon. btw, is that Agave parrasana? while on the subject, do you have guesses for the name of the Agave i posted on this thread:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cacti/msg0323125931653.html?19

thanks,

Bri.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Hee hee...you've got that right...going nowhere soon!
AFAIK, that is Agave parrasana under the impaled snail. At least that's what I've been calling it, but it could very well be another. There have been discussions & arguments about its ID. I'll go to your post to respond to your plant question.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Okay what about Grass-hoppers? I found my first one today, what do you do about them? Any suggestions? Norma


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Of course, in other countrys-the Escargo and fried grasshoppers are a delicacy and treat. You first.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 28, 10 at 17:28

Okay what about Grass-hoppers?

I go out at sunrise with my clippers and cut their heads off. They can barely move on a cool morning--easy to get them then.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

i catch grasshoppers/locusts and feed them to my friend's pet squirrel Jake, who just LOVES them.

Bri.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

One of my dreams is to have a succulent garden in San Diego that also features hungry-for-snail-snacks ducks and geese. Plus there's the added benefit of water fowl excrement as a soil increment.


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

I sprinkled some SLUGGO a couple of days ago, and it blends right in with my DG mulch; so it is almost invisible. Should I keep applying regularly, or wait until I can't find any more SLUGGO on the ground? And why doesn't it kill the baby snails? Should I stop applying during the "dormant" season?


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

I apply Sluggo before rain which brings them out of hiding. If it's raining all the time, I apply Sluggo when I can't see any pellets. Snails hibernate during the dry season, so I don't apply any Sluggo until early Fall when they start to come out of hibernation to mate. Baby snails are about the same size as the pellets, about 4mm, so I'm not certain they eat Sluggo which is dry, and may not recognized as food. They have translucent shells, so spotting them is difficult.

After several years of using Sluggo around the garden, and patrolling at night when its raining, I see mostly juvenile snails about 12 mm and larger. I used to find 10-12 snails a night, but now finding even one is rare. The odd adult 25-35mm has probably traveled some distance before it encounters my succulents. The overall population has been substantially reduced, along with snail damage.

Brad


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RE: Rat damage? (large photos)

Theres a couple of type of sluggo-one is a small dark grey pellet..and the other is the better larger tan shaped that bloats up when wet.
The worst is a fine powder-apply that and its impossible not to inhale some micro particles if you dont use a mask. I will never buy that again.


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