Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ratty update

As suspected, and hoped for, it would appear that we don't have a "rat problem". Mr Whiskers has not been seen again and the bait bags haven't been touched (although they've only been down 10 days and it can take two weeks for them to be nibbled).

This morning a friend of a friend dropped by. As is so often the case in a small community, we already knew Tom but didn't know we knew him; he's a driver for one of the builders' merchants we use and has regularly offloaded supplies at Bag End. He has also been catching rats and other pests most of his life and knows what to look for. A thorough examination of the compost/log store area confirmed our suspicions - no runs, no trace of regular visitations, most likely that Mr Whiskers was just passing through.

Coupled with the fact that sometimes I put extra poultry corn down in the afternoons and if it's not all eaten before dark it is still there in the morning indicates that we don't have an infestation. Tom confirmed if we had rats under the shed or in the compost bins there's no way any corn on the ground would survive until morning.

So we'll wait and see. The bait bags are tucked out of the way where birds can't get to them and they can stay put. I've mentally squared the need to deal with rats with my dislike of poisonous chemicals in the garden. We live in the country, it is the way it is.



Edit: 11.30am.
You've got to laugh. A few minutes after posting this self-congratulatory twaddle Management calls me to the kitchen window.

"You might want to see this" he says .....



24 comments:

  1. Laughed my socks off Bilbo!! Give it a name and remember it is just passing through.

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    1. Pat, once I'd had a moment to say things like "cheeky little sod" I had a good laugh too. It's been named Mr Whiskers ...

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  2. It's such a shame rats are pests as individually they are so intelligent and cute. As long as they don't set up home close by that is

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    1. Completely agree with you Sue, and this one is small, sleek and not unattractive. I wouldn't mind if it were just the one but he cannot be trusted not to invite his mum, dad, brothers, cousins, aunties et al.

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    1. Ali, "never work with children or animals" grin :}

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  4. Ahhhh, someone didn't "touch wood" after that rat-free pronouncement! I had to chuckle, though. Sorry.

    Perhaps just a simple rat trap would take care of the problem without having to resort to poison control. I set up mine so that only mice, moles and rat-sized rodents can get to the trap. No squirrel, bird, etc. has ever been caught. Either way, I hope Mr/Mrs Whiskers doesn't have a friends-n-family plan...

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    1. I have a trap set Kris, but he's unlikely to venture into it. It is placed where nothing else could get into it and is checked regularly.

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  5. What was that about speaking too soon, Bilbo?! Good to hear that the expert opinion was positive though. Hope Mr W was listening!

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    1. Hazel, at least I can see the funny side of this (I think!) Of course, I could have just amended the blog post but where would have been the fun in that?

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    2. I would have caught you out if you had! {gg}

      I saw the blog post in the original format as it came 'live' - but I tend to leave commenting for a short while in case the blogger is (like me!) still mucking about back and forth with formatting and tweaking a post before they are happy with the output.

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  6. BTW, I have the Time Zone for the blog set to GMT/London. So why does Blogger think I am replying to your comments at 02.32pm when it's actually bedtime (22.34)?

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    1. Don't know - for the record, my reply (above) at 1.08am (eek!)

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  7. Yesterday I found the way in that our Samuel Whiskers and his wife take into the roof space behind some guttering. It will be the devil`s own job to find a safe place to leave bait . Sadly, I think it might be time to call in an expert.

    I hope your Mr Whiskers was just passing by......

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    1. Hi DW, apparently rats can get through a gap of only 13mm . . . best of luck.

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  8. Sorry Bilbo but I had to laugh too! Fingers crossed he is just a traveller! As you can see I am managing to comment again after being unable to for a while (updated browser!. Thanks for your comments BTW. I am deeply envious of your sewing room, it looks a wonderful place to while away wet weather days. Much progress in the garden too, isn't chipped bark fabulous to walk on! Just done the RSPB Bird Count and realised we have a pair of Marsh Tits. I was confusing them with Coal Tits until today. Fortunately the Sparrow Hawk didn't visit while I was counting!

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    1. Jill, glad Google has let you back. Well done for doing the RSPB count, I'm afraid I never get round to it ...

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  9. Heyy, where's my comment gone that I left yesterday? I said that if you watched Fawlty Towers in the past, you'd know that it "is no rat, is hamster"!!

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    1. Nuffin to do wiv me, Miss, honest. And if it's a hamster, it's a bluddy big hamster!

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  10. WEll, that made my day — fits of giggling at Mr Whiskers putting in an appearance after you publicly declare Bag End rat free!

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    1. James, so glad to bring a little sunshine into your life {splurtle!!}

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  11. Oh eck! Sounds as if he's casing the joint to me, he'll be telling his mates :O

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  12. OK, why can I reply to Sue & James' comments and seconds later Google won't let me click "reply" to Mo's comment? Grrrrr.

    Mo - I do hope the furry little sod is not casing the joint. Do you have a problem at your place? If so, what do you do about them.

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}