Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Pest Control

Since putting down rat poison I have been checking twice a day to see if Mr Whiskers had "taken the bait".

Nothing until yesterday afternoon when one bag had definitely disappeared and another might have been moved. As I peered down the side of a compost bin I saw a very distinctive tail disappearing under a pallet. No surprise that he's taken up residence in this part of the garden - on a freezing cold day there was still a degree or two of warmth coming from the recently added pony poo. Bait bags topped up.

This morning I did the usual check first thing and this time two bait bags have definitely gone, Mr Whiskers is heading for one hell of a tummy ache. I take no pleasure in knowing my actions will result in the death of one or more creatures - he's only doing what nature designed him to do. Unfortunately that is not compatible with anything we want to do here and I remind myself that a garden overrun with rats will not be a safe place for nesting birds and pheasant chicks in the Spring.

10 comments:

  1. Result! I've never had any joy with bags so I'm pleased to hear that they will actually get taken.

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    1. CB, it was suggested I use coin bags from the bank because they're free but I didn't have any to hand. I did have some 3" square ziplock bags and used them. Filled more than needed immediately and kept remainder in tub with loose grain so the plastic would pick up the aniseed smell. It's certainly worked, the replacement bags all stink! They also keep the bait dry until it is taken.

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  2. I'm of the exact same thinking as you. We had a mouse in the house a couple of years ago. I tried humane traps but they just didn't work so had to resort to traditional traps when it transpired that he'd moved the family and in-laws in.

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    1. Jo, I used humane mouse traps in the house until I discovered that the little sods could chew their way out of the plastic which was supposed to keep them in (the bit which supposedly prevented them getting back up the entrance ramp). I now use the metal version and that works well (make is "Big Cheese", fairly cheap online, I got mine through Amazon). When I phoned the mftr to complain about the plastic ones being eaten they sent me a metal one as a comp. to apologise, can't ask fairer than that.

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  3. Whilst I don't generally like doing in wild animals, I dislike having rats around even more! Fortunately it's not really a problem for us because the foxes and badgers at the top of the garden plus the numerous cats around here mean that the rats don't stand much of a chance anyway!

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    1. Thanks Liz, at least your foxes and badgers preserve the food chain! Not sure I'd be too excited about the sort of damage a badger can do in a garden, especially if you've got lots of worms in the soil (as we now have). The cats around here are too fat and pampered to bother hunting anything as boring as a rat.

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  4. Watch out Mr/Mrs Rat - your days are numbered.

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    1. Cheers Pat, either he's got a strong constitution or he's feeding the wife and kids - two more bait bags gone at 4.00pm yesterday, that's four inside 24 hours.

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  5. Sounds like your rat is stashing a cache. Hopefully he'll take time to dine after a long day of grabbing bags. For some reason, after many years of none, I've trapped 2 mice in the house this past month. No clue how they are getting in, but with no housecats I have to be the catcher. It's always something, no? Hope your critter problem is solved quickly.

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    1. We think the same Kris; the last two days he's taken 3 or 4 bags per day, this morning only one bag had been taken. For mice (who are stupid enough to venture into the house occasionally and we don't have cats) I use the large metal humane trap from Big Cheese. Don't bother with the plastic version - Bag End mice worked out how to chew their way out of it! The metal one works well but you need to release more than half a mile from your house or they'll come straight back.

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