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Of possums, water cress and rats. The update.

September update:

Dear diary:  Just over 2 months have passed since I first posted this blog.  Time for an update!

Pleased to announce that the Percy problem has been solved with no harm to her or myself. I've now removed all the damn skewers and wire from my garden beds with no further worries in that regard.

The great War of the Grey Rat Clan is continuing.  Greens are still vanishing from the aquaponics bed.  The bloody things have almost killed my Kang Kong!  They fear no spotlights.  I got 3 yesterday and 2 today. The grand total of casualties over the last 2 months stands at 43!!  Can ya believe that?!

Original July post

I've continued to wage the War of the Possum for almost two months now.  As the greens in my aquaponics beds got slaughtered, I hooked up a new solar light system, complete with movement sensor, to scare him off.  All to no avail.  I keep planting my aquaponics bed, he keeps eating. But, this week...  

It began when my mate from Kilkoy brought me some water cress.  Of course, it was planted in the aquaponics bed.  Next morning, I found a rat floating in my duckweed box.  Nothing to do with the water cress, I just must have left an old bait in the shed.  The water cress doing fine.  The day after, two rats floating.  Jeez, I got rats in the shed.  Great.   Possum in the tree, rats in the shed and Percy the Bush Turkey continuing to engage in random attacks.  However, the water cress is still doing well.  At least the possum seems to have moved. 

Tonight, I forgot to put the chooks to bed.  So around 9, I went out to shove them up onto the perch (complete with, "You idiots are meant to do this yourselves!" abuse).  As I approached, there was a ruckus on the chook pen roof.  I pointed the torch and saw four rats scurry off into the shadows.

Put the girls to bed, with their normal abuse, when I thought, "Hang on a minute."  On checking the aquaponics bed, I found my water cress was gone.  Nearby was some rat poop!  

I don't have a possum.  I have goddam rats!  Many goddam rats! Tomorrow, I intend to buy some big rat traps.  I don't like the idea of baits (I have a few old ones left around because I'm lazy) but I much prefer a quick and painless kill (I know they're only rats but let's be a bit kind).  

Now, even though the possum turned out to be several dozen rats, that does not make Percy a Plymouth Rock hen.  Just saying... although, I might cut him some slack as well.  I'm pretty sure he leaves my apuaponics bed alone. 

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 22, 2015 at 20:41

These are some kinda gourmet rat Dave. They don't like sorrel. Love lettuce but kang kong will do almost as well. Walk past ripe cherry tomatoes to get to the kang kong! Don't like corriander either, chives, mint or chillies. Ate my attempt at cucumber vines and water cress.

Comment by Dave Riley on September 22, 2015 at 14:32

There must be a cause for your rodent infestation. If they are eating your greens then they are starving...but they come for somewhere....so there has to be a nest.

If you believe a nearby property is harbouring a rats nest, you could phone Council on 07 3403 8888. An officer may investigate the site and can provide further advice.

Just so you know what you are up against, apparently a rat can:

  • Jump 1m vertically and 1.2m horizontally
  • Wriggle through a hole one-quarter its own size
  • Tread water for three days
  • Swim 800m
  • Gnaw through lead and aluminum sheeting
  • Produce up to 15,000 descendants in a year.

...43? Plenty more where they came from!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 22, 2015 at 13:43

Provided an update in the original post. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 16, 2015 at 0:13

I have a neighbour who doesn't mow.  No, I'm not gunna report her.  It's probably easier just to mow her damn lawn for her.  

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 15, 2015 at 0:39

There's vacancies so new folks move in. My Dad used to catch cockroaches in greased pots with plonk as bait. Caught dozens then a lull for a week or two until word got around then it all started again. They're survivors with millions of years of practice behind them.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 14, 2015 at 23:47

It's not safe to go back in the water... 

Three days ago I got another little one for 22.  Yesterday, I got a big one for 23.  This morning, I lost all 6 of the new lettuces I planted in the aquaponics bed.  

*sighs* Even at 23, the war is clearly not over. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 7, 2015 at 18:43

I do feel bad but then periodically they eat one of my lettuces and then I become (insert drum roll)

THE UNMASKED AVENGER.   

I figure there's not much point wearing a mask to take way dead rats.  Unless it's a gas mask maybe?

Comment by Lissa on August 7, 2015 at 5:51

Gotta feel a bit sorry for them. They're just trying to make a living like the rest of us. But...they have to go!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 6, 2015 at 19:11

21 Today!!!!!  Oh 21 today....

One was really small - a baby. 

Comment by Lissa on August 6, 2015 at 18:35

Moved on to an executive job somewhere, so smart.

I have bought so many different types of traps. Pretty much all useless. The tub of water with a stick and can with peanut butter bait worked as well as any.

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