Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Aphids have been going to town on my snake beans. So this morning, I thought I'd get up early and get down there and spray them.  Admittedly, with all this lovely rain, I haven't been in the vegie patch much over the past week.  Not much is at the productive stage, so not a lot of need.  But what I found down there made me furious. 

All of my corn has been stripped bare.  Not a single cob is savable!  The one right in the front that looks undamaged has a giant hole around the other side.  I'm more inclined to think RATS as possums would be a bit heavier and would have knocked the corn stalks down. 

Suggestions welcome because I am this close >;< to buying ratsack and poisoning the crap out of them.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 31, 2015 at 8:30

There's a saying among birders that 'common species are commonly seen'. The damage is so complete it looks like a whole family of them not just 1 hungry rat. The size of the captive, if a rat, seems quite small so expect to catch a whole lot more, there's rarely one rat by itself.

Comment by Susan on March 31, 2015 at 6:50

Thanks Jan and Andy, after looking at that site, I am hopeful it was a rat.  It just looked too cute to be any rat I've ever seen.  Feel so much better now.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 30, 2015 at 20:41

Susan - what you have their is a black rat.   It's tail is too long and hairless to be anything else. Also, the ears are not very rounded. 

How do I know?  You gave me a heart attack so I went on the Australian Museum site:

www.australianmuseum.net.au/is-it-a-rat 

Comment by Susan on March 30, 2015 at 20:33

It's an awful feeling isn't it Andrew - especially when I read that they are on the way to extinction and only breed once in their lifetime before dying.  Still, they need to stay out of the corn!!  If I recognise the signs again, I'll try to buy one of the catch and release traps rather than the "snap their necks" traps and release them into the parkland over the back of my place.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 30, 2015 at 20:29

I'm going to have a chat with my neighbours.  We've all been killing them.  Jeez.  

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 30, 2015 at 20:23

The immediate difference between 'marsupial mice' and ordinary mice is the teeth. Leaving aside the pouch only the females have them anyway and all pouches are not as deep as kangaroos. Anyway … rodents have 4 teeth, 2 top and 2 bottom. Marsupial look-alikes have a mouth full of teeth similar to a dog.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 30, 2015 at 20:14

Oh my goodness.  I've knocked over about 10 of them by now.  I thought they were just rats.  

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 30, 2015 at 17:14

Don't feel too bad, you weren't to know.

Comment by Susan on March 30, 2015 at 16:58

Hi everyone,  the culprit has been caught - unfortunately it was a  Marsupial mouse and after reading up about him, I kinda feel bad that I killed it.  The article did say that though they are insectivores, they will eat fruit.  I would have happily let him eat all the insects he wanted.  There were millions of grasshoppers he could of gone for but he had to sign his own death warrant by going after the corn.  This little guy was a fruit lover.Much cuter than a rat.  RIP little guy - hope you don't have any brothers or sisters nearby!

Comment by Rob Collings on March 29, 2015 at 21:40

That makes sense Jane, I've seen similar damage on bananas (the King Parrots were disturbed mid feed otherwise there would have been no banana remains). If it was King Parrot, cover your bananas, they eat them when they're green.

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