Brisbane Local Food

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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 Phil on August 6, 2015 at 17:41

Not that traps work that well. I've had an ongoing battle with a single little mouse that was eating the bait without triggering the trap (as well as all the leaves from my passionfruit and moringa). So I tied the bait (i.e. dried date) to the trap but the bugger would trigger the trap without getting caught. Now the canny mouse avoids the traps entirely. Thankfully he/she has appeared to have moved on.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 6, 2015 at 3:51

It's still winter and food is scarce. Sales of rat and mice traps soar over the cold period.

Comment by Rob Collings on August 5, 2015 at 23:21

Where are they all coming from? hopefully not the never-ending TimTam packet.

Comment by Rob Collings on August 5, 2015 at 23:12

I find it intriguing that they show up dying in small numbers (max 3 in one day maybe?) and yet you're up to rat 19.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 5, 2015 at 22:58

Yeah mate, EXCEPT... I went out tonight and saw at least 5 run away.  I intend to do some more gap closing in the roof of the coup.  Fair dinkum...  where the hell are they all coming from??!!!

Comment by Rob Collings on August 5, 2015 at 22:41

I've been watching your updates ... you might find that the chook food runs out a little slower now there's fewer rats ... I hope there's less, is the rat count rate slowing down?

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 4, 2015 at 9:27

Rat 19 this morning. 

Comment by Lissa on August 3, 2015 at 4:56

Re composting - Just bury them deep in your raised beds.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 2, 2015 at 23:24

Safest is what you've done (I guess into the rubbish bin).

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 2, 2015 at 21:15

I thought of that too Elaine - but I wouldn't be game since they were baited. 

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