Rats vs rats

Cynthia Mueller c-mueller@tamu.edu
Thu, 02 Sep 2004 19:03:14 PDT

.....>I seem to recall from the halcyon days of my undergraduate
>in Pasadena, California that the palms lining some streets were (so
>the story goes) infested with "tree rats." Allegedly, these would
>set up housekeeping in the tangle of dead fronds near the top of
>each palm....

Well, when I was a girl in South Pasadena, California, the palms were
infested with English sparrows.  Surely the two life forms can't coexist
in the same palm tree....these tall specimens had huge caps of dead
fronds and thatch, covered over with the adult version of English ivy -
very different from the juvenile type below in the groundcover and
flowerbeds.  The adult ivy had much larger leaves, and long, dangling
bouquets of sickly yellow-green blooms and pollen (said to be

And, in Galveston and elsewhere along the Texas coastline, palm trees
are said to be infested with "palmetto bugs" the largest and most
vigorous of the roach tribe in Texas....several inches long....very

It doesn't seem as though palm trees have had much good publicity.  We
have to admit, though, that the residents of palms - rats, English
sparrows and palmetto bugs - are real go-getters.  They can certainly
survive almost anything.

Cynthia W. Mueller

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