Rats vs rats

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Fri, 03 Sep 2004 09:09:04 PDT
Lee and Susan both found, as I have, that the best enemy of rats is the 
dog. I don't have city rats (Rattus norvegicus) here in the country, but 
there are wood rats, which are a bit smaller with furry tails. If I knew 
what part of the wiki to post it on, I'd scan a slide I took a few years 
ago. I came outdoors one morning to find that my Malamute bitch, then 3 
years old, had dug and pulled up 30 feet of flexible perforated drainpipe 
that had been buried across a terrace, about 4 inches below the surface. 
She had torn this tough plastic pipe into 3 or 4 pieces in order to catch 
and kill a wood rat that had taken refuge in the pipe. Plants were strewn 
hither and yon. I took a deep breath and walked back inside to get the camera.

There are few tree squirrels here, and only the native species, the eastern 
gray squirrel not having made it this far from the city yet. They're so 
rare that when Koshka caught one, she sneaked away with it, apparently 
fearing that it was some sort of cat and I would punish her for killing it. 
I had to explain to her that squirrels were fair game.

Chipmunks are a problem among the bulbs as well, but they don't go far from 
the trees, fearing the dogs and numerous feral cats.

The big problem in bulbs is field mice and voles. The other day I talked to 
a state pest control officer about them and was told that the only 
effective control was poisoned grain, and that this is hard to obtain. I 
knew about it but never used it because Koshka was an omnivorous forager, 
but now she has died at a ripe old age, and my present dogs don't forage as 
she did. I'm going to contact a pest control company to see what I can get 
against these rodents, so I can grow crocuses in the borders again, and not 
have to cover my most precious pots of crocuses with wire mesh caps in the 
bulb frames.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

More information about the pbs mailing list