Rats vs rats vs cats vs dogs

Susan Hayek susanann@sbcglobal.net
Thu, 02 Sep 2004 23:10:31 PDT
>I had a cat that was an excellent mouser, so  although I would see 
>the rats in the neighborhood (for example, using the power lines as 
>a sort of freeway to get from one house to the next via the various 
>trees), I never had any trouble from them. All I ever saw of them in 
>my yard were dead ones at my doorstep when I got home from work left 
>as "gifts" by my cat.

**Fortunately we have 4 cats, bordering on feral after our move 
north. (Crating in the car overnight and for the 10 hour ride north 
made them very leery of their humans.) They help with the mice in the 
Unfortunately in our backyard live 5 dogs who would dearly love to chase cats.
The dogs are better at gophers than the rats, altho' our girl Basenji tries.

>The squirrels on the other hand were a horrible problem. There were 
>pecan and oak trees in the neighbors' yards so they had plenty to 
>eat. They never ate any of my plants or bulbs. What they would do, 
>however, was pull the plants or growing bulbs out of the pots and 
>put an acorn or pecan in the resulting hole and leave the plant to 
>wither and die in the daytime sun.

**We had that problem of pulled plants in our last garden, but the 
culprits were raccoons and black birds.
Here we occasionally have pulled and chomped plants, but the dogs are 
guilty, not the other varmints.
The dogs have consumed rose bushes.

>On the other hand, I also had possums and no snail problems at that 
>house because the possums would very carefully eat the snails 
>without disturbing the plants.

**Aha...we also had possums but the snails/slugs remained alive and 
quite well.  Obviously the possums didn't do their jobs.
When we had ducks, our snail/slug population decreased, but so did 
some of our plants.
Ducks tromp.
And they sift and uproot.

>dog scares them away, because I have a huge snail problem. I am 
>constantly setting out snail bait virtually all year 'round. On the 
>positive side, I've now learned all the species that are absolute 
>delicacies to snails and keep them surrounded with snail bait year 

**We can't use poison bait because of the dogs.  Therefore the 
Corry's (sp?) snail bait is reserved for the large slugs in the 
front, and we rely on Sluggo (iron phosphate) in the back. Sluggo is 
We have a lot of little garter snakes (always taking me by surprise), 
and we encourage them hoping that they'll help with the slimy 
The dogs don't bother the garter snakes.
Have seen nary a gopher snake here, or maybe we'd have less of a 
gopher problem.

>Fortunately, we don't have any of the herds of feral peacocks that 
>roam some of the neighborhoods not too far from here.

**We  had peacocks at a local inn in our last hometown.
Noisy beasties.
They slowly disappeared.

Our chickens would help with the snail/slugs but they'd be fodder for 
the dogs. They also draw the rats even tho' we lock up the chickens 
at night.

We haven't managed the balance of nature here yet.

susan, who is.....
owned by Jasper & Schubert the Standard Poodles, Gracie the 
Rhodesian, Pup-Quiz the Basenji and their Basenji brother, Jones.... 
on the North Coast of CA, USA
susanann@sbcglobal.net, copyright 2004

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