Rats vs rats

Rodger Whitlock totototo@pacificcoast.net
Mon, 06 Sep 2004 09:10:12 PDT
On  3 Sep 04 at 13:17, Matthew Mattus wrote:


Good Lord! This is starting to sound like an AA meeting: "Hello. My 
name is Matthew and I have a rat problem." "Hello. My name is 
Jane, and I have a field-mouse and vole problem." [Not to denigrate 
AA, btw.]

> ...my collection of Camellia's from Nuccio's, about 20 potted
> trees, too have been abused by rats and squirrels. My elderly
> father, who keeps an apt above the car garages, feeds the birds
> obsessively. So we find seed spread around the greenhouses, on
> benches, on cut  wood that we stack for the firesplaces,
> everywhere.

> We have stopped feeding the birds except at select station, that
> have elaborate squirrel protection designed, but getting rid of
> them is still aproblem, since we don't want to use poison.

If I can chime in once again on this topic of Endless Fascination:
You may be able to help the situation by modifying the bird-feeding 
regimen. The key is to put only one kind of seed in any one feeder. 
For example, put sunflower seeds in one feeder, black niger thistle 
in another, and so on.

When you put out mixed seed, the birds rummage through it looking for 
their favorites and scatter the rest with abandon. If you put out 
unmixed seed, the birds will quickly learn not to waste time on 
feeders that don't contain their preferred kind.

This won't prevent all scattering but will reduce it.

> Anyway, now I am not embarrased to admit this little problem with
> nature. Rats don't necessarily mean that you have trash, it just
> means that they are finding food and shelter.

A good friend formerly lived in the proverbial cabin in the woods. He 
had a bird feeding station that was very popular with the birds. Also 
the local mice: he caught over sixty mice in his place in the course 
of one summer. Cause, meet effect.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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