Friday, September 30, 2011

Do Rats eat my vegies?

Rat in a Hat
Cheese and Whiskers I'm a clever, clever Rat!
Sadly they're not all so cute. In fact I was talking to my dad the other day about Native Rats, "they're quite different you know" and I can here Kerry saying "But it's still a rat!"

Why rats?

Hi Guys,
I just wanted to provide you with some feedback regarding my recent purchase of your Magic Square Garden.
Love the garden, it looks great with it’s  rustic / recycled charm! Perfect size to plant plenty of veggies and the best thing is that I don’t have to get on my hands and knees to do so. It’s height also keeps my children’s little fingers from picking off leaves. A great selection of veggies were delivered to plant in the box also.
Your service has been fantastic, everyone I have dealt with has been extremely efficient, friendly and helpful. The box was delivered within it’s expected time frame and you came back a second time to deliver the possum dome for me.
Thank you so much, I love the box and are most grateful for your friendly service.
Cheers  Kirsty   

So I replied and Thanked Kirsty for her lovely note and asked if I could use it as a testimonial:

Feel free to use my feedback.
I have a puzzle for you also.
About a week ago I had your possum net set up because 70% of the vegies you delivered disappeared. Cauliflower, broccoli, silver beet & spinach gone!! Coriander, spring onions, parsley & chives around the backyard eaten to the roots. Even the leaves of carrots and my well established celery.  So I put up the netting (only on the veggie box) to test my possum theory. My neighbour 2 doors away has the same plants, no issues at all.
After putting the netting up, planting a new crop, they were gone again.
So I have concluded it must be rats.  I put a rat block bait into the veggie box within the netting, gone in the am! Did it again the next night with the thunder storms, nothing. Did it again last  night, the bait was gone again & it had attacked a lemon off my dwarf lemon tree.  I am guessing that the rat is able to climb up inside the bottom of the netting around the box.
So frustrating when my neighbour 2 doors away does not have this issue at all!!
Any long term suggestions apart from loads of rat bait?
Cheers   Kirsty

I casually raised rats in gardens in the lunch room and we had an entertaining discussion around rats and their ability to get into anything and everything and their appetite for rat baits as well as garden vegetables. It was widely agreed that rats like vegies. Mark was adamant that they collect baits and take them away, supply enough bait and wait and you are likely to find a very smelly corpse somewhere unwanted.

I've done a little Googling and found quite a lot of information very quickly.  There are a range of traps available, some lethal some humane... but what are you going to do with a live rat? Baits are readily available but make sure you set it in one of those enclosed 'bait stations' to prevent pets and children finding the bait. And don't forget that rats are communal creatures, there will rarely be just one to remove.

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