Just when I thought the problem was solved, went out Friday morning to find that 3 more tomato plants were wilting. By now, I am very good at checking the bottoms FIRST to see if they have been gnawed on. Sure enough, each one had a pile of nesting material under each one and about 3 inches missing from the base to the stem of the plant. There is no way that a rabbit was getting into Ft. Knox that I had built! I scanned the edges and found a small hole…that got me thinking that 2 weeks ago a rat had scurried out from behind our electrical box and under the fence.
(Note: After Hurricane Ike we found out that our fence was not set in cement like most are. They just put the posts in holes. Due to the wind our fence is VERY wobbly and there are huge gaps in the posts that hold it up. Our builder is responsible for the fence since the land around us has not been developed yet. We are still waiting for them to fix it…hopefully soon. Also: we are in an old rice/cotton field so yes…lots of pests around.)
The rats would explain why the tomatoes are still being eaten (which I thought were birds). They are climbing up the cages and having a feast. After researching online I found that we are attracting them by having bird feeders! Rats love bird food. The bird food has been out for about a week, so they moved back into the garden.
I am determined to solve my new problem! We head to Home Depot for rat poison. By the time we got home it was late and getting dark. I used a tupperware container, glued on the lid, cut a hole in it, put the poison cake in it and put it inside the chicken wire where Daisy couldn’t get to it. I also decided to put it on the side of the house where I had seen rat droppings. By now…the sun is gone and it is dark. When I moved the slide (from our swingset we disassembled) a rat casually walked over to a different area. Freaked me out!
Wade was out getting ice cream so when he got back, he got out his BB gun (that he got in 3rd grade) and a flashlight. The rat was still sitting there. His BB gun only turned the thing a flip until he scurried off. In an attempt to find him, we moved the slide again…there sat a SNAKE! I thought it was a rattle snake but it had no rattle. It was a diamond back water snake (non-venomous). Wade shoots it in the head with his BB gun from 3rd grade and that only pissed it off and he crawled off quickly. BTW…those snakes only eat frogs, fish and small birds. No rats. Who would have thought?!?!?
Saturday morning I get up to go roller blading and a rat scurries across the patio. Daisy runs over, sniffs it then goes and does her business. Comes back sniffs it again and then sits by the door. The rat could care less that a dog is around and Daisy could care less to catch it! grrrr….
I go and get Wade…after 3 shots on his BB gun, he finally kills it.
The story does not end there. There are more rats. Saw another one last night. They are eating the poison…and seem to be liking it. They keep coming back for more! Meanwhile, Wade got a 22 last night since I have been nagging him that he is not going to get the opportunity to take 3 shots every time.
This morning, this is what I found in the garden.
He found a hole in the corner to get in, then couldn’t get out. He was not happy especially when the whole family came out to get a look and there was lots of squealing…”Can we keep him???” Daisy was no help…she was more interested in eating bird food since we don’t feed her. Today I get to patch the wholes in the bird netting from the rabbit being freaked out and trying to jump THROUGH the net.
(Obviously I don’t have Ft. Knox…)