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Heidi Chronicles III

"Hey, honey, I killed one!"

And in my brain ran the Kliban cartoon "If I had two dead rats, I'd give you one." Only he only had one dead rat and I really didn't want him to show how much he loved me, feline-style.

That icon is not a rat. It's a mouse. Big difference.

We have rats in the barn. We have a woodchuck in the barn. We have feed in the barn. The rodents treat this situation as their manifest destiny. We treat it as an invasion to be discouraged. It is Weatherdude's opinion that 20-30 rats live in the dirt under our barn. I would prefer to think that about 6 rats live in the dirt under our barn. They have not yet found our house, just up the hill.

It all started when they lost their previous house in an abandoned farm about a half mile away. That property became the latest high school and the rats were forced to vacate when the old house and silo were torn down about two years ago. And some of them moved in with us.

I have previously blogged that Weatherdude has stomped them and whacked them with shovels. We have a lot of junk and trash in our barn and they're fast and so despite his quick reflexes, he's not able to get one every time he sees one. And with his busy work schedule, he doesn't have time to gas them every weekend, which is what he really should be doing instead of worrying about the weather. And no, I don't go lighting sticks of gas and shoving them down rat holes. I have too many other things to do. That's his war. Because as I said, there are maybe six of them in my head.

It should be noted that when we first moved here and had oodles of poison ivy, including huge ropes of it on tree trunks, that Weatherdude had DREAMS of poison ivy. He could spot it anywhere and saw more every time he closed his eyes. Roundup is good stuff, but nasty.

At any rate, you know things have gotten out of hand when the rats reopen all their holes after a few weeks. Then Weatherdude bombs them back to the Stone Age again and hopefully gasses the little ones. He thinks this is ok. My heart bleeds for them. Why can't we all live in peace?

Recently Weatherdude poked a lighted gas bomb (looks much like a firecracker or stick of dynamite) down the woodchuck's hole and it kindof, sortof, came back out another hole and ignited some pine shavings, a pallet, and a plastic fence. On fire. Kinda, sorta. Oh and did I mention these objects were in close proximity to the gas cans in the barn? The ones I'm now using to block the feed cans? I knew nothing of this event until the fire was safely extinguished, but now he moves the gas cans out of the barn when engaged in gassing rats.

So I'm sitting and working (reading blogs, more likely) this past weekend when Weatherdude comes into the sitting room and says, "I got one! Two got away, but this guy came coughing out of a hole and collapsed."

And then he pulls an eight-inch long, very dead, rat out of a plastic bag by its tail. And when I say eight inches, I'm not including the ten inch tail.

He's hauling the trash to the landfill the next trip, not I.

Frog Out


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
Time to acquire a couple of Jack Russells?
Sep. 22nd, 2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
I wonder if that would make Weatherdude like dogs more? We've caught and released black snakes, sending them down the holes in the barn. The (nine) cats are mostly useless, though interested in a vague, intellectual sort of way. They're real handy with cicadas and crickets and moths, though.
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
In Hawaii, rats can climb palm trees if the trees grow at enough of a slant. If you have a palm tree next to your house, you can come home to find a rat has entered it by way of the roof. My family came home one day, after a few hours out, and my mom headed for the bathroom only to find a large rat drinking from the toilet. My dad swears she made it to the kitchen table without her feet ever touching the floor.
Sep. 23rd, 2011 10:04 am (UTC)
Just goes to show that the rats that came off those sailing ships were clever rodents with good survival skills.

Rats won't eat poison and they avoid traps, btw. Much more annoying than mice.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )