Weatherdude wanted to begin killing off the rat population before he leaves at the end of the month. And that, my friends, is a very gross process. Cats are far less gross. Another rat bit the dust on Sat via cat...the Dude found PD nibbling on it. Then on Sunday, WD put down poison and traps. Monday night he cleaned up four dead rats. This morning, I saw PD gnawing on one in the paddock (poisoned, OMG UGH) and then found another in the coop, which is locked to the cats, but baited for the rats. So that's a total of seven rats since the chickens were removed. And we haven't even torn up the coop floor yet. My belief is that each owner has removed livestock to kill rats before selling. The original owners who dropped by in Sept told WD that they had had rats, too. My other belief is that a farm with feed and livestock also has rats.
We've heard of many ways rats can and can't be killed. In the desert, you poison their water supply. End of rats. But here, we annoyed them for the most part, with smoke bombs. We couldn't put down poison because of chickens and cats and children. They weren't interested in traps or bait when there was a plentiful supply of chicken feed. Not that they got into the cans. They just ran around the chickens in the very safe, cat-proofed, hawk-proofed, fox-proofed run. Sigh.
We could see them doing this from the house. The chickens hated them and pecked at them. Rats would jump in the air when pecked, but weren't deterred from the feed. Babies to feed, no doubt.
We are very pro animal around here. We have a resident large opossum. We don't feed him, but there he is, living under the deck, stealing cat food when we forget to bring it in at dusk. This year's skunk unfortunately wandered a bit too far and became road kill about a week ao. The skunk's markings were so unusual, we knew it was "our" skunk. No spraying, but the garage has smelled skunky for several weeks. Yet another reason not to leave cat food out.
But rats just multiply. One lovely Templeton rat would not be so bad, much like the bachelor woodchuck. But a colony? Under the coop? Running about boldly? One has to draw the line somewhere.
You do NOT want me to post photos of the dead rats, right?