This might surprise you about rats – it surprised me. Rats can climb trees. I have a tree which still has a fair number of tangerines up near the top where I can’t reach – maybe 20′ off the ground. Every morning there are a dozen or so tangerine peels on the ground, completely eaten except for the peel. I pick up the peels and toss them in the compost pile but the next morning, there’s another batch of eaten fruit on the ground. That also tells me they come out and eat at night because I check just at dusk and the ground is still clear under the tree. That’s also how I know that it’s rats and not squirrels. Squirrels are active all day and sleep at night. I guess I can read into it that we don’t have any resident rat snakes, foxes, or feral cats who are supposed to be slinking around at night catching rats. I think one of those Burmese pythons would be over the top. I do know that the rat poison is disappearing but can’t say for certain who’s getting it. My neighbor is also putting out poison so between us, maybe we can dent the population. I sure wish they would show themselves in daylight so I could pop them with the pellet gun.
A day later – I’m getting a good handle on the rat issue. This morning there were only two eaten tangerines under the tree. This compares to a dozen or so every morning for the past couple of weeks. There’s still plenty of fruit on the tree so it has nothing to do with supply. Also, for the second night in a row all of the poison I put out is gone. My neighbor and I found home base this morning – a large nest in his fire wood pile which is located about 10′ from the tangerine tree. When we uncovered the nest it looked exactly like the nest I found in the car except quite a bit larger. It also was loaded with tangerine peels so no question this was headquarters. I’ll put another lid full of poison under the tree tonight and just keep at it until it remains untouched. That way I’ll know that we either got them all or trained them.
Spotted a few micro green tomatoes on the patio bushes – those are the ones planted in the container with carrots. I can’t tell how well the carrots are doing underground but if the greens are any indication, they’re doing very well.