Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rats Destroying the Vegetable Garden

My cool weather Vegetables were doing really good. Until a few days ago. I noticed that specifically my Broccoli came under attack all of a sudden. Towards the end of last season I noticed that my green leafy veggies were being ripped from the ground, leaf, stem and root; as if someone just helped themselves to my garden. I couldn't believe it! So it was no surprise that a few days ago I saw the same thing happen and needless to say I was pissed!! Because Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies to grow and eat fresh. That night I went on a hunt for rat traps to see if my suspicions were correct. I find the best bait for rats is using some sort of gooey power or cereal bar that can be molded around the copper step trigger. I used something from kashi. As night fell I set the traps. I was excited to kill something... cursing at the bloody rats hoping that I would seek redemption. After the Traps were set I walked back into the house still pissed about the fact my broccoli bed was decimated. I laid down still cussin under my breath and suddenly the ambient sound coming from the TV was shrilled with a sharp "SMACK!!" and Instantly..... A devilish grin forced it's way through my face followed by a sigh of relief as One "SMACK!!" after another continued through the night. Because I'm a big pussy there was no way I was going outside to check on those traps. I would have definitely lost all my cool points had I seen a rat squirming around in the trap (this coming from a guy who jumps out of high performance aircraft for a living)
All in all I end up killing 8 rats in 2 days. A quick way to find out if you still have rats is if there is food still on the traps. All the rats that were killed in the traps had no food left in the traps. Tonight weather pending if they will hold up or not due to the cold. We will see how many more we can Kill. But at the end of the day. I'm not happy until the last rat is gone. It may take some time but I'm determined. Life of an Urban Farmer.. Just when you thought things would get easier.. They don't and suddenly your dealing with rats!!

9 comments:

Sue said...

Oh, so sorry about the broccoli.
It seems like it's always something trying to take the bounty of the garden. Glad you've gotten quite a few. Blech-a rotten job, but hey, it's broccoli we're talking here!
:)

PS Is rats a common problem in the south? We just have field mice up here eating everything.........

ATW said...

Sue--The South has everything. If it's not the Rats. Its the Spiders big enough to eat the rats, Scorpions, Flying Cockaroaches!! Its literally Jumanji in the summer time. We hardly go out. Just to water the plants in the morning and the critters take over. My son worked the garden one early morning before the sun came up and he flashed his light and the rats were in the trees!! nothing but white glowing eyes everywhere. There were a lot of feral cats here and then they slowly went away. Never had a problem with them here. But now that they are gone.. The Rats are everywhere. Until Now;)

fullfreezer said...

And I was complaining about the field mice last summer. I can't imagine dealing with rats.
Now, if only I could come up with a deer trap- they devastated my kale earlier this winter.
Judy

ATW said...

FF-- its always something isnt it?? living in the city I dont have an issue with deer.. but if its not the rats.. its the bugs.. if not the bugs its the squirrels.. if its not the squirrels its the heat... Its like I cant win.. The only thing I look foward to every year is garden full of veggies..getting there is like going to war to control middle earth.. jeez!!

Anonymous said...

Grim, but I understand. :) Check out a product called Shake Away. We used it to solve our rat problem, because I'm not into the other tactics, and it worked great. Though, I suppose if you truly relish the killing you may not be interested. lol However, one thing to consider is that rodents are like water, and when you remove some, others move in to occupy their space. We've established an understanding of boundaries with the local rodent population using Shake Away with great results. Best of luck with your broccoli. Sincerely, April

ATW said...

April... HAHA!!! yes I do relish the killing to a point.. however.. your reply is very interesting and I am definetely going to give it some thought.. It makes alot of sense.. Killing the rats also serve as free range food for my hunting hawk... which she loves btw :)

Anonymous said...

First it was my corn and tomatoes. Now it is my peppers and beans. We've managed to trap 2, but we have smart rats that keep stealing the baits. I will try the gooey snack bars. Hope that works. I've got honeydews that are ripening and I will be really pissed if they get those. However these are bold rats. The dogs are jumping at them and I'm throwing rocks and they just laugh. If the traps don't work i'm considering a pellet gun. Although I don't think that is legal in my neighborhood.

Lucile Lynch said...

Well, I’d say that was a pretty successful hunt! I like how resourceful you were in dealing with your rat infestation. How satisfying was it to hear that “SMACK”? How many rats have you killed since then? Are they still pestering your crops?

Lucile Lynch

ATW said...

Lucile-- This might sound terrible to some.. but after setting the traps and waiting till darkness.. the sounds of traps Smacking Rats is Glorious!!!! I found out that you can not let up. Usually there is a huge mother Rat and you have to kill her. I noticed that once I killed her the rats seemed to decrease. I have not had any problems this year with Rats or squirrels. Between rat traps, a new cat and an air rifle I have handicapped the population of thieves ;)