Actually, Rattie’s back along with a fair number of relatives.
After M’hijito and I enjoyed a frenzy of setting out traps for our li’l rattie pals, I lapsed into a puddle of laziness. To begin with, setting those traps is a nuisance of the first water.
Well. Okay. Of the second water. But it’s still a nuisance.
In the second place, the traps catch more birds than they do funny-looking little scavengers.
And in the third place, the real nuisance of the first water is inflicted on my son, who volunteered to come up here and drown the captives… This is something he does not enjoy and something I would evade by taking the critter out to the desert and dropping her off to be served up as a coyote dinner.
My son thinks the latter scheme is horrific…not because he cares whether the rat suffers (he’s developed quite a loathing for the poor critters) but because he figures if you drop the beast off in the boondocks, it soon will show up in someone else’s attic.
Okay. That makes sense, in the social responsibility department. I guess. But…IMHO the local coyotes, raccoons, and foxes will take care of the critters before they make it back to a human settlement. WhatEVER…obviously, my son being the owner of the male voice, he obtains the cooperation of the lesser beasts around him. While his back isn’t turned, anyway…
So anyway, it’s been some weeks since I’ve hassled with the annoying rat traps. Plenty of time for Rattie to produce several generations of new and fertile offspring.
Where’s that Harris hawk when you need him?
Rattie (along with, one expects, her tribe) has taken up residence under the westside deck. And…oh, this is amazing: she has become as tame as a cat. No kidding. Rattie is not alarmed by the dog, a born-and-bred ratter. And more to the point, she is not in the least afraid of the human. She just strolls right by. If you could understand Rattese, you would hear her saying “Good day! How are you and where’s the bananas?”
Ruminating upon this state of affairs, we discover that someone — here in Arizona, wouldn’tcha know — has developed a rat bait that is NOT a poison but instead functions a Rat Contraceptive.
This marvel, then, will eventually beat back the Rat Population without killing your dog, the neighbor’s cat, or your flock of half-domesticated white-wing doves.
Of course, aside from Rattie’s propensity for chewing on electric wires, spectacular fertility is THE problem with roof rats. These little beasts could easily cover the earth with their kind, given a few months and freedom from predators and pestering humans.
So you set out contraceptive-laced bait for the little critters. It takes awhile. But after a few weeks, every rat that comes near your yard, your trees, or your attic is sterile! Presto: managed extinction!
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Well, this outfit is closed on Saturday and they don’t offer their product through Amazon (because, obviously, they want to inveigle you into signing up for some expensive recurring services). Apparently, though, this is a strategy that has been contemplated for awhile. If you could buy birth control pills over the counter, you might even be able to use the human drug for the purpose.
But that’s not an option, far’s I can see.
So whilst waiting for the weekend to pass, I resurrected the neglected rat traps:
Two: near the favorite dugout entrances to the space under the deck.
One: next to the Rat Runway along the house’s west wall.
Two: innocuously set next to the Rat’s Nest Vines along the backyard’s alley wall.
O’course, all it takes is for the Rat Tribe to see just one of their compatriots struggling to get out of such a trap for the rest of them to figure out that they must stay away from the things.
At any rate, the Rat Birth Control scheme doesn’t sound real promising. But on the other hand, it can’t hurt to try. It has the advantage that it’s (supposedly) not poisonous to dogs, cats, and birds. And you may be sure that it has the disadvantage that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
For the nonce, though, any rats that get caught in the traps will find themselves infesting the Other World. Next week we’ll find out if we can get our paws on the Rat Contraceptive.