Do you remember the Bill Murray movie “Caddyshack” where he played a groundskeeper at a golf course trying to kill the illusive gopher?
Well, Mr. Tattered has morphed into Carl Spackler (the Bill Murray character) and is on a quest to kill our roof mice.
Yes, ants, wasps, voles and rattlesnakes aren’t enough, now we have to contend with an infestation of roof rats, huge rodents with big ears and long tails that have moved into our garden. I would have little hesitation to share the garden’s bounty with them if they didn’t carry 4-5 diseases. But, having little children out there, the continual threat of contracting one of said diseases is unacceptable.
We have inadvertently set up the perfect environment for them. The Trump Towers of rat habitat. We have lots of low vegetation for cover, vines for getting around above ground, plenty of water in the butterfly ponds and bird baths, and their favorite foods – grapes, tomatoes, and yum, bird seed.
So, we have two choices – get rid of the habitat, or get rid of them.
I HATE killing animals. Any animal. I really do. But the only other alternative is to go to a sparsely vegetated yard, and no bird feeders or bird baths. I do feel bad about it, but the birds and flowers win over the disease infested critters. I am REALLY wrestling with my conscience over this. They were here first. But life is full of choices, and sometimes they aren’t fun to make.
So, Mr. Tattered researched all the available options for ridding the property of the creatures and none of them are pleasant. It’s not like you can fence off the place and keep them out. And we could get a couple of cats, but they’d eat the birds, too, then the hawks and coyotes would eat the cats. There are just no good solutions.
Once he put together his game plan, he headed off to Home Depot. When he checked out, the checker didn’t ask any questions, just said “goin’ to war, huh?” What a crack up! That’s EXACTLY what he’s doing!
Mr. Tattered preparing for war
He’s using a traditional trap on the ground…
…and on the fence,
a higher tech version,
a cool contraption where you spread peanut butter on the bottle, and the rat climbs up and ends up getting dumped in the bucket and can’t get out (yuck!)
a bar of poison bait,
…and a dish of oatmeal and raisins laced with poison.
It’s quite an arsenal he’s got going. I hope it will be successful, because I am REALLY not looking forward to giving up my backyard oasis. Just having to put the bird feeders away and emptying the water had me in literally in tears this morning. I hated seeing the birds coming in for breakfast and having everything gone. But, seeing Mr. Tattered morph into Bill Murray made me laugh. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully we’ll be able to put the birdie buffet and spa back out soon.