It actually is the year of the rat, both by the chinese calendar and the situation in our neighbourhood and others around here. Last year's wet weather produced a bumper crop of pecans, which has produced a bumper crop of rats. Our neighbours had them in the attic, and when they sealed the hole up, some of them decided to take up residence under our deck. Westley pounces around when he hears them scurrying and both Graeme and I had seen them running through the back yard.
Our other neighbours started setting out traps earlier in the week. On the first night they caught 12, including one that was 21" long (including tail). The second night they got five more. I knew that if you have one rat you have 10, but I didn't realize quite the population on our little block. So, Saturday night I baited a few traps with the trusty peanut butter and waited. I got six the first night, mostly quite small, just a bit bigger than mice. And two bigger ones, the body was probably about four inches long. The second night I got three.
Gross. The only consolation in the whole thing is that they aren't in the house at all. But still. Gross.
We'll take a break until the weekend and resume the killing. I might have to try a new bait, since they pretty quickly get wise to the situation. Maybe cream cheese? It needs to be something kind of sticky. Ideas? The reason to wait until the weekend is because garbage pick up is on Mondays. You don't want dead rats sitting around for more than a day in this heat.
That was probably more than you really wanted to know.