Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Unwelcome Visitor

Winter weather is starting to act like the real thing here,  but then we will get a little dash of spring- like weather just to confuse things.  I have the gardens here at the Manor pretty much set for winter.  All the roses trimmed down to knee high to prevent winter wind damage, fruit trees cleaned up and sprayed, the now vacant parakeet aviary cleaned out, garden shed in order, firewood stacked and covered.  Out in the hen house MeMa's ladies have stopped laying for the winter and I dusted them and the nest boxes for bird lice.  So other than a little light maintenance and picking up after the dogs I just sit back and wait for spring....Yeah right!  You may remember the post I did about the mystery hole and tunnel from the garden into the greenhouse, well that turned out to be a very large disgusting rat.  I caught it in a box trap a few days after that post and quickly and humanly dispatched it as we can't have things like that running around the gardens with the "Little Terrorists" at large.  I spoke to the manager of the nursery behind us and he said that they would bait all their out buildings where they store fertilizer and such which is a food source.  Since that first one I have caught nineteen others so something needs to happen soon.  I don't mind the occasional field mouse but large rats are enough to make one get the heavy artillery out.  They love the warm interior of the greenhouse but cause a lot of damage whilst they scamper about knocking orchids off the staging and turning things over looking for something good to eat.  I keep all possible food sources in plastic bins sealed with tight lids, so they are a bit out of luck there.
I promise I wont show pictures of the fallen enemy but here are a couple of orchids fresh from the greenhouse.

Cattaleya "Tangerin Imp"

Vanda "Murphy's Gold"


  1. I hate the dreaded rats! Sometims it's so hard to catch them. I know there's still one around the chicken coop! (and where there's one there's more!)

  2. What do you dust your chickens with, Doc?

    There have been rat problems in a few of the blogs I read.
    I didn't know they ate fertilizer!

    And when I was clearing trash out of the farmhouse a couple years ago, there were a few plastic containers that had been chewed on/through. I hope your plastic containers are heavy duty. Good luck!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I just buy Poultry Dust at the Feed store, it comes in a big shaker can. I have had no evidence of rats until this hole and tunnel appeared into the greenhouse.

  3. dr momi,
    I just use a box trap and bait it with peanut butter, they just can't resist it.