Lately I've referred to having trouble with 'critters.' I haven't written much more because I didn't know enough about it for a full post. Still don't know as much as I'd like, but the current situation seems to be resolved enough for reflection.
Several weeks ago I noticed holes dug in the strip of grass that I have between ours and neighbor Dave's house. I knew Dave had issues with moles in the past so I asked him about it, and wound up borrowing his deterrent, a device that you put into the ground that emits a sound at intervals, every 30 seconds or so. And you want it in tightly to better conduct the sound through the earth.
Now a little back story. There have been news articles recently about a rat infestation near here, 6 or more blocks away in the dumpster at a fast food joint. The house behind it found about 300 rats taking up residence under their garage, with tunnels to the dumpster area. Steps have been taken in those situations by now but the articles mentioned things like putting your garbage away, how they like open compost and wood piles, and how chicken coops can attract them - and we have a few neighbors with chickens.
Then, that same evening that I borrowed neighbor Dave's sonic device, neighbor Jane on the other side told me about seeing a rat in her back yard the day before. That changed my thinking a little bit. And it made me think of how even when we had the netting over the strawberry plants the berries were disappearing before we knew they were there. Thinking that maybe rats were stealing them creeped me out. I was already going to buy some type of small animal repellent, now I was going to add rat poison to my list. That night I ordered rat poison and small animal repellent online and it arrived by the time I got home from work the next day. Very impressive, Amazon.
So I spent a few days putting out the poison chunks down every hole I found, about 4 by the side of the house and a couple in the back yard between the garden and the compost bin. Neighbor Jane threw about a dozen on the other side of her fence near where she saw the rat. We did not want any in Jane's yard because of her dogs. After a few days of this, checking the chunks I put out and replacing many, I came home from work and put 5 out behind and around the compost bin. Nothing had been getting into the bin but it was near the holes in back and pretty out of the way in the small spaces between the bin and the fences. Less than a half hour later I went back to check and all 5 had disappeared. It was then I decided that was enough, I wouldn't put out any more poison because I still was not sure what I was poisoning. When Jane got home I even went over to make sure partial poison baits did not get dragged over there, where the dogs could get at them. Thankfully I didn't find anything, but 5 gone that fast is pretty crazy.
The sonic device was seemingly having no effect, so the next day I removed it and filled the holes. The following day all the holes had been reopened, even the hole that I had made just for that sonic device. I sprinkled the repellent around the area again and left it for a few rainy days. Eventually I went out to refill the holes again. This time I sprinkled in the small animal repellent into the hole, refilled the hole, and sprinkled more repellent on the filled in holes and some in the whole area, and did the same to one area in back.
Now, several days later, the refilled holes have not been disturbed. The 'critter' situation seems to be under control once again, even though I don't know exactly what it was. Really, I never even saw anything, alive or dead, in these areas, only the evidence of activity. Who knows what goes on in my yard when I'm not looking? I'm sure the cats have a pretty good idea, but they don't seem interested in cluing me in at all.
6 days ago