Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Packrats Galore

Well, Mr. Packrat just left with three or four of our rats…. Because we live in the desert, we get a lot of them around the house. They leave their droppings everywhere and their nests are very messy, crammed with debris and food. Sticks and chewed-up cactus pads along with cactus and other fruits are usually the first sign of their presence. Or, as Mr. Packrat puts it, first they move in the furniture and groceries.

Mr. Packrat traps them in humane traps, then gases them in bunches (not totally humane, as they are territorial, but better than poison or some other kinds of traps). The bodies are then given to wildlife rehabbers to feed their injured raptors.

 100_0501 100_0505

100_0507

These three pictures show 1) a small rat trapped behind the dorm tree. You can see some of the furniture and groceries outside the cage. 2) four rats awaiting execution—this shows the variation in size. 3) a big rat trapped in my planter on the back porch. He accidentally escaped during transfer to the holding cage, so will have to be re-trapped tonight.

Mr. Packrat showed me a picture of a beautiful albino packrat they trapped a few weeks ago. They tried to find someone who wanted it, but nobody did, so they are going to let it go.

6 comments:

  1. First! *kidding*

    That's touching about the albino rat. And humorous about the "furniture and groceries." I believe he *is* humane!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your dad would not be proud of you. Who will find their middens in the next century if you kill them? And our rats are bigger than your rats. But I don't have any pictures to send you. I did see a huge one running down 70th Street the other night. And the ones in the subway are small and dirty. I am really glad you are blogging again. See you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How funny. I didn't realize this was a re-run post and I was thinking the very same thing I wrote back in 2009. Well, except I don't see rats in the subway any more. I just kill my little ones with a snap trap now. Haven't seen any lately, but I did kill about four or five. Hope they don't come back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do a re-run every Friday, because why not? I'm going to write about their place in the ecosystem one of these days. They DO have a place, and not just as archeological indicators.

      Delete
  4. A local hiking group (I think it was) used to have a semi-regular Neotoma BBQ...since the adults can easily be the size of squirrels. Hey, what the heck--probably tastes like chicken!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course my take on the white-throated wood rat is that it's really a very beautiful animal, especially when young. Only doing what it has to do.

      Delete