This was a juvenile rat, probably trying to make a home before winter sets in. He was feeding on birdseed and from trashcans that didn’t have a lid on them. These issues will be addressed with the household, since he started digging his tunnels (and shitting stinky rat shit) near my front door.
jimbo: 1, varmints 0

Uma Thurman picks her dead foe up from the earth, and removes the golden arrow. Then with the rat in her hand, she looks up to her teacher.
PAI MEI: "How does victory taste?"
THE BRIDE: "Bitter."

It’s not a Chronic Problem yet, and I probably cut off the colony leader before he had a chance to establish a warren, but here are a few tips in preventing or stopping a rat infestation in the city:

  • A single pair of rats can multiply more than 15,000 descendants in 1 year;
  • Garbage-fed city rats are considerably larger than their rural cousins;
  • Rats can survive for 14 days without food;
  • Rats love cracked corn and can easily hop into an unsealed trash can;
  • If you like birds, try planting sunflowers, which attract goldfinches but not house sparrows and rats in the fall;
  • Rats have poor eyesight and rely heavily on their whiskers to feel their way around. Set traps near walls or known pathways;
  • Pack size can range from 15 to 220 individuals;
  • One dominant male rat lives with a harem of several female rats;
  • 5 to 25% of all unknown-cause fires are caused by rats;
  • A rat can gain entrance through any hole larger than a half-inch in diameter.

19 Comments

  1. homer says:

    One of the pleasant things about living in Tucson is that there are no European rat species here. We just have the native packrat occasionally nesting in your car engine and/or spreading the Hanta virus.

  2. anger hangover says:

    The alley bunnies are among us! I put up a rat-related post today as well.

  3. Chris says:

    hey Jimbo, you have on that shirt I like (you were wearing it in the “bunny and peeps assistants” office picture around Easter earlier this year).
    Never think any detail passes unnoticed! But try to think of that as a good thing….

  4. Mari says:

    Help I’ve got two (so far) field mice running around my house. Last night I took out the snappy traps and put organic peanut butter on them. Do you think that will work?

  5. Stephen J. Xanthos says:

    Dude, you better have washed your hands after that.
    *shiver*

  6. Chris says:

    That picture is disturbing!

  7. patrick says:

    You’re so butch!

  8. michael says:

    Uhm, that’s a little bit too much information….
    I grew up on a farm and I remember in the winter going to the barn early in the morning before school, flipping on the lights and see all kinds of critters scurry…..it still gives me the shivers.

  9. atari_age says:

    OMG, so not cool. Blargggh.

  10. Dax says:

    You should try this
    http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=BOP-238&src=froogle&kw=BOP-238
    Rob and I find it works great and keeps our back yard and front garden free of any and all critters.
    Also its biosafe.
    We also use it to keep the Dog out of the Alley between our house and the Neighbors.
    Just be careful not to get it on your self, you will smell all sorts of nasty for hours.
    Since we have two cats we have no problem with rodent home invasion. Those unfortunate to enter our home get a most brutal death.

  11. cb says:

    My favorite fact was that 5 – 25% of all UNKNOWN cause house fires were CAUSED by rats.

  12. brettcajun says:

    I am sorry, but I cannot kill rats or mice. I just hope the Owls in the neighbor gets them. I couldn’t do that. The cruelest thing is that sticky glue trap. Kind of like torture.
    I have no problem killing insects though. I think it’s the fur on the rats that make me feel sorry for them.

  13. tonkamanor says:

    I’m so reporting you to PETA.

  14. J says:

    rats are one of the few things that gross me out.

  15. Jay says:

    Once I caught a tiny white mice with that snap trap thingy. He looked so innocent and I felt sooo bad. I guess rats are different story…?

  16. Jessica says:

    Gross.

  17. Stash says:

    And timely as well.
    There was a recent NYT article on the infestation in downtown Manhattan, caused in part by construction at Ground Zero.
    I’m fortunate that our neighborhood is rat-free thus far. All that will change rather soon, I suspect, by the Second Avenue subway project.

  18. Curtis says:

    Poor Mickey . . .

  19. Ohio Tom says:

    Thank God my hole is smaller than 1/2 inch! Any rat wishing access will first have to buy me dinner and a movie.