Tag Archives: packrat

Packrat relocation project

An unusually quiet night on the ranch:  the packrats are gone.

I caught them both last night.  For the record, dark chocolate and/or dried blueberries are the irresistible bait of choice.  I got nowhere with honey on previous nights.

When I came home last night the trap was sprung but I had to look close to see the small shape huddled perfectly still inside the trap.  I gathered up some comfort fixings into a big tupperware,  transferred the rodent into it for the night, and reset the trap.

The other packrat was not so meek.  When he got trapped, he tried to escape so vigorously, it sounded like a tin can was possessed, and it woke me up.  Crash!  Crash!  Blearily I moved him as well, into the tupperware, and went back to sleep.

They went in a cycle all night- a little sleep, a little attempting to escape- squeaking and thumping against the lid of the bin.  Then back to sleep….

In the morning they were so cute.  I’d put an egg carton in the box, since they seem to like them so much.  Both of them were sleeping on top of it, snuggled together with their heads each poked down into one egg cup of the carton.  Adorable!  Smelly, though.  I’m so glad to have caught them.

I bagged up a big chunk of their midden- which is mostly egg cartons, straw, and grape leaves, although I recognized one square of fabric clearly tugged out of my scrap bag.  All this and the box of stinky packrats into the truck, and we went on a really long drive up a forestry road.

I set up their new digs first, making a nice egg carton pile in some really dense brush.  If I do say so myself, I think it was a much better design than their original.  If I were a packrat, I’d be damn psyched about that nest.  All ready for the release, I went back to my truck …. just in time to see one of them run over the seat and up into my dashboard!
Continue reading Packrat relocation project

Packrats, meet your doom!

That didn’t take long.  One week of coexistence, and the packrats must go.  The key letter in that decision is the “s”.  I distinctly heard two packrats at work in separate locations, and where there’s two, well, the problem is about to be fruitful and multiply.

I got a live trap, and Omega-3 and his girlfriend are about to be relocated.  I’m going to take them out on a firewood trip and release them, and to be extra nice, I’m going to bag up all the cardboard and grape leaves they’ve been gathering and bring that along too, to give them a head start on their new lives in the woods.  It is starting to get cold; I understand their motivation.

They really haven’t been a problem yet, except for the noise.  I can’t believe something so small can make such a racket.  Although, they probably feel the same about me in the daytime.  Could you cut it out with the air nailer over there?  We’re trying to sleep here!  Big night ahead of us.

Info salad

The floor is done!  Very pleasing to do a real sweep, and now it’s green light on walls and windows, because one rather needs an expanse of floor to frame on.

Technological challenges continue on the home front.  My Snow Leopard is not making friends with any TurboSticks, so no internet, and worse, I have no memory card for my camera.  So taking pictures and posting them are both terribly difficult.

I’ve resorted to walking around with my laptop and aiming it at things to take Photo Booth pictures, but this is really stretching it now, and the pics are mirror imaged and poor quality.

Had an unusually loud night last night.  I stupidly dropped some small food wrapper by my bed, so of course, Omega-3 was on it like hot fudge on a sundae in the middle of the night.  The scritching woke me up, so I slowly crept my hand to the light switch and flipped on the lights.  He took off like a rocket, blasted at top speed to the farthest side of the barn and dove with a crunch into something rustly.  Very funny.  And no further disturbances for the night.  I could imagine it’s little packrat heart pounding – how can the sun come on so fast?

The news is full of Newfoundland, the peninsula I grew up on devastated.  I listen hourly for the news- stranded on Random Island, homes lost in Port Rexton, army based out of Clarenville, nurses going to work at the Bonavista hospital by boat – it’s very unusual to hear anything about that part of NFLD, let alone that it be the lead story hour after hour.  The fact that the Port Union fish plant was virtually destroyed is a really bad piece of news.  That’s going to take a long time to recover.  So, as are many, sending love and thoughts to the Island, kinda wishing I could help in a more practical way.

Living with Wildlife

Omega-3 is the cutest!  About the size and colour of a flying squirrel, with big pink mouse ears.  I caught a glimpse when s/he was doing laps in the lane between my stacked boxes and the wall while I was quietly writing after dark.

I also know now it’s not nesting in my stuff, but rather in a corner of the “old barn”, the exiled, untouched, un-reno’ed third of the barn that I’m not working on, and it’s dragging in grapes and grape leaves from the vine on the outside of the barn.

I know this rodent could be a BIG problem in many ways, but I have this romantic notion that we can all get along.  I really don’t want to trapkill or poison it, and as long as it doesn’t fuck with me and my stuff, can’t we co-exist?

I just need it to be a little quieter.  I’m used to the scurrying, but get startled awake by the gnaw, gnaw, gnawing.  I stare, listening, trying to think of what the hell the packrat could be destroying now, and wondering if there’s anything worth getting up for to check on or maybe save.

But I can’t find any damage in the daytime.  Although at night it sounds like a beaver is consuming a 2×4 under my bed, I can’t find evidence of what O-3 is snacking on in the night.

Mogi’s cats only work the day shift, so until I have lockup and can borrow one and make him spend the night in the barn, the packrat is safe during the day.  Maybe Ill just leave my compressor plugged in overnight, so it can randomly scare the daylights out of both of us in the wee hours.

It’s kind of nice, to hear life around me.  Sometimes I hear Mucky chewing or sighing, and the packrat being a packrat in the night… it’s not so bad.Living with Wildlife

Barns and bats and rats, oh my!

I came home to a dismal, depressing scene of neglect and destruction, no cat, and a frustrating mountain of work.

It could have been worse, but still, it was enough to make me weep.  Hours of cleaning and a long therapeutic session of cleaning the paddock restored my space and my sense of hope, but the mountain of work remains ahead.

I think I have a packrat.  It ate my rice cakes, made half of a sheepskin vanish, and appeared to be subsisting on flax seed.  Clearly, it cares about nutrition. I did not find it’s abode, but I’m sure it’s very well lined.  My cat would roll over in her grave, if she had one, at this home invasion.

The other cats clearly need to be encouraged to exercise their feline instincts around the barn.  They’ve been hanging around, but they’re not used to me around too.  When I came “home” after dinner last night, I scared one cat so bad he fled out the second story window, and I don’t know if he leapt straight out or if he climbed down the outside wall, the way he seems to get in.

I had a choppy sleep, too, waking up often to the sound of scrabbling, and trying with my flashlight to catch a glimpse of the invader, whom I’m calling “Omega-3”.  I’m really not into it running across my face in the night or something- that would be entirely too “country” an experience for me.

Doors; windows; lock-up:  Urgent!

Happily, I still have bats roosting in the other side of the barn.  I’m glad the reno has not totally dislocated them. Build bat house- on list.