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10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pack Rats~I Hate Pack Rats!

I've been told I can move mountains.
~T.C. Wood 1875~ 

And the nasty, dang things are trying to take over the ranch! They're in the big barn, the lil' Mustang barn, the shop, the woodshed, the chicken coup, under the house, and I've seen them scurrying around in the rock rim. I've found lil' chew marks on a couple of the saddles while we had them out of the tack room during the makeover! Everywhere I go, I smell the stench of rat urine...gag!

Day before yesterday, our 5 chickens had 5 eggs...yesterday...not ONE egg! Now where do you think all my eggs went??!!??

Well, we caught the bugger last night in the trap...and we caught one the night before under the house...there was another one in the trap at the Mustang barn this morning too (but the dogs got at the trap before I did and lost it).

In all, we've probably trapped at least 20 pack rats...probably more...I quit counting!!

My Man went to the farm store to get another trap this week, and they were out of the smaller one like we have already. So, we went for the bigger one ... $38 bucks for the dang thing!

OK...on to the best part...well, if you are a pack rat lover...turn back now!!! (I had a reader that believed they should be caught and relocated) Well, my neighbors who are having the same problem as we are wouldn't appreciate it one bit...in fact the whole County is having a problem. Our newspaper editor even wrote her weekly editorial on their problem with pack rats. They're getting into vehicles and eating upholstery, chewing wires...see the problem???!!!

So, what DO you do with over 20 pack rats? Well...we have 4 sporting pups, who love to play the game of "Get the Rat."

Sometimes the hardest thing is to get the rat out of the trap (I guess you can't blame the rat for not wanting to come out)! Notice the mid-air rat and its shadow on the ground?!?

Rattie Ranch Dog Cindy Sue moves in for the take...

...hmmmmm...Bella Jo is makin' her move...

...and Bella Jo scores!!!

You probably noticed that My Man is wearing a jacket...this was from way back at the first part of May...so this has been going on for a LONG time...and at this point, I'm pretty sure we're not even close to done.

Well...gotta go set the trap again...grrrrrr...


Jocelyn said...

you have GOT to be kidding that someone said they should be relocated!!

GROSS! My Kellie Dog would DIE to play catch the rat, she is a CRAZY INSANE critter Gitter !

IF you ever need one, let me know she is for loan :)

Rain said...

When I check where people came from who read my blog, I almost always have one or more that came off a search for packrat remedies as I have written about the problem especially in Tucson where although I don't do it, the trapper drowns them when they are caught.

Up here our big problem is gray squirrels and we trap them and release them about a mile away in what is basically wilderness and a burned out house where nobody has lived for years. Or my husband gets his target practice down at the barn as he kills a lot sighting in his rifle.

Rodents are no joke as they carry disease and they do breed prolifically when there are no natural predators nearby. It's a tough world out there and if we aren't tough also, we don't stay in ranching or farming long.

the7msn said...

That's a serious lot of packrats! The coyote population here seems high enough to keep mine in check. I wonder why y'all are having a the population explosion this year?

Sydney_bitless said...

We had a bunch of rats in my one barn I work at. They ate THROUGH a metal garbage can. We got those ridd-X things for the power outlets and they are gone! They really do work I would invest in some if I were you.

mj said...

As much as I hate to see the catch and release action, I hate it even worse that you are being over run by those nasty little critters. I say that in this case, and in this place and time, it's the survival of the fittest! Hopefully that will be you!
Here's hoping that those nasty little guys get the message and head for friendlier territory. (Maybe you should pack 'em up and send them to the person who suggested that you relocate them?)

Cowgirl Rae said...

Nasty buggers and so destructive, we had bad packrats a few years ago, they stripped all the fleece off the flymasks and ruined a good wool tokalt saddle pad, they hoarded/ruined hundreds of pounds of feed and dogfood in the plastic under the roof of an area in the barn, the plastic was bulged down and when I cut it it poured out like water.... gross. 2 drowned in a big bucket of molasses, now that was gross.

I really like those traps like a mouse trap except they are huge, a dab of peanut butter for bait and 'WHAP!" one less pack rat.

Cowgirl Rae said...

"the 7msn said" I wonder why y'all are having a the population explosion this year?

its the rain, made tons of grass, we have so many jack rabbits its amazing, they are everywhere.

Reddunappy said...

We have a problem with rats every once and awhile, I usually put poison out in a bait box the cat cant get into.
I have a story for you LOL,

One night when my older daughter had come home from the military, we went out to feed the horses. Younger daughter had left the lid off of the grain barrel, I bet you know whats coming next? Well when I slid the lid back, Sara standing on my left, a rat jumped out and hit her leg and then ran into me, and proceeded to bounce between my ankles oh, a hudred times LOL at least it seemed like that LOL, when it was actually maybe three LOL, I hat rats, then it ran off.

They dug tunnels all through the 14 inches of gravel I have under the rubber matts in my stalls, causeing the matts to sink and buckle. I finally had to pull the matts back and pour concrete mix into the tunnels, that seemed to help, its so moist here that the concrete sets up.

Good luck! I hate rodents.

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

Ya know, if y'all would leave them big snakes do their job.....Nah, I can't even type that with a straight face. Why can't critters figure out that we don't want them to live by us?

Rhonda said...

Wow, sounds like an awful problem! Hope you all can at least make a good dent in that rat population.

Linda said...

I'm so thankful we don't have those critters here. Some friends of ours have them and they feel about the same way you do.

Shirley said...

Stinky little boogers. Hope you get 'em all.

SquirrelGurl said...

Eww! I've never seen a picture of a pack rat before!

Nasty little creatures!

Last Fall/Winter my folks in Maryland had a MASSIVE mouse problem. I would be dumping the feed in the trough for our steers and the mice would be scurrying just ahead of the feed that was pouring down.

ugh. We're looking into getting some good mousers to cure that issue.

Good luck with pack rat eradication!

Maia said...

You have world class talent. Your eye is amazing and you are getting there with the rest of it. These pictures are apalling. What do you want. Delete this post right now. What are you showing the world. And trust me, they're watching you. Here it is.Oh my, my husband traps little animals and then lets my dogs tear them to pieces. I don't care that it's necessary, You have a career to manage. If it makes you feel any better, the last thing my father did before he went into his last cancer coma, was to shoot a rat.

Girlfriend, you need to think about your raw talent, which is so incredible. Don't screw yourself with stuff like this. delete it and only put up your shots that are gathering you world class attention. The decision is yours, I can't make it for you. No matter what you decide, I will support you. Your raw talent is so amazing. I will always tell you when you have nailed it.

lisa said...

I hate to say it but, I have never heard of the critter before.

Breathe said...

My dad has had a similar explosion, he believes caused by a huge coyote kill effort underway.

Coyotes love pack rat lunch. Almost as much as the dogs like cat the rat.

jane augenstein said...

Wow, that's awful! Hope the dogs really get after those critters and clean them out. We don't have things (pack rats) like that here in Ohio but there are rats, mice, coons and groundhogs that have gotten into things in the barn. but Lucy our Aussie Shepherd had cleaned them all out! Good dog, just like your critter chasin' dogs!!!
It's good to have a varmint dog, or two or three or more!!! :-)

Oregontribal1 said...

Want a good laugh?
Two years ago we were living in a newly remodeled house that had been vacant over 3 years. We kept finding rat crap everywhere! So we set out D-con rat poison and waited.... 3 days later dead rat that I presented to the Landlord in a plastic ziploc bag; she agreed that it was a problem and she'd call the exterminator. We caught 3 rats and when we left for lack of needing a bigger place....the rats were in the attic AGAIN!!

Paty Jager said...

I bet that's what's under the cabin!! When I was there last time something stole my gloves when I left them out over night to dry out. And I've heard the critter under the cabin at night chewing. And I smelled it, but we thought it was the cute little woodrat creatures. I'm getting a trap when I come on Monday! But I'll have to bring the trapped critter to you since the big dogs will be here in Redmond.

Ed said...

LOL! Cindy Sue is the master rat catcher, the others will learn..:-))
Good luck with the rodente problemo.

gtyyup said...

A lot of you have had trouble with pack rats in the past!

7MSN & Cowgirl Rae~Yes, we got quite a bit of rain this spring and it was a very cool spring too...I've also heard from some ol' time locals that it's because we didn't get a really good "below 0" stretch of weather this past winter.

Sydney~I was looking on line for what you were talking about, but couldn't find it. Leave a comment or email me with more specifics please!

Reddunappy~LOL...that would have me dancin' & screamin' like a lil' school girl!!

Maia~I appreciate your input...but my blog is about our life here...hence the name of the blog "Life at the Rough String." It's a great life, but some parts of our days aren't so pretty, and I don't feel that there should be any sugar coating. I'm an honest and straight forward person. In all actuality, I was impressed with how our dogs help us with what needs to be done. I don't want to use poison because I'm afraid the dogs could accidentally get into it. These shots actually are frames from a movie I took. Bella Jo was so fast at snatching that rat, that I couldn't even see it, so I went frame by frame to see how she did it. I'm glad that we can agree to disagree, and I highly value your friendship and photographic input. Sorry to have offended you in any way.

Paty~Not a problem! I'm sure it's a pack rat if your gloves went missing. They stole my knife at the Mustang barn that I used to open bales with last winter...then it resurfaced as they were making a nest behind a piece of plywood that I moved. I now have my knife on a snap hooked to a eye bolt in the post so they can't steal it again!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I did a post last summer about catching mice in our garage and tack room and killing them...and I got chastised and told to relocate them, too! Oh yeh, the ones we caught in the barn were a nest of baby mice....but hey! Baby mice grow up to wreak havoc and distruction not matter how cute they are.
I still couldn't believe how much flack my readers gave me for not wanting to save the mice. bleh!

Yay for the dogs! And I hope you're able to get them under control soon.
We've got friends in Benson, AZ who've had to replace the wiring from 2 vehicles and one camper sue to pack rats....and it was'nt cheap!
Now they have to keep little lights underneath their vehicles to disuade the pests from coming back.


ps I'm going to e-mail and send you some photos that I edited for you, so just a heads-up. I hope you like 'em! :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Your dogs are amazing..so helpful!! I can't believe that anyone would be offended by the demise of a rat:)

gowestferalwoman said...

CRAP. im exchanging little wisconsin mice and rats for montana big fat packrats...good thing our dog is 70 + lbs...might need to get a few corgis though ;)...

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