|Learn to recognize the signs: This is a steaming fresh rat turd on our front stoop next to the "Welcome" mat. Welcome, indeed.|
- First, people leave pet food and/or bird seed outdoors unattended, never imagining that more than birds or pets might be eating it.
- Second, then when a plague of rodents does predictably mushroom in direct response to this overabundance of food, people fail to recognize the signs, the most obvious of which is droppings such as the one shown above. Not recognizing the signs, they don't modify their pet food management practices.
we had mice. But mice and rats tend not to occupy the same ecological niche, and it seems that rats have now come in and displaced the original mice.
|Learn to recognize the signs: UNESCO produced this handy comparison diagram. Rat turds have blunt ends.|
|I've currently got about ten million of these things in our back yard, and they remain untouched.|
|Bait stations ordered over the internet. Lots of them.|
But baits are not ideal either. They raise the possibility of some rats dying in locations where they can then be eaten by other wild animals or pets, which then ingest the same poison and perhaps proceed to die themselves. Or curious children might contact a carcass, which is potentially dangerous from a disease perspective.
Despite these reservations, we deployed the bait stations anyway. With as much rat sign as we are now seeing, if we don't somehow reduce the population quickly, they will begin moving into our neighborhood houses when the weather gets colder this autumn, as rats will do. And at that point, we would all have a much larger problem if they remained unchecked.
I will be going door to door in my section of Centerpointe, asking people about their pet feeding practices and showing them the turd pics above. I encourage folks in other sections of Centerpointe to do similarly.
|Number one rule of rodent control: Deny them their food.|