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Ratz-A-Fratz

     Ratz-A-Fratz
  PondStuff! Monthly Pond & Water Gardening Newsletter

Ratz-a-Fratz!!!

So, here I am, trying to sell my house, showing it everyday and scheduling open house events to get the most coverage.  This is not the time for unwanted guests.  It seems that every time there is any ground work in the neighborhood rats are displaced into our yards.  Murphy’s Law says that this would be the perfect time for rats to pick my place… and they have.

Let me back up here a bit.  First thing I noticed was nips and tears in my fish.  I thought they were being harassed by the raccoons again.  But somehow it wasn’t the same.  And no fish have become supper as yet, which isn’t at all like a raccoon family.  They always get SOMEthing from the pond for dinner.  My frogs may have disappeared.  I really have no idea what else rats eat. 

I looked them up on the internet and found out they like, of all things, peanut butter.  So, I bought a very small, rat- or squirrel-sized Have-a-heart trap at Home Depot and have baited it with peanut butter.  So far, my dogs can’t seem to tear themselves away from the trap’s “treats”.  They can’t get it, and it won’t hurt them if they do, but I wish they’d just cut it out and let the rat try some for a change.  I mean, how will I ever know if the rat can be caught in a trap?  I passed over the sticky traps after seeing “Ben” with his agility and size.  No sticky trap is going to hold this guy.  (I only hope it’s only ONE Ben!)  I pray they aren’t like cockroaches, where if you see one you have thousands…

I was stooped down beside my vortex, purging it, and the dogs chased one right past my legs.  I thought I’d die.  My sister tells me that when the Nassau Memorial Coliseum was being built our father used to sit by the dining room window and shoot them out the window as they came around the corner of the garage.  Oh, geesh, that was more than I needed to know!  (My mother knows nothing about that.  I asked her.) 

Just then, I got a call from my realtor’s office.  A realtor was coming to show the house… My God, what if a prospective buyer saw this thing?  What if the neighbors saw it and thought it was being attracted to my pond, for some strange reason?  Sure, my landscape is the closest to nature around here, but I don’t want to be the center of hysterics around here right now.  All we need is a panic… Thanks, Ben!  And thanks, Nassau County for the latest road construction, around the corner from my house.

Well, I ran back to Home Depot and got some neat little squares of poison to put in the black vermin box and set it near the chimney.  I’m trying to sell my house with the pond and I’ve got big black ants, raccoons, opossum, and now, rats with which to contend.  (Am I unwittingly in training for life in Florida?)  And now I have to find out what would happen to the neighborhood cats if they happen to catch and eat a poisoned rat, or even if my DOGS should get it… I don’t like this business and I don’t like bothering the animals in my yard.  This rat is sort of too comfortable around people already so it’s only a matter of time before he comes out when somebody is looking at the yard.  I hope the construction on Hempstead Turnpike ends really soon, so we can go back to normal living again… and maybe even sell my house.

By Carolyn Weise, Ecological Laboratories, Inc.

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