Monday, October 27, 2008

Varmints 6 - Rancher Woman 0

I've tried to keep most of my varmint stories out of this blog. I realize you don't come here to read how I've been outwitted by packrats yet again. But it's a slow news day here at the 7MSN.

This episode I blame squarely on my new horse trailer, which I still don't like. The sides of the trailer are open near the top, allowing the rain to get in. My trailer-repair man cautioned me when he installed the new floor planks that I would need to make sure water didn't get trapped under the rubber mats or the new floor would eventually rot away as did the old one.

So I took eight big rocks from my ammunition depot and methodically placed one under each end of each mat each time I parked the trailer. When it did rain and water got inside, the floor would be able to dry out.

After the last rain, I lifted up one of the mats to make sure the rocks were doing their job. Not only were they allowing the floor to dry, but they were providing a cozy little tent under which Little Miss Packrat could build a nest. Grrrrr. Not acceptable.

What if one of the boys got hurt and I had to load him into the trailer in a hurry? Bad enough I would have to remember to remove all the rocks. I can't imagine having to deal with nests of baby packrats in the process.

I decided the rocks had to go and went out to the trailer to remove them - camera at the ready, of course, as I knew what I would find.

There she was, with four of her little young'uns.

She ran to the corner, with the babies still attached.

Then she ran off, leaving a trail of babies behind her. Maybe she was camera-shy? The squealing was horrific. One baby packrat was over there...another was over here...squeal squeal where's my mama? squeal squeal.

I couldn't take it anymore and went in the house. How is it I can kill rattlesnakes and tarantulas without a second thought but give me a couple of pipsqueak packrats barely bigger than a peanut and I turn into a sissy?

I looked in the trailer the next morning, not knowing what to expect. All the babies were gone, there was no sign of Little Miss Packrat, and the entire nest was gone, too. Hmm. Can't wait to see where that turns up.


  1. Well, you're not alone. I have this thing about killing mice. It makes me so sad when they fall in the horses' water buckets. Sunday, my cat left me a chewed up mouse at the top of the basement stairs as a special present. I have such a hard time disposing of them. It practically brings me to tears. Although, the alternative of what they could do to my clothes, blankets, etc. is totally unacceptable. I keep hoping that just having the cats will dissuade the mice from coming in, but I fool myself. Last summer, a mama mouse made a nest in our tractor and came to a tragic end. My daughter rescued the babies and we brought them to a wildlife rescue where they went into an incubator. So, I'm a softie, but I get it about packrat babies.

  2. There's something about little ones, even pack rats, that are cute. You did the right thing letting them find a new home - probably somewhere else you won't be happy about - and you'll sleep better - unless they're under your bed (ewwwwww)


  3. Thanks for the chuckle! :) I know where you're coming from. I recently removed a baby rabbit from one of my cats mouths and took it across the road and set it hopped off....probably to wait until later in the day to annihilate my plants. sigh. It will be interesting to see where that nest of packrats turn up. :)

  4. The term packrat has become such a metaphor ... I sort of forgot that they actually existed (and are multiplying) in the flesh and blood. Wow! And they look big too.

  5. Ohhhh... so cute! We have a very hard time killing anything short of fleas, ticks, and fire ants.

    My husband actually rescues the mice from the cats and relocates them!

    The pack rat pictures are so cute- I know they can be destructive but still... I'd have done the same thing.

  6. I think it has something to do with the fact they have four legs instead on eight or none. Makes it seem like it's a pet or something. Of course it could be those big 'ol eyes looking at ya.

  7. I have a little cat, Daisy, who only weighs 5 pounds, but she is a hunter/killer. Do you want to borrow her? No. I'm just kidding! She actually keeps our yard "varmit free"! I found HER pile of "dead things" out in the garage over the years. I won't go into it now, but eeeeewwwwwwww!!!!

  8. I'm glad she had the good sense to pack up and move. And, I'm glad you chose to give her an eviction notice rather than a death sentence.

    It's probably a good thing I don't live in the country. I'd have areas roped off everywhere a furry critter decided to set up with a big Do Not Disturb sign posted on it. I'm a pushover, what can I say?

  9. Ha you make me laugh. I have that same problem when it comes to killing a mouse. I don't know why and I can't stand them in my house, car, garage, outbuildings or anywhere. But I can't for the life of me squish one. They are kind of cute.

  10. In my early 20s, I lived in a trailer out in the country, in the middle of a field. Cheap and spacious. However, it was built like swiss cheese and the mice (I prefer not to think they were rats) made it in everywhere. We took to keeping food in Tupperware containers and moved out as soon as the lease expired. That was the last time I lived out in the country.

    But, as long as they aren't in my house, those meece sure are cute.

  11. So that's the varmint my mom has nicknamed me after! ;) I've been wondering all these years....
    well, I couldn't kill them. I am a bit fond of rodents, kind of. I like gerbils. I had them as class pets years ago, but they kept multiplying and I was running a mini-business out of the staff lounge.
    I appreciate your attempt to solve the water issue, very clever with the rocks....hopefully the packrats have moved on to a more permanent location!

  12. Where is your kitty when you need him?
    I would have the same problem if I came across a nest of mom/babies. Something about the large eyes and the furr??

  13. i never realized there really is a critter named packrat ...I dont do mice in the house but oout side they can live... that one is actually kinda cute with those big eyes and ears.

  14. Sad...I mean, we've all read Mrs. Quigley (is that right?) Anyway, you think, how cute, how sad....We even owned some mice in cages when we first got married. BUT...... I am horrified about the possibilities of Hanta Virus, about any other diseases that rats and mice carry, about just the whole sense of the area being unclean! So, the last time I saw a mouse, I got some rat poison right away. Had to hide the containers in strategic places so the dog couldn't get into them, and then, poof, no mouse. When we moved, I found his little skeleton behind a bookcase. But at least he (or she) was gone and I didn't have to deal with it!

  15. I'd never dealt with pack rats before moving here. I couldn't figure out how my chickens were putting rocks and old corn cobs into their pellet feeder...then I put out the trap and got the evidence!!

    Ok, I guess I'm a lil' hard...but I can't let the darn pack rats raid my chicken coop and steal eggs every day. Lay pellets are too expensive to not get the eggs!

    But, I let my Rat Terrier take care of the dirty business...she's very good at what she does...