Rats, a Raccoon, and a Squirrel

Rats moved into the courtyard again. Relocated a large rat. Then saw at least three small rats visiting the bird feeder and several plants were eaten. Removed all food from the bird feeder. Sorry birds.

Baited the trap, but for some reason the little rats were able to snag the bait and not spring the trap. I suspect it was their size, or lack of.

Trap 2 with Rat

Tried adding weight to the spring and bound the bait into the trap. The rats still managed to clear out the bait.

About the bait. I tried fresh fruit. I tried saltines smeared with peanut butter and sprinkled with seeds. Something interesting happened. One of the rats snagged the bait from the large trap. Apparently the rats really love cheese covered beef flavored Snausages.

Back to the trap–placed a block of wood in front of the trap.
Trap 3

The rat stood on the block of wood and removed the suspended bait.

Trap 4 with Rat

Trap 5

I moved the block of wood closer to the weighted spring with the hope that the obstacle would force the rats to jump onto and stay on the spring while grabbing the bait.

Trap 6 with Rat


Rat 1 August 9 8:12 pm

Rat 1

Rat 2 August 9 8:40 pm

Rat 2

Rat 3 August 10 9:50 am

Rat 3

Rat 4 August 11 9:16 am

Rat 4

Just when I thought we were done with furry ones eating everything in the garden, I found one of my bromeliads shredded.

Bromeliad Shredded

Bromeliad Shredded

Bromeliad Shredded

That night a raccoon ran across the roof and onto the wisteria covered deck. Pretty sure the raccoon was the culprit. Hope there is only one and that it is not living under the deck.

Today, after cleaning the courtyard patio, I moved several Datura and Milkweed seedlings to a protected area to prepare them for transplant to the garden.

Datura and Milkweed Seedlings

I looked out to see this little one. It gave my Datura and Milkweed seedlings a long sniff and then disappeared.


It would be great if it doesn’t find my pots of kale, basil, beans, peas, carrots, and parsley that I am growing for my house bunnies.

If I am lucky the squirrel was passing through. More likely it will move in and invite its friends.

Growth Found in Pot of Soil in the Garage

Transplanted dianthus from the pot to the garden. Then placed the pot of soil in the garage. The pot had been under the bird feeder. Apparently, birdseed is resilient.

Birdseed Growth

Birdseed Growth

Moved the pot outside for the birds. The Towhees often nibble my seedlings, even in the greenhouse. Maybe this will be a treat for them.

Rat, Orange Mold, and Lichen Glaze with Lichens

Yesterday I found a 3′ long gopher snake in my garden. It was wrapped around the hose reel. Nearly stepped on it. Totally creeped me out.

Today I found a roof rat in my bird feeder.


When I was in the process of baiting our live traps, I found an orange with a lovely distribution of mold.

Orange with Mold

Why do we have so much wildlife in our gardens? Drought conditions and gardens that are great habitats for loads of critters.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful trapping the rat today, maybe tomorrow.

This morning I asked my husband to open and set the trap. When he opened the trap, the rat ran out. Apparently last night when I asked if he closed the trap, and he said yes, he was talking about something else.

The rat ate all of the bait–a nice chunk or juicy orange and a saltine smeared with peanut butter topped with seeds.

Has the rat learned its lesson to avoid the trap? Maybe not. The trap was moved and more tasty treats were placed inside.