Every few years the rat population takes a bounce around here, we have one too many sightings of our sleek gray friends in the barn, and we must clamp down. I am on rat patrol this week.
Spring traps are set in strategic places, but they don’t work very well on older, wiser rats, so we are adding some barrel traps with pirate-style planks above them. The planks are made of aluminum flashing, baited with peanut butter and anchovies. They are too flimsy to hold the weight of a rat, so, in theory, the rat is overcome with greed for the bait, ventures too far out on the plank, and slips into the barrel, from which it cannot escape. This may sound far-fetched but it works on YouTube. And we’ve had some luck with similar traps in the past.
So far this time, though, the score for our side is a big fat zero. Maybe the cold has frozen all the smell out of our baits, or maybe the rats have gone south for spring break… (Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.)