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Rat Damage

The wood/pack rats are an immense pain. The bush is riddled with them; endless, infinite waves of rats attack your stuff like furry missiles. Snap traps, neurotoxin (bromethalin), .22 birdshot-- it's like trying to empty the ocean with a bucket. Hopefully a passle of barn cats will be the long-term solution. In the meantime, there are a lot of 3am wake-up calls: get out of bed, get dressed, go outside with the red LED flashlight and .22 and deal with the latest assault-in-progress. I gave up on the pellet gun-- the .22/birdshot is most efficacious: you will hit it and it will die. Not so with the pellets.

Here they have chewed through an unground vault covering a water valve. I had noticed they were working on the top, and when I went back to check it found they had eaten all the way through. Put a big rock over the hole but they just dug/ate around it. Replaced the box with some 6" ID thin-wall PVC which should afford no purchase for their teeth (is the thinking), while still (barely) allowing access to the quarter-turn valve. We shall see.

Rat Damage Ate Through It! Typical Gnawing Possible Solution?
Rat Damage Ate Through It! Typical Gnawing Possible Solution?

...time passes...

Judging from the new digging, looks like it's a bushy-tailed rat (ground squirrel) that's been responsible. They're horrible too. So far there's just been a test bite on the top cap, and after filling back in the test digs, they seem to have given up. Will have to keep an eye on it.