The event of the week in the garden has been my slightly one sided duel to remove the rat.
As said last week I felt a bit conflicted, I want the garden to be a space for nature and it felt wrong to remove some piece of that fauna. However, I live in a small suburban space and an excess of rats is not to be encouraged. Obviously today it is only one rat but I think quite quickly it can turn into an excess.
I wanted to remove it in the most humane way possible so I purchased a suitable trap for the job. To give some idea of scale I’ve shown it below next to a mouse trap of more or less the same design.
One concern I had was that the trap would be large enough for a hedgehog to get in, but because of their spines they can’t back out. So to avoid any problems I needed to place the trap out of reach of the hedgehogs.
Luckily I have a small garden shed and I was pretty sure that I had seen my ratty friend dart around inside. It was a tell tale flash of fur in the corner whilst I was looking for a plant pot. So putting the trap inside the shed would be a good spot for the rat and safely away from the hedgehogs.
For bait I initially went for a piece of chocolate and I placed the trap with a good degree of confidence. However after 2 days nothing. On day three the chocolate was gone but the trap was still open, so my friend the rat had been in.
I decided to move to cheese, the classic approach, and I also installed some camera traps so that I could see what was going on.
Again after a couple of days of waiting the rat appeared again.
The date and time on the Video is not correct but the rat entered the shed around 04:45 in the morning. It must have headed pretty much straight for the cheese in the trap. Unfortunately the camera didn’t capture the moment when the trap tripped but straight after.
I assure you all that it was unharmed. A successful trapping. Although unharmed a caged rat does make a little noise, enough to alert a passing cat, who, like the hedgehogs, was unable to get into the shed.
The final stage in the operation was to release the rat back into the wild and this I did later on in the day. I took it a good few kilometres away in a wild area near to the river Seine and off it went.
Hopefully happy but I’m sure unharmed.