Y’know, I could really get to dislike rats…

That’s one of the irrigation feeders for Ian’s few remaining fruit trees.
See anything wrong? It’s subtle – takes a trained eye. Don’t feel bad if you miss it.
Fortunately the original plantation was ridiculously spread out – my action, not Ian’s, he said go big and I went grandiose – so there’s plenty of abandoned irrigation pipe for repairs. But this is wanton even by a rat’s standards.

ETA: Well, LB and I turned on the water this morning and walked the line to make sure things were cool, which they certainly were not. Two more big new rat-bites farther up the line, so all I was doing was wetting down sand and making ants happy and prosperous.

It’s hardly the first time this has happened, but I’ve never seen this much damage in one season. It’s almost like rats are capable of learning or something. Which generally means this means of irrigation is about to become completely impractical, instead of just a constant pain in the ass.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to Y’know, I could really get to dislike rats…

  1. Mark Matis says:

    Now THAT is some smart engineering, Michael!

    Musta been invented by someone with a STEM degree from MIT or one of the Ivies…

  2. Joel says:

    Yes, that is an old and venerated mouse-killing method, the problem being it seems to actually attract them from miles around and you can end up with absurd number of corpses. At this moment, when I’m out of hose couplers and can’t perform my tree-watering duties, I’m kind of wondering why I thought that was a problem.

    But the truth is, I’d have the same problem my neighbor D did when he set one up a couple years ago: you will run out of patience with body disposal before you ever run out of rodents.

  3. Michael says:

    I’d suggest a 55 gallon barrel version of the same rig to increase capacity 😉 , but perhaps its time to adopt a couple barnyard cats from the local animal shelter. Might have some deterrent effect.

  4. Joel says:

    It might deter individual rodents, but it’s not a solution in the desert. In the time I’ve been here we’ve lost three cats to predators – and the cats tend to catch mice outside and then bring them inside for play and consumption where it’s safe.

    It might have some effect if you were prepared to raise large numbers of cats and didn’t care how many fell to coyotes and owls, but I’m not and I do. I kinda like cats, so I’m done with them.

  5. MamaLiberty says:

    I think rodents are one of the permanent problems of mankind… anywhere. I remember a story about mice/rats and cats on spaceships… and it sounds perfectly plausible. Probably will eventually pick up other pest species just as hard to get rid of. Tribbles, anyone? LOL

    Whoever comes up with a real and lasting answer to this dilemma will be richer than the 1% soon after, I think. No ideas myself, unfortunately.

  6. MJR says:

    Damn, those dirty rats… I’ve has similar issues but nowhere near as destructive. It’s too bad the distances between trees limit the options for water delivery. If it were not for the cost I would suggest metal pipe to replace the plastic but that’s just not viable with the dollars involved. Maybe if you send an email to this guy he might have some suggestions.


    Luck you you Joel.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    I’d suggest setting that up at the stock tank…

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