Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday: Volcanic rock walls
Last winter, we went away for a month's holiday. When we came back, we faced a giant disaster. We had rat infestation, and they went through our pantry and our wardrobe. They gnawed big holes at corners of doors. They bit holes in my clothes and I declared war. Sorry to my readers if you think this is cruel.

Traps did not work, and eventually, I went to my hard ware store and got a few packs of rodentcide. That did the trick. I was astounded how they could take away the 1 and half inch size bait. I was worried they would expire some where in the attic. Fortunately that didn't happen. They must have gone some where.

In Auckland, there is no shame in having rats. Auckland is built on monogenetic volcanoes. Aucklanders say underneath our city are huge bounders of volcanic rocks which have holes. Through out the city, people used these rocks to build walls. If you click on the photos, you will see all the holes. What you don't see are the interconnecting holes which act like a giant tunnel system like the New York sewage system.

It is here, the rats thrive. When the weather gets cold, they come into the house. This year, they started coming again. The husband saw one when it was still early in the evening. I am wiser this time. After two packs of the poison. They stopped coming.

Here's what a friend said when he thought he had a possum in his attic.

They turn out to be rats!! We had to get the rat man to come to poison them with Industrial strength poison as the household Ratsax didn’t do the job!

After I posted my piece on rats, the New Zealand Gardening magazine carried this link:,11,0,0,html/Rats
In our New Zealand Herald:

Rats thriving on weather and recession
4:00 AM Wednesday Jun 16, 2010

Pest controllers are reporting a boom in the rat population as cold weather pushes the pests to shelter inside.

The rise in numbers is attributed to the warm autumn and last year's economic climate, with one Auckland company seeing a 100 per cent increase in rat control calls.

Abolish Pest Control owner Jason Stobart said his company received twice as many calls last month as it did in May last year.

"The problem didn't just remain, but the problem bred as well, and got much worse than it would have been."

Mr Stobart said the warm autumn also had an effect.

Abolish Pest Control has also been needing more bait.

"We had a late summer this year and it was a quite mild autumn, so they got an extra breeding cycle. They can breed every three months if the conditions are right."

Once their population grew in the wild and the cold of winter hit, rats ran indoors to the warmth of houses and commercial premises, Mr Labrumsaid.


Inday said...

Australia is not immuned to having them either. It took me 7 years to really saw rats in Australia for the first time. It happened when they were featured on the local TV news as at that time we lived in a countrytown Orange.

I was accustomed to seeing rats in my home country, but the most dreadful sight was the ones I saw in Cebu - during my university days. Rats there (were then) are as big as the cats. Cats could not get rid of them. The strong poison was not we have here as well as you have over there in NZ was never known in my country.

The people just let themselves get used to their presence and so far the more they (people) ignored them, they just seemed to behave well for as long as the people took sensible measure so as not to attract their mischievous antic.

I survive but it did send chilly creeping sensitivity along my spine. haha

Oh it's a long story Ann. Maybe I can blog about them too.

Glad you were quick to take action.

Lindz said...

oh my god, we have rats here too but they stay from us thankfully, they dont get in the house, my house is next to Georges river of NSW and I think that's where the rats are hiding..

Unknown said...

Nice post Ann...and aiyoh...its been so long since I posted or visited anyone, so missing everyone honestly. tak apa, I will self-kick-butt myself soon. Just checking in to let you know I am still ALIVE!! haha :)

Ah Ngao said...

yeah,you did right.rats not only a rodent but their urine can also spread diseases...scary man

Reader Wil said...

How awful! I hate rats, we had them in the concentration camp in Indonesia. There was nothing to eat there, but they came anyway and we were afraid that they would attack us.
You asked about the Icelandic volcano. We didn't notice anything of this eruption apart from the air traffic.

Cindy said...

Yikes! I have never seen a rat, here in Canada, but I know they are around. But, not to the extent that they are in other parts of the world, apparently. I'm glad you got rid of them, because they are not clean, hygenic animals.
I do like your photo, though, of the volcanic rock, very picturesque. Stay safe!
Hugs, Cindy S

Thomas Lee/Lee Lip Pang said...

so how many rats was caught by the pest control guys?
maybe you should have a fierce pet cat.