Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rats in the greenhouse

I guess I have been lucky and have never had to deal with rodents in the greenhouse before. No more.

The signs have been there but it has not seemed like much of an issue until lately. The weather has turned colder and we even had a dusting of snow on the hills east and west of the Napa valley night before last.

Friday there was a major attack and we lost leaves on 4 plants. It takes too long for that kind of damage to be corrected to let it continue.

I put out the two glue traps along with a bunch of baits. Hopefully that will take care of the rat(s).

All this has reminded me that the ant stakes need to be replaced. They also come indoors in the winter and I don't want them in the greenhouse. They bring mealy and aphids with them.


  1. I can sympathize with wishing to control rodent damage, what about a more humane type of trap? Spring loaded traps kill instantly, but glue traps cause an animal hours of unnecessary agony. Aside from any ethical considerations, moist conditions (as might be found in a greenhouse) are reported to render the glue less effective.

  2. A 1983 test that evaluated the effectiveness of glue traps found that trapped mice struggling to free themselves would pull out their own hair, exposing bare, raw areas of skin. The mice broke or even bit off their own legs, and the glue caused their eyes to become badly irritated and scarred. After three to five hours in the glue traps, the mice defecated and urinated heavily because of their severe stress and fear, and quickly became covered with their own excrement. Animals whose faces become stuck in the glue slowly suffocate, and all trapped animals are subject to starvation and dehydration. It takes anywhere from three to five days for the mouse to finally die.

    Frantz and C.M. Padula, "A Laboratory Test Methbdfor Evaluating the Efficacy ofGlueboards for
    Trapping House Mice," Vertebrate Pest Control andManagement Materials: Fourth Symposium
    (philadelphia: American Society for Testing and Materials, 1983) 209-25.

  3. You are probably right. I'll stop by Home Depot. When I checked this morning all the baits were gone and no sign of any change around the glue traps.

  4. i had a mice and rat in the past - they worked in the building basement.

    Anyway mice can always eat clean the peanut butter in the spring trap without setting it off.

    I used glue traps and killed a rat with a mop as fast as i could -
    It was not nice. anyway problem gone. but even rat poison causes internal bleeding and must be painful. not an easy solution.

    exterminators use industrial glue on wood boards.