The fight continues! 6-13-22

My latest strategy in the barn is a full on attack! In every hole I could find I put in a bait block, poured ammonia in the hole and closed it with spray foam. And then I covered the hole with a cement block. Last night when Hazel and I got home from Becky’s we checked on the guineas – they weren’t in the barn – wonder where they roosted for the night. While I’m closing doors I heard Hazel barking and then that sweet sound of blood curdling squeaking coming from a rat that Hazel had in her mouth! Yes! That was Rat #57 – now why do I need Orkin when I have Hazel?

30 thoughts on “The fight continues! 6-13-22

  1. Rosalie

    I recently heard that when letting Guineas out to roam that you should keep one or two in the enclosure so that the others will come back to roost with them. So you alternate who goes out for awhile. I haven’t done that but mine roost in the oak trees. When they were younger I had to round them up every evening for several weeks and cage them. They weren’t tame so it was a big job. I did lose 4 to raccoons last fall who would climb into the trees and take a sleeping Guinea. Then I had to deal with the coons. Always something!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rosalie – I have decided I wish I hadn’t gotten the guineas – just something more to worry about!

  2. Kathy Hanson

    Good heavens! Can’t imagine this continuing still! Hazel is such a good girl, but wonder why the other isn’t working!! I feel for you, I don’t think I could stand it!! M

  3. Carla

    All the comments about Guinea hens have been so interesting. We’re planning on converting a former large dog kennel with its extra big hand built doghouse ( for our extra big Great Dane who refused to use said house and kennel) into a chicken coop so I can keep a few hens. After raising it up and a few modifications it will be perfect. I’m just concerned about getting tiny chicks. I wish I could get them a bit bigger. chick’s. So much other work has been happening around here so it has happened yet, but if we do it this summer we’d be ready for next spring I guess.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carla – why don’t you get pullets? Tiny chicks are hard – when so many of mine disappeared last August I now know the rats probably got them – before I even knew what was happening! Fancy chickens are so fun – I never want to be without a green egg layer in my flock. Do you have someplace to buy pullets? Are you familiar with Murray McMurray Hatchery in Story City, IA?

  4. Diane in Maryland

    Our daughter got baby guineas this year. She kept them up for quite awhile and let them out to roam when they were bigger. Each evening she would get them up just like the chickens. She had read that if you do this they’ll continue to come in to roost at night. So far it is working which has been a surprise. Usually when let out they go to trees and never come near you again.

    What an ordeal this rat problem has been for you! I hope your latest attack against them works and you can be rid of them! Sounds like you have sealed them up in the barn with the poison? Can they get out at all or will they die in there? Just thinking how stinky it may be…ugh. That would be another issue for awhile. I do think I’d rather have dead smelly rats than live ones! You have the prettiest barn! Good for Hazel! No wonder the little dogs became known as rat terriors!

  5. Joy in NW Iowa

    Ugh! Maybe that new kitty came to help with the rats too?? We had wind and rain this am about 3:30. Hubby’s potato plants look so blown together and they were so beautiful. He was going to mow the waterway today but that will have to wait. We r predicted to have over 100 degree heat index today 🥵. I’ll stay indoors. 😜. Happy Monday!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy in NW IA – we got your storm about 8 am – the lawn is covered with leaves and twigs – we had quarter size hail, too.

  6. Kathy in western NY

    My terrier mix rescue dog sat vigilant next to our barn door this morning and would not go poddy for the longest time till I ordered her to “ go poddy”. She had her heart set on catching a chipmunk which has never happened as I think she is part lab cause she has a bigger build and tends to flop down with her head staring at me. She’s 8 yrs old but very headstrong like yours. Hazel no doubt is faster and more agile than mine. BUT I know how my whole house stunk from one dead tiny mouse we found so good luck Mary! I would not want to be you going in that barn except to play with the new sweet kitty.

  7. Teresa

    Mary, do you store hay or bedding on your farm? If you do, suggest you load that area up with poison and keep the other animals out until the rats are gone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Teresa – we have no hay or bedding stored at the moment but we will be baling soon.

      1. Teresa

        The only time we had rats was because a neighbor was piling their household garbage in a pasture. The rats eventually found their way over here and into my chicken coop where they found feed and water. Any idea if your neighbors are the source of the rats?

  8. Launa

    Good Miss Hazel is still doing her rat patrol so silent and diligently!
    Not hot here, but the wood stove fire feels so good this 41o morning.
    Am hoping the Golden State Warriors win their basketball 🏀 game against Boston Celtics this evening!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Laura – I’m watching – Boston needs to step it up!

  9. Sue in Oregon

    Maybe you should take a chair, a book, and, of course, Hazel, and just sit there quietly reading and let her do her job. She was born and bred to kill rats and does a better job than Orkin. Wow! I wish I could rent Hazel for a while. Anyone who has a chicken house probably has rats. One summer a rat made a nest under our chicken house which isn’t far from the garden. The garden is fenced to keep deer out, but not rats. They did lots of damage out there before we could kill them all. It took a couple of months but my husband was diligent with the poison. He is Very careful where he puts it. Still, I hate having to use it.
    Today is my birthday and I am going to sew all day. Yah!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Happy birthday Sue! I hope someone made you a sweet cake and you sewed all day long to enjoy your day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue in Oregon – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUE! Funny you should suggest that because I have a lawn chair in the barn where I sit with my IPad while she has fun! I put it down there last winter when I was spending up to an hour at the late end of the day.

  10. Linda Blewett

    Your battle with the rats must end soon hopefully. Hazel is a great little rat killer. Growing up we lived on a farm that had a rat problem and one of our dogs was our saviour. Hopefully the end is in site and you will be rate free soon

  11. Bonnie McKee

    I just have to pop in here and say how much I enjoy reading about the foster puppies ❤️❤️❤️, Hazel’s rat catching triumphs, weather reports and enjoying the wonderful photos of gardens, quilts and critters.
    Keep ‘em comin’ Mary! Your blog makes my day 🤗
    Blessings to all!
    Bonnie, in chilly, damp Oregon

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bonnie McKee – and YOU just made MY day with that sweet comment! Thank you!

  12. Sheryl Austin

    I had a border collie/husky mix & she had an uncanny sense to find moles in the yard! She was amazing!

  13. Nancy

    Good girl Hazel! She’s a terrier, isn’t she? Or at least part terrier? She’s just doing what her breed was bred to do. I’m so sorry you have rats….

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy – Hazel is a purebred JRT – the first I’ve ever had and she’s doing better than Orkin!

  14. Linda in So CA

    Have you found the guineas? Wow, Hazel is amazing & very brave. Hopefully Orkin doesn’t try & hire her! It would be great if you could find the nesting site & blow it up. Found the Kaleidoscope quilt pattern on line at Fat Quarter shop as a download PDF. Did not have double binding. Still looking for double binding instructions; with two colors. Hopefully the guineas are home by now.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in so ca – look up faux binding or binding with piping – there are several YouTube videos. I was up very early this morning and there they were just cruising around the yard – all four of them!

  15. Diane Cannon

    Maybe this will help the rat problem–read the other day to take gallon water jugs and cut ‘v’ shapes in the top part and then fill about 1/3 way with water and add lots of moth balls to it and leave them around the holes and the rats won’t come into the place–they don’t like the smell of the moth balls–whatever–I know you must get all kinds of ‘ideas’–to try–
    love the puppy and all kitty photos!!

    1. Jan

      Putting mothballs in water is illegal in addition to being toxic to people, pets, and the environment.

      Mothballs are pesticides intended to kill clothes moths and other fabric pests. They are regulated in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. The label of any pesticide, including mothballs, specifies exactly where and how you can legally use the product. Using mothballs in a way not specified by the label is not only illegal, but can harm people, pets and the environment.

      When mothballs are used properly inside airtight containers, the exposure risk for people and pets is low. However, if mothballs are used out in the open, the gas is released into the environment where people can breathe the vapors. If you can smell the mothball odor, you are breathing in the pesticide.

      Exposure to gas from mothballs can lead to headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, eye and nose irritation, and coughing. More serious effects, like liver and kidney damage, can be caused by longer-term exposures. Mothballs are not meant to be used as animal repellents and should not be used in ways that allow people or animals to become exposed. To make sure you are keeping your risk low, be sure to follow all label instructions and remember to keep all pesticides out of the reach of children and animals.

  16. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    Way to go, Hazel. She is amazing! I like most creatures, even snakes and spiders, but not rats. 🐀. It is HOT here—91* today and going to 97* by Wednesday. 😝. This a western New Yorker was not made for heat and humidity. It will be a good time to finish UFO’s and DD’s.
    Hang in there with the rats, Mary. You”ll win! 😺

  17. Tammy Guerrero

    Our dilemma in the barn is skunks. We were doing chores the other night and there was a skunk eating the cat food. Right in front of us! Yikes!
    Then we put some poison out for mice. Not meant for the skunks to get ahold of. Unfortunately a mom skunk and baby were killed. Then last night a baby skunk was in the barn door runner. Just watching us do chores. It was very small. Tonight there it was again poking its nose from under the chicken coop. We have smelt skunks all summer by the barn. Ugh!
    Any suggestions on how to get rid of these skunks would be appreciated. We looked it up and Google says moms have 4 to 6 babies. Yikes! Could there be more!

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