When my friend Donna told me that roof rats were eating all her persimmons, I was incredulous. Roof rats? And what a mess they made, too! Eating half the fruit (the half you didn’t see), so that when you reached to pick it, your unsuspecting fingers sank into squishy soft, wet flesh, rather than the firm cool surface you had been expecting. She eventually had her husband put out large snap traps for them, traps that resembled oversize baited mousetraps, and her problem ended for this season.
So it’s my turn now. While cleaning up the windfalls under my unknown species apple tree (perhaps a variety of Red Delicious) I came upon what initially looked like edible windfalls which I collect and use, and some lovely firm fruit still hanging. But only half of the apple was there – the rest had been eaten on the tree. Oh dear. Roof rats…so that’s what my dog was barking at some nights ago. She was actually trying to climb that apple tree. At this point I’m reluctant to put out traps. I may have to, but I’m hoping that my dog’s presence will deter future foraging. We’ll see about that!
For more information about dealing with roof rats, see this link http://ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74106.html.