Friday, July 08, 2011

Any port in a storm

It is imperative that people who live in these here parts regularly check the engine compartments of any cars that they do not drive every day, because pack rats will move into the space and set up housekeeping. If that was all they did, it would not be much of a problem to simply sweep the debris out of the engine compartment and carry on.

But as I said, they don’t just make themselves a cozy nest. They compulsively chew the electric wiring and hoses in the engine compartment and they can do a horrific amount of damage. We had to junk a perfectly good but very old car when we determined it would cost far more for a mechanic to track down the electrical problems caused by pack rat damage and repair it then the car was worth.

Our yard has taken on the appearance of a used-car lot. We have 3 cars sitting idle – a long story that makes us seem as though we are flirting with mental illness – involving the “beater” back-up vehicle to make sure our son would have a car to get to work, the purchase of a good-quality vehicle for us to drive on the frequent trips to the hospital 90 miles away (sometimes two or more trips a week) while he was being treated and recovering from operations and when we still had hope he would recover, and then of course the “beater” car that he was driving when he was able.

OK. So Richard lifts the hood on the “good” extra car and sees this...


which is the beginning of a pack rat nest. The car is parked near some straw that I was using to cover my hostas at night earlier this spring when winter had not quite given up... otherwise it would be a collection of twigs,  leaves, and grass

And then he lifts the hood on Nathaniel’s old car and sees something totally unexpected in addition to an accumulation of twigs, leaves and grass…


This tiny little possum had apparently decided the engine block was a safe place to stay to get in out of the rain (which we have had quite a bit of recently).
 
We wrestled with what to do about it – we didn’t want to kill it outright...




but Richard needed to put out poison and set traps to catch the pack rat that was also thinking about setting up housekeeping in Nathaniel’s and what if the little guy ate the rat poison... or got caught in the trap?

Richard left the hood cracked and when we checked yesterday afternoon the little guy moved on to someplace else. I'd hate for it to be collateral damage in the war with the rats.

5 comments:

Cloudia said...

but CUTE!!!



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Have Myelin? said...

Oh he's sweet. =)

Oklahoma Granny said...

He's certainly a cute little guy but those possums can cause their own kind of mayhem.

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural said...

When I lived in the wilds of Douglas County, I had that happen a couple of times. If it's just one thing chewed, you're usually OK, but a lot of things and yes, I could see a problem. Cute bugger though.

Far Side of Fifty said...

The possum is awfully cute..I am glad you spared him..we don't have many rats up here..too cold:(