We are gathered here today to celebrate the death of one of the Neotama floridana clan, who was feeling lucky, but instead, it was our lucky day. In the past week, she chewed a hole in an electric blanket that we had stored in plastic tub, most likely to line a nest she was preparing for her most recent litter, shredded some tax records, also stored in a tub, and chewed through our telephone line twice in three days. There was great rejoicing in the camp at her demise.
I suppose it is not fair to blame all of these events on this particular pack rat, because we have killed two others in as many days -- after about 2 weeks of setting traps -- both the old-fashioned spring variety and a live trap.
We have since spotted a fourth rat in the basement...
and Molly informed us there is a rat lurking in the engine block of my car, which is temporarily disabled due to a transmission problem but will become permanently disabled if the rat is not caught before it destroys the wiring, hoses, connections, etc.
This seems to be a particularly bad year for them. Peacefully coexisting with these animals is not possible. Their predilection for chewing through electrical wiring makes them very dangerous. Trapping them live and then releasing them is not an option. One man who made a study of this discovered they must be moved at least 5 miles away or they will find their way back.