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{Disarmed} Thoughts on Terriers and Non-Poisonous Rat Abatement

  • Subject: [cg] {Disarmed} Thoughts on Terriers and Non-Poisonous Rat Abatement
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 12:55:16 -0400

 Friends, 
 
From ancient Roman days to the onset of the creation of large chemical concerns in the 19th Centuries, poison was considered too valuable to use on mere vermin, but was a rare substance, fit for Political assasinations by the likes of the family of Julius Caesar and the Borgias ( this is a good excuse as any to take out the "I Claudius," BBC series for a video orgy of good TV at home.) 
 
The abatement of rodents, in houses, farms and gardens was handled by owls, cats and our friends the terrier family of dogs.  
 
Yes the cute ones.  Humans bred them to "go to ground and kill vermin."  Waste precious poison on a rat?  Never. 
 
An interesting link:  http://www.terrierman.com/dogsrats.htm
 
In the spirit of Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal," but more seriously, and humanely, I sincerely suggest that garden organizations interested in non-toxic, organic rat abatement consider approaching the local Kennel Club for a group that does field trials for terriers.  You will find a hunter type, who will be delighted to have the basements, gardens and parks of your community as a place to train his terriers in the traditional art of rat catching.  
 
And you'll find that often, many of these folks, who engage in traditional skills are amusing, humane people, who are crackerjack gardeners. 
 
Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
Organic Community Gardener
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: bknrenata@earthlink.net
To: NYC-GardensCoalition@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 4:38 PM
Subject: RE: [NYC-GardensCoalition] Re: [cg] rats,solutions to - Jack Russell Terriers - Not Lunchtime Reading


Adam
 
Boy  do I wish your "Lord Ratman" was still around.  Much better than trying to lure owls or keeping a ferret Illegally to  take care of the rats!
 
It's precisely because the rats are looking for water that they eat the nice juicy tomatoes.  And not just those close to the ground, either.  You can also watch rats climb the stalk of a sunflower to get at the seeds.    Filling in the burrows with stones often only leads to a new "dig" right next to the filled-in spot.  Even putting a nasty packet of poison all the way down before closing the burrow doesn't help for long.  
 
Do you suppose someone might come forward to take the place ot the aforementioned "Ratman"?  Or is that too much to hope for?
 
Good luck to all who are infested.
 
Renata (Rockwell Pl. Garden)
 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: 
To: jackh@knoxparks.org;emilyholiday@gmail.com;BQLT.Communications@gmail.com;community_garden@mallorn.com 
Cc: ParkSlopeParents@yahoogroups.com; NYC-GardensCoalition@yahoogroups.com; community_garden@mallorn.com; cybergardens@treebranch.com
Sent: 9/12/2006 2:05:12 PM 
Subject: [NYC-GardensCoalition] Re: [cg] rats,solutions to - Jack Russell Terriers - Not Lunchtime Reading


 Friends, 
 
Remember the Jack Russell terrier on Kelsey Grammer TV series "Frasier,"?
 
Adorable, no? 
 
Well...the Jack Russell terrier, traditionally  trained is the ultimate "mad-dog killer," of rats and other small vermin.  They are truly vicious, when their are discouraged from being "cute," and are their natural "Cujo" selves.  For this the Jack Russell Terrier was bred. 
 
The ultimate rat killing machine. 
 
Year ago on the lower east side, Chinatown, Harlem and certain select parts of the yet ungentrified Upper West Side,  there was a rather droll Welshman who trawled the streets in an old Volvo with  six, count 'em six, Jack Russell terriers, looking for "scouts, " usually kids or street people who would tip him off to   basements and apartments to clean out with his "troop." 
 
Known as, "that crazy dog man," that "white man with the killer dogs," or "Lord Ratman," and variants thereof, this  guy wore a tweed jacket, cap, always carried a hip flask, had a wildly veined alcholic's nose that I swear shone like something out of the "Pickwick Papers,"  thick deerskin gloves, smoked a pipe filled with Balkan Sobranie. 
 
you cannot make up someone like this - God or the Devil  sends these people to walk the earth...
 
 
"Lord Ratman,"  a valuable service for several communities - organic, non-poisonous rodent abatement (earth friendly, as some of our Kumbaya singing comrades might say) in persuit of blood sport. 
 
And the cute, "Frasier," type Jack Russell terriers were as vicious as pirahna or Vice President Cheyney. 
 
I saw one Jack Russell  down a hole in the old Liz Christy garden, the earth literally shook above the hole,  and watched it  pull up a Norway rat larger than it was to  praise ( and piece of raw liver) from "Lord Ratman." 
 
In retrospect, "Lord Ratman," had to have been a semi-pathological individual, but he was loved on certain streets of NYC, where the city's "rat patrol," feared to tread.  And for weeks after he had left a building, nobody's baby got bitten - 
 
As Martha Stewart would say, " a good thing." 
 
Thinking of MAD DOGS, Welshmen, rat abatement and gardens, 
 
Adam Honigman
Gardener, 
Hell's Kitchen New York 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: jackh@knoxparks.org
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com; BQLT.Communications@gmail.com
Cc: ParkSlopeParents@yahoogroups.com; NYC-GardensCoalition@yahoogroups.com; community_garden-request@mallorn.com; community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 4:12 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] rats, solutions to


Conventional wisdom is that rats need 4 things - food, water, harborage
(place to burrow), and cover.  Remove any or all of those things, and
they tend to go away.  That means:
- Don't have any standing water in your garden - no containers that will
collect rain water, for instance.
- Harvest crops when they are ripe, and keep them off of the ground.
Don't let "spoiled" fruits sit on the ground.  Grow crops vertically as
much as possible.
- Elevate composters about a foot and turn them often.  Chop materials
before you add them to the composters.  Line composters with hardware
cloth. 
- If you find rat burrows, break them up and/or fill them with soil or
other materials.  Pick up pieces of wood, etc. that provide good
protection for burrow entrances.
- Pull, kill, or remove weeds, particularly along fence lines.  Try to
keep an area clear of cover about 200 feet beyond the edges of your
garden.
Most of these are just good garden hygiene.  You can get fancier.
Remember that gardens don't cause rats.  They have to come from
somewhere else.  Your real problem may be outside the garden,
particularly if you are good about cleaning out the garden before
winter.
Good luck.
JH

Jack N. Hale
Executive Director
Knox Parks Foundation
75 Laurel Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860/951-7694

-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of Emily
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 4:53 PM
To: BQLT
Cc: ParkSlopeParents@yahoogroups.com;
NYC-GardensCoalition@yahoogroups.com;
community_garden-request@mallorn.com; community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] rats, solutions to

The community garden I belong to has recently developed a problem with
rats around our compost bins for the first time in many many years.
We're trying to find out what other community gardens have done to
successfully get rid of rodents - hopefully without using poison or
traps (we have other wildlife, squirrels, a resident cat, small
children, birds, etc.) that we'd like NOT to negatively impact Emily


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services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out 
how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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