Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Of Rats and Mice

A Hunter's Guide

There has been some confusion about the prey me and my tabby brofur bring home. We hunt RATS not MICE. If fact, I have not seen any mice since we moved from North Fort Myers. The only rodents we have on Cape Coral are roof rats (or the occasional escaped domestic rat).

Roof Rat

Roof Rat: Also known as the Black Rat, Ship Rat, & in Florida, the Fruit or Citrus Rat.

This is the only rat we have to worry about although Norway Rats are known in Florida, we never see them this far south. They generally stick to the panhandle, where it is cooler.

Roof rats are usually gray to slightly brown in color. Adults are typically 8 inches long, with a 9 inch long tail. The tail is long, dark, and scaly. Roof rats prefer warmer, more tropical climates than Norways. Roof Rats get their name because they spend about 90% of their time above ground. The live in trees, run on power lines, the tops of fences, and they really love to live in the attics of houses.

Females have 4-6 litters per year, with 6-8 young per litter. They are fully weaned within a month, and sexually mature in as little as two months. They don't live very long in the wild, seldom more than a year, and even less if I am around.

Roof Rats are nocturnal, which is why you hear them scampering in your attic in the middle of the night. This is also the best time to hunt them.

Brown Mouse

House Mouse: The House Mouse is commonly known, but rarely seen in Florida. Many people who claiming to have seen mice, have in fact seen juvenile Roof Rats. Mice are very small, less than an ounce in weight. They exhibit behaviors similar to rats. They are nocturnal, like to live in homes, and destroy food and property with their chewing.

Sometimes we eat the rat and sometimes we do not. Because I live feral for a while, I am more likely to indulge in the eating of prey than my brofur seem to be. If I catch juvenile roof rats, especially, I love to munch down on them. The older ones not so tasty.

The hunting of rodents is a very serious business for us. Rodents can be very damaging to properties. Their teeths grow all the time and so they are always gnawing on things, like woodworks to wear their teeths down. This can very damaging to homes.

They can also carry diseases such as rabies, not to mention parasites like fleas, ticks and mites.

Remember, they are not like the cute fancy rats some people keep as pets. These are wild animals and are likely to bite you if you try to play with them. Rat bites, BTW, are very painful.

The best way to kill either rats or mice is to use the pounce technique. Basically you sneak up on the animal and then very quick pounce on the rodent's back. This usually breaks their back and prevents them from running much, so you can control them better until you get a killing strike in. Remember that you must move fast with them as they will bite back and you do not wish to get nibbled.

We were given the Kreativ Blogger award by -d ma and the crew at .

Kreativ Blogger Award

I winned this award last month from Karen Jo as well. So I am just going to re-purr-t what I write then:

List 6 things that make you happy. Pass the award on to 6 bloggers who you think are Kreativ. Link to the blogger who gave you the award. Link to the blogs receiving the award. Notify the recipients.

Here are six things that make me happy:

1. Temptations
2. Being with my bean.
3. Getting combed with my shiny comb.
4. Fev-vers!
5. Laying in the sun on a warm summer's day.
6. Getting lots of comments, so please make sure you leave me one!

I would now like to pass this award on to:

Misha, for his Purresident of the world contest,
Top Cat Rules, for their beautiful scrapbook pages,
Goma, for a furry Kreativ blog,
Daisy & Harley, who always has fun and Kreativ things on their bloggie,
Cat Synth - for all the music,
and everyone at CCSI for all the hard work and Kreativity that goes into their productions.


The OP Pack said...

Mom just ran away screaming - we don't understand??? Those rats must make a very tasty meal.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

Eric and Flynn said...

We get mostly mice. The House mice which live in the hedge right outside our window and eat the birdseed. We usually catch them and bring them indoors at night just before we go to bed.
The Field Mice which are bigger and fatter which we catch on our walks in the fields, and the shrews which are very small and not worth eating. We get some rats in the hay barn,which are dark glossy brown and grow to about 12 inches, but they stay under the pallets and we can't get at them.Mum doesn't like the rats. She says they have creepy tails.

Max said...

We had roof rats. Some guy came over and threw special food up in the attic and told the Man to wait 3 weeks and cut the tree that as by the house back. I guess they were going to eat the special food, go outside and down the tree, and croak. Buddah and I aren't allowed up there to hunt them on account of the special food, but I saw one the Man trapped and dang that thing was HUGE!

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

We have lots of mice up here in Canada :)
One got in the kitchen the other night and Tillie chased it around!! Sadly,she chased it under the fridge :o
With more practise,she will catch it if it ever comes back!!!!!heehee
Purrs Mickey

Cheysuli and gemini said...

Congratulations on your award

VampyVictor said...

Oh my... I can see there is a big difference.. I like to play with critters lots and lots but I would be too scared to eat one,.. let alone momma catch me.. she is very soft with all critters..

Team Tabby said...

Oh my, you hunt the big game! I sometimes catch deer mice that come in from the cold, they are not big.

Thank you for including me in that T-13 featuring ginger cats, I feel very proud to be among such gorgeous gingers.


Sunny's Mommy said...

We have both here, but have only ever had mice inside. If I found a rat indoors I'd have to run outdoors screaming! Sometimes we'll see a lot of rats on the ground under our bird feeder. They have burrows around that tree, and the property behind us is very wooded and overgrown.