Mexican life

Peach buffet

I’VE WRITTEN often here of my dislike of the peach tree that sits in our yard, most recently in Damnable Fruit.

But my dislike was fueled by the necessity to pick up the endless carpet of peaches that falls to the grass and rots.

ratMy child bride loves the tree and the fruit, but she does next to nothing with the picking up.

Now there’s another reason to loathe the peach tree.

Rats.

They are common in Mexico. You see them a lot.

But we had rarely seen them inside the Hacienda property walls in spite of a couple of suspicious burrows that I’ve noticed for years in the yard. However, for the last few weeks, rat sightings have become daily events.

I wondered why until two days ago when I spotted one run out from beneath a huge aloe vera bush, snatch a peach, and run back into the bush’s confines.

peachWe’ve provided a peach buffet.

We thought there was only one out there, a very big bugger, until we spotted another yesterday that was noticeably smaller. I have taken action, but the action so far has been stymied by the incessant rainfall of summer.

I purchased poison powder and sprinkled it around the two holes, but the rain quickly neutralizes that plan. I then bought a couple of sticky things that trap little rat footsies.

That too, I discovered today, fails to work if the glue has been rained on. That leaves the old standby, the mechanical trap, the traditional, fall-back method.

I’ll buy a couple of those today. Some hard cheese too.

Of course, the best solution would be to uproot the cursed peach tree, but I’d likely be divorced if I did that. Just can’t win.

But the rats are winning. So far.

38 thoughts on “Peach buffet

    1. Ms. Shoes: A dog is out of the question. Dogs are only marginally better than rats. My better half suggested a cat. I like cats pretty well, but it would have to be an outdoor cat to serve the intended purpose, which means she would soon be full of fleas and prone to other afflictions. So no cat either. Better to cut down the tree.

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    2. P.S.: But, of course, Morgen is an exception, a stellar pooch, a dog to which all other dogs look up to and admire. However, if memory serves, Morgen has been known to deliver dead rats and other beasts into the house, laying them at your feet. Yipes. I’d rather have rats running around in the yard.

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  1. Don’t forget to be humane, Señor Felipe. Rats must live too. That dog suggestion is likely a good one. We have a little poodle dog at our house that eats any fruit he can get his mouth around. He also loves bacon.

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    1. Ricardo: I’ll be as humane as possible where murder is involved. Yes, rats must live too, but not with us if I have anything to say about it.

      Poodle dog, eh? Were I ever to get a dog — highly unlikely — it would be a standard poodle, the big one. You say your poodle is little, so that means he/she is one of the yappy ones. I would not be happy with that.

      Those standard poodles have a very good reputation. And they don’t yap. Or shed hair.

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  2. I have dogs and no rats but dead ones. Had a guayaba tree, and my horse ate the guayabas. No more horse, so the tree was cut down as they are so messy. Do get a few field mice that the dogs miss and use traps and peanut butter around hard cheese. No more field mice.

    Buena suerte.

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  3. I agree with Mizzz Judy. Had a pesky rat scooting around the house the last few days. Got him last night. Peanut butter did him in. No jam required.

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  4. I bought some ExterPro Rodenticida at Home Depot or a hardware store a couple years ago that comes in industrial strength little cubes that work wonders. Using powder during monsoon conditions is futile.

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  5. I agree with Mr. Cotton, except I was thinking of a air rifle. Silent, but deadly. Surely a Georgia boy had a BB-gun in his youth.

    Besides, you need a hobby. A man can’t sit around reading his Kindle and drinking coffee all day.

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    1. Ray: An air rifle would be good. I’ve seen them sold in Walmart. Not sure I could hit anything, however. Those buggers are fast. As for having a BB gun in my youth, I don’t recall that I did. My youth was deprived in quite a few ways, it seems.

      But yes, a man can sit around reading his Kindle and drinking coffee all day. Easily.

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    2. PS: While I think the only BB gun I ever shot was owned by a young friend of mine in my faraway youth, I am no stranger to firepower. I was relatively armed to the proverbial teeth before moving to Mexico where one, if wise, does not bring armament. I had a .45-caliber automatic pistol with Argentine Army engraved on the side in Spanish. I bought that used somewhere. God knows how it got from Argentina to the U.S. I also had a .32-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol that I inherited from my maternal granny. Granny was a hoot. Also had a shotgun I inherited from my paternal grandfather. On moving south, I sold the shotgun to a Houston gun store. It was an antique gun. And I walked into a Houston police station (carefully) and gifted the cops with the two pistols.

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  6. OK, this is kind of low and sneaky but, aside from killing the rats, you really need to get rid of the tree. When the wife is out and about, just girdle the tree (low to the ground so it looks like the rats have been chewing on it) and it will die all by itself. Then you can cut it down and send it on to the great compost heap in the sky.

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  7. Mess with a Mexican woman’s plants, and you may suffer a fate worse than death. Just get your neighbor to pick the peaches before they fall.

    When poisoning rats, get some sections of four inch plastic pipe and put the poison in the center. Rats and mice can get to it, but other animals cannot.

    Be aware, you may have some unintended collateral damage. Feral cats and dogs may dine on the dead rodents.

    Good Luck

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    1. Señor Gill: My wife picks quite a lot of them, but many are simply too high and wide to be easily accessible to anyone. And then they fall when they get good and ready.

      As for killing the tree — Lord, would I love to — as Loulou suggested, I have decided against that option even though I did give it quite a bit of prayerful consideration earlier today. My wife would know I did it due to my stupidly mentioning often over the years that I would like to do just that. Lying would do me no good, so that’s out. She’s not stupid.

      The pipe sections are a great idea. It also would minimize the effects of rainfall. I was in Home Depot a couple of hours ago, and I purchased poison cubes like Andrés recommended in an earlier comment. They’ll be far less affected by the rain, but inside a tube would be even better. I’ve already tossed a good many under the monster aloe vera bushes where we’ve seen the rats flee.

      As for cats and dogs dining on the dead rodents, there are no dogs inside our property though the neighbor cat sometimes skulks over here.

      It’s a harsh world, but I have my priorities.

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  8. Did you ever consider just saying to your wife “I hate that tree. It’s really important to me that we get rid of it. I do many nice things for you. Please do this one thing for me – I want the tree gone.”

    Considering that you have rats invading your home turf, this just seems like such a reasonable request.

    I know … I’m not a marriage counselor but, really … rats?!?

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    1. Loulou: It may come to that. Truth is, the dang tree has been tossing summer fruit since we moved in here almost 15 years ago. This is the first time we’ve had the rat problem, so I don’t know what’s going on this year. Another element is that some summers there’s virtually no fruit at all. It’s sporadic. But if it becomes a yearly event, the rats, getting rid of the tree will make more sense.

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  9. I’m very interested in Ray’s mention of air rifles. Our neighborhood is overrun with rabbits and they eat everything. I’ve been shooting them with a pellet gun (have dispatched 27!! so far this summer). Are air rifles different than pellet guns?

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    1. Loulou: I did an internet search. Here is one result. The question was are BB guns and pellet guns the same? However, they’re both air rifles, it seems:

      They are similar. They both use the same power plant to fire the projectile, but here is the difference. BB are a hard projectile. They don’t deform when they hit a target, so they are a poor hunting selection as a weapon. Pellets are a soft projectile and will deform when they hit a target and will make a clean kill and are more humane when hunting. BB are used for plinking and target practice. Pellets are used for plinking, target and hunting. BB are fired from a smooth bore barrel, like a tube, therefor the BB tumbles as it flies through the air making it less accurate than a pellet. Pellets are fired from a rifled bore barrel, this makes them spin as they leave the barrel. This spinning helps them fly straighter than BB’s.

      BB guns or rifles usually do not fire any faster than 300 to 400 Feet per second (FPS) pellets can travel up to 1250 FPS or faster. BB’s come in one size .175 caliber. Pellets come in .177, .20, .22, 9mm, 45 cal and 50 caliber. Think of it this way BB guns are the little brother to the pellet gun.

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  10. Warning: Touch that tree and you might get a taste of that rat poison.
    We have a tin can on the end of a long stick to harvest apricots that are to high to pick by hand. Try it.

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  11. How about suggesting that your child bride sell the peaches on the plaza? Seems like you could kill two birds with one dose of poison that way. Or get her to make peach cobbler or peach pie and sell that. Surely there’s a use for all those peaches. And if they’re baked, she can use the groundfall fruit too.

    Frankly, while I can see your predicament, I’d LOVE to have an abundance of fresh peaches. Store bought peaches are another fruit ruined by contemporary agricultural practices, e.g., picking them WAAAAAY too soon.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we have a neighbor’s walnut tree leaning over, and it provides a nice crop.

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