To Catch a Thief

2 tomatoes plants with tomatoes. One of the favorites of a ratNothing worse than putting a lot of work into growing tomatoes and find out you have a thief stealing them. Three years ago I started growing beefsteak tomatoes and couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into them. Started off with one plant and everything was going fine until they started to ripen. I had two ready to pick but it was late in the day so I left them for the next day planning to eat them as soon as they were picked. Well when I got to the garden they were gone. Boy was I pissed off. They were big, round, red and beautiful. The first thing I thought of was that someone came into my yard and stole them. I was determined to catch whoever it was.


A few days later, I was sitting in the yard during the evening and out of the corner of my eye I saw the thief. It was a rat. I ditched the idea that someone was coming in my yard and started to focus on the rat.  Across the street an old house got torn down and thats where they cam from. Started looking on line to get educated about rats and develop a battle plan to save my tomatoes.

I started by building a trap with a 5 gallon bucket filled with some water, a rod and a plastic bottle. Another tomato was starting to ripen and I was hoping to catch the rat so I could have my first tomato. Bingo it worked! Fed the rat to the crows that cross over my house everyday, put the bucket away and sat back to wait a couple of days to pick that juicy tomato.


Well it turned out that it wasn’t just one rat and as usual it came time to pick and low and behold…gone again! What really pissed me off was that rats don’t eat the whole tomato. They basically just take a chunk out of it and move onto the next ripe tomato. You get to stare at the tomato and only dream of how good it would of been. Now it’s all out war!

I bring out the bucket again and make two more and wait for things to happen. A week goes by and the results aren’t good. The enemy has only one casualty and I suffer four. I’m now getting low on the number of tomatoes left and I still haven’t had one. Time to rethink. I decide to ditch the buckets and switch to the Victor Rat Traps. I bait them with some peanut butter set them in place and cross my fingers. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a couple of videos to look at. 

My yearly battles with my enemies 


Warning: Make sure that you remember where you’ve put your traps if you decide to do some pruning because boy do those traps pack a punch! Now I know how they feel. I guess for all the rats that I’ve caught over the years it was bound to happen. I finally got caught by one of my own traps. Ouch!! that hurt. One day when I was pruning some of the plants, I wasn’t paying attention to a trap that I partially hid and stepped on it which resulted in 3 broken toes. What a dummy, I guess I had it coming to me.



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