We have a bit of a rodent issue in our yard. Some people would say that chooks and rodents go hand in hand – in our case we have two very elderly people who live at the back of our block and their block is completely overgrown, full of weeds and rodents. If we can’t fix that, it is very unlikely we are going to fix the rodent issues on our own.
If you go out there at night, you can hear the rodents scampering and squeaking on what was once a tennis court belonging to the elderly people but is now an overgrown mess..
Traps do not work for these creatures, either because they are way too smart or they don’t like what we’re putting in them. Usually peanut butter has worked for us in the past. Maybe we’ll give cheese a try.
However the other half bought an ultrasonic pest controller which might be stopping the rodents from going near the traps at all.
What we are catching instead – without even trying – is some very poisonous arachnids. And here I will put a read more for those who do not like eight legged creature tales to come as a surprise. Click through to read a fascinating yet terrifying story.
I made the mistake of reading The Other Half’s skype chat when I went in to visit him a few weeks ago and I discovered that he and his friend had found a Sydney Funnelweb in the stainless steel sink attached to the shed. Apparently it was unable to climb out of there, and it had been there for a while, it was almost dead..
For those not familiar with these creatures, the Sydney Funnelweb is the most poisonous spider we have in Australia. It used to be you only found them in a very specific area in Sydney, but over the years many people have driven down to the South Coast to go camping, and they have brought Sydney Funnelwebs with them. It turns out they like this area just as much as they liked Sydney.
Understandably, I freaked out quite a bit. Previous to this development, I had found funnelweb homes, but we were not 100% certain of the kind of funnelweb living in them.
Plus, while freaking out, I began trying to think of ways I could cover every surface in stainless steel, most importantly the outside walls of our house and any surface which they might climb in order to make their way inside, plus, my feet and legs.
I did consider for a moment a new invention of a stainless steel chariot of some kind – I could mount it on a Segway, maybe. This reminded me of an invention the other half came up with – the Internet Recliner Lawnmower.
So, I asked The Other Half to do a little research about these very scary creatures because one thing I know is – fear of the unknown is worse than fear of things I know about. I wanted to know – were these poisonous to cats and chickens? The answer is no. Just us humans. Chickens will eat these creatures happily with no ill effects.
You best believe the girls are going to get more free range time in the future. And in fact the other night I was outside keeping an eye on them when I heard a kerfuffle in the sky and looked up to find an eagle being attacked by cockatoos, magpies, and various other birds. We had to shoo all the girls into the pen quickly – after that time I had to unfavourite my favourite who we believe was picked up by an eagle or hawk.
I found it very difficult to go outside for a good couple of weeks after this and my arachnophobia is becoming a much larger issue than I am comfortable with. I cannot look at a photo of a spider without every inch of my skin crawling. But time passed, and I thought I was getting over it..
Until this weekend, when the other half arrived inside and said “I caught one” in a tone that told me he was not talking about a rodent. Yes, yet another Sydney Funnelweb was found in the same sink. What is attracting them to this particular location? Is our backyard sink a secret spider love nest? I can’t research to find out, because 99% of pages with info on these creatures also have pictures of them and I. JUST. CAN”T. WITH. THE. PHOTOS.
I do remember watching a documentary about the Sydney Funnelweb where they kept falling into backyard swimming pools because they wanted a drink of water. I’m tempted to suggest we set up a specific water trap near the sink and see what happens. The danger being, of course, that these particular creatures can stay alive for up to 36 hours underwater.
Given a choice between rodents and Sydney Funnelwebs, I know which one I would prefer.. definitely rodents.. but I would prefer *neither* if that were an option..