Sun, Oct 17, 2021 Morning

Success! Overnight the cameras triggered once in each location (each fence on all three sides, one of which was in the parking space. This is a record low and we need to see if the trend continues. With the cameras, I’ve identified a small gap I can seal up between 20GP and 22GP.

We are winning this war, and it feels satisfying.

Sat, Oct 16, 2021 Afternoon

Joe and I put in some upgrades to the mesh barriers. We put in mesh along the 22GP side of the 20/22GP fence to provide a dual layer of protection. We also added mesh to the corner of the 22GP park space to try and seal it off from the outside and laid down some stone to provide an additional barrier that should slow down the rats moving between 22GP and 20GP. We used Cheryl’s clever idea of putting down baby powder to show us where they’re running around. Additionally, I have a camera aimed at that corner, but the signal is weak that far from the house. On the inside of the 22GP patio, I put fencing along most of the 22/24GP fence and made sure to seal off any gaps. Soon all add some bricks to weigh down the mesh to make it harder for them to dig up.

Tue, Oct 12, 2021 Morning

Even with the two extra cameras set up overnight, the cameras on the trigger about three times overnight. With them, I’ve spotted a hole into 20GP which I’ll put chicken wire against today. I’ve switched to using the 1/4″ chicken wire as it can’t hurt, and even the smallest mouse would have a hard time getting through it.

Sun, Oct 10, 2021 Morning

Last night we had company over and sat on the patio until about midnight. A guest sighted one rat, but my cameras only triggered four times after midnight – a huge drop in sightings. I attribute that to our human presence until midnight including our sent that must have lingered. I’ll know for sure if the activity picks up by tomorrow.

Sat, Oct 9, 2021 Morning

Still lots of activity overnight, but less than previous nights. The cameras were triggered 91 times last night by movement in our patio. down from about 120 the previous nights. More chicken wire is still needed, but I may not be able to install it for a few days.

Fri, Oct 8, 2021 morning

Minor victory! There were significantly fewer rats in our patios last night after I sealed up some gaps with Joe. I saw a few frustrated ones digging at the chicken wire with no success. However, I saw a few working around the steel wool I used to plug up some gaps in the chicken wire.

Takeaways: 1/2″ chicken wire works well, but steel wool is no match for a rat.

Next step: Install more chicken wire to close up as many gaps as possible.

Side note: Kathy pointed out a rat contraceptive that appears to be working in a number of cities in the US to lower the population. I’m looking into it.

Thu, Oct 7, 2021 evening

With Joe’s help this afternoon, I blocked the outside corner of the fence in our parking area with chicken wire and cinderblocks (not perfect, but it should do) and also sealed off the final gaps linking 20GP and 22GP. I hope this will significantly slow down the rats tonight, but only time will tell.

Wed, Oct 6, 2021 Evening

Too many videos to post, but the chicken wire is working. I didn’t see any try and dig it out or around it, but I’m sure they will given time. I’ll wait a few more days to know for sure if it’s working, but for now, that’s our best defense.

First sightings after the hardware cloth installation

Note these were taken in the late afternoon. It wasn’t even dark yet. My cameras are catching them out at dusk and early morning hours as well.

First hardware cloth installed

Below is a quick video of what I installed on the 20GP side of the fence on the afternoon of Wed, Oct 6, 2021. It’s a start, and in no means going to solve the problem, but it will help and start to answer some questions.

I think that the obvious hole they have dug now has a good seal on it, but I’m sure they’ll try digging another route. I could move the brick and fill it in with water, but in case wet rats come running out the other end, I don’t want to do that before timing it with Joe and Cheryl.

To the right of the post, running towards the house is a different story. It’s got a clear way for the rats to go through. Before I seal it up I want to keep the camera on it for a night or two and see if they are running in and out of there. Once the hardware cloth is down, it will seal them from crossing between 20GP and 22GP through that gap but will make it much harder to film if they are getting inside of 20GP through the piping.