Rat in the Rose of Sharon

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by wcutler, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    My friend thinks her Hibiscus syriacus is looking a little sparce around the upper middle, and we were wondering what exactly the local rats might be doing in that regard. We'd never seen a rat in a tree, but this one seemed pretty unconcerned about our attention. Do they eat the leaves? The flower buds? Is this unusual?
    PiasRat_Sherbrooke33rd_Cutler_20190602_183127.jpg
    This is in a backyard in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood in Vancouver.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Plague*, Ship, Roof or Wharf rat (Rattus rattus). Characteristic of areas near salt water and -unlike Rattus norvegicus - it is a climbing species. Seems to me implication would be it was eating some part of the shrub - the several times I have seen these in trees during the day they were fig or apple trees, with fruit present. As though the animals liked these fruits so much they just couldn't wait until after nightfall.

    *Yes, the same one that is a disease carrier
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  3. Browncoat

    Browncoat Member

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    Just wanted to add another data point to Ron's observation...

    We've also seen roof rats in our backyard fig and persimmon trees during the day. At first, we thought that squirrels were eating the fruit, but closer inspection revealed that the furry things in the trees were rats! As noted by Wendy, they completely ignored us, even when I poked at them with a pole pruner; they just hopped to another branch and kept nibbling away.

    I partially solved the problem by ringing the tree with traps baited with peanut butter. Now, the only things pecking at the fruit are crows and Steller's jays, but I can tolerate that.

    The only other tree that I've seen rats climbing on is a snowdrop/silverbell in the front yard. Not sure what they find so enticing about that tree, but I'm solving that issue by cutting it down (it's infested with cottony scale).
     
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  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Observed local rat w very long tail having a feast of red color elderberries nr Vanc BC recently - Coastal suburbia garden

    Thé crows were doing their noisy best to move it along ... Templeton (as in Rat) held his position and feasted on berries (but did he bring a note back to Charlotte? Have to be a certain age to remember that story )
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Presumably the long tails of wharf rats help with their climbing around, as with tree squirrels. Anyway I'd rather have rats in the elderberry than bats in the belfry.
     

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