Hillsborough County, Tampa Rat Control Situation:
To Whom It May Concern: How can I find out what could have gotten into my screened in porch, up on a table and into a closed bird cage and killed my canary? The flooring has boards that are at the most 1/2 inch opening. The rest is fully screened with no holes anywhere. My canary was covered in its cage and when I took its cover off the next morning, he was lying dead on the bottom, so I picked him up and looked at him. There were feathers everywhere and he had been partially eaten from the bottom. I wrapped him in a napkin and laid him outside the cage, planning to bury him later. I was so shook up. The next morning I went to get him and put him in a box to bury and he was gone but the napkin was still there intact. I found the remains of his feathers beside an upright freezer I have on the porch. If you have any idea what kind of creature could access a 1/2 inch space to invade my porch and kill my canary, or know anyone else I could contact to find out, please reply. I am really stressed out over this whole ordeal. My canary has had free run of my porch for at least 6 months. He was a beautiful singer and always went to his cage at nightfall to be covered until morning. I need to know what I am dealing with. I would appreciate your reply ASAP. Bonnie
Hmm, my best guess is a Norway Rat, although this is still an unusual case.Hi David, Thank you for your response to my dilemma. I live in the Tampa Bay Florida area. Can this rat climb through a 1/2 slot? Also, I realized that my screen door is flexible as it is made of a plastic material. My sister told me to push on the bottom of the screen door and see if that is where they might have gotten in and sure enough, it pushes in a few inches. Someone else told me it may have been a mink, as I live a few yards from a river. Does that sound feasible to you, David?
A mink or weasel! I hadn't considered that, but that's a better guess than a rat.
Thanks David! How big do these rats get? I have bird seed on my porch and I noticed something has been shelling the sunflower seeds inside the bag and also I found several shells in the corner of the porch.
I don't think I have any real help to offer you. Try sealing off the opening, I guess.
Tampa Rat Control Tip of The Week
Norway Rat Biology
The Norway rat is typically nocturnal. It is a good swimmer; however, unlike the related black rat, it is a poor climber. Norway rats burrow well, and regularly uncover broad tunnel systems.
Rats are equipped for creating ultrasonic vocalizations, both as grown-ups and babies. They may likewise transmit short, high frequency, socially-prompted vocalization during interaction with different rats or animals. This call most takes after a trilling sound but is undetectable to human ears. Rats can discernibly be heard through calls sounding like squeaks when they are in trouble.
These rats are omnivores. This implies they can eat both plants and animals. As predators, rats are opportunistic.
The Norway rat can breed consistently if the conditions are reasonable, and a female can deliver up to twelve litters in a year. The gestation period is just 21 days, and litters can number up to fourteen, albeit smaller litters are common. In this way, the rat population can increase rapidly. Rats have a lifespan of around three years, yet regularly live less than one year.
Norway rats live in enormous hierarchical groups, either in tunnels or subsurface places, such as sewers and basements. When food is hard to come by, the rats lower in the social order are the first to die. If a large portion of a rat populace is eliminated from a zone, the rest will expand their reproductive rate, and rapidly reestablish the old populace level. This makes it imperative to have a plan to get rid of the entire rat population on your property if an infestation occurs.