Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Dark Side of a Woodpile

Milling up my own wood is a lot of fun, especially when the weather co-operates and the slabs are beautiful and peeling off the log without problem.

While I am pretty sure my milling is economically efficient and good re-purposing of what would otherwise by ground up into wood chips, there is a lot of work involved. I'm not just talking about the work around the chainsaws; the actual milling, the maintenance of the saws, driving to and from the site, etc.

There is a ton of work associated with maintaining the woodpile too. And one of the least pleasant woodpile tasks comes around late every fall, when the weather turns cool and wet. And the rats decide that my dry and sheltered woodpile would make a great winter home. They announce their presence with rat turds everywhere. It is disgusting. I set traps as my main weapon. A week rarely goes by without catching one. One day I had four.

Apparently there are two types of rat I have caught. The typical black Norway rat which based on the size of the ones I catch seem to have no trouble finding ample food. And a slightly smaller rat that is brown in colour with a white belly. In fact their colouring reminds me a lot of my daughter's hamsters, although I have not shared this observation with her! About 10% of what I catch are this variety.

This one was on a slab up higher in the pile and when it tripped it fell off the pile, almost landed on another trap!


  1. How big are they? we had mice in the house a few weeks ago, we caught 12 in 24 hours.... Now we are good... I hope!
    Good luck catching all of them!!
    And happy holiday.

  2. I haven't measured them, in fact I usually like to scrunch up my eyes so I can't see them too clearly! Maybe 6" long, plus tail?