Gut Rumbles
 

May 30, 2006

it's a big, shitty rat

Just damn! I thought the voracious tree rats of southeast Georgia were pestiferous pains in the ass, but they're purely darlin' compared to these critters.

Residents say the oversized rodents are swarming through the 75-unit development of manufactured homes near the airport of this Eastern Washington town, burrowing under homes, fouling front porches with their droppings and _ according to some unconfirmed accounts _ attacking people.

Many species of marmots, including some known as woodchucks and groundhogs, are found across North America. They are closely related to ground squirrels and are among the largest of rodents, some reaching 30 pounds. (emphasis mine)

Squirrels may raid bird feeders, pillage a garden or cause power outages by crawling into an electrical transformer, but I've never had one burrow under my house or shit on my front porch. And I'll bet a 30-pound rat can lay one hell of a turd.

Concerned about the droppings, which Bain said often are tracked indoors "even though you think you've cleaned it off," residents say officials in the Benton-Franklin Health Department have told them there's nothing the agency can do because the animals pose no public health risk, including the spread of infectious disease.

Police add that town ordinances prohibit residents from shooting the critters.

I dunno. If I lived in that community, I think I would have to see if my pellet rifle was enough gun to dispatch one of those things. And if it WAS, I would engage in a LOT of target practice. To hell with the town ordinance.

Of course, government is always there to help, by giving the residents more shit.

Officials in the state Department of Fish and Wildlife say residents likely will have to pay if they want to eradicate the infestation, and then only after clearing some bureaucratic hurdles. First, they must file a complaint with the agency's Yakima office, which then may refer them to a certified exterminator.

That's nice. It makes my idea of pellet guns look better and better. Besides, those marmots might make some pretty good eating.

If you cook the shit out of 'em.

Comments

A couple of kids mentored by some old geezers, .22 shorts and some bolt-action single shots....

Posted by: Robert on May 31, 2006 06:23 AM

I love groundhogs. I see 'em all the time around here and my kids go apeshit when they spot one. "Oooo, lookit the groundhog, Mom!!" As long as we're in the car and the rodents are outside. I know they can be aggressive cuz a couple of girls at work were charged by one a few years ago.

Posted by: LL on May 31, 2006 06:53 AM

Pellet gun and an aggressive huntin' dog might thin them out a bit. Those weinie dogs will go into the holes after them...

Posted by: GUYK on May 31, 2006 09:17 AM

Pellet gun won't do shit against a groundhog.

I've been dealing with the little furry bastards ever since we built our house. They keep digging up around the damn basement stairs - partially responsible for flooding our basement the first year we were in the house.

Unfortunately, my wife thinks they're "cute" so I can't break out a good .22 or the .410. I've been pegging them with a Crosman BB gun any chance I get - I got one square on at ~ 50 feet and while he did jump about 3 feet in the air, it didn't kill him.

.22 CB caps ought to do the trick, though, and are about as quiet as the BB gun...

Posted by: Jay G on May 31, 2006 09:30 AM

My granny used to eat the damn things.

Posted by: Steve H. on May 31, 2006 10:54 AM

Shooting them was a major summer recreation in western PA when I was a kid. They'll usually stand up if you whistle, and give you a clean shot. .22's work OK, but I used my deer rifle to keep in practice, and that would take them hundreds of yards away. You can eat them too, but like every other fat meat you have to grind them up with some lean beef and make meatballs, cooked up in tomato sauce is good.

They can be made into pets if you get them young. An old boss of mine had one that he trained to use a litter box like a cat, and was actually kind of affectionate. It kept itself clean and wasn't much trouble for him. I forget it's name but it'd come when he called it, like a little dog.

Posted by: Phil-Z on May 31, 2006 11:12 AM

They're just like prarie dogs. On crystal meth.

http://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/images/gallery/marmot.jpg

I'm not sure about marmots, but I've seen a woodchuck take several .22 rounds to the body and head and still be able to fight back afterwards.

To JayG:

If they have dug themselves into a contained space, dump a 5 pound box of moth balls into the hole. Most of these critters (like racoons) can't stand the smell.

IIRC, the gas that's given off is heavier than air so it stay at the bottom of the burrow.

Another possibility that just ocurred to me is to use dry ice. The CO2 should sink as well.

I've never tried it but with any luck, they'll suffocate.

Posted by: Rich on May 31, 2006 02:07 PM

Unfortunately, my wife thinks they're "cute" so I can't break out a good .22 or the .410.

She's not into gardening, is she?

Posted by: McGehee on May 31, 2006 03:04 PM

"My granny used to eat the damn things."

Any recepies Steve?

We used to kick hell out of the population on some mountains. As well as chipmonks as well. Don't encurage such today, but a little thining of the flock really don't hurt now and again.

Posted by: TC on May 31, 2006 04:56 PM

Import a few wolves. take care of the marmot problem, the city officials problem and thhe DFW folks.

Posted by: emdfl on May 31, 2006 05:54 PM

Rich,

I tried the trick with mothballs. Dumped a whole box down the front door, the back door, and a couple other holes I found just for good measure. I think the sumbitches were eatin' the mothballs like candy.

McGehee,

Bingo. No interest in any yard-related activities whatsoever. I tried briefly to get her interested in a small garden just so the groundhogs would piss her off and she'd let me shoot the damn things...

Now I'm just working on my trebuchet...

Posted by: Jay G on June 1, 2006 11:08 AM
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