Protect those food stores : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Perhaps the only useful thing ever to come from the debunking sites was the mention of the ingenuity of rodents to get at domestic food stores. Suburbia, urban or rural; rodents will find ways into your living areas and get at your food stores. The more foodstores, the more rodents. All the hype over Y2K animals is about getting dogs for protection. You ever seen how much the average large dog eats and poops? Is that dog gonna catch a rat or mouse eating your rice? A cat will. A cat is also smaller, cleaner and eats less. And if Y2K turns out more optimistic then we think, cats are still useful companions. But in a worst case world they can help keep rodents and insects down. And there will be times when a barking dog will be the last thing you want strangers to hear (though a mean bark has its uses).

-- CatMan (, May 14, 1999


FWIW I believe that some terriers, among others were originally bred to kill rats. Here in the DC metro area, there are rats that are nearly the size of housecats...something bigger is generally required.

not that I don't like cats, mind you, and they *are* a valid solution for mice and such, but *rats* can be a whole other ballgame.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, May 14, 1999.

You'd better check out those zoning laws and homeowners' assoc. rules too.


-- debunker (.@...), May 14, 1999.

A brief snip on the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo:



Many septic systems were flooded from the high water levels or were damaged by falling trees. Sewage overflowed into city streets because of flood-damaged sewers. Toilets could not flush and were backed up due to broken sewer lines. Even toilet paper became in short supply. As an emergency measure, lime was issued for spreading on the ground to kill germs; and later, in populated areas, portable toilets were set up on the streets to lessen some of the sanitation hazards.

To add to the health danger, there were no garbage pickups.


The local roach population boomed. Even "clean" motels incurred roach infestation, and roach bait and sprays were soon sold out. The debris, garbage, and decomposing food offered a haven, also, for rats and other rodents. Insects became a severe problem. Most of the prevailing homes had lost their window screens to the winds and mosquitoes were thick when the warm nights made it necessary to open the windows. In some areas, the mosquitos were like a fog, but repellents were not available.


-- Kevin (, May 14, 1999.

Add mosquito netting to your list -- for flys in the north, also.

-- A (, May 14, 1999.

Arlin, although most cats easily catch mice, there are also a few that are deadly ratters. I have nine cats; two that catch rats so big they have difficulty carrying them. I can't say enough about how good cats are. Also, when they hear something outside, they may not growl, but they have a heads up, alert look that lets you know something is out there.

Unfortunately most generic dogs, that aren't trained watch dogs, are great companions, and bark energetically, but they do eat a lot and have become so domesticated they can rarely catch their own food. There are exceptions of course. But you'd better stock up on the dog food.

This is not meant to start a controvery, this is just a historical fact. But when the church made it not only a sin, but a crime to "house a cat" in Europe, because they were considered the devil's familiars, the rats lost their #1 predator and flourished; hense the plague flourished too. Guess who was the first group to bring back the cats? You got it--the priests.

-- gilda (, May 14, 1999.

We've got both. The dogs (Shepherd mixes) are wonderfully noisy alarm systems (heck, no one comes through our gate unless they know us pretty well). The Cat (and yes, it must be capitalized) ensures that (a) the rodent population remains at or very near zero and (b) the dogs are kept in line. They make a good team.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), May 14, 1999.

I would recommend dog -wise an Anatolian Karabash.I believe they are known as Akbash in the States.Large sheep guarding dog weighing in about 120 lbs.Ours is a great mouser & kills rats too.Very agile & fast.(5th fastest dog in the world clocked running at 33 mph)

In Turkey they are fed cereal & tend to catch their own protein.They wear iron spiked collars & defend flocks against wolves.Can tolerate temperature extremes.Fantastic guard dogs but do not necessarily make family pets as they are very much a working breed.

Cats are OK at least they wouldn't eat the rat & the rice !!

-- Chris (, May 14, 1999.

Our dog is useless for mice. That's why we also have a cat. Duh. So far as I know, having one or more of each is still legal.

-- BigDog (, May 14, 1999.


In DC you have rats bigger than cats. Wow! We have even bigger ones here, but we never elect them so we aren't adding to your population. We have hunting dogs. They are afraid of our cats. The last thing they brought home was a bra and a pair of womans cowboy boots. We've kept them under leash after that. Our cats are fearless. One chased five angus out of our front field. Went after them howling and they stampeded. Rats as big as cats! No problemo.


-- Z1X4Y7 (, May 14, 1999.

We have indoor cats and I rarely tell how many. More than several. Since we've had them there is not a bit of unwanted livestock in this house. Well, perhaps the odd spider leg. One of them (named Polly, but years ago) can catch flies in mid-air with graceful leaps that would shame Baryshnikov. Two more (sisters, Rambo and Groucho) pair up and herd spiders. The friend who's keeping some of our food stash for us while the house is on the market also has cats, so we have no fears for the safety of our food. I think just the scent of our cats (not apparent to humans, I hastily add) keeps mice away.

One admirable quality omitted from the above is that most cats like to cuddle, especially on cold winter nights. Might need a couple if the heat goes out. . .

A final note: after extensive experimentation, we've found Scoop Away is the most effective odor-controlling litter for multiple indoor cats. For one or two, you might like the pine pellet litter, forget the name. And for those who don't mind the old-fashioned, non-scooping kind, I hear the stuff sold by auto parts places for garage spills is just cat litter and is cheaper than the store-bought kind.

-- Old Git (, May 14, 1999.


Know what you mean. Our cats are specialized. We have one that hunts spiders and roaches. Doesn't eat them. Just kills them and places them in pile at the bottom of the stairs for easy clean-up and disposal.


-- Z1X4Y7 (, May 14, 1999.

Yes, cats do specialize. Georgie, our manx, specializes in killing moles. He gets in position over a mole run, then he does a little paw- patting dance, and the next thing you know, he has a mole. He also can bring big dogs to their knees. But Wanda only catches flies, which she eats with great enjoyment. I wonder if flies are a delicacy for cats..

Old Git, how many cats did you say you have??

-- gilda (, May 14, 1999.

Gilda - I stand corrected on that, thanks.

Z1 - thanks for not adding to the population! (though you can tell the elected ones around here 'cause we make them wear suits and ties). also: have you ever thought about renting out that hunting dog? :-)


-- Arlin H. Adams (, May 14, 1999.

We are privileged have 2 dogs and 2 cats as part of our family. A word to the wise: if you are looking for a guard dawg, don't get a golden retriever. They can have a scary bark, but the effect is seriously compromised when accompanied by a vigourously wagging tail. Also, they will glad to show a burgler where your stash is, if only said burgler will play "toss the ball" for a few precious minutes. You've seen "Dances With Wolves?" One of our ladies is named "Ball in Mouth."


-- Spindoc' (, May 14, 1999.

Years ago we had to take one of our cats to the vet for something or other. In conversation he told us that given the opporunity a domestic cat will make insects 16% of its diet. Who knew?

-- Tom Carey (, May 14, 1999.

Prefer 90mil plastic over 60mil, for your plastic buckets. The ones I've gotten from donut shops are 60mil. (Can't beat the price though - $0.00)

-- Debbie (, May 14, 1999.

HHHHMMMMM need more dog threads....

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Add mosquito netting to your list >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Bloody mosquitos!!!! They will drive you mad, had one fly in my ear and hang around buzzing for a day or two. Drag. We need a mosquito thread to trade tricks for dealling with the little buggers. And I hate deer flys. They know where there is meat from a mile away. (True)

-- Brian (, May 14, 1999.

Get Skin So Soft from your local Avon Rep. It repels lots of bugs. I spray it on my dogs to repel fleas. I am stocking up on Avon for barter. I figure deoderant and hand cream will be in demand.

-- Homeschooling Grandma (, May 15, 1999.

Even dogs keep cats. One is a bugger, the other likes rodents.

My lab cross would eat you if he didn't know you.

No bugs, rodents, or other unwanted intruders. And if you get past my dog, you will have to deal with me and my .45... If "intrudin' be what you doin'"...

There is a reason dogs and cats were domesticated in the first place. They have a job to do...

loungin' under the master's feet...

The Dog

-- Dog (, May 15, 1999.

Ooops -- I left "meowser" locked on the back porch after conceding him a midnight snack and going to my 'puter for a bite of Yourdonite. Thanks for the reminder.

Can't leave the outside porch door open anymore 'cause two strays have taken over the barn this week. I think people are dropping off unwanted cats at "that farm we drive by all the time." The owner before us had five accumulated that way.

Now off to the rescue and bed at 3 AM.

-- jor-el (, May 15, 1999.

Re leaving, erm, mangled prey and bits of formerly live things for owners to find. There's a theory that cats do this because they think their humans don't know how to hunt, therefore are teaching them just like their mother taught them. Hence, if you let your cat see you catch something now and then and kill it like they do, they won't leave things at the bottom of the stairs or anywhere else. . .! Maybe.

And when people say cats are mean and nasty becasue they mangle things and then don't eat them, well, there's a theory about that too. Humans chose to keep those kittens that amused them and their children--the ones that played with a blowing leaf, stem of grass, skittering bit of paper. They didn't choose the kittens who sat there and watched those things carefully, then pounced and that was that--no fun. Therefore, the theory goes, we have selectively bred this "torture" into our domesticated cats.

Gilda, I ain't sayin'! When we lived in Norfolk, VA, the council passed an ordinance limiting the number of pets a person could have. We were over the limit so never told anyone. Luckily, several of our cats were the same color so if they sat in the small front window people would think we had just two black ones, when in fact we had four.

-- Old Git (, May 15, 1999.

Old Git, I don't blame you for not exposing your cat count. I will say though, that at my peak, I had 21. We live in the country and have that problem of being dumped on. I haven't the heart to get rid of them.

Spindoc' you described our Golden Retriever to a T. He has a partially deflated football and soccer ball and anyone who will toss the ball is a friend for life. Guard dog, not likely. A telephone pole with nails, in front of our house is where we hang pots, pans, shoes, socks, hats, shorts, etc. that he brings home. People drive up and retrieve their goods and go on.

Last summer we had the most mosquitoes I ever remember enduring. Anytime I was outside, I had to cover up all over. It was miserable. Does Skin So Soft still stink as bad as it once did Grandma? I'm not much of one for spraying on insecticides. But I'd give the Avon skin cream a try if it meant I didn't have to wear so many clothes.

Arlin, you've been so courteous to me lately, it makes me nervous.

Old Git, I read somewhere that cats play with their kills because it improves the quality of the protein. Anyone else heard of this?

-- gilda (, May 15, 1999.

We have a mostly German Shepherd and who-knows-what mix, and live in a very rural area. This dog is invaluable!!! She catches all the mice, moles, and bunnies......and while she can't catch the squirrels, she sure keeps them at a distance! She chases off coyotes, racoons, porqupines and who knows what else.

She patrols our property all the time, and even though she is not at all vicious, she terrifies any stranger who comes around. If one of us were to be attacked or even threatened, I know Sandy would "go for the throat".

Yup!! I vote for a good big dog! Worth ten times the food she eats...

-- Sheila (, May 15, 1999.

Jack Russell terriers are awesome mouser/ratters. And they are small. Gilda- cats play with their food first because all the adrenaline released by the mousie's terror of iminent death makes their flesh tenderer to the kitty- sort of like meat tenderizer.

-- anita (, May 15, 1999.

Gilda-It is the scent of Skin So Soft oil that keeps the bugs away. Avon has come out with some new bug repellent that smells good. It even keeps ticks away and it has no DEET. You can get it with or without sun screen.

-- Homeschooling Grandma (, May 15, 1999.

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