You never have just a little rat problem

Rats are a constant battle on my farm. They’re difficult to get rid of, and they breed rapidly –replenishing their numbers in short order. If you let them get ahead of you, you quickly have a BIG rat problem. Usually, by the time you notice them, they’re already ahead of you. I remember very early on, I noticed some activity by the chicken coop. Figuring I had a rat to catch, I went into the coop at night, and startled a few dozen rats, who scrambled about in every direction frantically trying to escape.

So, I first set up a little barrier in the front door, so that, when I opened the door, the rats wouldn’t be able to scramble out past my feet. Each night, I went into the coop, and the rats quickly learned to run out the side door whenever I came in. Then, I set up a contraption to catch the rats when they exited via the side door. It consisted of a small garbage can filled with some water, and some metal formed into a chute. Sure enough, when I opened the door that night, the rats bolted out the side door and into the can, where they drowned.

I made a biodynamic preparation from their skins, which did seem to help for awhile, but the rats eventually came back–chicken feed is too tempting a meal! My two dogs (labradors), enjoy hunting them, and I use their behavior to get an early read when rats have returned.

I think a lot of business problems are like the rats. They need to be pounced on aggressively and creatively.


About jeffmershon

Director of Program Management at SiriusXM.
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