Hold it rat there!

There have been nine sightings of Burmese pythons in Manatee County. It’s more a problem for pets and small children than adults. Pythons are ambush predators and probably would hunt at night. Good news: they eat those rats you don’t think you have. Bad news: the bite is pretty severe and because of the way their teeth are arranged, it’s hard to get them off once they bite. Most people should be concerned about constriction since the usual six to ten foot variety can kill you. It’s a good thing your are a scratch golfer. Chasing balls into the woods could be dangerous. Probably not, especially at the course you live on, but it’s worth being informed. Hey, it’s probably more likely you will contact Covid-19 than meet a Burmese Python any time soon.

That may well be true, but let us not forget about the disease threat from those Armadillos!

Fun Fact: Armadillos are the only animals capable of transmitting Leprosy to humans, and it has been documented multiple times.


While we’re on the subject, I have this rash between my thighs and my…?

Oh wait!

What the hell was I thinking?

This is Car Talk!



This thread drift reminds me of Car Talk’s most famous “Chicken Thread”.

Anyway, after one day no sign of the rodents returning.
I know from experience they don’t procrastinate when they want something.
They re-dig burrows overnight.
I’ll do an update in a week or so.

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For the newer folks:
The Car Talk forum started out as “Cafe Dartre” in the late '90s, and someone (Cat Lady) was nice enough to archive some of it here.

I try to remember to check the engine bay of my car every week for any return of mice. I keep ground cinnamon liberally sprinkled there and around any spots even remotely possible for mice to get in the garage.

The sticky traps also finally caught one mouse. Haven’t seen any new mouse droppings since. And the cats have lost interest in the garage. :slightly_smiling_face:

What kind of 73 Plymouth?

1973 Duster 340. I also have a 1970 Plymouth Fury III but that needs restoration.

Picture 6.05.09 011

Nice. I’m not a big Chrysler fan but I do love all the 70 Mopars. When I was a kid our neighbor had a 70 Three Hundred. One of the most beautiful cars ever. That Fury is a great car too.

In the early 1990’s a friend spotted a 1970 Three Hundred convertible in a mobile home park, he talked the original owner into selling the car for $2000. Three months later he sold the car, he told me that his wife would not feel safe driving this car to work, she might be attacked though the canvas top.

Wife? Why would anyone’s wife be driving a vehicle like this? An oversized car with a 440 engine? They bought a Plymouth Sundance.

I find that 98% of the people that are snooping for old cars are not sincere about owning them, Counting Cars?

Funny, but not funny, worried about being attacked through the canvas top. The car my neighbor had was red, black vinyl top and interior, Appliance spoke wheels, beautiful car with not a scratch on it. One night he was coming home from bowling league in a not so great part of town. Sitting at a stop light the cars in front and behind boxed him in, one guy put a gun in his face and took his car. Never saw it again.

Maybe your friend’s wife was right?

There had to be a better way to get home. That’s just asking for trouble. I guess he’s OK, and that’s what counts.

Really these are not unusual stories. I heard similar stories for guys having to drive through parts of Minneapolis back in my youth and don’t think it has gotten any better. Especially before freeways so going through neighborhoods was required. People especially that were on the night shift so driving through in the wee hours. Everyone had doors locked and actually most kept some type of weapon under the seat. One family friend related going through a red light with a guy holding onto his door handle with the doors luckily locked. I think he drove a 56 Ford at the time or similar with the door handles. It was just something everyone kept in mind.

This neighbor had nothing but trouble with cars his whole life. I grew up watching all the car troubles he had. He had a 68 Chrysler Town and Country wagon that he wrecked and his arm was never the same. He then got a 70 wagon that someone sideswiped in the street in front of our house. Then the 70 Three Hundred that he was relieved of at gunpoint. Replaced that with a 71 New Yorker, one night he dropped a wrench across the battery and it blew up in his face, we called the paramedics and his skin never fully healed. By the time he retired he was pretty banged up.

As a 10 year old I would wait after school for him to come home and he would work on his 53 Studebaker Commander. He thought he had the overdrive fixed and was running up and down the street when the throttle stuck wide open and overrevved the engine. After that it was parked in the driveway with a sign “parts for sale”.

As @Tester said many years ago: “Sir, put the tools down before you hurt someone”.

My youngest sons first car was a 70 Valiant 318 with 3 on the tree. It was surprisingly quick and only 4 years younger than he was.

I’m following up to say it’s been a week and no return of the rodent(s).
I would say the cayenne pepper is working, but it’s hard to prove a negative.

Add to that, city rodent’s traditional food source has dried up (restaurant dumpsters), a
and they are eating much differently and farther afield than they did before. That’s a plus for the negative, IMO.

There are several restaurants a couple blocks away, and the rats are roaming in search of food and shelter.
We also had a mild winter.
Just last night I saw a group of at least a half dozen rats crawling on and into trash cans in back yards and and the alley behind my house.
A few days before I found the nest in my car I filled several tunnels in my next door neighbor’s yard, and this week they started two new ones.

An update:

Been a month or so since the engine compartment of my car served as a rat lounge.
As of my last post I was using cayenne pepper, which thankfully stopped them from chewing anything, but didn’t stop them from hanging out.
First thing I did was stop parking in the same place all the time.
I move around about a half block away to break their routine.

I read somewhere they don’t like Irish Spring soap.
So I tucked in a couple bars, still in their boxes to avoid a possible mess from melting.
Their odor was quite strong. This was the result:

I noticed they were snacking on one side of the engine compartment and pooping on the other.
Then I looked into rodent repellent spray. Most are mainly diluted peppermint oil.
So I got some full strength. Boy is that stuff pungent!
I also folded up some strips of metal window screen and filled in the open spaces with horizontal surfaces, clear of moving parts.
I know this makes anyone into “detailing” their engine compartment cringe.
But it seems to make it a less than pleasant place to be.