Well, it's been about three months since we fixed the leak in the vinyl liner where the rat had chewed a hole.
I had the exterminator out, we put out rat bait boxes at strategic spots, and after two months of setting the bait, what happened?
That's right -- another rat chew on the waterfall liner, except a bigger hole, and harder to patch.
Today, when my pond servicer was here, I decided to look inside the bait boxes. There are 4 of them in all, and I checked 3 boxes. They were installed two months ago, but just about all of the bait is gone!
This means that Clint's comment about the bait lasting about 3 months was off, a little. It looks like I am going to have to check the boxes every month.
What a bad year for rodents!
Clint also says you can tell what kind of year it will be for squirrels and rats by noting the number of acorns falling, the abundance of pecans, and the availability of the fruit harvest. When conditions are optimal, you get more rodents.
Also, the winter was very dry, and that makes the rats show up more -- especially in an aquatic environment like a pond. Likely, the bait drew many rats from the neighborhood.
We will be installing new bait next week. A pain it may be, but I'll have to check the boxes more often, and add more as necessary. In the meantime, Alice says that the patch she put on the liner is probably going to fail before too long. It is very likely that I'll need to get part of a new liner, up to the point where the dropoff on the waterfall is. This is likely going to cost $175 - $200.