rats eating my cantaloupes


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I am still having problems with rats ruining about 50-70 % of my cantaloupes. I would like some ideas from you on making cages to deter the rats from chewing on them. I would appreciate all ideas on what type of wire to use, how large to make them etc. I dont want to spend a lot of money but realize i will have to spend some in order for the material to be effective. i guess aomething built in a square would be the simplest, somethin i can use year after year. probably a wire a little heavier and stiffer than screen wire. As they say in oklahoma where i grew up, "come on YALL" tell me your invention. thanks.
 

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I am still having problems with rats ruining about 50-70 % of my cantaloupes. I would like some ideas from you on making cages to deter the rats from chewing on them. I would appreciate all ideas on what type of wire to use, how large to make them etc. I dont want to spend a lot of money but realize i will have to spend some in order for the material to be effective. i guess aomething built in a square would be the simplest, somethin i can use year after year. probably a wire a little heavier and stiffer than screen wire. As they say in oklahoma where i grew up, "come on YALL" tell me your invention. thanks.
Thinking about your problem and if you want to use wire think about this. You must use a wire that has smaller openings than chicken wire and that means hardware cloth which comes in 1/4" and up. Instead of using square pieces of wire how about circular pieces, two pieces for each cantaloupe. Get a medium sized rounded bottom bowl and press the wire into the bowl, using the bowl as a form. With two pieces of hardware cloth one atop the other that should make a circular enclosure. Place your cantaloupe in the bottom one and attach the top with little twist wire ties like what is on a loaf of bread. I grow mine on a wire trellis and the only fruits I have problems with are the ones on the very bottom where the rats stand on ground and chew on them. They do the same thing with my tomatoes too.
 
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I have one of those havahart traps - the stupid rats weren't stupid enough to go in there so I used Giant Killer smoke bombs. My vermin was under my deck only so that took care of he problem.

The hardware cloth sounds like a good idea. It's pretty hard to shape when it comes to anything round. I used it to make mesh baking pans for my sun oven and could never get it quite the right shape as it has a good memory and wants to spring back.

Cutting two long pieces -then bend in a u shape and possibly using something like florist wire to hold it together to form a cube might work. Florist wire is really easy to work with.
 
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Thinking about your problem and if you want to use wire think about this. You must use a wire that has smaller openings than chicken wire and that means hardware cloth which comes in 1/4" and up. Instead of using square pieces of wire how about circular pieces, two pieces for each cantaloupe. Get a medium sized rounded bottom bowl and press the wire into the bowl, using the bowl as a form. With two pieces of hardware cloth one atop the other that should make a circular enclosure. Place your cantaloupe in the bottom one and attach the top with little twist wire ties like what is on a loaf of bread. I grow mine on a wire trellis and the only fruits I have problems with are the ones on the very bottom where the rats stand on ground and chew on them. They do the same thing with my tomatoes too.
Chuck, the bowl formed shape in 2 halves sound good and i may try tht, but when you put the cantaloupe inside how would you route the stem? Would you cut a small hole in the end or out the middle before you attached the other half, or some other way? Yes 1/4 in hardware cloth sounds like the best way and is not real expensive either.
 
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Chuck, the bowl formed shape in 2 halves sound good and i may try tht, but when you put the cantaloupe inside how would you route the stem? Would you cut a small hole in the end or out the middle before you attached the other half, or some other way? Yes 1/4 in hardware cloth sounds like the best way and is not real expensive either.
Well i just now ran across an article that sounds very logical and might very well work so i am going to try it for a few days and see if it will work, and that is to mix up some red hot sauce into a spray bottle and spray the cantaloupes and when the rats bite they will get a good shot of a burning mouth. Hey that just might work. I will let everyone know in a few days if it is working.
 
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Chuck, the bowl formed shape in 2 halves sound good and i may try tht, but when you put the cantaloupe inside how would you route the stem? Would you cut a small hole in the end or out the middle before you attached the other half, or some other way? Yes 1/4 in hardware cloth sounds like the best way and is not real expensive either.
You could I suppose just cut a slot in the top half just wide enough to hold the stem and let the melon lie in the bottom half. Like I said, this is just a thought as I have never even tried this. I have done this though. One time I made a "tepee" out of 1"x2"x4' lumber and stapled 1/2" hardware cloth to it burying about 4'' of the cloth in the ground and trained the plants to go up. It worked OK but was just to much work. Lately all I do is pound in 5" rebar every 10' and run goat wire the entire length of the row and plant on both sides of the wire. By doing it this way I can easily have 40 plants in a 40' row and it is easy to train the plants and seldom do the melons grow close enough to the ground for the rats to chew on. Now possums and coons are another story. I have them too once in awhile.
 
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Well i just now ran across an article that sounds very logical and might very well work so i am going to try it for a few days and see if it will work, and that is to mix up some red hot sauce into a spray bottle and spray the cantaloupes and when the rats bite they will get a good shot of a burning mouth. Hey that just might work. I will let everyone know in a few days if it is working.
Don't waste your time. Been there, done that. With both tobasco and homemade habenero spray
 
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What we normally do here for big pests like mouse and rats, we use rat poison. The black powder is what we buy. We place it on a bait that is dried fish or fried meat that has an aroma that never fails to attract the pests. But the bait should be placed on clean paper or cardboard so it will not be soiled. Of course you have to place it in your garden.
 
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