On Thursday morning, I received a phone call from a
lady in Doncaster, she'd found my website and was enquiring about pest control.
She has a small holding and is being pestered by a local fox.
She had been
losing ducks & chickens, but had now found the remains of a goose, well, she'd
found its head, but the rest had gone.
are known to bite the heads off, and take their catch.)
I explained that
easiest way to give me the details, was in an e-mail, and it was waiting for me
when I got home from work.
I arranged to visit on Saturday, but
I had forgotten I was supposed to collect a friend from the train station at
lunchtime, so had to re-schedule for Sunday.
She asked about methods used, and
when I explained, she told me there were rats too.
folding spade, & fox nets.
Dave took Tag (Ginny's
daughter), his air rifle, & his rat smoker.
We arrived at the
lady's house & followed her to the small holding, a small patch of land with 1/2
a dozen sheds & a couple of pens on it. We started by searching the area for any
signs or holes.
We found a couple of
rabbit holes that went under the boundary, and 4 rat holes in one of the sheds,
but no fox hole on the land.
The lady pointed us in the direction
of the railway banking, and on searching I found a lay-up under a large Hawthorn
bush. The undergrowth had been bedded down, and there was a clear entrance with
a run. But no fox.
We returned to the lady, and were
greeted by the local gamekeeper. He knew where the foxes were coming from, a
neighbour's land. So we tried for the rats.
Dave ran the smoker, while I held Tag
& Ginny's collars so they didn't get the remaining geese. Ginny was very
excitable by them walking around, so had to be restrained.
Dave gave nearly 10
minutes of smoke being pumped into the rat holes, but we didn't get a rat to
With so much natural
food around, they could have been anywhere, under the nearby bushes, in the
Wheat fields, or in the land drain in a nearby field.