Scurvy in Rats? Not in our Yard

Our orange tree produces fragrant blossoms, shelter for the squirrels and mediocre fruit.  Unless of course you’re a roof rat.  The last time my son climbed that tree at dusk he encountered a rat. He hasn’t been up the tree since.  I’ve never actually seen them in action, but every morning I find half a dozen perfectly hollowed oranges littering the ground.  The rats are probably out there as I type this, peeling an orange and getting high on vitamin C.  When the party is over, they could at least have the decency to clean up after themselves!

Orange Deception

Orange Deception

Here's the Scoop

Here’s the Scoop

8 thoughts on “Scurvy in Rats? Not in our Yard

    • The rats are gross and fascinating, all at the same time. I’ve handled domesticated rats before and they don’t bother me a bit. Sadly, our cat Lindy sets them loose in our house, so I’ve had to corner and remove a number of frightened and illusive rats as well. We finally got smart and make sure the cat door is locked by sundown. The cats stay in, the rats stay out.


  1. How big do you think they are? I’m not afraid of mice, I used to rescue them from our previous cat who went outside but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rat before. They must be the healthiest rats in your neighbourhood by the look of your poor oranges.


    • Roof rats are prolific in our area. They are about six inches (15 cm) in body length, twelve inches (30 cm) if you count the tail. I’ve read that we share 97% of the same DNA, the reason they’ve been used in labs for so many years. I also rescued a mouse once from our cat, but was rewarded with a very sharp bite to the finger. I don’t want to repeat that experience (have you seen those teeth?) It once took over an hour to get one out of the house. We kept erecting barriers as we directed it toward the door, but they can squish down to the size of a coin, circumference wise and kept eluding the chase. I was such a relief to finally see that rat sprint through the front door.


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