Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday Animal Blogging: Pest Edition

I don't know how much a millipede counts as a pest, but I found this little guy crawling around on my electric bill late one night:

He isn't nearly as large as the millipede I found back in the Spring. My guess is that it's the garden millipede, Oxidus gracilis. It is apparently common for them to wander into homes in South Carolina, but they're not a domestic species. They can become a pest in greenhouses, munching on plants, but that's about it.

He didn't want to hold still, so getting a clear picture of him was hard. Not to mention the low light and his small size. This was the best I could do.

I heard some whining noise just outside the other night, so I get a flashlight and there I find an injured rat. It appears to be a juvenile brown rat, Rattus norvegicus. This is the same species that we use for lab rats; I used to own one as a pet. This guy must have been attacked and dragged near the front door by Fluffy. She's normally a totally inept hunter, but she's gotten more proficient of late. I took the rat inside.

I briefly thought about trying to nurse it back to health, but then my roommate, who helped take these pictures, wasn't wild about the idea. And I was less inclined myself after the little fucker bit me. So I put him back outside in the brush by the woods, where he'd at least have a fighting chance.