We have rats. They came to my bumper crop of lilikoi (passion fruit) this summer from wherever rats come from—other people’s houses, the sugarcane fields, drawn by the music of the Rat Fairy, multiplying like Tribbles.
The only good thing about this infestation is that they haven’t made it inside the house. They are garage, laundry room, woodshop and garden rats. Every evening I have to make a pilgrimage down to the laundry room with Liko, my not-too-bright Shih Tzu, to put him in his kennel. Liko is terrified of them and hands over his food whenever they ask, like the schoolyard bullies they are.
Warm brown with white underbellies, they sit atop the water heater and look at me with their beady black eyes. I hate rats. It’s the tails, you see. In fact, it’s what makes prairie dogs cute and rats, repugnant.
We bought a bunch of TomCat traps. Huge, and with a snap that makes a grown man recoil, clutching his nethers. We set them among the lilikoi vines, in the laundry room, in the woodshop. We couldn’t use poison in case the dogs got into it, and then there’s always the smell of dead rat to deal with… so TomCats it was.
Clever bastards. They ate the bait, and in two weeks of monitoring and stocking the traps, they got a lot of cheese and even peanut butter. We retired the TomCats when I forgot about one set on top of the laundry room shelf and put the machete up there. The trap went off so hard the machete flew through the air. I was lucky to still have both hands.
So I heard about an electronic trap that ‘zaps’ them when they climb in. I sent the hubby to get one. It looked like a small, cozy black mailbox.
“For forty-two dollars this better work,” The Hubby said, pushing in the last of the four C batteries that powered the devilish little contraption. As he pushed the battery in, his finger must have made contact with something, because it delivered on its promises with a ZAP. It sounded just like that. ZAP.
He flew backward with a shriek. I was actually worried I was going to have to give him CPR. Gray and shaking, he said he’d rather stick his finger in a light socket any day, and the rats were definitely going to die.
And they have. Approximately two a day. I carry the trap out to the front of the house, call, “Here kitty kitty,” and dump out the latest offering for our now-fat calico, who was too lazy to catch them herself.
Someone finally did invent a better rat trap. But I really dread when we have to change the batteries.
There used to be a tom cat in our neighborhood who was an excellent ratter, but he would sometimes leave parts. So one day my golden retriever puppy came up to me with that coy expression dogs have when there is something in their mouth and they think it’s totally cool. I started to lean down and grab it. He started to shy away. I saw it was a rat tail, hanging out of his mouth. An internal dialog ensued: “Grab it now or he will swallow it” “I don’t want to touch it!!!” I grabbed it. It was just the tail. And I totally share your feelings on the tails!
…that’s all I really have to say. I’m not a fan of rats, either. I read “beady black eyes” and actually shuddered.
Thanks for the agreement on the tails. Oh and beady black eyes are unpleasant as well but in the babies, have a certain sparkly charm.
Still… T had a pet rat for years. I never saw the appeal.
“clutching his nethers”…I’m gonna take English lessons from you!
Ha! *love you*
I live in a tropical climate and know all about the rats. Citrus rats fill our garage. It’s like a projects apartment complex with gang murders and rupee droppings. We had a useful snake living under our deck, but now that his life has expired the rats have gravitated into the beautiful fig vines over our lanai. They aren’t shy either. We considered getting a rat terrier but opted for a lab. I want a Pomoranian but am worried the little gal might get attacked.
I have a terrier and she just barks at the rats nonstop which I know she thinks helps, but… *sighs*
Being a blogger is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.