View Full Version : A Very Strange Tale...errr...TAIL?
01-29-2007, 12:52 PM
This has NOTHING to do with Lupus, but I thought I'd share it anyway, as it is driving me CRAZY! :?
Due to all the rain we have been having, we now have a new "guest" in our home...a big, ugly RAT! He lives in the wall behind the water heater (we found his entry hole there.) and has slowly claimed not just the laundry room, but now roams the kitchen and other places in the house. And he is BOLD! I have seen him, in broad daylight, run into the dining room, leap onto my dining room chair, jump on my table and start munching an apple in a bowl--all this while the dogs are barking furiously. :shock: He is so smart (and big) that he steals the bait from traps without getting caught. My husband put up a piece of plywood to block off the laundry room and he CHEWED through it! He avoids glue traps, even avoids a Hav-a-heart trap. He has eaten two boxes of poison and has lived...indeed, he is even fatter now. (He's about the size of a small kitten...ugh...with that nasty pink tail.) I am having to go over all surfaces in the kitchen and dining room with bleach every morning because he leaves his "presents" there...how can one rat poop so much??? :x
I thought Buster would take care of him. Our Buster is a great mouser and has ushered many gray critters to their early graves. Well, the other night Buster heard him in the kitchen. He went in there, then ran out as fast as he could and hid under the bed, as if to say, "I am NOT messing with THAT guy!" :shock:
My husband is thinking of getting a BB gun to dispatch of him but I don't think that's safe OR wise...besides, it may not even kill this big guy. (I have named him "David" after an Ex of mine. Just what I need, another loser who doesn't have a job, eats my food and poops all over me.)
We actually sat up one night (wearing VERY heavy clothing, each a pair of pink dishwashing gloves, protective eyewear, and a couple of football helmets...yes we looked like fools.) G ha sledghammer and I had a shovel. David must have got wind of our terrorist plot because he was a no-show. ( wanted to take pictures of us, and G said, "For Christ's sake, Kathy, we look like morons! I'd DIE if anybody saw this!")
Any suggestions? I don't know if an exterminator could do anything we haven't already done. And I am NOT willing to co-exist with David.
01-29-2007, 02:11 PM
LOL...I feel for ya! Although I've never had a rat like that. when we lived in the mountains we had mice that used to play with pennies on the kitchen floor in the evenings. We never did figure out where they got their stash from, but you could hear them every night rolling pennies and in the mornings we would pick them up. The next day, more pennies. We had a cat and great big black lab, and those little suckers would out smart both of them as well!!
Because there are many people that keep rats as pets, you might try calling your local humane society and see if they have a trap of some kind that you can rent or borrow to catch him - yanno one of those trap door type things. Or if you have an active wildlife division. Your vet may also have some other ides to help you catch the furry intruder.
*visions of the movie Mouse Hunt just popped into my head - LOL*
Oh by the way, a bee bee gun can be quite useful, because he wouldn't have to pump it up enough to try to kill the rat, just give it a sting in the butt and it may not come back. My husband does that with the squirrels and rabbits in our back yard in the summer. It doesn't hurt them, but it lets them know they are not welcome either.
Good luck and keep us posted!
01-29-2007, 03:03 PM
No, I don't think a "sting in the butt" would work. I didn't want to say this, but one night as I was cooking, he ran between the fridge and the stove. I had a long handled fork in my hand and I stabbed him in his rear end...apparently not a mortal wound, as I just saw him this morning. (He had the nerve to glare at me and sqeak, like "Bring it on!") I doubt anyone would want to keep him as a pet because he is NOTHING like the cute rats that they sell. I've looked it up and he is a Norway rat...ugly,mean and disgusting. Long yellow teeth and claws...but VERY nice fur, as he's been eating my dog's Pedigree dog food. He's like a show-quality rat. I can't get a cat because I am allergic to the dear things.
I actually had a dream one night (Trazodone dreams are strange) where he walked into the living room (in the dream he was walking upright and about 2 feet tall!) and told us (sounding like one of the Soprano guys) "Look, youse, the poison wasn't so bad, tasty in fact, but stabbin me was outa line. Leave me in peace, will yas?" And then he grabbed his tail and stomped back into the kitchen. I mean, David is ruining even my dreams! The Humane Society said, "we don't do undomesticated rats." A professional exterminator would set pretty much the same traps we have, and charge us $150.00 for it.
I make light of it, but Norway rats can mate up to 8 times per year, with as many as 10 in each littter. They carry up to 30 diseases. I do NOT want him inviting his family here to live. (Hubby plugged his entry hole with tons of steel wool,which they hate. You guessed it, David removed it.) HEEEEEELLLPPPP! :shock:
01-29-2007, 03:12 PM
Kathy, you need to do something right away to get rid of the rat because wild rats (not the white rats kept as pets) carry and harbor MANY diseases and parasites (remember bubonic plague) that someone who is immuneosuppressed should not be exposed to under any circumstances. Dont even think of a glue trap, they are ineffective and horribly cruel as the animal will sometimes gnaw its own limb off to escape. If you are using a snap trap, get a large one made especially for rats - a mousetrap won't work. TomKat is a good brand. Bait the trap with something tasty, preferably something you can tie to the spring mechanism so the animal will be sure to spring it, like a strip of bacon. You can do the same thing with the single catch live-traps, which work better than the haveaheart brand. Most rats are immune to poison, and you risk accidentally poisoning your pets. Ferrets and Jack Russell terriers will usually take on most rats. You can also buy a product at many farm stores and outdoor supply stores, possibly Lowes too, called Rodent Shake-Away. It's small granules that are mised with a scent that to the rat smells like a fox or bobcat is nearby. There's a similar product called rat-a-way. Since rats are instinctively afraid of these animals, the scent will run them off. It's safe and non-toxic, and you can put it outside and in attics, inside rat holes, etc. You can also get one of those inflatable garden things that looks like an owl - most rats are terrified of owls.
You shouldn't be around any of the rat dropppings without wearing a mask and gloves, and you can catch certain things from inhaling their droppings. Cutting off the food supply is important, they will be more likely to take bait if no other food is handy. Keep all your food in glass or heavy metal containers, because rats can gnaw through most plastic, cardboard, even wood. If you have dry dog food or birdseed, try storing it in metal garbage cans with a tight fitting lid. Don't leave any food lying around, like fruit in bowls, etc. - it's an open invitation to rats. You might need to get a black light to find all the places where he has left urine - rats leave a trail when they run, and it's probably in many places you can't see.
If you've got some fresh or dried mint, you can scatter it around, most rodents don't like the smell and they will avoid it.
As an absolute last resort - get all your pets out of the house where they cannot be accidentally poisoned, mix some antifreeze with something like peanut butter, and put it out in paper plates. But be aware that anything that eats the dead rat can be poisoned too, so you can't use this technique anywhere there are pets around,
If you have an old corkboard around (or some wine corks), chop up some cork, mix it with some basic or hamburger grease, and scent it with some oil of anise, or licorice extract. This is another last resort but will sometimes work when nothing else will. Good luck - I like most critters and I'm willing to co-habit with a lot of things, but I draw the line at roof rats.
01-29-2007, 03:21 PM
MaryCain, after I see my doctor this week, I am spending the day at a friend's house. She loves my dogs, so I may pick them up and take them with me and try the cork thing. Does the cork kill the rat? And why anise or licorice? I have heard peanut butter works (in fact, that's what he has stolen from the traps.) I wear a mask when I clean up, because I read that even their urine can turn into a deadly dust. David must DIE! :evil:
01-29-2007, 03:32 PM
They love the cork, but cannot digest it, so when they eat it, it kills them. Anise and licorice just have a strong scent that attracts them to the bait, but you could probably use vanilla (not mint or cinnamon because those repel rats). You want something that makes it smell appealing to them. I usually have anise oil or flavoring around to make cookies. Since your rat apparently likes apples, you could try mixing it with some chopped apple.
02-09-2007, 01:59 PM
So I have to ask...is David still around? What have you tried?
Eagerly awaiting the rat update....
02-10-2007, 03:35 AM
:lol: Have you got rid of David yet? :wink:
Once, when I was sleeping over at my friend's house (she keeps horses and many other animals; her property is like a miniature farm!), something ran over my leg in the middle of the night (approx. 02:00 a.m.)! My friend told me that I was probably imagining it, but we turned the light on anyway and saw a huge shrew running behind my friend's drawers! :shock: We, like you and your husband, got dressed up like idiots, wearing dishwashing gloves and wellington boots and tucked our pajamas into the gloves and boots! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: We were a little bit frightened because this shrew was particularly large and shrews can bite something awful! :(
Eventually, we managed to trap the shrew in the shower in my friend's bathroom and her father freed it somewhere outside (the shrieking had woken him up! :wink: :lol:).
Seriously, don't worry too much about the "dressing up" episode because I'm pretty sure that we aren't the only ones who have done this! At least, I hope not! :lol: :wink:
Keep well! :)
02-10-2007, 05:11 AM
Like everyone else, I'm dying to hear about David and the outcome of your plan, Kathy. We get little field mice out here, and once when I moved a ladder in the garage a dead one fell off the top of it and landed on my shoulder. Really creeped me out. We did have a rat in our first house - we could hear it crawling around in the walls. My husband found it eventually and we were able to get it to eat a poison that someone recommended. Too long ago to remember what it was though. I would be beside myself if I had a full-fledged rat in my house now. I hope you found a solution.
02-11-2007, 09:31 AM
David avoids all rat traps and even will not touch the cork that I tried. Sighhhh......My daughter Jessica has moved in with us for the time being to help with me and the house adn SHE says she is willing to take him on. I----want-----him----DEAD! Love, Kathy
02-11-2007, 10:38 AM
Sounds like it's time to get the dogs and yourself out of the house for a day or two and leave David to the pros. He is one smart rat and probably won't fall for most traps.
02-12-2007, 09:51 AM
My nephew in Iraq says the desert rats there are so bold, he just wears a heavy glove and lays his hand down with food in it on the ground...then squeezes the life out of them. Whatta man, whatta man. Don't think I could do that. We are renting the live catch traps to see how they do. All food is put away and the thing has NOTHING else to eat. I will keep y'all posted. Love, kathy
02-12-2007, 09:57 AM
Try tying something tasty (maybe a strip of bacon or a hot dog) to the spring mechanism where he has to spring the trap to get the food. That's how I live trap the raccoons and possums that invade our cat feeders.
02-12-2007, 08:02 PM
Kathy, I have to tell you, you've made me so paranoid about rats - last night I felt something furry brush against my face in the middle of the night - and my first thought when I startled awake was RAT!!!! Fortunately it was just our tabby cat wanting to share my electric blanket, but my heart pounded for a good five minutes afterward. M. about died laughing, and I guess it was funny, but I'm still nervous about rats.
02-13-2007, 05:11 PM
I couldn't resist girls, I have to jump in (no pun intended)...HA on this one. Living in the great big beautiful Northwest, and next to a pond - unfortunately I've had my share of horrible rate stories......the completely ate...yep, ATE the entire cushioning in my vehicle...and all the electrical wires!!!!!
RATS ARE THE DIRTIEST ANIMALS ON EARTH...and they carry all sorts of diseases. I finally called an exterminator, and what he did worked. He had these traps that look like those VCR tapes; and you put some kind of deterrent in there.....it makes them thirsty and they die of thirst. I know I can already hear, the ahhhhh's (but wait till you have those rotten @#$! around your house - you will do the same thing.
I have an Australian Shephard that is the love of my life....so I had to find something that I could set as a trap that wouldn't harm him. I would certainly give it a try!!!!
p.s. I secretly sorta kinda hope the rat comes back because I love your story telling - I haven't laughed so hard in ages !!!!! just kidding !
02-13-2007, 07:37 PM
I agree with your 'p.s' Browneyedgirl! I love your stories, Kathy - I've said before that you're a natural-born-story teller. I'm not surprised you're writing a book. It's gotta' be good! (However, I don't really wish a return of David the Rat - eeewwww.)
02-15-2007, 08:19 AM
Yes, David is dead. Let's all join hands and polka around the board, singing, (Like the Wizard of Oz) "Ding, dong, the wretch is dead, the ugly wretch, the nasty wretch, ding dong, the ugly wretch is deeeeeeeeead!"
It went down sorta like this: Hubby tied a piece of bacon to the tounge of the trap and set it near the hole in our library closet that David had chewed. We heard a snap and then the dogs went crazy. We ran into the library and David had caught one back leg in the trap and he was trying to drag the trap back through the hole. First, we had to get the dogs outside, as they were going berserk. Then my husband put on heavy gloves and started towards the trap. (David actualy GLARED at us!)
"No, no, get the barbeque tongs!" I screamed. So my husband shrugged and went and got the LONG tongs. He pulled David and the trap out into the middle of the floor. I said, "Kill him before he gets away!" because he was trying his hardest to crawl away. Hubby stomped on him with his cowboy boots.
This was one big ugly rat. G measured him and he was 14 inches long, from his twitchy little nose to the end of that nasty pink tail. G bought some plaster and we plugged all the holes with steel wool and plastered over them. Hoooraaaaaaay! *dancin the polka here.*
02-20-2007, 08:01 AM
I'm SO glad that you finally managed to get rid of David! :wink: However, I really am going to miss your FANTASTIC and hilarious story-telling! :lol: :wink:
Keep well! :)