Friday, August 23, 2013

The rats are back

I thought the rat repeller I bought was a great invention. The rats disappeared from our trees, and I settled back into rat-free contentment….until Elizabeth told me one morning last week that she was sitting at her desk, looked idly out the window to see a rat “frolicking” in the back yard. The next day it was three rats. They came and went from under the new deck. Jordan said all I had done in building the deck was to create a rat haven. In the few days I was away, the rats grew bolder. Elizabeth wrote me that it was time for the exterminator. See the picture above that she sent.

By serendipity, a couple of nights later as we sat on the deck, a black kitten, maybe three months old and way too skinny, came walking up the driveway. We held Sophie back as best we could, but she was ballistic and wanted that cat. The cat decided retreat was the best option, even though there was a fence between it and the dog. I posted about the stray kitty on the neighborhood email, only to be told that others had found kittens and apparently someone had dumped a litter in our neighborhood.

Next morning, lo and behold, the kitten had taken up residence on my neighbors’ front porch. It followed Jay when he went to get the paper and then settled down on the porch again, comfy as could be. Elizabeth bought food, and she and Susan fed it and gave it water, for which it was apparently grateful. We thought we had a rat catcher, and Elizabeth began to think of ways to transition it from Susan’s front porch to our driveway. Today, however, no one has seen it.

Meantime, Elizabeth’s yoga partner told us that mothballs work, so tonight she scattered mothballs under the deck (where my dog can’t get them), and we’re hoping for the best.

But I have to say there’s a weird psychic connection here. Elizabeth sees the rats. I’ve never seen one (okay I did see one in the trees tonight—there was a slight chance of rain and I took the repeller inside). I’ve never seen them “frolicking” in the yard, and I said when Elizabeth leaves for five days over Labor Day and we don’t see rats, I’ll know there’s a connection.

So she did some research on rats and the Chinese Year of the Rat. Rat traits are: cleverness, problem solving, order of things, and desire. They have a gift for getting what they want and can seek out and find what most cannot. They have the intelligence to figure out mazes and the nose so they may lock onto their desire. They can fit in places where others cannot. As long as there is an opening large enough to get their head through, the body will follow. Rat’s teeth are constantly growing, so gnawing through something as trivial as iron pipes makes them an undesirable force. There’s a legend about Rat being honored as the first animal of the Chinese zodiac and forever alienating Cat. But I won’t go into it here.

Suffice it to say, I’m worried about the pipes and the wiring in both houses on my property. Hope those mothballs work.


Anonymous said...

Put out a couple of rat poison feeders. I don't know what the exterminators call them, but basically they are dog proof plastic boxes attached to a flat, heavy cinderblock. You put rat poison in it and they eat then go off looking for water and die.
The other thing to curb rats is truly cats. When the coyotes came into our neighborhood a few years back, every wild cat disappeared. After that, here came the rats for the first time. When the coyotes disappeared and the feral cats returned, the rats disappeared.

Judy Alter said...

I'm leery of the poison route--had a dog once that got some poison everyone swore he couldn't get to. Working on the feral cat avenue--we have them in the neighborhood, just not around my house. Hoping that black kitten will stick around.

Anonymous said...

Don't hold back when it comes to rat extermination. Remember that rats were responsible for the demise of 1/3 of the population of Europe back in the 1300's (?). It's you or them.

Judy Alter said...

Thanks Exterminator was here yesterday. Hoping it's effective.