If you are my friend on Facebook you may have already seen this photo:
You see, a little over a month ago Heath and I heard some crunching noises one night coming from the kitchen. The next morning we saw a rodent turd on the floor. Yes. We had a rat in the house. This was unusual for Heath. He dealt with many rats on his mission but never here in Arizona. I however was familiar with this. When I was younger and lived on Robin Lane we had plenty of mice.
So we went about setting up traps. I never want to see a dead rat on the floor when I wake up so I did not want to go the traditional rat trap route. I found instead these covered spin traps. You don't have to see the dead creature and the trap indicates whether there is anything inside and then you just throw the whole thing away. We baited it with some peanut butter but for a whole week nothing became of it.
One morning Heath just got out of the shower and still wrapped in his towel went to the pantry to get some cereal. (You know your husbands do it to). To the right of the pantry door hangs the aprons and in the corner of his eye he saw the aprons moving. He looked over and caught a quick glance of the rat trying it's hardest to stay on. Heath grabbed something nearby and in the process lost his towel. He started beating the aprons. Naked. He looked absolutely crazy! The mouse dropped to the floor and scrambled his way underneath the couch. Heath still looking crazy barged into our room to announce to me the updated whereabouts of the rat. Later that day we discovered it was still under the couch. We tried with all our might to catch it but it found its way back home again. (That is what the above picture is portraying).
Onto the next strategy. I do not like sticky traps. At all. Yes, I am a bit of an animal rights activist (exaggeration?) and I can't just toss the live rodent to suffer in the dumpster until it died or got crushed. But we set out sticky traps nonetheless. Still, nothing!
We started getting creative. One night I was up late and heard the rat in our bathroom. "Perfect!" I thought, "I can trap him in there. So I lined up some sticky traps along the doorway thinking he would be stuck in the bathroom or he will get stuck to the paper. The next morning we found....nothing! I should have known they can jump. Heath made a 2 x 2 sticky pad with some yummy food in the middle. This thing separated one row of the paper and walked up the center to the pile of food and left not a sign of his presence. Not even a hair!
This little (big) mouse set up his home underneath our kitchen cabinet. We tried trapping him there. He clearly had food storage. We could hear him munching every night. Well, we weren't giving up! But especially Heath. He started losing it a little bit.
The floor had just been freshly swept and mopped one evening. Heath was changing out the laundry. He dropped off the dry laundry in our bedroom, then put the wet into the dryer and started a new load. He turned around and there he saw it.
The rat? No, no, no. He didn't see the rat. What he saw was worse (in his eyes). What he saw was...
a turd! On the freshly mopped floor!!! Heath couldn't handle such an atrocity. He exclaimed that he just walked past that spot and nothing was there and a few minutes later there it was. And no sign of the rat. Oh, we could just imagine it. The rat was hiding in an unusual spot. He needed to get back to his home under the kitchen cabinet. He saw that I was in the other room with the child. And the man was busy with that loud machine. Here was his chance. But as he scurried past he paused and a malicious smirk grew on his face. "I'm just gonna take a dump right here. That'll get 'em!"
Yes, that is surely what happened.
Not to many nights ago Heath woke up in the middle of the night. He heard the rat. This time he was close and sounded like he was in our closet. He must have been climbing on something because Heath heard him fall and thud onto the carpet. Gives me the shudders.
Poison was out of the question, what with a toddler running around. Plus, I was wary of the rat going back to his hideout, dying and then stinking up the joint. What could we do?
One night we set out a few crumbs of bread right outside his home. Heath sat on the counter top with a big heavy textbook-like book, waiting for the rat to come eat the little morsels and so Heath could drop the book on him. Well, he waited and waited and waited. About 15 minutes of waiting. And no rat came. Finally, he gave up and we sat on the couch and chatted for a little bit (about 20 feet away from the kitchen). About 5 minutes later I got up and walked past the kitchen. The crumbs were gone! Oh he was a clever rat. But not clever enough!!!
Heath found a mouse trap on amazon.com. The reviews were very good. We ordered it and set it out right before we went to bed. No more than 10 minutes later we heard a SNAP! and some scratching then silence. Heath did one of those cool inward fist pumps with a whispered "YES!" and went out to see the lowly dead creature. He peaked around the corner into the kitchen and startled the still-breathing rat!!! It started panicking and actually, perhaps more accurately, started tap dancing with the trap as his tap shoe ("trap" dancing?). It was brutal. About half way into his routine he bled through his mouth and made the kitchen into a true murder scene. Heath felt bad and I just wished he would die. Why did it take so long?
He tapped on and off for at least 15 minutes.
Finally dead, I could witness this thing that haunted our home for a month. He was big. Probably between 10-12 inches from nose to tail. He looked like Remy from Ratatouille. Same coloring and everything. Plus he preferred to be in the kitchen. Poor little fellow. But maybe if you could cook like Remy we would have kept you alive. Besides, we fed you for a month and how did you thank us? By pooping on our floors!
Now, if you dare look. Here are some pictures of the crime scene...
dun dun DUN
It was a blood bath.
Now don't tell me I didn't warn you!
Heath wrote a lovely short on it here. And don't worry. No toddlers ate rat poop during Remy's stare here at the Wilcock residence. Or so I surely hope that no toddlers ate rat poop. Oh my, I pray she didn't!
Emily "The rat killer" Wilcock