Sunday, 26 July 2009

In which I spend a lot of time attempting to rat-proof the house

We've decided that it could evidently get in under the old back door where there was a four inch gap which had only been cursorily filled in. One day this will be finished off properly. I spent a couple of hours clearing everything away from the area – a job which had needed doing for quite a while, I must admit – and then building what can best be described as a rockery out of every brick, stone, etc I could find to fill the not exactly rectangular gap. There was a lot of scrabbling noises that night, but was it on the inside or the outside?

Next morning, the rockery was still intact but a piece of rotten wood which had been just lying in the drain below had been dragged out. Had the rat climbed out and then pulled its little bridge after it?

S decided perhaps it could work its way up the outlet from the washing machine and get in that way. Cue to remove everything (and there was a lot of it) from the top of the washing machine so that we could see what needed blocking round the back. Several hours later – nope, no way in there anyway.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Over the next few days various scuffling noises here and there. It is clearly able to move about overground in the kitchen as it’s found another stash of bulbs and seeds left over from previous years which I’d completely forgotten about. So - yet more clearing away and throwing out (at least they were past their use-by dates). S thinks the trap might be a bit unstable as it’s across three pipes, not all the same diameter, so thinks we should have a bit of wood underneath to help. This, of course, involves more lying on the floor, fiddling about and more unintentional firings of the trap – which is very painful.

The following morning we discovered it had attempted to get at the packet of tea bags which were on the lowest shelf. It had gnawed a couple of holes but then evidently pulled the packet over on itself which must have frightened it into running away. Unless it just prefers coffee.

Monday, 6 July 2009

S came down into the kitchen and saw it run towards him and disappear under the cooker. So, we’ve both seen it now but he thinks it’s not so big. Still not interested in trap, so S suggests we put the trap in the under the kitchen floor trough which he says is “the rat run”. This is easier said than done because a) you have to lay on the kitchen floor to be able to reach in there and b) the trough’s actually fairly full of pipes (when we rebuilt the kitchen we installed these fantastic troughs and gullies so that all the pipework could be routed under the floor and just come up at the right places. This was an admirable plan but failed to take account of the fact that now we have a rat superhighway enabling it to pop up here, there and indeed everywhere.) Anyway baited this with stilton to make it very smelly. Let's see how we fare with this one.