Saturday, 27 June 2009

You didn’t really think it would be that easy, did you?

Came down in the morning – trap totally ignored, but it’s found a few bulbs and some half used packets of seeds which were jolly tasty. Tidied up yet another area and put all untouched seeds into a tin. With a lid. Put another tin on top, just in case. Go to bed.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

First real evidence that this is a rat and not just a mouse – I came down this morning and towards the end of the kitchen is an area with a sheet of plastic over it to stop the rain which comes through the roof wetting everything under it. At this particular time there were a few (six size) multipacks of crisps under this sheet on the table. I heard rustling, looked over there, and under the plastic I could see a rat crawling over the crisps. It was about the size of a computer mouse. I banged about a bit and it ran away. Later I gingerly lifted the plastic to discover that it really liked cheese and onion crisps. There’s a possibility that one pack had already been removed, but there were definitely four packs which had been ripped open and their contents had completely disappeared. There was one other pack which was untouched, and then one pack was already accounted for – or had been dragged off for a secret snack elsewhere. I have yet to find any debris. Curiously the roast chicken flavour crisps were completely untouched.

So now we know the reason why it’s ignoring the mousetrap – its head’s too big to get in there! Straight down to hardware store for a rat trap.

Do I want to catch it dead or alive? No question, surely, DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!! As the guy says, what’re you going to do with a live rat? Where will you release that? He demonstrates how to set the trap and how little pressure is needed to fire it. He uses a biro which is well and truly snapped in half, that’s one hell of a snap. That will surely do the trick.

Set trap, go to bed.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Somehow it’s worked its way to the front of the house as there is now quite a large hole in the bit of damp proofing plastic by the front door which is still waiting for a skirting board. S is pretty annoyed about this. Not only does it look naff to anyone coming to the house, but also it means there's a big hole in the damp proof course. Still at least it's only between the outer hall and the living room, and not out to the outside world.
Also found a chunk bitten out of some plastic flooring in the kitchen. Clearly it prefers plastic to peanut butter. Still, mousetraps have worked in the past, so we wait some more.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Wait. Wait more. Wait even more. Perhaps it’s gone outside again and gone to live somewhere else. We live in hope.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Bought yet another humane mouse trap – can never find the old ones when you want one. We must have had at least three, if not four, in our house over the years but it would seem that once you’ve caught the offending creature you put the trap in the place called ‘somewhere safe’ – which is also invisible. So, having spent (ie wasted) one morning looking for one (just one!) of the traps, went and bought another one. Primed it with peanut butter which has always worked well in the past.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The first real, “we have heard it together” noises of a “there’s something else alive round here apart from us” type rustling heard in the pile of carrier bags under the stairs. Put gloves on. Shall I do it, or will you – okay I have the gloves. There’s a lesson to be learnt here, but too late. Nervously remove everything a bit at a time – don’t want to get bitten or anything.

Ultimately reach floor, but nothing live to be found. However, Tesco bag which was hanging up (made of that material like enviromesh/fleece you put over delicate plants) has great toothy rips on the side where access has been gained to the chocolate bars hidden inside (hidden obviously to children, but apparently not to rodents). Judging by the evidence this has been a favoured source of food for some time. Throw out quite a bit (teeth marks are less than appealing), clear the area up, and resolve to keep clear in future. Clear proof that another exit from under the floorboards has been created.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Rat Diary

One woman's battle against "those who would also live in my house".

13th June 2009

How can you tell when it’s the beginning?

You see, I didn’t know this was going to happen so didn’t write anything down at first. I’ve started this rather late really, so will have to try and remember what has gone before.

Various scuffling noises heard in kitchen, also occasionally in our back room. Possible evidence of rodent activity by the radiator in the back room, ie bits of wrapping paper turned into confetti. Sometimes noise of central heating pipes rattling as though something is running along them – this can get quite loud.