At the moment I feel like I'm living in an episode of Fawlty Towers, you know the one, where Manuel has a pet rat, but he is adamant it's a hamster and it escapes and he spends the whole time looking for it while it happily explores the hotel. We don't have a pet hamster, guinea pig or pet rat BUT at the moment there is a Rat in my house.
For the last two nights I have been ensconced on my lounge, iPad in hand when out of the corner of my eye a rat has run across the lounge room floor, to under the lounge I'm sitting on.
When I first saw it, I had to look twice, thinking it was one big bloody mouse, then it clicked 'that's not a mouse, it's a rat!' I then promptly jumped off the lounge, running into the bedroom to wake Muddy Hubby, screaming, 'there's a rat in the lounge room'. Muddy hubby stirred from sleep said 'what can you do?' turned back over and promptly fell asleep. I on the other hand dragged out every single mouse trap we had and proceeded to lay them all around the house. All in vain, as next morning not one single one was let off.
Last night, same thing, sitting with my iPad on the lounge, across the floor runs the rat! This time I had the traps already set, and didn't waste my energy waking Muddy Hubby, as when he went to bed his instructions regarding the rat were 'just kill it!', very helpful honey! Me a city girl, kill a rat, I think not!
I have since discovered the following things about rats:
- They can do a lot of damage gnawing on things (so far no damage I can find).
- They are cunning and you have to put traps unset in their path for a few days before they get used to them, then you can set them.
- They are not carnivores, rather they prefer seed and grain (this allays my fears about being eaten while sleeping)
- Rats are seed and grain eaters, but can be herbivores (which is why they're around the farm) and have likely moved around the house in search of food now that there are no crops in the paddock
- They're out of luck in our house (which is why I'm not sure how they're here) as the food is confined to the kitchen and dining room, vacuumed after meals, and everything is securely packed away in mouse proof containers thanks to the mouse plague last year.
- My house has never been cleaner, it has been disinfected from top to bottom as there are certain diseases you can catch from them and the health warnings state 'If bitten seek medical assistance', so that's not a reassuring thing
My sleep is suffering as every sound I hear is in my mind the rat coming for me (silly I know, but a childhood fear I can't shake!). I'm ready to issue Muddy Hubby an ultimatum, get rid of the rat or I move out until it's gone. I can cope with snakes, frogs in the toilet, spiders, sheep, mice plagues, but rats are a big no no.
Have you got pest problems?
What would you do with a cunning little rat?