The Gentrified Rat
The continuing saga of attempting to get rid of the rat in my kitchen
We have discovered a rodent in the house. It has eaten through our entire ‘bag for life’ collection. We set one of our friendly humane mouse traps leftover from the last mouse invasion and I agree to buy some poison tomorrow. Surely it can’t be that difficult to get rid of, just part of living in a Victorian house.
Daisy sees it run from under the sofa at midnight. It is a rat. I spend the evening tensely listening out for noises.
Loss of ‘bag for life’ collection: £3
Total running rat costs: £3
Open my work backpack to discover half the Green and Blacks chocolate bar I bought the day before is missing. Wonder for a moment whether I mistakenly forgot that I ate it, but don’t think even I would go as far as biting through the paper and foil and gorging on it from the centre of the bar.
Spend some time choosing between the many kinds of traps and poisons in the local hardware shop and spring for some packets of rat poison.
The council say they’ll only send pest control round if we’ve seen droppings. We tell them we haven’t, but we have seen the rat. They refuse to come since we haven’t seen droppings. We ring back 2 minutes later saying we’ve seen droppings. Council pest control agree to come and sort it out in two weeks time, since this is considered an emergency public health risk. Until then we must fend for ourselves.
Rat poison: £5
Total running rat costs: £8
We wake up to an aggressive knawing sound coming from the kitchen. It appears to be trying to bite its way into the baking cupboard. The rat has not touched any of the four servings of poison spread around the house. We go via Robert Dyas on our way to work and buy two fancy “pre-baited” modern snap traps and a little house that comes laced with poison.
We are kept awake by mysterious rustling sounds from the kitchen.
More baits and traps: £23.37
Total running rat costs: £31.37
The rat has touched none of the poison and smartly ignored the expensive snap traps. It has, however, knocked the bird fat balls off the kitchen shelf, but not eaten any of them, as if to say “you forgot to hide these from me didn’t you”.
We go out to buy extra Tupperware to protect the baking supplies.
Total running rat costs: £36.37
Yet again, the rat has ignored the poison and traps. I go and buy a new kind of sticky trap that is meant to catch the rodents in glue, and then you humanely kill them. The hardware shop has sold out of all other traps, and the owner tells me he’s doing great business this year, so at least someone is winning here.
Daisy bakes a cake and we take it in turns to stand guard whilst it is cooling.
I google “how to humanely kill a rat” and view some disturbing forums. We bait the sticky traps with some of the Green and Blacks, since we know the rat has a taste for it.
Sticky traps: £2
Additional Green and Blacks: £2.50
Total running rat costs: £40.87
Awoken at 6am by my girlfriend jumping on me in bed shouting “the trap is gone!” Run into the kitchen with my heart racing to discover that yes, one of the chocolate baited sticky traps is missing. We begin hunting for it, and find that the rat has smartly dragged the paper under the fridge, feasted on the chocolate, and gone back to its nest, cleverly avoiding the sticky stuff.
We rebait all the snap traps with Nutella and peanut butter, and tape the sticky traps to the floor so it can’t drag it under the fridge again. I have many murderous rat based thoughts at night and wonder about perhaps baking a poison laced cake, before realising that is ABSOLUTE INSANITY. We are both absolutely exhausted from being woken up by endless creepy scratching in the night. How can it possibly be outsmarting us?
Morning: The rat has refused to touch the cheap peanut butter or Nutella laced traps. It has, however, again managed to avoid the sticky stuff and eat the Green and Blacks 70% dark chocolate. We must have found the most gentrified rat in London.
We go out and buy some old school murderous snap traps. We will not be beaten.
Monday night update:
It got much worse. Came home to find the dishwasher showing the “check water” error. After unloading and washing all the gross smelling plates from last nights dinner we moved it out to find what we had been dreading. Yes, the bastard rat had bitten through the water pipe seemingly to make nest supplies. And yes. That’s where the droppings are. Ran into the garden and tried to lure next doors cat in to see if that would help. No luck so, finally gave in and decided I couldn’t wait another week for council pest control and rang for an emergency call out tomorrow. Too grossed out to cook in the rats nest kitchen we escaped to the chip shop for dinner.
We set the last and final snap trap. Fingers crossed.
Snap traps: £2.99
Pest control call out: £220
Emergency chippy tea: £10.50
Total running rat costs: £274.36 TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FOUR POUNDS AND THIRTY SIX PENCE WE COULD HAVE GONE ON A MINI BREAK FOT THIS!!
1 week since the start of rat-gate. We are broken shells of our former selves, exhausted by a week of sleepless nights listening to our horrible new pet. The snap trap has gone off in the night. But no dead rat.
Pest control man/knight in shining armour arrives to rescue us with his industrial strength poisons and sticky traps. He ventures into the creepy cupboard in front of our house (formally known as “the spider hole”) and works out they’re probably coming in through this MASSIVE OPEN HOLE IN THE WALL. (See rat hole below)