February 7, 2011

The Squatters Part 2

On Saturday, my husband made face-to-face contact with the squatter living in our attic. When he climbed back down, he announced that our uninvited guest is a rat the size of a chihuahua.

"You saw it?" I said doubtfully. The crawl space is suffocatingly small and pitch black.

My husband didn't answer me. He just grinned broadly and pointed to his new head lamp, which he bought on clearance at T.J. Maxx a few days back.

The purpose of the bizarre purchase was suddenly made clear.

Having identified the problem, we were then faced with two ways of solving it.

A. Hire an extermination company. A neighbor recommended one that will guarantee the job for $100.

B. Spend all weekend buying an excessive assortment of mouse traps, bait, and lures and risking one's life and wasting one's valuable time by crawling into the rafters of our house at all hours of the day and night to set said traps and obsessively monitor them.

Before church, he climbed up there in his suit.

Cost of traps + time + suit cleaning + marriage therapy= >$100.

As you surely have guessed by this point, my husband chose the road less traveled and so far, it hasn't made a bit of difference.

I can still hear the rat (s).


Nicole said...

Seriously. Men. Thats all I have to say. Love your blog!!!

UtahMillers said...

I once saw a rat run across our front yard. I saw this through the front window. I jumped right up and locked the front door. My husband nearly collapsed in hysterics. He was raised on a farm. Rodents were in abundance. I was raised in the city. Needless to say, we have differing opinions about critters!! Hope things work out with your squatters. Love your blog.

Crystal Lynn said...

I am so sorry! I had an issue myself and used posion and traps. I also called an exterminator to find the entry spot and had it sealed. I now check my attic nightly because the entire experience freaked me out!

Jessica said...

I had a mouse in my vents once. It was awful! Right when I was deep in sleep it would present itself at my vent located right above my bed! It would use it's claws and click the vent to try and get it open. It was awful!
You know what they say about rats... when you find one then their colony isn't far behind!
-like on Ratatouille- (not very comforting to you I am sure)

Erin said...

Blech. Isn't it funny how your rat story is bringing out the rat stories in all of us? I have a rat story, too, but it's too awful to relive. The end of the story was hand-to-hand combat - my husband with a hammer to finish off the rat quickly. Not a pretty way to go.

Colleen said...

Ack! Ack!! and Ewwwww....

We've had mice and that was bad enough for me, but rats just give me the shivers!! Ewww.

Good luck getting them all out!

Okay... seriously, no kidding... My word verification is "ratibuoi." :)

sarah said...

Hilarious. Can't believe he crawled up there in his suit.

Wait a second.

I can totally believe that.

Anonymous said...

He probably changes his own oil instead of having it done too. I'll never understand that one either.

kario said...

Yup, that's what they all do. We found droppings in our attic right before Christmas and instead of calling an exterminator, my husband set traps up there. Last week I asked him if he'd check the traps since I don't relish the thought of rotting carcasses in my attic. He responded by going on a business trip for a week. I'm calling the exterminator while he's out of town. Even if all they have to do is get rid of the bodies, it's worth it to me.


Polly Scott said...

Why? Why? My husband refused to get a professional to fix our sprinkler system because it was "too expensive". He the same amount of money (all told, after repeated buying the wrong parts, new tools, etc) and five times as much time. Compared to DIY, a professional is cheap, cheap, cheap! And it doesn't result in therapy!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! maybe I can help. We had a swamp rat come into our house. It was sooo gross!! On christmas day it popped it's head up from between our couch cushions OMG!! Anyway I did some research on it and we finally got it. You have to out the traps along the walls because thats where they run for some reason. Also make sure you get a rat trap not a mouse trap like my husband did at first. The rat laughed and threw the mouse trap around! and ate the cheese! Another thing that I read was to use clear silicone and glue an almond down on the trap then smear with a bit of peanut butter for more smell. Once we were able to trap the rat in the closet we put the trap in front of the door and whammo!! We got our rat!!.....and then I tore every inch of the house apart and cleaned for days YUCK!! My husband is not longer allowed to leave the windows open when the weather is nice to the back porch! Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd stay anonymous too if I was telling you about the rat in my house!

Sandi said...

I just can't handle mice. OR rats or anything that resembles a rat or mouse.
You husband is seriously brave to try to get it himself. I might have moved out and called the exterminator! :)
I might just now have to write my own mouse story come to think of it.
I just shivered thinking about it!

Pam said...

Long story short: Engine light comes on in Accord. Take to dealership. Their conclusion: rat ate electrical parts. Ewww. Double yuck! Four days later, van engine light comes on. Husband and I look at each other knowingly. Take to dealership. Their conclusion: not only did rat eat electrical parts, rat was STILL in engine! Gag reflex initiated! Mechanic stabbed rat to death with screwdriver.

The kids think it's the coolest story ever. Movie Ratatouille banned from our home.

In the end, the repair costs totalled about $6,000 between the two cars. Thank goodness for insurance! Stupid rat!

Anonymous said...

We have one hell of a rat problem here. We bought our place 2 years ago and maybe 3 months after moving in I was sitting at my computer next to the back screen door when I heard a 'thump'. Turned to look at the door and there was a huge RAT clinging to the screen. Few nights later I turned the back light on and they were swarming my back porch. EW!

But trial and error, I've trapped each one that decides to mosey into my property. Works every time. Get a rat trap, take a piece of hard cheese. GLUE the cheese to the trap with super glue. Then smear Nutella on the cheese. Peanut butter doesn't work as well. NUTELLA...I'm telling ya. Place trap along wall... along with a few shallow bowls of water. If you don't catch that rat within a day, I owe you a tin of coconut raspberry cookies.


Melanie said...

Very funny! Our rats sounded like a herd of elephants bowling each night.

After lots of money spent, I must say our tried and true way for rat-be-gone is the old fashioned spring traps loaded with a cotton ball covered in peanut butter or nutella! (never tried the gluing the cheese to the trap trick --- I'll try that one)

Our cotton ball/sticky yummy stuff has worked every time for us.

Beware of the poison route. We did that once and they (we aptly named them Romeo and Juliette) died in our walls where they had made their nests. So awesome cutting out bits of your walls to find rat carcasses!

Good luck!

Cathryn said...

Don't feed your cat for two days and then put her in the attic. Within hours she'll have the job done. Make her earn her keep!

Amy said...

Ever since we had a house fire and remodeled our home a few years ago, we haven't had any mouse problems. They are obviously smart rodents...that or they happen to prefer our neighbor's garage that is stacked wall to wall and floor to ceiling with garbage bags full of trash. I fear the day the trash gets cleaned up, I surely don't want them to take refuge in my house.

LisaMarie said...

Eeeek! Rats sound waaaay worse than mice! We had an infestation of mice in our 100 year old home. Killed 14 in all with traps and 1 in the garbage disposal when he popped his little face up after our return from a vacation. Good luck!!

Annie B Larson said...

I don't think it's the road less traveled. It's just the road traveled by men and not women.

Laurie said...

My daughter approached as I was reading this, and she had two things to say. 1. "Oh, what a CUTE rat!!" and 2. "She's not REALLY a mean mom, right?" Oh, how I love your blog- it brings joy to the whole family! :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should get a cat?

Anonymous said...

Meh...got 2 cats. One doesn't care, the other...she'd rather play with her prey than kill it. She catches flies in her mouth ...and releases them to play with them some more. Over and over. Until she kills them then she gets upset.

Don't count on cats lmao.

She went after a rat once. Rat was terrified. Cat just wanted to play with it.


Jensamom23 said...


Anonymous said...

there are some really easy poisons to buy, they eat it, and it eats them, leaving nothing but a little fur, no stress no mess, the worst smell in the world is rotting rat....Good luck with all that.

Michelle said...

I would totally FREAK out! I don't envy you one bit, hopefully it (or they) are gone soon!

It gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about the rats, but, boy you tell it well! Love your blog. You're such a great writer!

flatmargo said...

My husband caught 12 field mice in our house in 1 week. The thundering hordes actually ate an entire bowl of dog food one night. Horrifying!

truth said...

Praises for sticky glue rat traps!

The traps are rectangular and make a perfect square (about 9- 10-in?) when placed side-by-side - plunk about 1/4C cat food pellets (or similar) in the center of the square and the rat can't help but go after them. And get stuck -FAST- in the process.

As it struggles to get out of the sticky, it just gets more and more stuck. You'll have to 'dispatch' the critter once it's caught, but it *will* be caught. Rather quickly, too.

I saw our 'visitor', face-to-face!, one night as I opened our kitchen cutlery drawer; I was not a happy camper. Husband didn't believe me when I told him how big the danged thing was - I figured it was about a total of 5-6 inches long - he thought I was exaggerating.

We set out the sticky glue traps w/ cat chow on them the next morning and caught the booger the following evening.

Hubster was amazed at the size of it...I was, too. It was a 9-inch (13-inch nose tip to tail tip!) Norwegian Warf rat. Eucch!

Yup, I loves me some sticky glue rat traps! beth.

Elisa said...

Do you happen to have a cat? If not, then adopt one! They are amazing in keeping little critters out of your home & yard :-) We had so many field mice when we lived in northern California. One cat = No mice!

A Joyful Noise said...

Sorry but I could not stop laughing at this post! I would invest in a large rat trap and probably there is only one up there in your attic. :-)

Your photo of a sleek fat rat with such a nice coat, reminded me of a post I wanted to do but had forgotten. I certainly get nudges as I read other persons experiences.

Debbie Jean said...

Oh Emm Gee!!! I a so glad I found your blog. It makes me laugh, and I so need to laugh..

I would pack me a bag and go somewhere else until that thing was gone! I am terrified of mice, rats, etc. Good luck getting it out of your house!!

Keep up the good work my friend!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!!

God Bless~
Debbie Jean

Happy said...

When we moved into our new house we discovered it was already occupied by a family of mice, 2 Adults and 3 little ones. So I crafted mice maze of 4 litre plastic bottles and I quickly rounded them all up and settled them in. They quickly became used to kids and we could hand feed the friendlier ones.

We were particularly careful about hygiene and maze cleaning.

It all worked rather well until our annual holiday. Simple solution, my wife liberated the mice down the end of the street, I can only imagine what happened next. But at least we gave this family a 6 month stay of execution.

IIRC Queens Victoria used to keep similar Fancy Rats.

Charlene said...

Just saw this hint about squirrels - do you think it might work for rats?

Squirrel Removal
I do roof work and frequently repair houses damaged by squirrels. On one particular job, I noticed that the homeowner had placed three powerful strobe lights in the attic to repel the squirrels. They insisted that after having a squirrel problem for 37 years and placing the lights in the attic 4 years ago, they are now squirrel free.

Jeannie said...

I seriously feel your pain. In fact I can STILL smell the rotting remains of the little bugger that went and died in the wall between our bathrooms! And that was back in November. I hope you are more successful in trapping rather than resorting to poison, like we had to do. Good luck!

sarahjane said...

I am married to one of "that kind of men" as well. He likes to SAVE MONEY by doing things himself, but in the process - it takes MUCH MORE $ and MUCH MORE TIME than it would have been to hire it done.

I'm with you... I'd pay the $100 for the guarantee that someone else will take care of the problem.

Best of luck with your critters!