Wednesday, August 15, 2007


One thing I hate about DC is the rats. The little bastards are everywhere. Big suckers, too.

I was out trying to water the plants in my front yard and having a miserable time of it. I'm using gravity to pump the water from a barrel in the back yard through a hose under the house and into the plants out front. Needless to say I don't get great pressure through the hose. One day the pressure was particularly bad. I kept twisting and turning the hose to clear the kinks while the water would come in a slow trickle, maybe. I finally notice the spring that was coming from the wall near the steps. Closer study revealed this.

As you can see in exhibit A one of them decided that his access into my crawlspace was being cramped by my hose. I've since cut out that section and installed fittings to join the two pieces back together. The hardest part was priming the hose after so water would flow.

The rat came inside. I could hear him rustling around in the kitchen and living room while I was trying to sleep. I got glue traps and divided the two rooms. Half an hour after I settled in for the night I heard scrabbling. I hit the light and grabbed the shaft of an old umbrella. I felt like Sylvester the Cat. The part of the rat was being played by a kangaroo.
The rat had only had his back legs and tail stuck in the glue. It was trying to head for it's exit in the floor of the utility closet. But first it had to make the glue trap fit between the wall and the lumber leaning against the wall. The trap got wedged there and the rat pulled himself free.
The glue traps remain but the rat has not returned. I suppose that's why it's so big. It's smart enough to know when the jig is up.

This is standard from what I've learned of trapping mice and rats. Traps require the creature to let his nose override his brain. Poison leaves you with rotting animals in the walls. Glue traps are your best bet, but then you have live creatures to deal with. Mice start screaming when they get stuck. Rats tend to only get half stuck and then pull themselves free. You gotta get both halves of them stuck and that tends to require two traps. I've shoved them in pizza boxes and stomped them. I've dropped bricks on them. My plan this time was to make a rat and glue trap sandwich, leave it under someone's tire, and wait for them to go to work.

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