The trouble with poisoning a creature (oh, that makes me feel such a heel!) is that it does not always die in the place where you want it to! Obviously this causes a tremendous stink and my Goodness, what a stink! I advise people to stop here if you are squeamish.
The only way to escape the hum is to open windows and doors which is not so good in cold weather. Wrapping up in layers of clothes in a cold room is much preferable to being warmer in an unventilated room I can assure you.
Ratman promised us that the smell would go by the end of the second week, which it did. The longest two weeks of our lives! During this time we spent pounds on aerosol sprays, neutralizing agents and all sorts of other remedies that we tried, from raw onions to incense sticks, non of which worked.
A team of men were sent round by Ratman to examine the drains and a smoke test revealed that there was nothing wrong with toilets or drains. Next door was also tested and given the all clear. For good measure we paid for a camera to go down the sewer which was a compete waste of money, as nothing unusual was found there.
We were advised to dig up about a third of our patio by the kitchen, to see if anything was amiss under it. A small hole was found in a pipe going under the kitchen. That must be it! What joy! The fault was repaired easily and the patio re-cemented in place.
Now we were told that it was alright to knock down the kitchen ceiling that had been trashed by the trap door & rodents.
While this was all being done, everything had been moved out and we had to manage with a microwave, toaster and kettle, as well as a fridge/freezer for a week. Not too bad an inconvenience really.
Harry easily smashed down the ceiling and some not very nice things came down, as you can imagine, but horror of horrors, a large mummified rat fell at his feet, completely dried out and totally flat except for the ribcage & tail.
It was lovely to have a new ceiling, with thick insulation above it, newly plastered and painted. As well as new ceiling lights! A chance to repaint everything. I felt I had a new kitchen.
What a relief! It was all over!
It was while I was ironing one morning ..... I heard it! The unmistakable sound of a creature on the ceiling! My world seemed to be dashed to pieces in an instant.
Ratman was called back and although I liked him, I had hoped I'd never need to see him again. He also looked disappointed to be called back!
"You have two choices," he informed me. "Either move or put up with the occasional visitor in the roof space. He went on to tell me that a fair percentage of his clients never get to the root of their rat problem and even if the kitchen was razed to the ground we might never find an obvious entry point.
He told me of people who had run away from what they thought was a bad rat problem only to find that they moved into a house with a worse one! At least mine was contained and I could put poison in through the outside vents, if the problem got too bad.
We are still here! We have not had a repeat of the bad smell so far. Sometimes we go a long time without hearing anything. We call him Roland when he does visit.
The house is convenient to everything we need. Its just where we want to be at present. Why should we be pushed out by a rodent? The thought of passing on this problem to some unsuspecting family makes me feel guilty. However, we must do something, but what?
We keep promising ourselves that we will pull down the entire kitchen and start afresh - examine everything with a fine tooth comb.
I recently went to the cinema with Sam & Amber to see Ratatouille. All was well until the ceiling collapsed under the weight of the rats and they all tumbled into the kitchen. Well that was only a story, wasn't it?
On a bad night I lie awake and wonder how many rats it would take before our ceiling would give way? However most nights I think of all the bad things going on in the world, people in danger of their lives who would give anything to live in a house like mine, and it all gets put back in perspective.
So here I am, a respectable married lady with 4 lovely grandchildren, 2 part time jobs and a rat!
The Last Birthday in March
23 hours ago