Monday, 10 March 2008

There's a Rat in the Kitchen (almost) Part 2

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!


Cath said...

Mummified rat. Ugh!

Perspective does it for me too when I think of the central heating clicking on, hot water on demand, fresh running water....

Great conclusion. Thanks.

merry weather said...

Oh dear! How awful for you, can just imagine what that must be like. We had field mice travelling through our extension ceiling for a year or so. That was unnerving, but a rat, poor you! The problem was solved here when the neighbours moved and their successors removed the ivy that had grown up the party wall. In the meantime we put poison in the loft. And I felt bad about that.

Gone Back South said...

Oh my gosh what a trauma. Maybe it seems a bit mean, but if I were you I'd keep dishing out the poison. Hope they all die or move out soon.

david mcmahon said...

Is Ratman getting paid by the day?

Irene said...

Well, you do remain the optimist, although I would forever be thinking about that creature moving in and out of the house that really doesn't belong there and I would see it as a personal battle between him and me and one of us would have to win it.

I suppose you could adapt yourself to it as long as he chooses to remain single, god forbid he choses to get a mate and have a family.

You are right, though, by putting it all into perspective and realizing that we are all privileged in our living circumstances compared to many other people in this world and we mustn't complain about one rodent.

Maggie May said...

Crazy Cath yes ....... disgusting, wasn't it. I wouldn't have minded if that was the end to it, but we are back to square one!

merry weather .......... some how or other mice seem more respectable than their bigger cousins!

gonebacksouth .......... yes, we put in the poison when it gets bad & say, "Bon appetit! So far they have taken it & died somewhere else!

David M .... he's not getting paid by me, that's for sure, else I'd be stoney broke!

Irene ........... I am not an optimist by nature, but I feel that I would loose it altogether if I concentrated too much on it. I wouldn't like to live alone here, though!

granny p said...

I suppose we should be grateful for only having PLAGUES of far from mummified mice...

granny p said...

PS. Thanks for doing tag so very nicely....

Mrs Mac said...

My cat brought in a rat once and put it down on the kitchen mat thinking it was dead. It wasn't. It was stunned. It came to and waddled over under the cupboards, me standing there not believing and hoping I was hallucinating.... the cat took flight back out the cat flap.

11pm. £145 to get an emergency ratter out. He got it in a cage and then took it away. He was going to shoot it, he said. Ahh. Poor ratty. Poor stinking vicious ratty, biting at the cage, hissing and going for the man's foot.

Brrr..... still makes me shiver!

Daryl said...

Maybe you need to add a cat to the family..

David sent me!

Expat mum said...

They do smell don't they? I'll never forget finding a mouse in my son's mesh laundry bag. I didn't realise the smell was a dead mouse (although I will in future) and had removed almost everything from the bag. Some guardian angel must have been watching over me, because I decided to lift the bag up to my face to inspect the last few bits and pieces - and came face to face with a stiff, and very terrified looking, dead mouse. Ugh that smell!
PS. Working on your tag!

Milla said...

that was truly chilling. Had just bounced from another blog about a rat, and then yours, am feeling all creeped out now! Know exactly what you mean about so not needing to see certain people ever again. We heard a rustle once in our loft, but before I had to face up to deciding what to do about it, I realised a month had gone by without hearing anything more. It just means that I can NEVER go into the loft again. Which is no bad thing!

Unknown said...

A mummified rat? I can't even imagine. To avoid a repeat of dead rat smell you might want to avoid using poison. There are commercial products that make the rats want to leave and stay out. I believe shakeaway works and perhaps a sonic repeller? They don't harm the rats or the environment.

aims said...

Surprisingly enough - we do not have rats here in Alberta. They have a Rat Patrol! at the borders that check to make sure no rats come into the province via trucks etc. Isn't that amazing! It is wonderful to live somewhere without rats -

btw - David sent me - altho I have noticed you around quite often! :)

San said...

I'd as soon not be on the viewing end of that camera going down in the sewer. But what the hey, gotta cover the bases, Maggie.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the smell is gone for good. And that the scene from Ratatouille doesn't play out in your kitchen. Mine either for that matter. It's only a movie. It's only a movie. Keep repeating.

Maggie May said...

Granny P .......... Had to laugh at your plagues of un-mummified mice! Thanks for your encouragement.

helena ......... nice of you to drop over. My goodness what a lot of money to pay to get your rat to be shot! At least ours is all free .... well comes out of the Council Tax.

Daryl ....... well unfortunately the rats are well out of a cat's reach. Did I say unfortunately. It is very fortunate that they are not within striking distance,
else I would be off!

Expatmum ....... I expect the smell is just as bad no matter what animal but the bigger the creature the longer it goes on for! Probably more intense too. Once you experience it there is no forgetting it though.

Jules said...

Well here's hoping the rats just pass you by in future - knowing that a vicious rat killer dwells within and all. :)

Once in a while , during the dead of night, I'll be sitting in the living room reading, and hear the pitter- patter of little feet in the ceiling above. A bit scary. I haven't heard them recently though- thank goodness!

Maggie May said...

milla ........ Your noise might not have been a rat! Could have been a more innocent explanation like expansion creaks or something! Hope that's all it was.

tom starling ..... good of you to drop by ..... if we could get to the rat run we could try some other thing like the sonic pulse thing, but unfortunately it is in a 3 inch gap in an enclosed ceiling. No one can get at it. I explained most of it in Part 1 about two posts away!

Aims ..... yes, I have seen you about & read your blog from time to time! No rats in Canada! I am coming over! Nice of you to call.

San ...... the worst part is not knowing if we will get a repeat performance or when. Yes, its only a movie, only a movie ......... only!

Maggie May said...

Jules ..... pitter patter is made by mice! Thump thump, drag & rearrange things noises, means an animal half as big as a cat, but unfortunately is spelt with an "R"!

Dusty Spider said...

Ooooh poo! I know that smell, we had a problem with rats where I worked and the poison did it's job leaving us with that appalling smell for two weeks! You have my sympathies. Not the end of the world though eh!? Hugs, Flick x

aims said...

Hi Maggie May - Just to answer your question over on my blog.

'The Man' tales are located under the label 'truth' which you will find on my sidebar. Starting at the beginning will introduce you to my life of abuse that starts as a young girl and continues.

You may have to give yourself a little more time to get it all read if you are up for it.

Thanks for visiting!

Charlene Amsden said...

I hate to frighten you, but rats and mice carry diseases that are not kind to humans. You do not want to share living space with a wild rodent.

Maggie May said...

Flick .........I see you have experienced it too! I suppose it is not the end of the world.A bit testing though!

aims ...... thanks for that. I have started reading it! Will catch up eventually.

quilldancer .... Thanks for visiting. The rodent is contained ...... not in my living quarters & don't forget, we are never more than 6 feet away from a rat! ( In England anyway!)

Ladybird said...

Sometimes Blogger's comment page takes so long to open. I wish they'd make commenting easier.
Ihad a rat in the kitchen too but now I keep the windows closed at night, so they dont come in.
by the way is that a cat or a rat that u have drawn?

Maggie May said...

I would be really upset if it was actually IN the kitchen. It is in the roof space about 3 inches deep, so we can't get at it!
The picture can be whatever you want it to be ;-)

Expat mum said...

This is getting to be quite a post, but I just wanted to repeat the advice I gave on Wifey's blog a month back. I have it on professional advice (The City of Chicago's Streets and Sanitation man) that if you feed rats coke, it will do the trick. Apparently they can't burp, so they just explode! My neigbour tried it and told me it works, but with a little one who plays outside, (apart from the obvious revulsion) I have never tried it.

Maggie May said...

Expatmum ........ that is an amazing remedy & I am wondering how I would get coke to them in the first place, because they are so confined in this ceiling & I really don't want to open it up again. I will give the matter some thought. Many thanks!

david mcmahon said...

The thought just hit me - you could become a Ratsafarian!!

Maggie May said...

Well! Really! What if I was one already! Not that I am!

Maggie May said...

Sam & I have been letting our imaginations run away with us following Expatmum's comment on exploding rats on coke! S wishes we could get a snap of it happening! A bit sick! Sorry!