Saturday, 25 July 2015

Oh rats!

First of all, a warm welcome to Pensive Pensioner, DC, Simple Living and Sue Settle, I hope you enjoy reading.  Thanks to everyone who commented on Pam's lovely gift to me (and contributed to her red cheeks!), I think we're all agreed that she does some lovely work.

We've always come across mice or rats here, ever since we first moved in.  A day or 2 before we actually moved in, we were here decorating and the plumber was here also, finishing off installing the new bathroom suite.....he went outside for something or other, came back in with a white face and big eyes and announced he'd just seen a rat run straight across in front of him.  Clearly not his favourite creatures!  We live in the country, on farmland, both us and our next door neighbours feed the birds, neighbours on the other side of them have lots of chickens, so a vermin presence is inevitable really.  I'd rather they didn't come indoors, but am not really scared of them.

Having said that, one evening last year I discovered a mouse hiding behind the food processor on the kitchen worktop - I don't know who was more surprised, me or the mouse.  Well, the mouse was clearly rattled, as it proceeded to spend the next 5 minutes or so (it felt like an hour) charging around the work surfaces at the speed of light.....that did put the wind up me a bit.  I was here on my own, OH was at work, so I HAD to deal with it....I eventually managed to knock it off the worktop onto the floor (have you any idea just how FAST a mouse can move?  They're like lightning) and it scarpered out of the open utility room door.  I then spent the next hour moving everything off the worktop, scrubbing it all and disinfecting the work surfaces.....I mean, I make pastry and bread on those surfaces, and had visions of mouse wee everywhere.  Yuck.

We had a mouse living in our sitting room last year too (maybe it was the same one....he'd probably snuck into the kitchen to get his evening meal, since he turned his nose up at the peanut butter-laden traps set in the lounge).  I often saw it over a period of 3 or 4 weeks, it would appear early in the morning or in the evening, streaking across the carpet and diving under the sofa or computer desk....never when OH was around, of course.  It eventually disappeared, no idea where, it certainly wasn't in any of the traps.  Fortunately, there was no decaying body smell and I never found it when hoovering, so possibly it legged it outside. 

Over the past month, we've seen rats every day out in the back garden.....now, I would throw a fit if one of them came indoors, a mouse indoors I can cope with, rats no way Jose!

OH said they'd been nibbling the tomato, cucumber and pepper plants in the polytunnel, so they had to go (the rats, that is, not the veg).  Rat traps were bought and armed with peanut butter and laid along the areas where we'd seen them running.  I wasn't particularly optimistic - why settle for a bit of peanut butter when you can have an unlimited supply of fresh veg, bird seed and chicken feed?  Well, blow me down, this morning OH waved at me through the kitchen window the body of the 7th, yes seventh, rat he's caught in the past 10 days (he seems to think I like to see his hunter/gatherer efforts).

We'll never eliminate ALL the rats and mice, I know, but do want to keep on top of them.

23 comments:

  1. vermin go hand in hand with country living, as you say you just do your best to keep in control. I took part in the Coypu eradication program, it took a long time and lots of manpower but it worked. The rat will never be exterminated, they breed far too well, can live in the most inhospitable places and thrive on rubbish. Fingers crossed and touch wood the local cat population seem to have their paws on the situation round here.

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    1. We had a cat at the same time as we had the resident mouse....sadly, he was too old, arthritic, poor sighted and toothless to do anything about it.

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  2. Mice I can manage - rats I HATE. We tend to use bait boxes in tucked away places in early autumn when the rats come in off the fields and again in spring. The only time I have screamed like a girl was when a rat ran across the workbench in the garden shed when I went out in the half light to get something - Horrible

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    1. I expect I'd do more than scream if one actually came indoors.

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  3. We use an electronic mouse scarer which sends a high pitched noise along all electrical wiring. So far it seems to be working but a friend has a lot of rats in her attic which she hates. The rat man is on it though and between them, they hope to have it sorted. Horrible things but very intelligent apparently.

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    1. I've heard about those, wasn't sure if they actually worked.

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  4. We had one in our kitchen he got in from under the kitchen sink ,.

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  5. I haven't seen a rat in the garden for a couple of years now but they used to be very entertaining to watch from the bedroom window. Almost a pity I had to get rid of them x

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    1. They have to go, can't have them eating all our food!

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  6. Our little visitors came up in the hole for the gas pipe, we have lifted the shelf put loads of wire to stop them an put back the shelf, we do keep a couple of traps out but never caught anything else. They found our supply of dried cat food, obviously not mouse flavored.

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    1. We never did find where 'our' mice were getting in.

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  7. Last night I heard a rustling from one corner of our kitchen, picked up a half open cereal packet and a rat leapt out and ran for cover with the speed of light. We've put down poison and hope it works. Meanwhile every scrap of food is either in the fridge/freezer or tightly sealed containers. Ugh!

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    1. Ugh indeed! I never leave food out on the worktops overnight, and as much as possible is in sealed plastic boxes inside the cupboards.

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  8. I am blessed with a son in law who runs pest control business so any vermin problems and he gets stuff for us, we have bait boxes set up around the place and traps are always in place :-)

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  9. I think mice go for chocolate rather than peanut butter...

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    1. I'll remember that, TA, should we have a mouse problem in the future!

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  10. A family of mice set up home in the car earlier this year! Poo everywhere and a horrid smell. They almost managed to chew right through the passenger seat belt, very expensive and tricky to replace! We eventually managed to get rid of them and now we park the car on the other side of the drive, they haven't returned (yet).

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    1. Oh yuck, horrible. We had a mouse in our caravan one year, fortunately we discovered and dealt with it before it had done any damage....other than shredding a plastic bag and using it to make a nest with underneath one of the seats.

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  11. Me again, I forgot to mention the rabbit in the bathroom! I kid you not!! I found a fully grown wild rabbit lurking behind the loo, we think it must have got in either through the cat flap or when the door was left open. Not content with eating the garden, they invade my home as well!
    Sue X

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    1. Blimey! Must have come in through the open door. Or maybe the cat brought it in....have you got a cat? My mum's cat managed to drag a live duck in through her cat flap once.....scared the living daylights out of my mum when she heard all the commotion in the kitchen and found the poor thing flying around wildly crashing into things.

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  12. call rent-to-kill.
    they put down sealed bait boxes only for the rats. just keep it up all year long.
    we had a rat invasion this year .
    been here 8 years and no trouble till this spring.
    exterminator has them under control, but if you see one there are probably a dozen.

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