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29 September 2008

The terrible, horrible, no good, itchy, smelly bad day week. [More:]

Don't ask how, because I don't know, but rats have again found their way into my crawlspace, presumably through (or under) the AC unit on the roof.

Last Saturday night, I thought I heard one scratching around up there.

Sunday evening, GF and I heard the *SNAP thump thump thump* of a rat getting caught in one of the traps left by the exterminator some months ago. This went on for a while; the poor thing must've gotten caught in the wrong spot, because he didn't die immediately.

Or the next day.

Or the next.

For three nights, we heard it moving around up there, blindly running into walls with at least some of its head in a trap.

I was heartsick because, while I don't want rats in my house, I have a really hard time being the reason for their demise. And this one -- well, it had a very long, drawn out, presumably painful death.

The pest control service didn't return my call on Monday. I talked to them on Tuesday, and the earliest they could get out was the next day. So the Rat Man came out Wednesday morning. (At 7:30. Not my best hour.) Half an hour before he showed up, I could still hear the rat moving around, with the trap attached. *Thunk drag drag drag thunk.*

Rat Man couldn't find the rat, or the trap. "I hate to tell you this," he said, "but it probably fell down in the wall. Call me when it starts to smell -- it'll be much easier to find then."


So when does it start to smell? Late Friday night/early Saturday morning. GF had to go to San Francisco on Saturday. She woke me up before she left and said, "Are you sure you don't want to come with me? It's starting to smell." I hadn't noticed it yet and said no thanks. (Actually, what I think I said was "I told you no already! Leave me alone, I'm trying to sleep!")

I went out Saturday morning to watch the Longhorns embarrass Arkansas. When I got home that afternoon, holy hell did it stink in here.

The spare room had the worst of it, so I put fresh batteries in the smoke detector, lit a candle, and shut off the room. I called the Rat Man, but they weren't answering phones and I had to leave a message saying, meekly, "It smells. When can you come out? Please?"

Saturday evening, I heard another *SNAP thunk thunk thunk.*

All Saturday night and Sunday morning, I'd jolt awake at the smell. By Sunday afternoon, I realized I wouldn't be able to stay here another night -- and it was only going to get worse, since the dead rat problem had doubled -- so I hopped a train and hightailed it to the GF's.

Rat Man called while I was on the train and offered to come out this morning. Yay.

Now, I don't stay at the GF's very often because, as some of you may remember, I seem to be horribly allergic to something in the vicinity of her bed. We thought it was bedbugs, or spiders, at first. Since then, we've been through an assortment of bedding. Last time I was there, the day before we were to leave for a camping trip, I again woke up with horrible itchy red welts all over my body, and I made her swear to throw those sheets away. She did, and I gave her some sheets of MINE. Those were the sheets on the bed last night. And I still woke up with horrible itchy red welts. (Though they're only on the back of my neck, which makes me suspect that her pillow cases are also evil.)

So, to recap:

I had to get up at 7:30 this morning (reminder: not my best hour), covered in horrible itchy red welts, to drive back up here and deal with the removal of smelly dead rats.


Rat Man found and removed the rat from Saturday, but still couldn't find the original one. Saturday's rat was hella smelly, so he couldn't track down the scent from the first one. It already smells better, though, so I'm hoping the worst is over. He left some of these Earthcare Odor Remover bags and says that they work really well. (Anyone have any experience with them?)


We now return you to your regularly scheduled GYOFB-fest. Thanks for letting me rant. You can now tell me how much this sucks, and you can reassure me that the O.R. (Original Rat) isn't going to cause any more problems.
I feel for you. There's nothing quite so disgusting as that smell - it's really intolerable.
posted by Miko 29 September | 14:25
ICK! That's a pretty nasty situation you've got there. Meanwhile, I'm still unemployed, broke, and now I have poison oak on me!
posted by pieisexactlythree 29 September | 14:36
The moral of this story is: live rats are (marginally) better than dead rats.
posted by Meatbomb 29 September | 15:00
Well, when you've had to beat a rat to death with a steel-capped boot in the middle of the night while stark naked, call me. Until then, I have no sympathy.
posted by dg 29 September | 15:15
That does tend to put things in perspective, dg. Thanks.
posted by mudpuppie 29 September | 15:23
dg, is it any better beating the rat to death if you have on clothes? No?

Oh, so maybe mudpuppie will just give you a call next time - you could be there more quickly than the exterminators, even with the long distance commute.

You could perhaps hire out as rat hit-man?

*Sending sweet smelling wuffles to mudpuppie and congrats to dg on finding a better solution to the rat problem.*
posted by mightshould 29 September | 15:58
That is really, really unpleasant. Nothing about that is pleasant at all. I'm sorry, pups.I hope all the carnage is over.
posted by jrossi4r 29 September | 19:11
EEK! I'm SO SO sorry. That sounds like a hellish time.
posted by Stewriffic 29 September | 20:19

I've had to keep killing ants lately, because we occasionally will get a bunch of them inside. I hate even doing that; I apologize out loud to them the entire time and plead with the rest of them to leave and tell their sisters to stay away. I can't imagine having to deal with mice. I just keep hoping the cat is somehow magically chasing them away.

I mean, like, telepathically. I don't want to deal with mice.
posted by occhiblu 29 September | 21:28
posted by jrossi4r 29 September | 21:56
I broke my glasses and re-chipped my tooth. This is an awful and expensive week.
posted by puke & cry 29 September | 23:26
Stripey dog question. || This week's Photo Friday theme: "Broken Thing", suggested by ethylene