In my previous post at the end of July I had resorted to calling in the Rat Man to assist me in my struggle. When that failed to show results I detailed my nuclear option of removing all of my loft insulation and denying the rodents access.
The button was pushed. I have spent many hours removing all the insulation. It's not an easy or pleasant task but there is no place left to hide. The entry points were filled with steel wool held in place by more expanding foam. You do get some funny looks bulk buying expanding foam but it all got used.
All has been quiet in the loft for the past few weeks. All that is left to do is have a proper clean up of rodent droppings, repair of eaten network cable and re-insulating before winter.
Everything has been going to plan.
Until today. I was sat at the computer catching up on a few podcasts when I heard the noise. The noise that has kept me awake at night, the noise that caused the pressing of the nuclear button. The sound of the rodent scratching about. The precise location I am uncertain about. I suspect that it is not from the loft, unless it has been enjoying its diet of steel and foam. By my estimation the noise is from the cavity wall above the window. I am guessing that little Ratty not being able to ascend to loft level has decided to compromise by setting up home atop the lintel over the window.
How I proceed at this point is uncertain. I need to insulate the loft for winter provided it is still secure. But it appears that a peaceful nights sleeps is not going to be an option in the short term. A new plan of attack is required.
This month I finally called in the Rat Man to rid me of the menace in the loft. He managed to attend 2 out of the 3 scheduled visits. Having time off work and his no show did not go down well. In any case the traps are being avoided but they do like the additional bait they are being provided with. So after 2 visits and not hearing any movement above me I was a little happier. This evening however, following yesterdays no show, I hear scurrying once again. So in summary I have had 3 afternoons off work for no improvement in the situation whatsoever.
I am getting very close to the nuclear option of stripping out all the loft insulation and permanently denying them access by any means necessary (even if it means taking the roof off). It nibbled though my network cable and I have a zero tolerance approach to network intrusion.
To battle the rodent menace I have 7 traps in my loft. Yesterday I went up to check them; 6 were full. Of the 6, 5 suffered a quick demise through a direct head strike. One unfortunate victim was caught by the tail and eventually passed away from probable starvation/dehydration after a struggle with its surroundings.
In an additional observation one of the head strike victims appeared to have had its hind leg eaten off.
The sound of something reminding me of a cat scratching could be heard in the loft. I don't have a cat in the loft, only insulation and a trap.
Ascending into the roof space it was clear that all was not well. An aroma tainted the air. The trap had seen action, some time ago by the state of its occupant (sorry no pics this time). This means I have a live one still to get. The trap has been reset. Fingers crossed for another victim in a day or so.
I awoke this morning not looking forward to the busy day that was waiting for me at work. Imagine how I felt when upon pushing the button to start the electric shower I was greeted with a Bang rather than the cascade of hot water. I was less than impressed at the lack of water, especially as I was already behind schedule. I grabbed the measuring jug from the kitchen and scooped water out of the sink and dumped it over my head whilst standing in the bath. I reached work less than ready to start the day.
Researching showers it became apparent that I might just be lucky on replacement options. So after stocking up on advice from my colleagues I ventured to a DIY store to part with some money. Trying to fit a shower in a small bathroom at the end of the hard day can hardly be called fun. I was driven on by the desire for a shower to ease my aches and pains. Two hours of drilling, cutting, wiring, sealing, compressing later I had a box on the wall with water and power going in and a hose coming out. The moment of truth, I flipped the breaker, it stayed on. I pulled the isolation switch cord, it lit and so did the power indicator on the box. I turned the box to cold, cold water began to spring forth from the shower head. Turning the box to hot, a few seconds wait, warm water began to emerge. Success, my first plumbing job and it has worked. No leaks, no power tripping or electrocution.
It may have been a long day but just the knowledge that a hot shower awaits me in the morning means I can relax and have a restful nights sleep.
My recent posts have been detailing my war with the local rodent population. The battle has moved from the kitchen into the loft in recent weeks. During the loft insulation project several large holes were sealed trapping the enemy in the loft, numbers unknown. A clean kill and subsequent silence on the front lead me to believe a victory had been achieved. A scouting mission today showed the bait had been taken and my foe had gone to ground avoiding detection. Cut off from its usual supply line it had taken the tainted food cache. I can't see my enemy but they are there. The signs of droppings not present before are an indicator of the restriction in their movements. The trap has been set, it is only a matter of time before their desperation leads to their downfall.
The rat from the kitchen had decided to move up the cavity wall into the loft. This was not acceptable, its scratching was keeping me awake at night and its movements moving my insulation. Yesterday the problem was.....resolved (unless there are more).
It happened before, it is happening again. The rat is back!!
I entered a darkened kitchen and switched on the light. The murky darkness at the side of the washing machine was disturbed by a flicker of movement. Glancing down to focus, nothing. I approached the washing machine to hear a rapid exit being made by scurrying tiny feet. To where the intruder has fled is not yet known. 8:30pm on a Sunday evening is not the time to begin the destructive search of the kitchen sink cupboard. I have the rolling pin on standby, the offending vermin should give up now or risk being beaten to a pulp.
The food pictures are evidence from almost 2 months ago. Since that time there has been no more evidence of rodent food consumption. This week there was a smell in the kitchen that I assumed was the bin. Emptying the bin didn't shift the smell but I was preoccupied by an plague of flies that were seemingly entering by the window vents. After dispatching with 10 of the winged tormentors I set about an in depth search for the continuing smell. It was at this point I discovered a rodent in the food preparation area and was unsure about how to proceed. If only there were some kind of song for situations like this. So I present Gaddafi- the Rat. Why did I name it Gaddafi? Well much like the Libyan dictator there is a mystery surrounding its death and do I care as it's the outcome that matters most.
The puzzle is why did it settle on that location as its final resting place? It's a rather exposed position when the alternate option would have been behind the fridge or washing machine. I didn't set any traps nor use any rodent bait/poison. There was a dusting of ant powder about but that was mainly for controlling that invasion from the summer months. So how did it get in? Another mystery, perhaps from behind the sink, something that will not be known for sure until a new kitchen is fitted.
What will I find in my kitchen next? After invading ants, flies and a rat I am worried about the increasing size of the invasion force. Maybe an angry cat, a curious fox or a misplaced bison will be next. I will be keeping my kitchen door firmly shut and in future only entering with suitable armament.