It's always something. This time I need to stop feeding the birds and having firewood stacked in the side yard.
About three weeks ago I came home in the dark and right there in the front of the house, up in the Vine Maple was a rat. Rattas rattus to be all scientific about it. I think The Roadrunner came up with that. The rat had been eating off the bird feeder I had carefully hung from one of the branches. It spooked and ran up the tree, jumped off and landed on the rain gutter where an even bigger one was waiting. My wife was right behind me but didn't see them. She asked what they looked like and I told her they were making out and looked like like Sid Vicious and Nancy in some back alley waiting to score.
The big one had a ring in it's nostril and the smaller one was scratching her face. At least I think that's what I saw.They both took off up the roof like they heard sirens coming to get them and I tried to forget. But the nightmares have been getting me. The big one appears as mostly a head about 50 times bigger than it was and sort of looms around in the dream ether like Marley's ghost.Then I wake up in a panic and walk around the house in the dark awhile which gets the cat all excited like we're going into battle.
I told my wife I'd take down the bird feeder, and did right away but now I'm thinking about putting it back up.Then I'm going to head off to the sporting goods store to get me a high quality air pistol pellet gun because I've wanted one a long time and this would give me a good reason. Then I'll get out my old beat up rocking chair from the shed to sit and wait. In the mean time my wife has taken to calling me Pappy, and says if'n I don't bring 'em back whole instead of all blowed up she won't make me the varmint stew from the old recipe passed down from her relatives. Well duh...that's why I'm goin' small caliber. She's a great cook and there's no sense missing out.
But three or four nights ago around 3 a.m., coming from the heater grate on the second floor of our 100 year old house I heard a sniff. So I tapped and I heard a big scurry. Not a cute little mouse type scurry, but a big stumbling over stuff knocking things down in an alley to get away from the cops kind of scurry.
So now, Sid and Nancy are in the house in between the kitchen ceiling and the upstairs floor. The county vector control guy says this type of rat won't come in looking for food or raid our cupboards because they get their food outside. They are setting up a place to nest. Moving in ! Super. He also said they are really hard to get rid of but some people succeed if they are determined. Most hire a pest control company who come out tell you to throw away your bird feeders and re-stack your fire wood, then leave a trap outside.That's only about $250. A good deal more than the pellet gun.
I convinced the county guy I'd done my research online and knew to not bait the traps for a few days so they think it's a good place to score. These traps are monstrously powerful and will break my finger if I mess up. I know some might think this is cruel and wonder why not use a live trap, but the idea of trapping and then releasing them back into the wild which of course means my yard just seems ridiculous.So he said he would bring a sack full of traps and big bait boxes out and leave them on our porch. Usually they have to come and interview you and teach you what to do correctly to avoid the bubonic plague but I convinced him I was already doing most things wrong and it would just waste his time to tell me twice.So he left them yesterday. My neighbor waved this morning so I'm pretty sure he didn't see them yet and won't start calling me Mr. Clampett. I had to sign a county document and promise to try to get them and then he'll come back and get my signature which I left in an envelope on the porch.
I haven't gone to the sporting goods store yet. Wish me luck.
Sid and Nancy's days are numbered.