I’m embarrassed to even tell you all this—especially all the non-Washingtonians who believe (like I did) that rats will only live in the filthiest of places. But for the past couple of weeks, at least one fat, hairy nasty rodent has taken-up residence in… our house!
How do I know this? The evidence had been mounting for a while—food strewn across the floor in the morning, loud chewing sounds coming from behind our garbage disposal, and most recently… the fat f sucker actually jumped out from behind the cabinets and onto my foot! You should have heard me scream… then jump on the counter and throw my foot into the kitchen sink to scrub it with an SOS pad. The thing was huge!
I promise I’m a clean person—it’s almost a psychosis. My husband feels the need to remind me that “we don’t live in a museum, and it doesn’t have to be immaculate at all times.” But maybe I’m just kidding myself (and Dave)?
Our neighbors can attest to the fact that, when you live in DC, it’s not a battle against rodents; it’s an all out war. Since we all live in connected row houses, calling pest control (which we have all done multiple times) just moves the varmints to your neighbors’ house. Those suckers move underground through sewer lines and crawl spaces, and they’re wicked smart, stealing food out of traps while leaving them un-tripped
Some will tell you rodents are scared of people, but don’t believe them. Those long-tailed animals will come out, look you right in the eye and go about their business. It doesn’t help that I’m terrified of them. Just last night, I came downstairs for a drink of water, turned on the lights one at a time and yelled a warning cry, hoping that if anyone was in the kitchen they’d scurry away.
We’ve tried poison tablets, traps, and even considered getting (gasp!) a cat. But tonight, we are victorious. Guilty of our first rat murder! We didn’t use an ordinary trap for this crime. This was an industrial strength, chop-your-finger-off, you’d-better-not-use-it-around-pets trap. Dave set it behind our garbage disposal and baited the rat with some apple slices.
Christmas went off without a hitch and Uncle Fester (as I affectionately call our rodent friend) didn’t even come out to open his presents. I figured he was just laying low since we’ve had so many people over, and I was still terrified every time I walked in the kitchen.
Dave decided it was time to check the trap, even though we didn’t smell the rotting stench that usually comes with dead animals. I left the room. “We got him!”
No way!!! I sang a little song, did a little dance, and stayed as far away as possible while Dave bagged up Uncle Fester, took him outside and reminded me that “we have won the battle, but not the war.”
How’s a soldier like me supposed to sleep at night?!