Monday, November 22, 2010

rat update

I've been very preoccupied lately... not with the impending baby, but with the rat challenge.

If I did not see it or them every once in a while, I would not have such a focused plan of attack on the Rat(s)... but they are big, and so incredibly disgusting, that I will not rest until I believe they are gone, dead... out of the barn. They aren't like mice, they are not as shy, this is bad.

When I first saw the/a rat, I called our fancy exterminators that we have a contract with.  They quickly came over, assured me they would get them, and set me up with several bait boxes.  Poison (lots of it) is placed in a plastic box so that other things, like the dogs, or cats, or people, cannot get to the bait.  There is an opening in the bait box for the rat.  I think our rats are too big for the opening.  I would show you the bait box, but it is under a shelf in the overhang, and I'm afraid to put my hand under there... ew. 

I called around for a cat.  You would be surprised at the cat rescues that think having a cat live in a barn is not nice.  Weirdos.

No matter, I'm persistent, I called the Humane Society, they have several cats suitable as barn cats that they would love to send me away with.  Pregnant ladies (that would be me) cannot get anywhere near cat doo-doo, so this has been a big deal to consider a cat.  But, I have not had time to go get the cat yet.

SO, for the heck of it I got some rat spring/snap traps.  They are cheap, easy to set up, and might work.  I do not think I will eradicate all rats forever with snap traps, but at least I could try and get a couple until I get the cat, or come up with a better solution.

Well my friends... this morning I have a little spring in my step and a big grin from ear to ear.

Because, I caught a rat. 

Yes, I took photos.  Yes, I had to be careful to not barf when getting the rat with trap out of where it was. 
So, if you might barf, be careful, these are photos of a dead rat with a little rat blood.  But YAY!!!!!!

OK, I heard from experienced rat killers that you should tie the trap to something.  This is good advice.  I also heard you should tie the bait to the trap.  I use roasted carrot on one trap, and roasted brussel sprout on the other.  They like carrots better.

Here is the trap and the white string is tied to the stairs.  It was taught this morning, so I hoped we got a rat and not a mouse... I pulled on the string, and based on the weight of the trap, I knew we got a biggie.  I almost wretched, so I left it there and got the camera and got psyched up for the big reveal.

Here is a fortunately blurry photo of dead fat rat.

Two more for positive identification, and because I was fascinated by the size of the thing.  One photo on wood chips, one on gravel, for a better view, because I'm strange like that.

Now, dead rat with trap and all in bag. 

I'm just going to toss this bag over the wall onto the neighbor's perfectly manicured lawn.  Just kidding.  I"ll put this bag into two more bags and take it to the dump... which is not open until Wednesday.  Ha.  Logistics.

Sugar watching me:

Java and her mare friend (new boarder, she and her owner are PERFECT) ignoring my drama:

Mr. Java's Mom was seriously worried about the rat making a screaming or tortured noise once trapped, and that freaking Java out.  I was willing to risk it.  Lucky me, it snapped it's mouth shut, so Java was not traumatized.