We have/had a varmint problem and for some reason I am always the one to cross their path. It all started one evening when I ran back home to grab the dominoes and as I was crossing through the garage and into the game room I saw a rat run across the garage. I jumped, quickly ran back into the house, tried to convince myself that it wasn't a big deal, they are more scared of us than we are of them, but it was no use, instead I went back across the street and had Jason fetch the dominoes (losing about 45 minutes of playing time as Jason attempted to hunt down the rat). The next day I was walking outside to the washing machine when I saw the same activity and decided that they had discovered the recycling bin so I promptly took the recycling to the recycling center and made sure the bins did not have anything of interest in them, which is a challenge because rats will pretty much eat anything. Jason went to Lowe's and got some rat poison and set a few rat traps. For the next week or so I (why me?) slowly saw the rat population dying. The first one made it all the way out of the garage, and the next 3 slowly attempted to make it out of the garage door, dying further and further from their destination each time. It seemed like I found one dead one a day for a few days and then they were gone.... I slowly gained back my confidence of being able to enter the garage without either slamming the door, hitting the broom handle up against the wall, whistling, or any other loud noise I could think of to hopefully scare them away BEFORE I startled them and had to see them run away, or in the case of the poisoned ones, look at me, but not be able to move. I think maybe three days went by before I was startled yet again..DAMN the rats were still here. Jason checked the rat poison and sure enough it was all eaten so we put more out and waited for the poison to trickle in.
This last time it had been a solid 10 days (and a good thing seeing as our house is on the market and we have had a few showings. Prior to showings my routine has consisted of opening and closing the garage door and leaving the music in the garage playing just in case we still had varmints, hoping they would stay away from loud noises). I lucked out and did not see the initial varmint issue part three. Jason said that he saw a GIANT rat and a baby rat. GREAT, now there is still poison under there, some being eaten and some not, but they are no longer dropping like flies. So there are either some dead under the house or there are just a few left and have learned to not eat the poison bars.
Yesterday Blythe and I were walking over to the neighbors house for dinner and Blythe was trailing behind me as I went to turn off the water to the garden and Blythe said "Mommy, whats that?" I casual walked over to see what Blythe saw and it was a baby opossum. I told her to walk towards me and I met her, picked her up and yelled to Jason "Come outside, right now and get the gun!" [yes it sounded totally redneck, but if you know Jason you know that right now could be interpreted as 'sooner than later, but it might still be 10 or so minutes.'] I guess the tone of my voice must have gotten his attention because he was outside in a flash and I said "the GIANT rat that you thought you saw, no, no that is a baby opossum." Unfortunately I have had my fair share of run-in's with opossums and I know one when I see one. We 'took care' of the baby possum and I was hopefully that was the end, but Jason reminded me that he had seen one other baby rat.
This morning I cautiously entered the garage, surveying the scene and rustling items around and there was no movement so I proceeded to the washing machine, dumped in the diapers, turned it on the rinse cycle, closed the lid, and walked back inside. After the rinse cycle finished I walked outside to add the soap. I opened the lid, jumped back, heart racing thinking I certainly just saw something move IN the washing machine, so I did what any sane person would do and jumped up onto the tiled sink to have a look into the washing machine from a safe distance (cause you know those rats will get you!) and saw nothing, so I quickly reminded myself that I am just jumpy and it was probably just a diaper cover or a wet bag falling down into the machine after the spin. So I open up the lid, go to pour the soap and EEKK NO, NO, there IS something moving and it most certainly is a baby RAT. So in my best red neck voice I again yelled into Jason, waking him from his slumber, "Get out here NOW and bring the gun." Don't tell Jason, but I just might have to use this tactic again as I have NEVER seen Jason jump out of the bed and get into the garage as fast as this morning. He grabbed the rat baby with tongs, put him in a box and 'took care of him with a bee bee gun.' Then he assures me that NOW our problem is gone...right, well we can hope. But seriously, HOW did the rat baby get into the washing machine? I leave it closed, I know there is a drought, but come on our next door neighbors have a pool, go drink their water!
The worst part about this varmint infestation is what Blythe has learned. She opens the door to the garage, looks out and says "no rat babies," just like she would say "no cars," if she was looking to cross the street. She of course thinks the rat babies are cute and always wants to see them. She even fetches Jason a ziploc bag after he kills the varmint because she knows he is going to put it in a bag and then put it in the trash and if she is lucky she will get to hold the ziploc bag and help put the varmint in the trash and she always says something like "we will see him tomorrow," or "he going to go play in the trash truck" She clearly doesn't have a real understanding of the word 'dead.'
And now for the pictures that I promised....and to continue with the killing theme I have going here I have killed 2 tasks with one stone by making the memory book pages and sharing them with you for your promised pictures :)