Wednesday, 19 November 2008


20 June 2005
19:11:47 o'clock BST
Feeling: Hopeful
Hearing: The melodious sound of well-behaved songbirds

The rat catcher (the Pied Piper of Rother District Council) is due tomorrow. Good job. Just discovered that rats can chew concrete and there are easily as many of them as there are of us ~ sixty-odd million. Sixty-odd million!

17 June 2005
08:31:03 o'clock BST
Feeling: Worried
Hearing: Loud noise of gnawing and scratching at the weatherboarding and within the wall cavities

So there we have it: conclusive proof that it was rats and not mice breaking in during the winter months. There I am ~ two in the morning ~ rigging up a spotlight pointing down from the top window at the weatherboarding below to try to deter the little bastards from wrecking the joint. Switch it on, aiming a sudden 100 watt explosion of light in their direction, and it seems to work. The scratching stops. For now.

In the morning rip all the trellis off the wall, taking the clematis and honeysuckle with it. Recently found out rats are attracted to honeysuckle. Just our luck. The garden's full of it and it's especially prolific this year with all the rain. Slash through as much undergrowth in the garden as we can physically manage. In the afternoon the glue arrives and we make glue traps on little square pieces of cardboard. Coat the bottom two feet of the drainpipes in the stuff.

Of course it starts to drip into the drain so Hazel ~ quick thinker that she is ~ puts a couple of the bait trays underneath to collect the drops.

That was yesterday. This morning I go to check the traps. So far we've caught a beetle and a leaf. But at least there were no rats gnawing at the weatherboarding last night. So maybe it was all as simple as taking the trellis down, which they were using as a ladder. Must have thought we'd provided it specially for them. How kind.
Shame we can't have anything nice up the exterior walls but that's life, I s'pose.
We'll be having the trees near the house taken down as well soon. Not only will it let enough light in to have breakfast in the sunlight on the backyard but, along with more of the undergrowth scythed back, should help prevent dark secret hideaways for nuisance creatures. I dunno. Might as well live in a modern house with a garden full of decking rather than an 1830's cottage with an old-fashioned romantic cottage garden. P'raps that's where we're going wrong.
14 June 2005
09:06:25 o'clock BST
Feeling: Anxious
Hearing: Deathly silence

Latest news twilight time yesterday: brown rats (mother & offspring) strolling around as if they own the place. This is no Jim Herbert fictional scenario. It's real. Saw them gutsing quite blatantly on the rodent bait in several plastic trays dotted along the path under the rose arch, which up until then I'd only suspected was a rat run.
Will be looking into painting the drainpipes with special rodent-catching glue and possibly acquiring a rat zapper. Stand by for further developments....

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