Friday, February 3, 2012

Rat Strat 2012

There was a cyclone that passed by the coast of Mozambique about a week or so ago and while it didn’t cause any major damage (it stayed pretty far off the coast), we had some serious wind and rain for a couple of days. As I have a tin roof, this rain/wind sounded basically like the world was about to end, meaning that I didn’t hear the large branch that broke off and fell onto my shower drainpipe, basically shattering it. To continue the series of unfortunate events, the rain evidently displaced a rat, who decided to come into my house through the now broken drain. Ew.

I can deal with most bugs, cockroaches aren’t even that big of a deal now, but on the second night of the rat adventure, he (she?) jumped on my not-very-tall headboard, causing me to almost have a heart attack and leading to my rat paranoia of the subsequent week. I basically didn’t sleep because I was a) making sure the rat didn’t get inside my mosquito net and b) waiting to see if one of my rat trapping/killing strategies worked. Even though I had blocked the shower drain, the rat had figured out how snazzy my house is, and started coming in through the roof (a problem that I can’t fix). So, first I tried one of the scary traps baited with bread and peanut butter . . . and almost lost a finger. That night the rat ate the bread and peanut butter without setting off the trap. Second night, just peanut butter on the trap, but apparently Mozambican rats don’t like peanut butter (or are just really smart about their trap avoidance techniques) so he just ignored the trap. Third night I tried to put bread inside of a 5 gallon bucket, with a stick leading up to the bucket, the theory being he wouldn’t be able to get out. Turns out, the rat is large enough to get out of the 5 gallon bucket without tipping it over. Fantastic. The bucket trap took awhile to get any results, so it wasn’t until this week that I finally tried turkey jerky on the trap. Rat still ignored it.

It’s unclear if the rat is even coming in anymore because all of my food is put away (so I don’t have any evidence of his continued existence) and I was so sleep deprived from the period of rat paranoia that I have basically just passed out the last couple of nights. However, I did let the cat stay inside last night and am planning to do the same thing for the next couple of nights hoping that’ll either discourage the rat or be the end of the rat. But he also may have been eaten by the cat that lives on the roof, it’s all unclear. My mom is sending me sticky traps (to outsmart Mozambican rats), so next time (I really would prefer there wasn’t a next time) I’ll be prepared.    

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