Tuesday, 22 June 2010


All is not well at Casa Persiflage. We have been invaded. Evidently rats have been visiting us. Shades of 1984 and Room 101. I have never had rats before, although years ago we had periodic invasions of field mice, which we managed to overcome by means of cats and traps. But RATS! Sheer horror  filled my innermost and sensitive soul.

One morning last week I came downstairs to find a loaf of raisin bread had been gnawed - plastic bag, and all. The next night there were pieces of the lid of a plastic container scattered about the bench, and there were further attempts the following nights. I taped up a gap in the laundry wall, where the hot water pipe goes through, but the invasions continued. Dr P and I, united in fear and loathing, agreed that a pest exterminator must be summonsed forthwith, and forthwith turned out to be yesterday. I was away for the weekend, but on my return found rat droppings on the stairs and in various other places. Erk! While away, I bought more plastic storage containers and glass jars, and spent yesterday morning making sure that nothing in the pantry could be got at by moths, cockroaches, mice, rats, or by any other creature or beastie. I tell you, the wildlife in this city is extremely varied, not very lovable, and evidently came across with the First Fleet.

When the rat man came, it turned out that this house lacks a manhole (but evidently not a rat hole) and he could not work out where the rats were managing to enter. So, at further expense, he laid a bait trap, which is sitting behind the dishwasher, and we are to wait and see. This morning I found more rat droppings. All of this aroused even more feverish hunting for means of ingress. Late this afternoon I discovered that Dr P's wheat bag was full of chewed holes and that there was wheat scattered about. The bag was made of heavy fabric, and it is not pleasant  to think of those teeth at work. Into the bin with the wheat bag!

This afternoon, while relentlessly and anxiously prowling around the house, it suddenly occurred to me to check the surrounds of the flue of the wood heater, which we have never used.  Yes! Yet another of the slapdash, careless and inexpert tradesmen who built this house had cut out an oversize hole for the flue,  and there was enough space there for creatures to get in - and (I hope) out.

I got to work again with the duct tape, and hope that no more evil creatures will get in. Then I will hire someone to come and seal off these holes permanently. Avaunt, you blind and malign fates.


Anna said...

The horror! I hope your defences hold and the invasion halts.

By the way, I have begun to update my old travel blog for this trip, which I *think* you can get to if I sign in using this name... let's see.

molly said...

Eek! Mice not so bad, rats---horror!I hope you can succeed in sealing up all their secret passageways!

Oh! And congratulations on your brand new grand-nephew!

Relatively Retiring said...

Here in Middle England it is reckoned you are never more than a few feet away from a rat. They scamper round the garden, but, hopefully, not the house.
They are sensitive souls though, and after my neighbour has shot a few of them the remainder move off and invade someone else for at least a few weeks.

Frances said...

Maybe SD1 left one of her familiars behind.

Pam said...

Oh dear! Call for the Pied Piper! Poor you.

Rhubarb Whine said...

Oh, they are truly awful creatures, are they not?