Posted by: wrmcnutt | June 10, 2010

The Norway Rat


Time passes quickly, but this post reminded me of a small adventure I had over a year ago. Dad was at the beginning of his long spiral down, and was expected home from the Recovery Center in a few days.  I’d seen some motion in his study/computer room, out of the corner of my eye, and though we’d had a critter.  Sure enough, my sister was able to get a good look at the little home invader.

So I called the exterminator my Dad had been doing business with for over thirty years.  And got told that they don’t do rats.  So I fired them.  My friend R had a small, local firm she did business with.  I gave Combat Pest Control a call and got told, “Sure, we kill rats.”  (Quick endorsement:  if you want something in Knoxville dead, Terry Stevens is your man.  But it hurts his feelings when I call him a bug assassin, so don’t do that.)

In any case, my good friend Duren is all about supporting local, small businesses, and is also soft and squishy.  So, thinking about maybe finding a local vendor for her, I asked if he did humane trapping.

His head spun around like Linda Blair’s.  “Not rats,” quoth The Exterminator.  And then I got the short course on the six ways rats can kill you without you ever even knowing they are there.  I don’t recall the details, but  rats carry:

And that’s for starters.  By the time he was done, I was convinced.  All rats need to die.  Especially the ones near my loved ones.

So I asked him what to do, and he actually paraphrased Romeo and Juliet. “Such mortal drugs I have, that Mantua’s law is death to he that but utters them.”

We used a combination of poison in the back room, which could be secured against the kitty, quick-kill traps in the kitchen, where the kitty couldn’t be excluded, and bait-boxes outside.

At the end of ten days, the score was:

Tool Using Monkeys: 1

Rats: 0

A man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.

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