Adventures in Urban Living, Part 2
The continuing saga of Ratzo
When last we left our story, Ratzo was making himself quite comfy in our home; for full background, please read "Adventures in Urban Living". Feeling the full inadequacy of our attempts to catch and kill this huge rodent, a call was placed to an extermination company we've used in the past. (super aggressive bees that were living in our pathetic excuse for a garage, but that's another story) The woman from the company first asked if I was certain it was a rat. I was. She then explained that they don't do any rodents larger than mice, but could give me a referral number, a gentleman named Kevin.
Kevin answered my call, but was not very supportive of the actions we had already taken. In fact, after I told him the saga of Ratzo, he told me that, "You did everything wrong!" He explained to me that it was a mistake to remove the nesting areas when we found them. He also told me we erred in placing "too many traps". Kevin actually said that because rats are extremely intelligent all we had done was to alert Ratzo of our knowledge of his presence and begin a battle of wits with him. I swear! Kevin also explained that in our fervor to be rid of the rat, we had inadvertently inserted ourselves into a kind of "game". While I found this unsettling, I could actually see some logic in Kevin's assumptions. All of our attempts thus far had been futile. I wanted Kevin's help, not critique. "So, Kevin, do you think you can help us?" "Well, what you need to do is be very patient. Set one trap on each floor of the house and check them regularly. Don't remove anymore nesting areas that you find. But mostly, you just have to wait. If you've removed easy access to food sources, then eventually the rat will eat what's in the trap."
This sounded too simplistic to me, but what the heck. I mean the rat had been living in our home so long that we'd named him, for goodness sake! So I ask Kevin the bottom line question: "How much will it cost for you to come rid us of Ratzo?" Kevin's answer was not very encouraging. It would cost $75 for each trap he placed. Then it would cost $50 each time he came to check the traps. And all of this cash outlay would come without a guarantee that we would be rodent free. I thanked Kevin for his time and decided to continue on, alone, with this new information
One trap was set on each floor of our home, from attic to basement. Dog food, chinchilla food and people food were all secured. I was a little concerned about the none food items that Ratzo seemed to enjoy, ie: electric cords, dry wall, but decided to put that out of my head. I left the little trays of poison mixed with dog kibble under the sofa, the bookcase and behind the stove. These were areas Ratzo had shown a preference for, so it seemed wise to leave them, especially since they were inaccessible to the dogs. Then we waited. And waited. And waited.