I will admit I have a rat problem. I don’t know how bad, I mean, it’s not an infestation but having one rat more than zero is one more than I want. They are currently trying to take up roost in the roof eaves – sort of the interstitial space between outside and inside. However you want it described, it’s not a place where they belong.
- You don’t kill something if it’s where it’s supposed to be. This guideline is pretty straight forward.
- You don’t kill something if relocating is a viable option. This guideline can occasionally get into a gray area simply because of the word “if” – it’s open to some level of interpretation. I don’t have a problem grabbing a cricket that has found it’s way inside but that isn’t true with everyone in my house. If I am not around, termination is quite possible.
- You can kill “bad” things if they are where they shouldn’t be. “Where they shouldn’t be” is define by being inside my house and is really focused on the potential to damage my personal property. This also includes anything that stings and guideline #2 isn’t an option, you know, because of the stinging. This is basically the inverse of #1 with a twist.
- You can kill anything that is define by guideline #3 and relocation isn’t an option because they will simply come back. The coming back is the reason for this guideline but there could be any number of additional reasons (like it’s warm inside and known predators are outside).
- You can kill any and all ants for leisure or sport. I really just don’t like ants and have given myself exempt status where they are concerned.
So my rat problem falls into guideline #3 which, according to my escalation guideline for justifiable homicide, means I can eliminate them with a clean conscious. I went to the hardware store and bought snap traps (brutal looking things but we have a another set of guidelines when it comes to suffering). Poison is a bad option because I don’t want them to crawl somewhere remote in my house and then die. That’s when my suffering begins because things will start to smell.
So far I have baited the same 2 traps at least 5 times (peanut butter is my bait of choice) and the rat body count is zero. At one point the other night, when they were making noise and blatantly mocking me, I ran outside, saw the cleaned out traps and in my frustration grabbed the first thing that was handy – RoundUp weed spray!! There I was, spritzing away at 11:00pm in my underwear and house shoes when I realized the depth of my defeat.
Round One goes to the rats but this is not over till one of us leaves in a body bag (or a bio-degradable paper bag that came from the grocery store).
I found a better snap trap similar to the paddle style trap pictured above. Loaded it up with peanut butter and Shazam!! Round 2 goes to me since I have successfully removed most of the rats – I left the last one laying around in the trap for a little while to send a message to any other possible new tenants. Very Escape for New York minus the “your head on the hood of my car” part.