Oh, Rats

Before we built our home here, the land we live on was a hay field. This has many positives and negatives. Mostly negatives, really. Oh, the landscaping we've done, the earth we've moved, the rocks we've picked and the grass we've planted. Yearly.

And then there are the animals. I know for a certain that the small wooded area we have is infested with snakes, chipmunks, rabbits and other small woodland creatures. And we're okay with this. I know that the hedge between us and the neighbors' fields is lined with groundhog holes. I had issues with them the first few years until they learned that I planted gardens for our eating pleasure and not theirs. After that was established they just moved further down the hedge and we're good with them now, too.

But it's the rats that have my panties in a wad. I put up with any number of God's creatures with good enough graces, but rats are on my hate list. I don't know why. I like mice as long as they stay out of my house. They're cute little things with black eyes and whiskered noses. But rats are freaks of nature that have nothing but cold-blooded evil designed against me. I am convinced of this and nothing you can say will ever change my mind.

And guess what - dog kennels are proven to attract rats. I'm just so lucky as to have a dog kennel, too. Yeah me. The rats took over the vacated groundhog holes in the hedge and it took me a few years to realize that their numbers were increased to hostile-take-over quantities. So in order to try to keep the upper hand in this warfare, every spring and fall I break out the rat poison. Many, many boxes of rat poison. I scatter the packs liberally under things, down holes, behind things and anywhere that a rat can go but my dogs cannot. (This alone takes some creativity.) And then I sit back and wait.

It only takes a few days to see results, and nothing warms the cockles of my heart like nearly stepping on a dead rat on the way to feed the dogs in the morning. A dead rat is one less rat that will eat dog food and birth many ratty babies.

But this year I ran into a problem that I've not dealt with before. The dogs have decided that rats make excellent snacks. In reality, if the kennel dogs want to clean up the carnage I've wrought they can have at it. But the house dogs live with me and I do not appreciate carrion breath any more than the next person.

(Don't panic, I've done all the research and poison is made nowadays so that when the dead are ingested by the dogs, the dogs are not harmed. Trust me, I've checked. I couldn't take that kind of risk with our kennel.)

But two days ago? An entire colony of rats must have made their final death march to the front of the house, lined up along the foundation, and laid down to die. I am convinced that this must have been two days ago because the rotten stench coming in my window is enough to make me want to hurl. And I have a stomach of steel. I cannot imagine how either I or the pack of house dogs missed this line of rotting flesh but I know it's there. My watering eyes tell me it's so. And I will not be able to open my windows tonight while I sleep for a breath of fresh air.

Stupid, stupid rats. May they all die a slow and painful death and have their eyes pecked out by buzzards.

15 comments:

Flea said...

Oh my. Pay the kids a quarter a rat to shovel them into a bucket and dump them in a hole near the hedge, then bury the suckers.

Sandy C. said...

Oh man. Rats alive make me want to hurl. I cannot even imagine... *shudders*

Perhaps a mask and some shovels?

pb&j in a bowl said...

Rats. Ugh. I must tell you that I read this with the fear that you would have pictures. Thank you for not sharing.

Karen said...

You are far better than me! I really don't like mice any better. I hate it when they figure out how to get inside your walls but can't figure out how to get out and die in there. No amount of sheet rock can deaden that smell. UGH. I am so sorry you have a rat morgue around your house. I really feel for you.

Bluepaintred said...

oh man. thats grooooooosssssss


Have you tried taking the dogs for a "walk" right beside..just in case they are feeling a bit snackish?

Bia said...

Oh. my. gosh. Those freaks of nature would just absolutely freak me out.

Bless you, really.

Tranny Head said...

So - as you may have seen on plurk, tonight? I slaughtered a giant flying roach.

And HOT DAMN if feels good to take one of the bastards out. One less to flyl around my head while I sleep. *shudder*

You know ... if dogs have such a great sense of smell, why do they eat things like rotting diapers, dead animals, and/or used tampons? Not like I'd know or anything ... *ahem*

Savvy Mode SG said...

rats.... darn thing, am trying to deal with those living in the attic. i am just so afraid they will eat poison and die up there then what am i going to do. what is your experience???

Tootsie Farklepants said...

For the past few days I've heard something chewing in the bushes that line our back wall. I'm praying it's a rabbit.

Michelle said...

I'm guessing that the Secret of NIMH is not your favorite movie. I had such a crush on Jonathan (it is Johnathan, right?) when I was a kid.

All I can say is: thank God you and not me (although we have mice in the winter in our attic due to the woods behind us -- that's a fun battle, too!)

Caution Flag said...

Okay, you got me with this post. Rats. I can hardly type the word because of the reaction I am having. God be with you! I am now going outside to embrace my small sub-division, rat-free yard.

SgtSudsWife said...

Oh yuck!I can't stand rats.UGH!!

Jenn said...

Yuck,I have never really had to seen one up close and then just last week I was out in the yard with the dog and went over by the fence and there was a dead headless rat! YUCK ! I guess the stray momma cat that lives under the shed had caught it!

caramama said...

Isn't there some sort of device that emits a sound that we can't hear that keeps mice away? Would that work for rats?

Totally gross, and this is one of the reasons I'm not living in the country. Sorry to my hubby, but I'm not a country girl.

Although, I totally love groundhogs!

Colleen said...

I cannot manage much more than "ewwwwww" right now. Or "yuck". *shudders*