Rats!

Battle lines have been drawn at the office.

No, this is not going to be  post about stolen lunches or purloined staplers.  The issue is:

Rats in the parking lot!

It began in late spring when an employee arrived and noticed a couple of baby rats scooting out from under the fence.  The mother rat was spotted a few days later.  The building management was notified and promised to take care of the situation.

Bear in mind, the building is in the city and surrounded by similar buildings (some commercial offices, some residential apartments).  It is not unusual to see rats on and around city properties – heck, you can even see them on suburban properties.  Sure, the pest problem was eased when all municipalities opted for garbage dumpsters instead of cans, but the annoying little critters are still around.

We thought traps had been placed, and expected to see no more rats within a few days.

Not the case.

Whoever arrived at work first would see one or two of them.  I even saw the mama near the fence, and she looked perfectly healthy to me (having kept gerbils as pets, I’m somewhat familiar with how healthy rodents look). A few days later, I saw another rat scuttling from underneath a parked car.

Emails between employees and building management became more and more frantic. One employee reported that when she arrived, she had to sit in her car and wait for a rat to finish eating in the middle of the parking lot before she could enter the office (I kid you not).  My boss was concerned about having clients arrive and find rats under their feet or scurrying away, so client meetings were curtailed.

Photo was taken in the winter. There were no rats then.

I briefly considered offering to sit with a gun on the balcony outside my office window to take care of the little devils, but didn’t figure that would go over too well.  Even if I thought I could hit one without hitting my car first.  I don’t think my auto insurer would be pleased if asked to cover bullet holes, especially if I was the one who caused them.  And I couldn’t kill an innocent creature which is just doing what critters do.

Anyway.

Building management assured us that neighboring property owners would be contacted, as well as the city health department (or whatever department is in charge of pest control).  Apparently, neither approach elicited any response.  More traps were put out – we were informed that poisoned peanut butter was being used as bait.

(Bet you wondered why that P&J photo is at the head of this post!)

It seems rats really like peanut butter.  Building management circulated an email with attached photos of several rats that had been caught in the traps.

Really?  I don’t know about anyone else, but I wasn’t, like, all “Whoa – cool! Look at those little bastards with their broken backs.  Bet that hurt!

No, I’m more like, “Aw, maybe I should go and put some little crosses out there or something.”

Thanks heavens I hadn’t brought a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich for lunch that day.  I will never look at peanut butter the same way.

Rats are very smart creatures.  Hopefully, ours will be smart enough to simply go somewhere else.  I really don’t want to go out to my car and step over little dead bodies.  Maybe since Mama Rat was not one of the stars of those photographs (she was black, the deceased ones were gray and brown), she has taken her family and skedaddled.

Such drama in the workplace!  I need my three-day weekends to recover.

How did your week go?

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com

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Images by Cordelia’s Mom

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35 Responses to Rats!

  1. Backing on to open fields, it as not unusual to see rats in the garden when we were in the cottage. Maggie has never really bothered with rodents, but Hubby can’t abide them. The first one he caught in a trap was one of the biggest I have ever seen, measuring well over a foot in length and that did not include its tail. This called for bigger and better means. Rats do very nice and elegant backward somersaults off the fence when hit with an air pellet.
    In the bungalow in Poole, the cheeky buggers would come and help themselves from the bird feeders. I remember we had the Mums over for Sunday lunch and he got up from the table, went and fetched the rifle, opened the patio door, took aim, fired the perfect shot, then sat down to continue his meal. My Mum’s face was a picture. MIL didn’t say much either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were rats at my last house. They came under the fence from my goofy neighbor’s yard because we had a pear tree. We did our best to scoop those pears off the ground as soon as they hit. We knew that neighbor would never, ever clean up her yard.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tippy Gnu says:

    I’m with you. For some reason, so-called “pests”, like rats, don’t bother me much. Unless the pests are termites. But I’m a firm believer in natural solutions. Cats will end a mouse problem real quick, and I suspect a cat that’s big and tough enough can effectively deal with rats.

    Like

  3. Jane says:

    My friend and I were just talking about a similar situation. Seems in the city people went nuts and captured all the feral cats. There were colonies of them, and the neighbors complained and had them all removed. Now…they have rats. I’ll take the kitties any day. NOW they are practicing capture, spay and return the cats and eventually, things will even out.

    Like

  4. AmyRose🌹 says:

    I remember my first reaction when I saw a rat. Horror. Disbelief. But I’m like you as in just the thought of killing anything turns my stomach. Rats have become a major problem and to be honest with you, I don’t know how that problem is going to be addressed. Rats as you said, are smart. They sense danger and they move. We don’t even put our garbage cans out the night before pickup anymore because of the critters that will get into the cans. I hope for your sake this problem is resolved.

    Like

  5. Jim says:

    I have a scoped air rifle with lotsa pellets yo could borrow. you could be like a rat sniper or something like that.

    Like

    • That sounds better for this purpose than what I have – a Smith & Wesson 38. Although air pellets could cause damage to the cars, too. And with my luck, I’d probably hit my own boss as he was exiting his car.

      Like

  6. Yes, I can see how rats scurrying across the parking lot could be a little off putting to clients. Yikes! Good luck with the eradication. We live across the street from a farm and there are certain times of the year we have mouse issues. Once they find a good spot, they send all their friends.
    *Shudders*

    Like

  7. My office is at the very edge of town, bordering rangeland with some woods. We’ve had rattlesnakes, chicken snakes, skunks, and one porcupine since I’ve worked here. That’s not to mention the deer, but I see those every morning.

    Like

  8. Well it has been a LONG week, but no rats. At least I can say that with certainty. No rats.

    Like

  9. Tats are endlessly resourceful. They’ll be around long after we are gone. That’s a horrible thought, but it may be true…

    Like

  10. Rats!, I meant ‘rats’. Forgive the typo!

    Like

  11. joey says:

    My week flew by. The weekend was good, but also flew.
    Mentor said there was a rat outside work early this spring. I worked a few blocks from her then (not that I knew that then) — She’d text me about it, because it startled her right out the back door. To my knowledge none of us have seen a rat since she saw that one. Sometimes I wonder how much she knows about wildlife and whether it might have been a wee possum… She has worked in D.C., so I feel like she knows what rats look like, but… errrr…
    I don’t like to see them dead. No. I understand it must be done, but I’m not a fan.
    I’m taking PBJ tomorrow 😉

    Like

  12. candidkay says:

    So now, I will spend far too much time tonight wondering what kind of weirdo sends a PHOTO of dead rats. Oy:).

    Like

  13. 🙂 I had a lovely week and there were no rats involved.

    Like

  14. Pingback: If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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