uninvited guests

First, please know I love all things nature. This is why I live near beaches. My favorite places to walk are nature preserves, especially the privately-owned one where rescue dogs Lily and Lulu can go off-leashPicture0526181425_1.jpgcrossing the millpond

Even with a paralyzing fear of all spiders, I will gingerly capture one on a tissue and run outside to deposit it back in its natural world before it can jump on me. Snakes do not even frighten me like a spider will. I know there are more good snakes than not good ones and the good ones even eat not good ones.

But rats… this is a whole dimension beyond what I can live with. At close proximity that is. This being sharing the same air space.

So when I saw Lily and Lulu tearing around the yard after a small grey streak one recent twilight, then noticed a small corner of screen on my side porch chewed out I had to call in the big guns.

The exterminator had many theories about why these creatures chose my backyard and crawlspace. There is a lot of new construction within 3-5 miles of my neighborhood. I have many (well, 4, is that a lot??) bird feeders in my yard which he told me I have to remove. I have water sources… he went on explaining how I am creating a sublime environment for these little things. I pictured a virtual feeding frenzy and not in a good way.


I totally zoned out imagining a veritable rat subdivision under my house.  The exterminator man happily whistled away as he set several large black boxes (“They love this stuff,” he grinned) around the foundation assuring me this will not affect my dogs, not even if they eat whatever eats whatever is in those boxes. Unless they eat a lot of them. I have not ever seen either Lily or Lulu go after anything dead. Sniff it maybe, but not try to eat it. Even a possum successfully convinced Lily recently it was a total waste of her time.

Next day I spotted a small gray form in the road. Sure enough one of them had indulged in the tasty toxin


I did not especially have to see evidence of the efficacy of this but I know we are one down, _?_ to go.

A bit of excitement when I opened the screen porch door that morning to let the dogs out and saw another grey form fling itself to the floor and escape out of the hole they created. Lily and Lulu didn’t miss a beat and flew out the dog door after it. I will patch the spot when I am assured there will be no more holes made. Meantime I have large sheets of impenetrable plastic over the screens.

Hoping the end of the holiday weekend will see the end of the rats.


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