Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rats, Vertigo and Catching Up

***WARNING*** Gross factor (rat poo) in first picture!

I'll start with the latter...catching up.  Frankly, I don't think I will ever catch up, but I'd like to think I will.  I've been home from the northern state for two weeks already, hoping to stay here until the end of June but am already seeing hearing things from my dad that may change that.  Since I left, my sister hasn't been able to make it down to check on him either, and that concerns me.  I did eight loads of laundry in one day, and that didn't include my new fabric.  There were still a couple loads that could have been done, and now laundry has piled up again - my guys have unlearned their good habits during my frequent absences.  I've only asked that they bring their dirty laundry and set it on the washer daily, and that Nick take his clean clothes from the garage (where the laundry is) to his room.  One of my first tasks was also to review (read 'toss') things still in the refrigerator from mid-January that they ignored. 

While I was still up north, I had a chat message from my son saying we had invaders beginning with "R" and ending with "odent" - cute, huh? - so I asked if mice or rats and where?  He said they thought mice and in the garage and they could hear them in the attic crawl space.  I suggested they get some traps and deal with it.  When I arrived home, I took a flashlight and investigated a bit more closely.  I keep my pantry overflow of canned and boxed goods, and potatoes, onions, apples out in the garage.  The first thing I saw was a tiny little mouse-trap set with a tiny little piece of cheese sitting out in the open on a shelf.  Then I saw the 'droppings', that is NOT from a mouse, that IS from a rat, and the rat will laugh at that mousetrap.  Keep in mind, I'm a country girl (or at least was) and my dear hubby and son are both entirely city boys even if hubs does like to be out in the wilds backpacking.  He knows nothing about these things.

This is a rat trap, not the mouse trap and it has been set for a week, no takers, and I'm not sure it's still set correctly.  Notice the wrapper was chewed into - it was a granola-type bar.
To refresh myself, I researched online - we never really had rats on the ranch, but mice were often in the feed and in the house!  I had hubby go out and get some rat traps, though I think they may be too big - isn't there a medium size? our rats aren't huge.  The research also said to make sure all points of entry have been plugged so Marty took care of that aspect.  He set ONE trap (it was recommended to set a dozen of them in many places).  Still no takers.  I had noticed that they had chewed into the potatoes, and especially had chewed into the packets in a box of instant potatoes!  

The first bottle I noticed.  I actually thought at first that maybe it had fallen onto the concrete floor and had been placed back on the shelf without it be realized it had split open.  But obviously, those are teeth marks!
Days later I discovered, in the other garage (we have technically a 3-car garage - might fit Smart Cars - with one side being 'finished' with a door that stays closed in between), that the shelf where we keep water and soda was wet.  Looking closer, I saw that several of the water bottles had the bottoms chewed out of them!  Can you believe that?  I was stunned.  Can rats smell water in those bottles through the plastic?  Hubs set two more traps there, but still no takers.  We still hear them in the attic area, and in the upstairs 'new' bathroom, the cats keep listening at the tub, so it sounds like they're going from the attic, down the wall and under the tub.  There is an outdoor access panel that hubs says is sealed, but I want him to open it and place a couple traps in there as well as in the attic.  What was Marty's comment?  "I was hoping to starve them out."  Um, if they're now trapped within the house having sealed up any access points, and they starve to death, they are going to STINK!  Such a city boy, lol.

Rats are supposed to really like peanut butter.  Notice the bottom of that water bottle, still in the case wrapping, chewed out and empty.  Several are that way.

The bag of potatoes chewed into, and though it can't really be seen, they had eaten quite a bit of several potatoes.

Research also said to hold off on cleanup until you're sure the rats are eliminated.  So I've been holding off feeling really grossed out, though I bought the bleach, and hubs bought the face masks. I need new rubber gloves yet.

So the vertigo.  Well now, isn't that fun?  I've had brief bouts of this somewhat frequently in recent years, but usually only feel its effects when I lay down so it's never been a problem.  A few days ago, out of the blue sitting in my office chair, the world started spinning if I tilted my head off center.  It persists, but not horribly, though enough to make me feel like my brain is a bowl of Jell-o when I walk or try to drive.  Sometimes its ok, other times not, and when I lie down, at times, the room spins like a pinwheel in the wind for about 30 seconds.  Interestingly, before I came home, my brother Eugene had been at my dad's and he was suffering from it big time and is on about day 19 with very slow progress of getting better.  He's glad he's in between job assignments.  Since I feel a little wonky driving, and because Nick has a minimum day today, I let him take my car all on his own, but as he doesn't have a school parking permit, he'll have to park on the street about a block away.

I'm supposed to be preparing for a meeting with our financial dude tomorrow...I may not be as ready as I'd like, but it will have to suffice.  We then have our tax appointment on the 16th,


  1. I feel for you with the vertigo -- I won't even start the rat discussion -- and hope you find relief soon. My ENT prescribed some exercises that, as it turns out, I didn't really need -- at least not yet. Much less aggressive than medication or worse. However, I did fall on my shoulder one day getting out of bed and now have rotator cuff issues. More exercises .....

  2. The understorage areas of the RV are susceptible to mice/rats. We just have to keep traps loaded and ready. It's such a pain, but with pipes and hose running to and fro, it's hard to completely seal the underneath. Fortunately, anything running into the *inside* of the RV is *tightly* sealed, so they're never on the 'human' side of the RV! I hate you're struggling with the vertigo. My daughter experiences it from time-to-time. She battled it in her college years -- not so frequently now. Hope it's gone soon! :)


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