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Rat Smasher

I saw something this morning, after I’d opened my eyes but before I put on my glasses. In my blurry vision, it looked like a mouse had just crept into our bedroom and taken up refuge behind the vacuum cleaner.

I put on my glasses, and discovered it was not a mouse but a small rat. I noticed a second dead rat (also small) in the hallway, apparently already a victim to feline depredations.

We put our best mousers, Milo and Crybaby, on the case. They had this little rat cornered, but they couldn’t seem to seal the deal. Maybe they were tuckered out from killing the one in the hall. And I’ll be damned if that rat didn’t look genuinely cute as it climbed through a vacuum cleaner attachment.

Finally I got impatient. With gloves on, I grabbed the rat, put it in a plastic bag, took it outside, found a brick, and smashed the poor creature into a fine paste.

It was a quick death.

We haven’t had rats in the house since last spring, when we had a couple unpleasant incidents. A recent comment on this blog suggests the new and improved trash cans could be increasing rodent desperation. Xy’s theory is these guys were fleeing the renovation next door (more on that soon).

Whatever the case, we are both pretty revolted.

Published inOur House


  1. My brother gave me this bit of advice on getting rid of rats. Buy the absolute tallest galvanized trash can that you can find. Put a bit of cat food in the bottom and a board like a walkway so that the rats can climb to the can and jump in. If the can is big enough, they can’t jump out and you’ve got em’.

    If the can is too short, buy those sticky rat trap things and put them in the bottom of the can. This method uses no poison (dangerous to cats) and is kind of fun.

    See you at the booth today!

  2. One of my most desperate rat moments was had in the early morning hours.

    A restaurant I worked in had us open at 5 am. There was a rat in the crouton bin, so I threw it in the garbage disposal and let it rip. That was in 1979 and I still think about it.

    Beady eyed little fuckers.

  3. Oh, god. I could not have stomached that!

    We’ve used good old-fashioned traps spread with peanut butter. I guess if we got desperate enough I’d send Cade out with the brick.

  4. My parents did a trap comparison when they were getting mice in their basement. They ended up with a mouse sandwiched between a wire trap and a sticky trap. Apparently, the mouse got caught in the wire trap, and, in the process of struggling to free itself, flipped it into the sticky trap nearby.

    Sometimes, if you’ve just HAD IT, though, you end up doing things you never thought you’d do…

  5. MAD MAD

    The mousetrap is probably the most efficient and effective invention of all
    time. Still make ’em the same as when I was a young boy, and they still work just as well. There should be a statue somewhere to the inventor of the simple mousetrap.

  6. MF MF

    I got an industrial-strength, terrifyingly large rat trap when I was in Wuxi because my mousetraps wouldn’t cut it here. I’m a little leery of using it, though, because I keep imagining I’ll forget it, and then it’ll end up catching the meter reader’s hand.

    On a preventive note, somebody told me that you can keep rats out of cupboards by putting pieces of cotton soaked with essential oil of peppermint (the really strong stuff, not what you cook with) in them. They said that every once in a while, you’ll have to redo it when the oil smell wears out. I don’t know if this would work for you because I’m guessing it’d be dangerous for cats to get into the soaked cotton, because after all the oils are dangerous if people drink them. If you have some cabinets that the cats can’t get into, though, maybe you could give this a try.

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