Oh, Rats!

Well, this is embarrassing.

I have rats. As in the kind that are disgusting, not the cute domestic rats my associate Donna has as pets. Her rats actually have personalities, like you and me. They don’t talk and they can’t shop or go to a movie with you but overall they’re pretty entertaining.


Izzy and Simon

I don’t know why we find domestic rats cuter than sewer rats, which are considered vermin, but there you go. My guess is the moniker, sewer, doesn’t enhance their image. But the thought of vermin taking up residence in my walls gives me the Creeps with a capital C. Unfortunately, I’ve had the Creeps a lot lately.


A not-so-cute sewer rat

This past month I’ve learned a valuable lesson and it’s this: DO NOT keep hundreds of pounds of donated cat food in your garage unless you want visitors that slip in during the night like burglars. But instead of taking your TV, they steal things like your peace of mind and interrupt your sleep while scurrying inside your walls doing god knows what.

I tell ya, it’s a nightmare. My house was sealed years ago but then that load of kibble arrived and I had nowhere to put the excess after my monthly delivery to feral cat feeders. The logical choice was the garage. Only it wasn’t so logical.


It didn’t take long for my uninvited guests to find their way inside the garage. Oh, here’s an interesting little tidbit: rats aren’t particularly discerning. They’ll chew through a $12 bag of Friskies just as voraciously as they do a $65 bag of Wellness.

Evidently inside my garage there are two areas the pest control company didn’t seal. Naturally, that’s where the rats hide after filling their protruding bellies on the aforementioned grub. This I know because one night I surprised my squatters by entering unannounced. (I’m not in the habit of declaring my presence in a seemingly empty garage.)


Turns out I should’ve had a bullhorn. As far as I could tell (because I was in shock from rodents nearly running me over) there are at least six. I also heard some squealing that might be baby rats although it could have been me.

Anyway, it was horrific. They were like Spider-Man scurrying up the brick to reach a hole that took them directly into the wall behind my bedroom. Thus began nights of listening to chewing on a smorgasbord of tasty wooden beams and probable electrical wiring.


Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not taking this lying down. Besides, that’s sorta hard to do when chomping is occurring directly behind my headboard so all I hear is gnawing. Sometimes it moves toward my attic closet. That’s when I let the cats loose.

This is why I’m embarrassed about having rats: I have 4 cats that aren’t keeping me rodent free. Four!

all cats on bed

Three of my four lazy cats

This is what I do monthly — relocate feral cats onto other properties for rodent control. Yet I have rodents. Lately I’ve let my cats into the attic and the chase is on, but they only emerge with cobwebs. And when they enter the garage, their focus is solely on the abundance of cat food. Rats? What rats?


Anyway, I’ve called the exterminator to seal those holes. And as Creepy, with a capital C, as I think these rats are, I ordered humane traps to catch my nightly visitors and release them far away. But first things first: Deliver the rest of that damn cat food! I’m officially done having the Creeps.


Donna and Cricket


Jerome and Cricket – best buddies

9 thoughts on “Oh, Rats!

  1. Janet, There is a good service in Sonoma County called Space invaders that will trap and relocate rodents big and small. We had them under our house and got into our heating ducts. Yuck! Btw, we now have about 4 feral cats that have found our place. Since our fountains have been freezing, we put out fresh water each morning. They are appreciative and eat any mice! Happy New Year! Jeanie

  2. Hi Janet, I read that rats do not like peppermint or peppermint oil. I have never tested this. You can sometimes find peppermint growing wild. The only time I ever got rats was when I put food in the lower cupboards, after I got rid of the rats and had food in cupboards that were up high I did not have problems….
    I am sure this is unsettling and hope it is resolved soon. Gina

  3. Can’t believe your cats aren’t a threat….would you like to borrow Ty? Our Jack Russel catches rats and with a mighty shake kills them. He’d be very excited to snoop around your garage….LMK

    • Not sure Ty could fit in my walls, nor would he like to be there. The rats don’t show themselves in the garage anymore. They live the comfort of the basement and attic. Ugh…

  4. You could try chickens…my flock does a better job of pest control than my cats!! And you get fresh eggs ad an added bonus!! Just don’t watch…šŸ™ˆ

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