Category Archives: Rodent

Urban Outsiders

On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve heard the term urban, so what does it mean? The definition of urban says “relating to, or characteristic of a city or town” So now I want to present an idea to you, the readers. One that you may be unfamiliar with. Urban Wildlife. Maybe you’ve heard this term before, maybe you haven’t. But I’m here to talk a little about what urban wildlife is, and how it affects you. Urban wildlife can be found anywhere that supports human life. Just in case you aren’t sure what some good examples are, raccoons, rats, pigeons, mice, and squirrels could all be considered urban wildlife. Think about how often you’ve seen raccoons digging through the dumpster in a back alley, or a squirrel snitching some food off of the ground in front of a trendy food truck. Many people wouldn’t consider this wildlife, in fact, to many people they are simply vermin. You even see animals like deer attempting to cross a busy road, so now I’ve got you thinking, what has this got to do with me? Well, pal, I’ve got news for you, you play a major part in this whole urban wildlife mess.
An increase in the number of wildlife encounters you have could come from a number of factors. A few of those reasons could be habitat loss, noise or light pollution, pollution, or invasive species. This could mean you run into more less than friendly faces while you’re out and about during the day. Fortunately, there are ways you can help minimize the damage this might cause. You can start by locking all of your outdoor garbage cans. This might not seem like a large thing, but having a source for food could draw more unwanted pests. You should also regularly dispose of fallen fruit, use spill-proof birdfeeders, and keep your pets indoors at night. This will do a lot to protect your property. Remember, most of these animals have adapted to be able to handle human encounters, so don’t be afraid to call for extra back up from trained professionals if things get out of hand.

The History of Rattus Norvegicus

People always assume that the sight of a rat means filth. They couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the most common things that people have problems with when it comes to rats are as follows: They don’t like the look of the tail, they carry diseases, they are aggressive and mean, or they are dirty animals. Although rats can be harmful in certain situations, they are often friendly, shy creatures who are just trying to fit in.

For people who find themselves repulsed by a rats tail, they are there for more than just looks. A rats tail is actually an evolutionary trait that assists in balance. It also works as a personal cooling system, allowing heat out, or constricting to preserve body heat when it gets cold.

Another common misconception is that rats carry deadly diseases. Of course, everyone always mentions the bubonic plague when speaking ill of rats. When in reality, the rats weren’t the cause of the bubonic plague. It was actually a breed of fleas who began the outbreak, they rode on the fur of the rats, and due to the unhygienic times, the disease spread rapidly. Luckily, because we have come so far as a society, we have become a lot more hygienic. Therefore, our chances of contracting that kind of disease are not as likely.

So when people find themselves saying that rats are disgusting, filthy creatures. It’s not that they’re awful people who don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re just uneducated. Of course, rats are still wild animals and deserve respect. So remember that even though they most likely will leave you alone, they still have a fight or flight reaction much like ours. It’s up to us to be smart about how we react with wild animals to make the world a better place for all of us.

Hidden Figures

People say that when you see one mouse, there are many more in the shadows. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a mouse infestation. But in my 17 years of being a licensed animal control specialist, I can confirm that this saying is true. Many people don’t understand that mice breed rapidly, The average female can give birth to about 10 litters per year (each litter contains 6-8 babies) and now imagine that inside your home. Hundreds of little mice scampering under your floors, between your bedrooms, darting across your kitchen floor. It’s because of this reason that it is so vital to contact an exterminator or animal control specialist as soon as possible.
Mice can do all sorts of damage to your home, things you wouldn’t typically think of. Because mice live in nests, they will chew and rip up anything that could be used to build their home within your home. Anything from wood, installation, and even electrical wiring. Mice have no respect for your belongings, they will chew through furniture, appliances, walls and anything in between. Structural issues become a very real problem if a mouse infestation gets advanced enough. The material items are the least of your worries.
On top of being incredibly destructive, mice are known for carrying all sorts of diseases and germs. Sure, from a distance mice are super cute and fluffy. With their small plush bodies, and their small eyes and adorable ears. But if you look at them from a biological standpoint, they are the ultimate breeding ground for bacterial and viral infections. From rat-bite fever, to the plague, even Leptospirosis. These dangerous and even deadly diseases transfer even faster if the mice get into your food and you living areas. This is why it’s so important to contact a proper specialist so they can make sure to sanitize and clean properly. So please, keep yourself and your families safe from these hidden figures

Swimming with Rats

The Throne, the Oval Office, the Porcelain Potty. Known by many names, the Toilet. For many people it’s a place of refuge. Somewhere to hide from your kids, read a good magazine, and enjoy regular bowel movements. It’s always been a place for me to do what I need to do and not be bothered. It’s a safe place. Somewhere I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed. Alas, how the times change. It was one of those days, those days when you’re walking on air, nothing can get you down! I had just gotten a promotion at work, I had gotten a free taco for lunch, and the girl of my dreams had just accepted my invitation to go get some dinner later. I was planning on stopping at home to freshen up before heading out to go pick her up.
I waltzed into the bathroom with thoughts of the first date with my dream girl floating through my head. I kicked off my shoes and began to shimmy out of my khaki trousers. I was just about to sit down when I heard the most terrifying noise. *SKREECH SKREECH* I jumped up alarmed, and whirled around to find my worst fears. For sitting in my pristine toilet bowl was none other than a large, black, hairy rat! I screamed and ran out of the bathroom. I wasn’t going to be needing it anymore (if you know what I mean). I bee- lined it to my phone and punched in the number for the pest control company I had relied on in the past.
My heroes in shining overalls were there within the hour to take care of my misfortune. They explained to me that the rat had probably swam up my sewer system and right into my toilet bowl. They assured me that they would take care of the rat and that they’d be here in a jiffy if I ever found one again. It took me quite a while to come to terms with what had happened. I had nightmares for weeks on end about that FILTHY rat. Lucky for me, the worst was over. I Hoped…

Once Upon an Old Rats Tail

My momma always told me to beware of the people. After all, to them we were considered vermin. We lived in their walls, floors, and underneath their homes. Most of the time they don’t notice us until it’s too late. People use the term “multiply like bunnies” but, they should use the term “multiply like rats”. The average size of a rat litter is between six and thirteen. And each momma rat can have a litter a month! Where there’s one, there’s more. But I’m not here to talk about our incredible reproduction skills. I’m here to tell you a story from my grandrats time. A time before PETA and any rats rights activists.
When my grandrat was young, he and his friends used to have competitions to see who could get the closest to humans without getting killed. He lost many of his best friends to this game. In fact, that’s how he lost his best rat friend. But, no matter how often his friends got caught, or how many of his pals lost their lives, they kept playing. My grandrat and his friends would migrate all over the country looking for new victims to play their dangerous game on. One man in particular was named Sam Oldman. He was notoriously ruthless towards rats. The legend was that when he caught and killed a rat he would cut their tails off and use them to make designer handbags for women. Here’s the catch, no rat that ventured into his house came out alive. This made it the ultimate challenge for my grandrat and his friends.
The day that they designated to venture into Mr. Oldman’s house was none other than Friday the thirteenth in October. It’s really the worst possible day don’t you think? Like the most unlucky day of the year. Of course just to make it all better, the weather was stereotypically bad, like stereotypical horror movie bad. The moon was full and the sun had just set. So it really was the worst possible scenario any rat could imagine. My grandrat and his friends found a loose window and were able to wiggle their way in from there. When they entered the house. What they found was worse than any horror movie scene any rat could dream of. What happened in that house will never be known. The happenings that night were so horrific it caused my grandrat to go mute. My grandrat is the only one who made it out of that house alive that night. But even he didn’t get out in one piece, because in Sam Oldman’s house, my grand rat lost his tail.

Only in the Movies

I think rats are good for a lot of things, like as chefs in a restaurant in Paris or as dinner for Shrek and Donkey; okay basically, they are only good in movies.  What I don’t think rats are good for, are party guests so imagine my dismay when I found out I have rats under my deck DURING a party that I was throwing! I WAS NOT VERY AMUSED THAT’S FOR SURE.  I’m not even necessarily that upset about the rats being there, I mean it’s a rental property it’s not even my problem to pay for.  What I was (and am) upset about, is that I had to find out while sitting in the hot-tub with who could have been the love of my life.

It was like something straight out of the movies man, I can’t believe my (bad) luck.  Picture this: I’m in the hot-tub gazing into the blue eyes of the cutest girl on campus, my buddies and the rest of the girls all went inside to give me some alone time to finally make my move.  As I lean in for what I’m sure would’ve been the most amazing, fireworks kind of a kiss, she screams and shoots to the other side of the tub.  Since it couldn’t have been my breath she was screaming at, I turn around just in time to watch a rat run down the hot-tub steps and under the deck. When my friend Darren looked at me and said the obvious “dude, I think you have rats under your deck”, everyone left as fast as they could, and I could’ve punched him.

Two days later, I haven’t heard from her, and she’s not responding to my texts.  My dreams were shattered by Ratatouille!  She’s going to remember me as the guy with rats in his deck – that sounds like a disease! I don’t want to be that guy! My landlord is calling around trying to find a company to get rid of them, but I’m so angry I could probably tear up the deck and go full Rambo on them.  Hopefully it will get taken care of, and I can be the guy that got rid of the rats under the deck and gets a second chance.  I guess we’ll see.

An Unexpected Move

I have voles in my basement, which sounds crazy considering they live and tunnel under grass.  Honestly, when I heard other people talk about having voles in their homes anywhere, I would roll my eyes because to me it seemed obvious that only mice (not voles) get inside of houses.  I WAS WRONG!  At first, I even thought my own rodent problem was mice and not voles, I was completely convinced that a vole couldn’t get inside, and my husband was more than happy to say “I told you so”, when we got the news.

We have had a very prevalent vole problem since earlier in spring, they tore apart our grass leaving trails and dead grass in their wake; and they killed my husband’s vegetable garden!  They ate through everything they could find including the flower beds; basically, almost everything in our backyard is either dead or dying because of these nasty rodents.  My husband was very upset about the loss of his vegetables, so he decided to start a small garden in the basement and try to get somewhat of a harvest.  What we couldn’t believe was when, somehow, the voles got into the basement and started slowly working their way through that garden as well.

I saw one run from the basement garden to a crack in the wall and vanish, and later that day our dog was barking and digging at the outside part of the home that almost directly lines up with the crack in the basement.  Then, I came face to face with one when I was doing laundry and I couldn’t deny the truth any longer: I had voles in my basement.  Now, we just need to figure out how to REMOVE the voles from the basement, which is our number one priority at this point.  I may have been wrong about what kind of rodent it was, but I’m not wrong when I say that it can’t stay.

Seeing Things

I swear to you, there are mice in my apartment.  For a month now I’ve seen them scurrying around and jumping from place to place, but no one believes me.  I called the landlord right after I saw the first one run out from under the couch and he called a company to perform and inspection – but nothing.  They found zero, zip, zilch, NO evidence of mice anywhere; so I convinced myself it was my brain playing tricks on me.  Until a week later and I watched one jump off the counter and run into the pantry and I KNOW that was not just an illusion. They’re there, but nobody believes me.

In the last two weeks, I just see them everywhere.  Constantly running across the furniture and hiding under gaps and in crevices, but no one will come out and look at the problem.  My landlord doesn’t think they’re there so he won’t call another person to do an inspection, and no one will come out without the landlord’s permission!  I don’t know what to do, there are mice in the apartment; they’re living in the mattresses and the cushions.  The problem is the only signs of them is me actually seeing them.  They haven’t tried to chew through any food in my pantry and I can’t find signs of feces anywhere, but I can smell them.

I just need someone to come help me, or at least someone to see them so I have evidence to my claim instead of everyone thinking I’m batty.  I don’t want to share my apartment with mice, I don’t want to be living with rodents, I want this taken care of!  I don’t know what I have to do to get people to believe me, but I have to do it quickly before it gets worse.  I know there are multiple living here, but its them against me and apparently my word doesn’t mean anything anymore!  I may be old but I’m not senile yet!

Gopher vs. Terrier

This is kind of unusual, but I have a gopher problem in my front and backyard.  Yes, that seems like a normal sentence, but the gopher isn’t my problem.  We’ve actually been living quite harmoniously with the little creature for a couple of years now with no serious issues.  As long as he stays out of my vegetable gardens, I let him dig around and have the time of his life.  I’m a very strong believer that unless an animal has proved itself a danger to you or your things, there’s no reason to harm it or even bother it for that matter. And that is where my problem comes in: I just adopted a Boston terrier.

Now I’m not looking to get rid of my sweet dog, I rescued him from an abusive home and worked very hard to get him back to health and into a mental state where he was ready to live in a home again.  Unfortunately, he thinks that the gopher problem is something that he needs to address and take care of.  Whenever I let him outside, he instantly sniffs out the gopher and tries to dig the little thing out of the ground.  I let him do his thing for the most part, dogs will be dogs I suppose, but when he comes back into the house with small scratches bleeding on his nose and face I have to intervene.

I don’t want to hurt the little gopher, but I don’t know how to get him to leave naturally to another place, and trapping him is way out of my league as a veterinarian.  Shots I can do, your cat needs surgery? I’m all over it.  I am good at helping animals, but I have no idea how to remove them.  So what I’m saying, is I need help to solve this gopher problem.  I don’t know if there are any companies that have a natural removal process for gophers, but I would be very interested in hearing about it.  Of course, if there isn’t I recognize that my dog’s safety is more important than the gophers.

Ra, Ra, Rat-sputin

Listen, my sister has a rat running through the walls of her house. It’s invincible; we, can’t, kill it. She actually thinks it’s a squirrel solely based on the fact that she has squirrels in her yard, but I’ve watched it run into the hole behind the refrigerator, I’ve seen the hairless tail whip around as ran for the water heater. I know what it is, but I can’t figure out how to kill it. This thing is attacking her from the walls of her home, and I’m as useless as an ice cube in a snow storm.
This thing has to be monstrous, because it’s causing severe damage. Last week we found one of my nephews onesies pulled behind the couch; anywhere that may have had spit-up, leftover food, or anything other than just fabric was eaten completely through, leaving it in tatters. The bottom inside of the pantry door is covered in claw and teeth marks, woodchips everywhere, and rat droppings hiding in every corner. If you stay through the night, you’ll hear it around 3 in the morning, chewing on anything he can get his grimy little claws on. Not only will you catch snippets of the rat running through the walls, but you can hear it under the floors and in the ceilings. It has a maze of tunnels mapped through every inch of the house, it has chewed holes through the walls to get inside, and it’s not stopping. Just yesterday I heard it behind the fridge, so I pulled it away from the wall and discovered it had chewed through much of the wiring. I can’t believe how much has happened in only 2 weeks of its being here.
I want to help my sister, I’ve tried everything. I’ve set traps and baits only to find the springs released with nothing inside, and boxes of poison emptied to no avail. Every day it comes back and taunts me, daring me to try to kill it another way, but I have nothing left (short of shooting holes in my sisters walls). I know she called me to help, but I think I’m out of my league here, we need some professional help. Before we know it, it will have chewed through the foundation and leave us to watch the house collapse before moving on to torment another family. This rat in the walls, or squirrel, or whatever it is needs to be gone.