12 Feb

I recently discovered one of my favorite shirts had some holes on it. Holes that were surely not on it a few days prior.I knew this as I had taken the shirt on a business trip and put it in the washer on arrival . When the shirt made it out of the laundry and to my closet, I spotted holes a few days later. So the two scenarios were  1)the holes could have appeared in the washer 2) we had a rat in our house or attic that you accessed from the closet. I ruled out option 1 because of the series of holes – not just one , but around 4-5 small ones all near each other. But of course, I could be wrong and it could be the washer.In fact, I hope it is the washer.

The other prospect upsets me no end. For unlike some of you, I have lived with rats before. Thrice in my life in fact. All different countries too!

The first rat incident was when I was seven and living in Hong Kong in a really nice apartment. But yes, nice apartments also get rats apparently and we went through about one terrible year in that apartment getting rid of the rats . We had rat traps with roti and cheese in every room. We had rat bait set up around the house. We did have success almost each week and an increasing rat death toll but there probably were tons of them to begin with. I remember we had two rats die one week of each other in the exact same spot in my playroom and me being spooked out by the similarity of the incidents. I also remember the rats having a fondness for getting stuck in floor fans and meeting their untimely end that way, and so I insisted on having the fan on around me where ever I was. Oh and despite my parents numerous warning to not mention the word rat to prospective tenants who would take over our lease, I did exactly that – I cried rat but only after the paperwork had been signed!So my parents swooped in for the damage control and downplayed the whole rat situation and we finally got out of that apartment!

The second rat living situation I faced was when I was 11 years old and we were living in Bombay. We never really saw a rat in this case, but we had loads of signs. Visible rat poop in recently cleaned areas and nibbled upon bars of soap were two that I remember. Oh and the squeaks.I slept on the floor of my parents room at that point – I had simply refused to go to another room with the birth of my sister two years prior , and we slept with the bedroom door shut but we could hear the squeaks at the other end all night long. I felt most vulnerable being on the floor and all, so of course, I made it on their bed and my dad was found sleeping on the mattress on the floor on most nights.These smart Bombay rats however did not care for the roti in the trap trick and I don’t think we caught a single one for as long as we lived there.

My final encounter with rats was in the US as a grad student. We were probably living with a  colony of rats  in our town house. They got into everything – cereal, fruit, hidden treats that one roommate hid from the other. I remember three of us being a little happy when the selfish roommate with the hidden goodies had her little treat corner invaded by rats.Karma for not sharing and all that! And they ruined clothes as well.The safest place for clothes was in a suitcase and for food was the fridge.After a few incidents, the fridge was always loaded with 4 girls dumping every edible morsel they had into it and initialing everything too to prevent roommate theft. Well, I left that apartment after two semesters thinking I was finally out of the rat haven and safe, only to sign a lease with a host of bed bugs !But that’s another story.

Back to our current situation, we live fairly close to a greenbelt, so a rat problem will not be surprising, but at the same time exterminators have not really found a visible sign of an existing rodent problem.So we are on the fence about starting an expensive rodent treatment for rodents we might not even have. We do have traps around the property with bait as preventive measures though and hopefully that will stop any new ones from coming in. I have my eye on my clothes in the closet though.



4 Responses to “Ratted??”

  1. Titaxy February 12, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Oh man this is scary. Creepy. I hope it’s not a rodent issue this time around.
    I have had some good tshits of k’s show up with hole after they come out of laundry. And I’m sure it’s not rats but this does leave me thinking. Sigh

  2. Bhavani February 12, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    We had rats problem sometime back! It was so so annoying and creepy!! And we spent like a crazy amount of money for a guy who could not trap it!! My husband still jokes about changing his profession looking at their hourly charges!!

    Finally we were able to trap it with the traditional cheese in the small wooden trapper!

    Hope you are free of rats soon!


  3. Arch February 12, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Oh god! I really hope it’s not rats. It’s such a pain to see that they’ve bitten into your favourite clothes. The worst part is when I start imagining the possible things that would’ve stepped on, in the kitchen. Thankfully we don’t have a problem in the present house. But rats used to be regular at my mom’s house, around the time we vacated it.

  4. princessbutter February 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    Arrr! It could be the washer! I used to notice teeny holes in some tops and I suspected either washer snags or silverfish insects. I used to see them around in the room.
    My office drawer most likely had a rat who decided to gnaw on a plastic bag rather than sugar packets n chia seeds etc.

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