I hate calls that start like this.
I had a call come in late last week from an elderly lady who lives in Thatcham which started “I think I have a rat in the garage, can you come and take a look?”. So I booked in a visit to assess the problem and advise on the course of action.
Her house was literally right in the middle of Thatcham, a typical suburban residence in a quite street. As I opened the garden gate to take a look I was slightly taken back by what I saw. This small garden was slightly overgrown and filled with shrubs all a bit too big for the area. Then the ground moved a bit…..rats were literally everywhere running about!
This lovely old lady had lost her husband a few years ago and was not in the best of health herself, but had just left everything to do its thing. She also loves birds and so feeds them with tons of grain. Unfortunately, the rats have capitalised on this fact and the overgrown garden and made this a great home.
First things first, there was a small bank at the end of the garden full of rat holes – so I heavily gassed this, wiping out probably 80 – 90% of the current population in one hit.
Then I set about the garage. I have a pretty high tolerance of gross things (you have to in this job) but this was unbelievable. I have never seen so much pooh in one place and the smell of wee was totally overwhelming – I was gagging!
So armed with heavy duty PVC gauntlets and respirator, I ventured back into the garage to look for obvious entry points, set bait stations and a series of traps. Her husband used to horde things in this garage (as all men do – my sheds are packed to the gunnel’s with useful stuff!), making this an ideal home for rats.
Then to the lecture – I had to sit the lady down and go through things with her, explaining that putting food down was attracting the rats and not the birds and getting her to stop, to get the garage sorted out and cleared…who knows if she will but I have to tell her. She, of course, was very obliging and grateful but will she stop…who knows but I will be back next week to see. She did say that she had not seen many birds and couldn’t work out why so much food was being taken – I don’t think her eyesight was up to much either – bless!
Whilst problems like this are not very common, when you find one swift and decisive action will sort it very quickly. Interestingly, there were very few runs to the neighbouring properties – probably because all the rats needed was at hand.
If you thing you have a problem with rats, contact me so we can discuss and sort out the problem.
PS Note to self – take the video camera next time! This would have made some great footage – shame there is not smelly-vision!