Finding Stubbs: A Rat Tail; the Search (Part Two)

While researching rats and how to rid yourself of them, I learned they could be destructive, but until you experience a stubborn, smart one, I don’t think you really can imagine their catastrophic prowess at creating mayhem.

Oddly, most of our damage was caused by our lone rat. It reminded me of the movie genre where the hero is wreaking havoc on the villains who killed his family at the beginning of the movie. So basically, Stubbs was Liam Neeson taking his rodent revenge for the deaths of his family members.

“I Will Look for You, I Will Find You, And I Will Kill You.” -Stubbs (as Bryan Mills)

Our damage included but was not limited to One purse, three cellphone chargers, five plants, one door frame, one squishy kitchen mat, one leather theater recliner, five dog toys, one dog bed, my dog trainer bag (it likely smelled like dog treats), one rattan hinged chest, a couch, the corner of another couch, my car key fob, the aforementioned water piping plus two MORE water pipes.

Yes, Stubbs made it rain TWICE in the kitchen during his “reign.”

He had us on the run. We rolled up rugs, locked down our pantry and spent every night before bed looking for any possible source of food, bleaching every surface, sweeping floors and locking away anything we didn’t want to be chewed.

I spent weekends looking for and blocking off any possible entry or exit point. I would sit bleeding on the kitchen floor, cutting hardware cloth to block every crack and crevice, cursing this wretched rodent. My emotions vacillated wildly between tears of frustration and exorcist-like outbursts of rage.

I had to cage my plants, canceled my annual family Christmas gathering, and considered setting fire to the house or moving out.

Simultaneous to losing my mind, I was buying every trap every expert recommended. I bought zap traps, five kinds of snap traps, humane traps and at my lowest point, glue traps. I wanted to be as humane as possible to this creature, but I also wanted him gone. At the height of the rodent rebellion, I had 19 traps on our house’s ground floor for one rat. We even bought rat shot and considered open firing.

Stubbs was offered a virtual smorgasbord of food to try and figure out what ticked his little furry fancy. He was left apples, nuts, peanut butter, dog food, cat food, tuna, bread, cheese, Nutella and walnuts on the advice of one extraordinarily successful YouTube rat hunter. However, still, he refused all offerings and ate my key fob.

He (or she) was clearly hungry. Mark eats trail mix while working at his desk upstairs and sometimes would drop pieces on the wide plank flooring in his office, which would roll into the cracks. Stubbs resorted to digging those remnants out, along with some pieces of a long-ago broken water glass. Yes, that’s right, not only was he leaving poop for me to clean up, but he was booby-trapping the floor with jagged shards of glass.

Where did I put those matches??

One day, I browsed Facebook and came across a post about “The Ratinator” in the Duvall Homesteaders group. I had tried the trap once before but came to realize I had possibly lost patience too soon. Holly, the admin, explained in detail how to use the trap.

The trap is a large cage with a seesaw door. The rat pushes down the door to access the bait, the door closes behind, and bingo bango you’ve caught a rat!

Could this trap catch a preternatural pest like ours? Did Melissa open fire, leave or set the place on fire? Check-in Friday for the exciting conclusion!

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