It wouldn’t be DC if I didn’t talk about rats. You know, the rodents, bigger than mice, smaller or about the same size as cats. They have been seen in every quadrant of the District, in most neighborhoods, basically everywhere.
For the longest while I decided my alley had no rats. For one, I had never seen one. Second, we did have a tribe of feral felines residing in the alley, and they kept the numbers down. But apparently there are rats in the alley because the exterminator, after looking at the bait station in the back, said “Rats.”
The reason I had the exterminator out in the first place was because of my mouse problem. I’m not going to go through the details but the mice became a problem again. Mr. Exterminator came and went and now mice are no problem. Yet, since he pointed out the evidence of rats, I’ve become worried.
Next door my neighbors have let their backyard go. They don’t use it. It is just a fenced in wilderness preserve. I went over to them this weekend and told them they need to tell their landlord to cut down the weeds and whatnot so the rats won’t have a place to hide. This week I need to contact the landlord myself and tell him. I want to give them an opportunity to clear it up before I call the city’s rat patrol.

4 thoughts on “Rats”

  1. You’re blog is part of my daily routine and I LOVE it so I usually leave the opinion comments to my husband but now I have a house keeping question –

    How do you know you have a mouse “problem” and what does the exterminator do that mouse traps can’t? I know they’re getting into the house somehow, but with the shoddy re-hab on the house, there are tiny gaps and crevices from the outside everywhere.

  2. Micky and Minnie have been leaving little mouse “presents” in the house. It gets really bad when you actually see a mouse. Mouse dung looks like a grain of black rice.
    Anywho. The exterminator comes out and puts out black bait stations filled with poison and checks them. He also put down some big glue traps and moved the stove to do so. The exterminator also pointed out the difference between mouse and rats and how they go after the bait in the stations. I could also have them spray, but no. I’m okay with the spiders provided the spiders stay in the basement.
    To deal with some of the crevices in your house you should try Great Stuff it is a sticky foam that hardens. Makes up for lack of carpentry or masonry skills. You can find it in Home Depot over by hardware. For small jobs look for the very small ‘travel’ sized can because it is a pain to get the stuff out for a 2nd go around.

  3. Just try thinking of them as “Shaw Squirrels”. Don’t climb trees too well and don’t have extra fur on their tails.

    Seriously, you’re doing the right thing going after that back yard. Also: Cats are good, but after the baby rats mature, most cats can’t handle them. (Your basic 20-25 pound farm-raised Maine Coon Cat would be another matter, but they don’t have those around here.)

  4. I had never seen a rat in my Bethesda neighborhood until I got a visit from my brother-in-law (from the Bronx) who spotted one within the first ten minutes of a walk around the neighborhood.

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