Rat Slayer, City Of Chicago


Rat Slayer

Rat Slayer—sticking with Michaelmas theme

It never fails to amuse me that when someone comes to my door and knocks—and my pups explode into a barking frenzy—I open the door and the person says, “I couldn’t find your doorbell” as they quickly start backing away from the door. This is what happened last week, when an employee from the city arrived to discuss my rat issues that I had called in six weeks previously. I stepped outside to greet my rat killer, a short guy with Frances embroidered on his uniform, who kindly offered to address my rat issues. He assured me that when it came to rats he was like a cat. Orkin had already solved my rat issues six weeks earlier, but I figured why not let Francis take a look around. I knew that if anyone could recognize the signs of a rat, it would be someone who worked for the city of Chicago.

The first thing Frances pointed out were the thick hostas along the side of my house. Rats, it seems, like to run between walls and plants. He suggested that I create a large path between my plants, which would make the rats visible. If I saw one, I should hit it on the head with something hard, such as a shovel or a shoe. My mission was not to stun it but to kill it and leave the body as a message for other rats. According to Frances, rats are smart; they don’t want to go where there has been trouble. I must have looked doubtful, because Frances assured me that killing a rat was easy if you hit it right along the neck bone.

Next, Frances spoke, in great detail, about the dining habits of rats, which are not— and this may surprise you—discerning gourmets. I will spare you the details and leave their dietary consumption to your imagination . . . or not. However, I will share what I thought was an interesting rat fact: rats cannot throw up. This was a huge relief to my sweet mother, who told me, when I shared this fact with her, that she had always harbored a secret fear that a rat would race up out of nowhere and throw up on her shoes. Have I mentioned that my odd family has a warped sense of humor?

Show and Rat became especially exciting for Francis when he found rat droppings in our back shed. He generously held out the official rat-spotting flash light and encouraged me to step forward to take a look see for myself. No. Francis insisted that it was only rat poop but quickly learned that no means no. Recovering from his disappointment, he went on to tell me that barbed wire around the walls of the shed were my best recourse and offered to set bait traps in the alley along the fence line. Thank you.

The last rat fact Francis shared before he left was that the smell of peppermint offends rodents and he suggested that I buy some peppermint oil. I plan to soak some cotton balls in the oil and also plant some peppermint in the back portion of the yard. I only hope the neighborhood rodents don’t think I’m inviting them for tea!

The good news is the rat problem seems to be solved. We haven’t seen one in weeks. Happy dance! But to all of you who are shuddering and thinking that there is no way I could handle a rat problem, I am smiling knowingly, “Oh sure you could.” When you don’t have a choice, you have to keep calm, be rational, and aim for the neck.

Odd Loves Company!

13 thoughts on “Rat Slayer, City Of Chicago

  1. I had to read the Rat one — what a glorious Odd adventure (and particularly love your Mom’s wry observation about rat puke).

    You know I have plenty of mint root for you.

    • Thank you! I plan to plant all my flowering mint in the back flower bed where Cole keeps the bug and add peppermint in the spring.
      You know what I always say—at least there was a story to tell.

  2. I had no idea that anyone else shared my rat vomit fear. I feel so relieved. If only we had discussed this earlier.
    A rat assassin named Frances would not make be feel very confident. However, i have heard that peppermint was a good way to get rid of mice. I wonder who discovered they didn’t like the smell?
    Glad you have been rodent free that has to be a big relief. Hope it stays that way for you.

    • My mother will be so glad she is not alone! Good question about the peppermint. Frances didn’t make me feel very confident at first—a rat assassin should be named Roy. But I have to admit Francis seem to know his stuff.
      Rodent free for six weeks…may it last forever.

  3. Very interesting and informative report..I haven’t seen any rats around here but you never know when they might move in..ugh 😯

    • I know you have river rats but I never remember anyone having them in neighborhoods. Hope they stay far, far away.

  4. Double rat coverage between Orkin & Francis was wise. I feel better now! Peppermint Oil……I’ll try to remember that.

    • You betcha! I want those suckers gone. I am hoping to hear a bell ring and know that Frances job is done. I am trying peppermint oil everywhere….I still have Orkin but when it gets cold the mice runith over.

  5. I don’t know which is worse — rats or woodchucks! Seems we both have unwanted varmints. Lucky you, having the City of Chicago to help with your rodent problem. I’d never heard about the peppermint oil being offensive. Wonder if that works for “Woody”?? On a lighter note, I killed yet another garter snake in the back yard yesterday — woo hoo!

    • RATS. I think peppermint oil is offensive to most varmints so why not grab some cotton balls, soak them in peppermint and give it a try. Might work.
      You go girl! Good Job. Wait, another garter snake?

  6. I’m happy to hear your rat problem is on the wane. Remember when they destroyed ALL our Xmas decoratons?
    That did it for me with rats. There were two little kids, in Houston, who use to come into Petsmart with two big rats on harnesses. If you had to let your kids have rats for pets I sure wouldn’t advertise that face. Yes, you had Gerbils but that was very different.

    • Gerbils are very different! And I never took them out for a walk.
      For awhile you had a drive through restaurant for rats—until they started to dine on the Porsha.
      So far no sightings and if I do see one—I am not killing it with a shoe or a shovel.

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