Confessions of the Resident Exterminator

2016-06-20 16.14.21Being the least squeamish member of the household, it falls to me to deal with all members of the animal kingdom on our property.

That means I take care of the livestock, of course (I can’t even imagine anyone else dealing with kidding or mastitis), I dispose of the gifts the cat leaves lying beheaded on the lawn, and I deal with pests.

Though I don’t enjoy killing anything, I have no problem squishing bugs in the garden, and dropping slugs into soapy water (I don’t recommend squishing them—its really slimy). I don’t even flinch at the idea of setting mouse traps or possum traps, either.

But rat traps? *shudder*

I put it off until the rats are so numerous that they’re having loud parties in the attic, keeping me up all night racing around, gnawing on the rafters.

And then I wait longer, until the rest of the family starts to notice the noise in the attic, or a greasy body sliding through the wall cavities.

Then I pull the rat traps out and look at them for a while, screwing up my courage.

Finally, after many excuses, I get out the ladder, prepare some bait (bread with peanut butter is reliable), and make my way to the attic with the traps.

Bait on the trap, set trap in place, pull back the bar to arm it…


Bait goes flying, fingers sting, and I jump, cracking my head on a rafter.

Try again. Bait on the trap, put the trap in place, pull back the arm…


Maybe we can coexist with the rats? I calm myself and try again. Third time’s the charm, right?

Bait, set it in place, hold my breath and pull the arm…

Breathe out slowly. Carefully move my hands away from the trap, willing it not to spring shut.

Get the second trap. Repeat.

The good news…and the bad news is that the traps work. Within 24 hours I’ll have to empty them and reset them. The parties will stop. I’ll be able to sleep.

But I hate setting those traps.

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