Long ago, I abandoned any pretext of keeping a second car in my two-car garage. The non-car half waxes and wanes with junk. For example, a ripped pouffe — initially a small hole exacerbated by a curiously nimble four-year old fascinated with “fluff” — and a lopsided table — don’t ask — have been collecting dust for nearly a year. Had we not discovered rodent dookie along the wall last week, I am confident both pieces of furniture would be there next year. See, the only way I can get rid of them is to haul them to the dump.
I hate going there. I think it’s because I have guilt pangs at throwing something away that could conceivably be repaired by someone with Shao-lin mastery of furniture maintenance. Typically, I talk myself into keeping whatever-it-is with the hopes that I’ll actually need it, or could possibly repair said item into serviceable condition again. It never happens. With my guilt trumped by my newly-found motivation at minimizing the places rodents can hide and things they can eat, I spent most of Sunday cleaning out my garage.
I was more or less done by 2pm, though there was ample space in the car for anything else I could find. The crawlspace had some lumber from the previous owner (7+ years ago) that I’d been keeping “just in case I had a project.” For the most part, the wood is leftover, unrecyclable scrap that the previous owner didn’t want to take to the dump, either. When I went into the crawlspace, I noticed two of the traps. One had tripped empty while the other was still set. There were two more, but I didn’t really think to look for them since I was channeling my efforts into getting to the dump before it closed.
I was surveying the crawlspace:.
I had filled up the van and made one last trip down there when out of the corner of my eye I saw something staring back at me…
|If you’re squeamish, do not click on any of the four images below.|
|Not for the squeamish. This photo is the rear-side of one of the rats caught in the trap. The axel of a garden spreader blocks the truly gory part. The rat is about 7″ long with a fairly long tail. This is a Norway Rat.|
The second photo is the gory side of the same rat.
So, we have confirmed that there are indeed rats in the crawlspace. “Two Hands” as Woodstock would say. The plan is to patch up the obvious entry points on Wednesday and reset/re-bait the traps. On Sunday (maybe), I’ll replace the insulation and vapor barrier to remove the (cough) contaminants.