Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Rat Trap

A few months ago I noticed that some sort of vermin had dug a hole under my fence. I can only imagine that its some starving rat, taking advantage of the lack of rat snakeability looking at my yard for foodstuffs from Ye Olde Foreclosed Home.

I poured Quikrete down the hole, poured in water, and thought the problem was solved... not so fast.

A few days later, right next to the cemented area was another hole. I knew that I was dealing with a very determined rat. Although determined, this rat has to be dumber than a box of rocks to dig INTO a yard with 3 Siberian Huskies wandering around. I commonly see Loki sitting patiently near the hole, waiting, waiting, waiting for it to come out. He’s very good at that. He’ll wait prey out, catching moles, mice, fledgling birds, whatever, just by sitting perfectly still and pretending to be a lawn ornament. Either that or they just eventually commit suicide and run into his mouth.

So I looked into the various and sundry types of ways to capture, kill, maim, destroy and obliterate various and sundry types of vermin.

Hav-A-Heart traps Good concept, except for one thing... WTH do you do with it once you caught it? Its not like I’m Billy the Exterminator (who I LOVE, so don’t be mocking Billy) and have thousands of miles of forest area to free trapped critters. The best I could do would be to call animal control for pick up, and the poor critter would die of old age in the trap by the time they showed up, or release it into the foreclosed home area... but all I’d be doing there is training the critter that it could come to my place for a free meal and lounge in the trap for a while, like a mini all-inclusive vacation. Of course, there’s always “disposing” of the critter but what kind of humane way is there to “dispose” of them other than drowning or shooting them (and frankly the county frowns upon firearms discharging).

Poison: errr, no way. There’s absolutely, positively no way I’d use poison on critters, not because its a horrible death (which it is) I honestly don’t have a problem with vermin dying horrible deaths, its just that I don’t want poison ANYWHERE near my dogs, I don’t want something non-targeted to get into the poison, and once the vermin die, don’t want my dogs or other non-targeted animals eating poison dead vermin. Plus the vermin usually crawl somewhere unfortunate to die and stink, so poison is right out.

Glue Traps: While handy indoors, they don’t work for crap outdoors in cold weather. I don’t have a problem using glue traps (bite me Animal Rights nut cases), I do have a problem with removing them from husky fur, as my dogs would no doubt be covered in glue traps because they were “interesting”.

Snap Traps: Once again, I’d be making vet trips with dogs that had snap traps on their noses since peanut butter is the main trap bait, and mine can’t resist peanut butter.

Call a pest control company: but what are they going to do that I can’t do? Charge me a lot of money to set a trap, that’s what.

So, using logical (for me) thinking, I’d need something non-poisonous, non-sticky (because of the cold), that would kill the vermin (so I wouldn’t have to) that the dogs couldn’t get into it. Once again... watching Billy the Exterminator pays off. I found this really cool AMERICAN company (and from what I can tell, they are family run) Do My Own Pest Control

They have the really cool professional grade rat bait stations that you can put one of their T-Rex Rat traps in. It has a hex lock, and a way to anchor it to the ground. This solves the following problems:

1.) Dogs getting snapped by traps
2.) Dogs playing hockey with the enclosed trap thing
3.) Dogs snacking on the dead critter once the critter is dead
4.) Dogs picking the lock to get at the peanut butter

PERFECT! I order a bait station and a trap online and then spend hours gleefully imagining the fun that will ensue.

Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse in Georgia, which delayed my shipment. To their credit, they immediately e-mailed to let me know that not only couldn’t they get to their shop, but all of the shippers couldn’t get around on the slippery roads, and apologized profusely for the delay... which lead me to respond:

“Dear Customer Service,

I want to thank you for the e-mail in regard to the status of my rat trap order. I want to assure you that I totally understand the delay, and frankly I wouldn't be able to live with myself if one of your employees injured or killed themselves trying to mail out my rat trap. I'd have to change my name, possibly move out of the country, and that's just a hassle.

Even if I had ordered a brain eating zombie trap, it would be silly of me to be upset under the current weather circumstances, and totally irrational not to buy one locally, although when attacked by brain eating zombies, one typically doesn't think clearly.

I appreciate your update and fine customer service, and although I don't hope I have a need to buy more traps, if you do market a brain eating zombie trap, I'll be sure to get it from your fine company.


Pretty much everyone in customer service responded, and even thanked me for suggesting the brain eating zombie trap as a potential untapped resource for them.

To which I responded:

”I’m pretty sure you could make a zillion dollars with an effective brain eating zombie trap. You just never know when the zombie apocalypse will kick off, and frankly, even if it wasn't effective... I'm pretty sure you wouldn't get any complaint e-mails, as zombies can't type.“

At last check, my rat trap is in the vicinity and scheduled for delivery on Monday... I’ll let you know how it goes, but if you ever need any sort of pest control stuff... please visit Do My Own Pest Control


Huffle Mawson said...

I can't wait to hear how this turns out.

Chuck said...

You don't have to be an animal rights nut to realise that glue traps are cruel. It's better just to kill them quickly than to torture them, torture is never right. And saying that doesn't make me an animal rights nut, it means I don't like to torture animals.

Anonymous said...

"I honestly don’t have a problem with vermin dying horrible deaths"

Why? Are you condoning unnecessary cruelty to them? Maybe if you see one writhe in pain in front of your eyes, you'll change your tune.

a rat trap said...

Electric Trap - This trap speaks for itself.
10 Homemade - This is for the guy who wants to make a better mouse / rat trap, or wants to try something different. The most common is the 5 gallon bucket and soda can with wire stretched across the top. Don't forget to place the board on the lip of the bucket (AKA plank), before you send the local mice and rat populations to their death.