As previously mentioned, I had a visit on Friday with a pest control professional named Morris, who it so happens is a fellow member of a business organization. When he first walked in, I was like, are you here to see whether or not we’re happy with your service? Because we are (short meeting). He said no, I’m here to figure out how rodents are getting into your storage room on the 2nd floor.
Backing up for a day, we had already had a technician out on Thursday to put traps in this room, because an employee had spotted a…rodent. I thought for sure it would be a rat, because, well, it’s Florida. We have a lot of rats. Morris informed me that most rats in our area are roof rats, but we also have a few Norway rats. Don’t delude yourself that you can ever be clean and sanitary enough to never see a rat or a mouse. They are both smarter than you are, and highly motivated. It turned out to be a measly little mouse. The problem with both rats and mice is, that if you see one, there are a hundred more waiting in the wings.
I had an employee conduct Morris to the storage room. He returned to say that there were gaps under the doors of the room big enough to drive a truck through, which technically means, big enough for a rat. Mice can flatten themselves enough to get through amazingly slim spaces. Rats can’t, because their heads are too big.
Morris and I then talked for at least an hour. The topics included never using poison. (Morris: they do go back to the nest to die, and if the nest is in your wall, you will be moving out for at least two months.) Also never using glue traps. In a different city I had a pest control company come out for mice. They put out glue traps and the next morning, one mouse had chewed through its leg, and another one had gotten its face stuck in the glue. I made them come back and remove every single glue trap. (Morris: Plus, you really don’t want to use glue traps for rats. If the trap catches them on a foot or on the tail, they are strong enough carry it off. ) Glad we got that settled.
We told some more rat stories, but Morris had the best one. He said that he got a call from a customer who said strange things were happening in her house. One morning, she woke up and the peppermints she had in a dish on her coffee table were gone–except for the plastic wrappers. Her daughter, who was living with her and had had previous substance abuse problems, completely denied getting up in the middle of the night and eating all the peppermints and leaving the wrappers. But there were other ominous signs. A couple of gold chains were missing from the top of the dresser in the mother’s bedroom. (Was the daughter stealing them?)
Morris goes there to investigate and sees telltale droppings on the coffee table and the dresser. It was a pack rat. When they finally found its nest, there was a big pile of uneaten peppermints, a couple of necklaces, and various other pretty shiny things. Who know there was actually such a thing as a pack rat? Who knew there were so many species of rats?