Well I woke up severely disappointed. Chris had heard something during the night (thankfully I didn't), and when he went downstairs to investigate he thought he heard something coming from behind our built-in cabinets in the family room.
In the morning, there were more droppings in the kitchen and dining room. And get this...the damn rat ATE A FRICKING BANANA. (Or part of it). Chris and I felt so defeated. Where was the damn thing coming from? How was it getting in??!! You know how they say life's biggest stressors include marriage, divorce, birth, death, and moving? Well I'm here to tell you that having rodents IN YOUR HOUSE is at the tippy top of that list. I felt sick to my stomach, and extremely exhausted, only there was no way I was going to take a rest for fear of something attacking me!
I begged Chris to work from home that day so
As we combed the house with a fine toothed comb, looking for possible entry points I saw this near the fireplace (which just so happens to be in the built-in cabinet Chris thought he had heard noises coming from):
I was immediately suspicious, because as you know I JUST painted this grate a few weeks ago, and it shouldn't be DIRTY like this! So I opened the grate to see what was behind it:
I don't know about you, but those totally look like some kind of
(Just ignore the dust)...That is one great big gaping hole for the gas line to fit through. Plenty of room for a big fat rat to climb through if he happened to be anywhere in the walls. Chris found the place where the gas line came out in the garage and sure enough there was a nice sized gap around that as well. So he shoved some steel wool around the smaller gap (in the garage), but inside we had a bigger hole to deal with.
Chris got all McGyver-y on that hole though and ended up with this:
Just in case you can't tell what THAT is, Chris started with two layers of metal mesh stuff (like what he is going to use to repair the foundation screens). Then he shoved some steel wool in there real tight right around the actual gas line. He tried to glue the screen to the sheet metal, but it was really hard to maneuver inside this small space, so he ended up using expanding foam and spray-foamed the hell out of it. Spray foam by itself doesn't work because rodents can chew right through it. But they can't chew through the metal screen, or the steel wool, so we used the spray foam more as a "glue" to hold it in place. (A note about the spray foam though, we've learned that it can be combustible above temperatures higher than 240 degrees. This is below the fireplace, so it does get warm, although we're not sure HOW warm. Chris doesn't want to take any chances though, so he plans to cut out the spray foam and use some other kind of adhesive this weekend).
Chris went to a punk rock show that night, so I let Camden sleep in my bed AGAIN, and while I felt better that we had hopefully figured out and blocked the entry point, I was not as comfortable as I could have been and had a hard time going to sleep...I kept thinking I heard rodent like sounds. (It didn't help that we had a HUGE wind and rain storm going on at the time).
In the morning, we checked around the house. No droppings! YAY! No half eaten bananas! YAY! But even better? One dead rat caught in a trap in the garage. See ya never, sucker! We still have some areas in the garage and to the crawl space that we need to patch to keep the critters out of those areas, but I think we feel much better about any rodents being able to get INSIDE of our house. Because that is just WRONG.
But in one final "screw you" move before he met his very timely death...our speakers don't work anymore. Chris went to investigate why, and grabbed the speaker wire only to have it fall loosely into his hand. So that rat bastard chewed right through it before he went to eat some peanut butter and get his neck snapped just like that. I don't even feel bad for him.