We welcomed our good friend to the city this week and with his arrival, we found that we had another little visitor called Rodney or Raymond or Ronaldo. It was inevitably going to happen – rats/mice in London are as common as a sneeze in your face on the central line at 8.30am. It’s hard to say as a sun addict but we were let down by the weather. It was extremely warm and the kitchen/summertime sauna has french doors and a sky light so the doors had to be open to let some of the heat out of the kitchen. And our garden is apparently a haven for wildlife according to our pest control man Des. The quite large (going by London standards), overgrown and uncared garden is the perfect habitat for mice. Great. I’m calling it a mouse but it was probably a rat. But I’ll deny that to the bitter end as it is easier to say: ‘I have a mouse problem’ than ‘I have a rat problem.’
The anxiety of mice, once you know you have them in your house, is nearly worse than the pests themselves. Every movement in the middle of the night HAS to be a mouse scurrying across the floor. Every open door WILL let five more furry friends in. We were prisoners in our own home. To live with Raymond for an extended period of time before we caught him, one has to picture a nice cartoon character who washes his paws and adds crème liquide to a simmering pot of soup. However, after watching a number of (not so cute) rat related videos on YouTube, I was brought back to reality and remembered Ronaldo probably wasn’t spicing up my meal times. Plus, I am now an expert on all the methods that can be used to get rid of rats and trapping it in a colander just does not seem viable.
The upside of having these uninvited guests is that the house is cleaner than ever. Every surface has been scrubbed clean, no corner left crumby. But the arrival of Ronaldo marks the end of the summer in a way. It’s time to put the summer clothes away whilst cleaning for Raphael and make way for Autumn and one less housemate. Our pest controller, Des, told us that rats are neophobic. They are afraid of new things so the rat trap with an enticing amount of peanut butter probably won’t work because little Rodney won’t trust it like he does the old shoe he’s been nibbling for the past week.
Low and behold, about 4 hours after I wrote the first draft of this post, little Ronny shows himself in the hall. I spot him and instantly know after having spotting him that something is wrong. Mice are fast movers, why did Ronald stroll out looking a bit drunk and all-over-the-place? (I didn’t judge Ronald at this point, we’ve all been there). **Vegans and Animal Rights people look away** We figured that he munched on some of that delicious peanut butter covered poison and he was on his last legs. It was a stand off in the end, with four girls (GIRL POWER) standing in the hall; shouting with fear and adrenaline and confusion. Little Remy was woozy and stumbling all over the place but eventually made it out the front door and met an end which is far too gruesome to relive. If you’re really interested in how this mouse met his end, message me. It involves a stranger on the street, a brick and a plastic bag. Sorry.
Sometimes the house feels like a bit of a hostel. The other housemates have family or friends coming to see London every other month but this month we had to close the hostel doors and chase the last miniature guest away.
We needed to close them anyway, it’s getting too cold for the open door policy.