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That was disgusting, she said cheerfully

Our friend very much likes poppy seeds. And peanut butter, naturally: he ate every drop of it in plastic jars and even, somehow, managed to work the metal lid off of a glass jar. Bread crumbs, baking soda. He didn’t eat salt but he chewed through a number of packets of expensive sea salt and then walked through it.

He gnawed tiny holes in several plastic containers of cooking oil, so they didn’t leak until they were picked up, and then they squirted streams.

To be fair, an awful lot of the things I threw out were just way, way out of date. I haven’t gone right to the back of those cabinets since we moved in. I’m distressed by how many had very rusty lids. It doesn’t feel all that damp in our kitchen, but it must be.

Or maybe it’s just England.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 15, 2021, 8:26 pm

In defense of the cats, they have been known to capture intruders. They are fantastic mousers out of doors. Indoors, they have to wait for something to break cover. I don’t think they’d take on a full rat, but we are home to a variety of rodents, from tiny shrews to adorable voles. Norvegicus is a rare visitor.

This is a big boy, I think.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: December 15, 2021, 8:42 pm

You need a snake, a pet snake, to live with you in your cozy little cottage. He can live in the walls, or the attic. You will never know he is there, but you will have to leave a UV sunlamp lit for him. You could put it on a timer so it comes on at night while you are sleeping. They need that ultraviolet radiation.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: December 16, 2021, 12:51 am

@Skandia Recluse. Many years ago the husband and I owned a bucolic place in the Midwest. Every year at first frost we were inundated by the mices and rats. I would spend every spring going over the outside, stuffing every crevice with steel wool. And then one year we weren’t inundated. I sat fat, dumb and happy all winter thinking I’d finally mastered it all. In the spring, we opened a wall to do some remodeling and then promptly left for an impromptu trip. Came home to discover several LARGE king snakes in the house. And I mean LARGE! Seems they had followed the mice in the cracks and ate themselves fat, dumb and LARGE in the attic all winter. It got warm when we left and they promptly unassed the warm attic via the wall we opened. Now I’m all good with the slithering things outside or in the attic where I don’t go but I draw the line when they enter MY space!

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: December 16, 2021, 8:45 am

If Mrs D has to choose between rats and snakes, I can tell you we’ll have a rat petting zoo before there is a sanctioned snake anywhere in the house.

Comment from OldFert
Time: December 16, 2021, 3:45 pm

Your rats like poppy seeds? Better warn them they could turn up hot on a whiz quiz.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 16, 2021, 4:30 pm

When we lived in Panama, our house was -alive- with various and sundry fauna (and flora assuming mold et al counts as flora). We didn’t seem to have rats or mice, but then we did see a variety of snakes in our yard, so we had that going for us. The little geckos we liked; they ate the insects and served as both a cat toy and a cat treat. It was wise to look in your coffee mug though when you took it from the cabinet – a gecko in your morning cup seemed to spoil the flavor.

Our particular bane however were ants- I counted at least five different varieties in the house on one day. The leaf cutters were harmless but came through in regular patrols, and seemed to have a fondness for getting inside the bathroom ceiling light fixture to die in the glass-bowl-shade by the hundreds- had to dump them out about once a month or so- and in the kitchen the sure way to identify a spilled drop was a little brown circle of tiny ants around its perimeter. We constantly cleaned (well, Mrs. Lokki did; she has that Japanese cleanliness fetish thing), but it didn’t seem to help. We soon learned that storage tins were the only answer. (In the tropics, we used desiccants for the sugar and salt tins with kinda okay results).
Anyhow, I suspect some stainless tins are in your future – I can’t imagine that unless the Pied Piper comes through about once a week for a year, you are ever going to get your rodents to move out; I’d bet they have family roots there going back to the time the house was built.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 16, 2021, 6:14 pm

There are precisely three species of snake native to the UK: the common grass snake, the (lightly venomous) adder and the very rare smooth snake (a constrictor).

And Uncle B would burn the whole county to the ground if he saw one in our garden.

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