Rat control is simply a matter of linguistics | Humor

Three weeks ago, just back from a 14-hour flight from Europe, where I was visiting my grandkids. Wiped. Crawled into bed at 7 p.m., snuggled down and ...


Leave your house for two weeks, the rats know. Even a house like mine, which has been rat-proofed by the best, had no defense.

So there it was, down on the other side of the wall, a determined, very loud, probably Monster Size Rat, setting up to work all night until it broke through.

Like I said, I was wiped. And knew I wouldn’t get a wink of sleep with the sound of that invasion going on near my closet.

I lay there, examining my options, wondering if I got out of bed, put on my clothes, tracked down my cache of rat poison, went outside to the back of the house and put it in the crawlspace, whether that rat was dumb enough to get distracted and head on over to the death tray.

Which was also upsetting, because I hate the idea of rat torture too.

I lay awake with that dilemma, alternately banging angrily on the wall and then drifting off into a jet-lagged stupor.

And then: inspiration!

I got out of bed, knelt right down by the wall so that my head was inches away from whatever was on the other side.

And I barked! Every dog curse word I could think of. I growled, I snarled, I slavered.

And I swear I felt that rat go, “Oops...”

Instant silence. Three weeks, it hasn’t been back.

Just a suggestion.


— Rondi Lightmark is a photographer and writer who lives on Vashon.


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