By Greg Illes
Karin and I have been having rat problems for a few weeks. One of the little pests has taken up residence in our storage shed – poop pellets, pee, and litter everywhere. The shed is about 10 feet away from my RV, so I’m extra concerned. We put out some poison bait, which duly disappeared … but not the rat.
Lately, Karin has reported hearing some “scuttling” noises, and asked me to help investigate. I heard the noise too, but neither of us could identify the source. We started moving stuff around, looking for where the rat might have stashed the baits instead of eating them. Sure enough, a big piece of pipe insulation, about 6′ long and with a 2″ inside hole, was slightly heavy and we could not see through the hole.
I held it up and Karin poked a broomstick into it to try to knock out the litter or bait or whatever. I peered closely into the hole to see what might be coming loose.
Seconds later, a HUGE woodrat (aka packrat) stuck his head out – ten inches from my inquisitive face. I just barely managed NOT to crap myself, and he managed to turn around like a fur-covered golf ball and dart back into the tube.
Karin was shrieking with laughter, and I was uttering non-printable words in rapid succession. Wondering if my blood pressure had reached the 1000 mark, I slapped the tube on the ground, trying to knock him out of it. No soap. Then I had what might have been my first good idea of the day – and swung the big tube like a giant baseball bat toward the backyard area.
Whoosh! The rat launched out of the tube end like a SpaceX booster rocket, sailed grandly across our yard, and landed (safely, sad to say) in a row of bushes. Karin and I looked at the tube, looked at the bushes, then looked at each other and laughed like idiots.
At this point, we’re not sure if the rat is going to return, or is perhaps reveling in his new-found flight experience and applying for the Ratstronaut program. Only time will tell.
Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications (when not launching critters). When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his excellent blog at www.divver-city.com/blog