Monday, December 5, 2022


How we launched a pesky rat into space


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.

Flying rat

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


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Gail S Denham
1 year ago

Good story – and helpful advice. We’ve had chipmunks in the RV – used those little sticky pads to catch them – only thing is they stick to unsuspecting fingers.

Jeff Arthur
1 year ago

Bucket trap ( YouTube mousetrap Monday) it’s a means to the end , for the problem

1 year ago

Oh, he’ll be back….this time with all his rat pack buds. They are vengeful little buggers🤨

Beverley Fitch
1 year ago

It is best not to use the bait because other pets may get it. If you don’t have pets think of your neighbors or future owners of the property. Even dogs eat rats sometimes and get poisoned from the bait the rat consumed. Many types of traps are available. I’m not a PETA member, so old fashion traps are fine as well.

1 year ago
Reply to  Beverley Fitch

I watch Bald Eagles nest. Unfortunately have seen eaglets die because mom or dad brought them a dead rat that had eaten rat poison. Adult eagles can tolerate some but eaglets can’t. Just a pin feather being pulled from getting caught on a twig can cause them to bleed to death because rat poison prevents blood from clotting.

1 year ago

Next time, use a potato gun…go for the 1400M record.

Mike Albert
1 year ago

I read this earlier and then just now showed it to SWMBO (She who must be obeyed).
Still laughing!!!!!!!

1 year ago

Never a good idea to use rat poison. The beneficial predators can get a hold of the poisoned rodents. So then you’ve killed a creature that may have been able to dispose of some of your rats.

John Massengale
1 year ago

Rat into Space. I would have put more rat killer in then sealed both ends of the tube. It will be back or start bothering the neighbor.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Massengale
Sink Jaxon
1 year ago

True that John. Pack rats are notoriously territorial and have been known to be displaced a mile away and return to their midden (nest) within days. To be rid of a wood rat, you must kill it. And we humans have been killing rodents for thousands of years, but they’re still around…

1 year ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

I don’t enjoy it but I put out rat traps when I see them. Our closest neighbor had a cat that would visit our place frequently. According to the neighbor, the cat constantly brought home her trophies and left them in the garage. Sadly, the cat died, so I’ll probably need more rat traps. Now, suddenly, for the first time we have voles. At least they eat the poison and then go back underground to die.

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 year ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

I bet a certain politician couldn’t find his way back home from a mile away!!!

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