We live in the house my grandparents built back in 1950 or so. I was practically raised here I spent so much time here growing up. And we have a shed out back that’s always been called the “washhouse” because the washer and dryer are out there, along with stuff like garden implements, chemicals, etc. It’s about 10’x15′, wood-frame, wood floor, sheet metal skin. Very basic. As it’s pretty much as old as the house, it’s seen far better days. (This is all for set-up and context.)

The washhouse. Please excuse our weeds, neither Hubby nor I are perfectionists. LOL
The washhouse. Please excuse our weeds, neither Hubby nor I are perfectionists. LOL

So as you can see, it’s not exactly “rodent proof.”

After Grandaddy died and I inherited the property, Sir came over one Saturday and helped us clean out the washhouse. Grandaddy wasn’t a hoarder, but he was a child of the Depression. (FIVE old toilet valve kits on a shelf, just in case, apparently. I’m talking ones he’d taken OUT of the old toilet.)

In that process, we found old rat nests, but no live rodents.

Flash forward to four years later.

We have a rat trying to build a nest in there, including grabbing huge pieces of fern and branches and all sorts of stuff. So I bought a large bait station last week and put it in there, hoping that would take care of it. I REALLY do NOT want to indiscriminately scatter poison bait all over, because I don’t like having to use it.

Either it was too large to fit in the hole (I got the one for rats) or it scoffed at it.

In fact, the little fucker moved the goddamned thing.


THREE large snap trap and all-natural rodent repellent.
THREE large snap trap and all-natural rodent repellent.

Hubby is out of town right now and I’m tired of constantly trying to get rid of the rat’s nest just for the little fucker to rebuild it. Yesterday, I bought three large snap traps, wedged pieces of cottonballs under the trigger prong, coated that with peanut butter, and set them (one of them IN the nest). I also bought a box of “natural rodent repellant” that was sachets of corncob soaked with peppermint and spearmint oil. I scattered those around a couple of obvious openings. The washhouse smelled minty fresh. LOL

I didn’t want to resort to glue traps, because that means I’ll have to dispatch the rat when it catches it, and we do have squirrels around (no, this isn’t a squirrel doing this) and I didn’t want to just indiscriminately catch the wrong target species.

Plus I reeeeeallly don’t want to have to “dispatch” something like that myself. I reeeealllly don’t. In fact, I texted Sir that I’d gotten the snap traps, and He asked me why I didn’t get glue traps. And I told Him, “Because I’d be calling You to come kill the rats.” He texted back, “Snap traps sound like a plan.”

So I locked the washhouse last night, pleased with myself, thinking yay me, and settled in for the night.

This morning, I was (sadly) much like a kid at Christmas. After walking the dogs and adequately caffeinating myself, I went out and unlocked the washhouse, ready to be greeted by the sight of a dead rat.




You’d THINK that, right?

But you’d be wrong. Oooooh, so very, very wrong.

Not only did the little fucker trip TWO of the traps AND lick the peanut butter off, it also managed to lick the peanut butter off the THIRD trap…WITHOUT setting it off.

The trap that was IN ITS NEST.

Oh, and did I mention that its nest now smells minty fresh.



(So if you’re in Florida, that scream of rage you heard around 9:30 am this morning would be me.)

Okay, at this point, the little bastard is just mocking me, and I don’t let anyone get away with that shit except Gidget and our cats. (And before you say, “Why don’t you turn the cats loose on it?” because a) our cats are indoor-only cats, and b) we live on a VERY busy road, so they’d end up dead in it, so…NO. But our house is moth-, mosquito-, roach- and lizard-free.)

So BACK to the hardware store this morning. There was a customer behind me in line, as I was politely informing the sales clerk checking me out that their natural rodent repellent didn’t work worth a shit, who was laughing his ass off because he’d had a rat war of his own a few months back, only in his garage.

Glue traps. Three boxes of them, for a total of six. I put one in the nest (next to the untripped trap), two next to where I’d put some of the repellant sachets, and three more around where two of the other snap traps had been. I also reset the two snap traps and set them right next to two of the glue traps, hoping that if it tries to get loose, the snap traps might get it.

One of the glue traps, next to a hole in the floor.
One of the glue traps, next to a hole in the floor.

Oh, and apparently it’s a dire zombie rat. Because I saw where it’d chewed into a bag of FIRE ANT BAIT… And Hubby told me this morning yeah, that was from last week.


I’ll keep you posted. If I start quoting lines from Caddyshack, then you can start worrying.

(Yes, this will end up in a book at some point.)

In case you missed it…

Vulnerable (Suncoast Society 29, MM, BDSM) releases this coming Monday and is available for pre-order now.

The Great Washhouse Rat War of 2015.
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7 thoughts on “The Great Washhouse Rat War of 2015.

  • August 21, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Good luck with that…. I hope it all works out in the end.

  • August 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I wondered whose screams woke me up this am!
    Better a rat in the wash house, than on your kitchen floor (dead) where the cat brought it in for you.

  • August 21, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Them’s tricky suckers!

    Just a note — the fire anti bait is likely to be imidacloprid, which isn’t toxic to vertebrate animals. So at least it doesn’t mean you have a zombie rat. 😉

  • August 21, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Try Decon. The rats eat it then go off somewhere else to die. No muss no fuss. There isn’t poison everywhere to worry about. Just one little box in the corner. It will work like a charm.

  • August 21, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    🙂 Last thing I caught in my rat trap was one of the painters — but unfortunately he got away before I could catch him. 😉

  • August 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Having had recent mice/rat wars myself. Here’s what I’ve found works great. I don’t know if you have a Gander Mountain in FL, I never saw one when I lived there but you can shop online for some Fox Urine Spray. WEAR A MASK!!! It’s awful when you first spray but mice/rats are their natural prey. The glue pads work better if you add a dollop of peanut butter right in the center of them.

    After you have either successfully killed or scared away your mice/rats, placing steel wool where they would find their ways in will discourage them.

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