We slept restlessly that first night in the Panic Room.  Restless nightmares created a new way of life during this rat siege against our comfortable lifestyle.  

The battle plan appointing me as lead scout would become a new way of life within our own house.  My first duty was to dress like a character out of Ghostbusters, scouting the house, ascertaining the damage and any successful strikes from the night before, leaving my spouse within the confines of her protected pod. 

 Once the enemy varmints  had retreated from their rambunctious twilight free for all, I signaled Jo Ellen.  Step 2 was wiping down all surfaces, vacuuming everything, and methodically cleaning every closet and crevice in the house.  This went on for 10 days.

Outside the master bedroom door I noticed a pile of sawdust.  Carpeting had been chewed to the floorboards and the bottom of the door gnawed through.

Hurray, I got two invaders.  Slipping on a new pair of latex gloves, I picked up the smaller one by the wooden trap and plopped it into my Albertsons bag.  The second one was big, maybe 8 or 9 inches not including the tail.  I think it winked at me before I dropped it into the bag.  But like a fish out of water it came to life like the final horror scene in a Stephen King novel.  It’s still alive. 

How did we get to this point?  We had dismissed months of scratching and scattering sounds as playful as Blue Jays hiding nuts under the roof tile or those cute tree squirrels running across our tile roof. The louder sounds must have been raccoons.  “No, I don’t think we have rats, it’s just one of those darn bushy tailed red squirrels.”  I came to the realization I was not being honest and hired a sketchy Attic Extermination company to see if I had a problem.  They made things worse sealing off exits before killing the rodent population…. The rats newly created Cirque du Soleil freeway exit happened to be via TV wiring into the bedroom closet.

I fired this exterminator company as quickly as I had made the uninformed decision to hire them. I needed either a game warden or a professional, eventually finding the best in town through CH Connection, Jerry Romero, an Exterminator Extraordinaire.

 Jerry’s plan was going to take a few weeks, as well as a 48-count pack of Victor Rat Traps, but his tactics would leave the house standing. 

If this were a fishing trip we exceeded our limit, suffering queasiness not far removed from seasickness.  We finally won this battle, but the vermin war is just beginning, as Jerry suits up to tangle next in line; Ants and Termites.  YEEK! And Happy Halloween.

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