Saturday, February 03, 2007

Like Rats to a Sticky Box

I pity the rat that comes into our office.

I should add a link that I was prompted by Reluctant Nomad's recent series of posts here, here and here about various vermin dispatching incidents.

Rats don't normally get a lot of sympathy from me... like most things that breathe or move, they are considered edible in some places here. I have to say that the idea of eating a rat doesn't seem too unpleasant, as long as one knows where the rat came from in the first place. Cage-farmed seems a lot more palatable than sewer-caught...

I realised that the Chinese rat got short shrift when I walked to our local cafe one day and passed a couple of fellows who had a rat in a cage and a pellet gun. Clearly the pellet gun was a feeble affair and repeated shootings probably served only to enrage, and possibly blind, the rat. A little while later and P, with whom I was dining shouted 'Oh my God!' followed slightly too late with 'Don't look now!' as I turned to see the caged rat as it was, having just been covered in an accelerant, set on fire.

So, probably a result of recent restaurant refurbishments in our building, we have a rat problem. I have heard one run the length of the office across the ceiling tiles and that was enough to get the exterminators in.

Now I understand that in an office it's not a great idea to use poison. In your back garden it's probably OK as the nearly-departed rat will probably disappear into a drain never to be seen again, but an office has lots of places to die and then it falls to your nose to find out where that is. One rat that seemed to get stuck behind a desk perished where he was and by the time the 'decomp' was evident, at least half of the rat had dissolved into the surrounding carpet.

So, if poisoning isn't the answer, apparently trapping is. Given the two choices I was aware of - humane (i.e. a baited cage that allows you to take the rat away live - presumably so you can incinerate it on the pavement outside) and deadly (i.e. large versions of the humble mousetrap) I was surprised to see that the pest controllers offered a third trap option - glue.

I'm slightly surprised, as I surf, to find Glue Traps available in the US and UK as I could only imagine that they work by sticking the rat to the glue and it then bleeds to death after it gnaws its own legs off. This seems contrary to the laws requiring humane treatment of, well, pretty much anything in those countries.

As much as I want the rats out of my office, I'm rather uncomfortable with the idea of them stuck in a box in the ceiling bleeding/starving to death. The swift blow of a spring-loaded trap seems a lot more reasonable when you look at the alternatives.

6 comments:

Reluctant Nomad said...

Rats, rats, rats everywhere! I have one more post about vermin control coming up soon. In fact, it's the one that prompted the series so far. :-)

blind teddy said...

We have a rat in our attic. A glue trap sounds good to me as all other options have failed!

JP said...

I remember the rat torching event; there are some images that stay crisp in the old grey matter.

I like the idea of the glue trap...but only provided that they are checked regularly enough to avoid the poor creature chewing its own legs off.

Swift death is the way.

blind teddy said...

They don't work!!!

DB said...

Just to check - was it the glue trap or the ratapult that you were trying?

blind teddy said...

The rat is dead(Poisoned).All that the glue traps have caught has been one spider and a few flies!