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Our Olde House – August 2022


Since I rebuilt my crawl space wall, I was confident that I had in fact plugged the ‘last’ hole that was allowing small rodents to get under the house.  But the next time I was checking the camera under the house there was a rat; so much for my Karma-killed Happy Dance.  I found my electronic rat trap, baited it with sunflower seeds and took it under the house.  As I was placing it on top of some water pipes, I was surprised to hear what sounded like a waterfall coming from farther under the house.  That can’t be good.


I turned on the rat trap and went up to find my flashlight.  Back under the house I could still hear what sounded like water running, and as I shined my flashlight about twenty feet away underneath where I thought the washing machine was located, I could see a lot of water running out of a broken pipe.  I went back into the house to see if the washing machine was in fact running, and it was.  I was immediately grateful for two things, 1) the leaking pipe was not under pressure and would stop leaking as soon as the washing machine was empty, and 2) this was not something I could fix so a call to a plumber was the obvious Dad solution.


The plumber could not come to fix the pipe for two days – no big deal; we did not need to run the washing machine again right now.  When the plumber did arrive, we went under the house so I could point a flashlight at the leaking pipe.  The crawl space at this point of the house is about four feet high, so not too bad; I went back into the house and ran the washing machine so it would empty the tub and he instantly saw the waterfall.


I remained in the house since the repair is always much more expensive if I help; sure enough quick as a bunny he rang the doorbell and said he was done.  He showed me the completely rusted out galvanized pipe he removed. I was a little surprised this pipe lasted only thirty years especially since it was not buried, and I could not help but wonder if I have any more galvanized pipes leaking under the house.  I paid for the repair congratulating myself for solving this oops so quickly.


Back to the rat problem, which during my leaking pipe distraction apparently turned into two rats.  No rat in the trap so I checked the camera for the previous few days and saw that the rats had absolutely zero interest in the sunflower seeds in the trap.  Plan B, I got my small live animal trap, put sunflower seeds in it, set it and put it under the house.  The rats had no interest in that trap either.


This went on for a week, which of course encouraged a third rat to appear, but then the live trap was tripped.  I removed the trap with the rat, baited and set the trap again and put it back under the house.  I ran the camera back to see what enticed the rat to trip the trap, and I was surprised to see that two rats were inside the trap when it tripped.  I was even more surprised to see the smaller rat instantly fly through the one-inch square wire mesh and land three feet from the trap and run away.  I went to the hardware store and bought some ¼ inch wire mesh which I added to the live trap hoping the little buggers could not jump through it.


A few days later I was running the camera back again to see if I could figure out how to trap these rats, and of course there was good news and bad news.  The bad news was that there were now at least four rats under the house, and the good news was that a large snake, about five feet long, was now under the house with the rats.  I showed the picture of the snake slithering along the top of the pipes exactly where the rats run back and forth to Miss Sherry; my bad since she spent the rest of the night anxiously watching the camera to confirm that the snake was still under, and not inside, the house.


Based upon my recollection of the Adam and Eve story I do not think God takes kindly to snakes, and therefore I do not think that the snake was the answer to any prayer.  Just a thought, maybe that bubonic plague thing in Europe elevated forgiveness of snakes above rats; in any case after three days there were only two rats under the house.  Progress.

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