When Rats Attack!

I almost revived a year-old thread on this topic because last night’s harrowing experience made me think of zombies. Specifically, the kind that batter your doors and windows into splinters so they can invade your home and eat your brains.

I live on the top floor of a stand-alone brick building in a residential area of Brooklyn. Rats are a fact of life here: by the garbage cans, in the subway, on a bad day perhaps running down the sidewalk. Not, certainly, outside my third-story window!

While typing away late at night, I heard a scuffle by my window. I thought my cat was playing with a bamboo curtain that hangs next to my bed, but when I turned around, she was sitting perfectly still, staring at the window. When the noise continued, I took a closer look and discovered that something had done considerable damage to one of the plastic accordion-door type things that fill in the gaps between my air conditioner and the window sill. I briefly scared it away by throwing a shoe at the window, and it scampered through the gutter, around the corner of the building and over to my other window. I got a clear look through the screen as it tried to find an alternate path indoors: a huge, nasty, gray rat!

My blog post on Superman Returns quickly forgotten, I frantically tried to find something to block the attempted entry point and protect myself from invasion. Eventually I found two unused picture-frames of the proper size, and propped them into the gaps around the A/C. They aren’t terribly secure, but considering that I don’t even have duct tape in the house, it’s the best I can do for the moment. At least if he tries poking his nose in again, he’ll meet some resistance and make a helluva racket. Today I’ll try to get some plexiglass or something at the hardware store. I’d better, because at 10:30am I haven’t slept yet, and I don’t expect I will until I’m reasonably sure the window is chew-proof - The A/C unit is directly above my bed!

I’ve read pretty much every rat-related thread on this board from the past two years, but nothing quite compares to bearing witness to one of these creatures tenaciously attempting access in such a way. There’s no fire escape (another wonderful quality of my building :rolleyes: ) so he couldn’t have climbed up that way. Way too nervous to sleep, I Googled around and found out that rats can actually climb up brick walls and drain pipes! I had no idea! It was raining pretty hard at the time, so I wonder if it had somehow climbed up the pipe, then freaked out when the gutters filled with water and it couldn’t get back down. Why it chose my particular A/C panel to rip apart I have no idea, but I did cook a steak earlier in the day, and I can still detect the scent in my apartment. Maybe it could, too.

My cat was certainly no help. When I told her to finally earn her keep and chase it away, she promptly hid under the bed. After catching a look at that thing in the window, though, I can’t blame her - it was almost as big as she is!

Ick! Gross! I gots the Jibblies!

I welcome any suggestions and advice you may have on how to rat-proof my apartment - especially those A/C panels - without serious carpentry tools or skills. As far as I know, there aren’t any other ways in, but this causes me to wonder…

I’m sorry; I have no advice for you. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid rats, but I have had several unwanted inturders of the non-human kind and I feel your heebie-jeebies!

Did you know that duct tape comes in a vast array of colours now? :wink:

kinda gross, and pure gueswork, but how about spreading some used kitty litter around where the rat attempted entry? I’m thinking maybe the rat will smell cat, and go elsewhere…

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

You’re a braver person than I. If I’d seen a rat in my apartment, you’d have heard the scream. People in Sydney would be saying, “Keep it down!”

Well, it never actually got in my apartment, but it came way closer than I care to experience again.

As for the used kitty litter, thanks for the thought but no. Considering rats will eat anything - up to and including kitty waste - and that this critter was gnawing away at my window with a terrified cat not a foot from it’s toothy little face, I don’t think the effectiveness would outweigh the gross-factor.

I called the property manager this morning. He did the usual “I will call maintenance” routine. I guarantee I’ll never hear another thing about it.

Still haven’t slept…I’m starting to hallucinate creepy things everywhere, so that isn’t good. I’d better rest up while the sun is full out and the vermin are dozing. Stupid rodent pretty much ruined my day, dammit! :mad:

you need to go with sheet metal or such. I couldn’t sleep in that bed in it’s current spot. I’d have to move it no matter how stupid it looked in the new location.

Two winters ago, the first winter in my 150-year old farmhouse, I got rats in my attic. It was freaksome, and the old farmer down the road said, “yeah, they come in during the winter”. The cats didn’t do anything, the airedale and the doberman didn’t do anything. Finally I put down snap traps and poison (making sure the pets couldn’t get to it.) It was horrible - my mother tried to get me to sell the house and move in with her.

StG