“Something moves within the night. That is not good and is not right.” ~ Dean Koontz.
It’s just as well that we made our challenges adaptable because the unwelcome subject of this post was a little too difficult to photograph – things that go bump in the night that force you to hide under the quilt in fright, the stuff that nightmares are made of.
It all began one Saturday night when my son was staying over. He greeted me on Sunday morning with, “Did you hear the noise last night, a scratching sound?”
I hadn’t heard anything and said so. Nonetheless, I passed on his comments to my daughter and son-in-law who inhabit the other side of our house, and soon afterwards, the son-in-law set several mouse traps.
The scratching noises continued and with nothing caught in the traps, the fear got to me, I couldn’t sleep at night and my days were spent in an exhausted zombie state.
Eventually, pest control was summoned, the exterminator arrrived and carefully placed poison into the nooks and crannies of the loft area. He also found an entry point which turned out to be a gap in the wall below a waste pipe from my bathroom. He pushed poison blocks into the hole and said he would return the following week to block off the gap if all had gone quiet.
That night I awoke to the loudest bumps coming from the ceiling space above my head, this was followed by a continuous gnawing sound that sounded as if in the external wall of my bedroom. Trembling in absolute terror, I buried my head beneath my bed quilt; this new noise was no longer mice, this was most definitely RATS!
We had one further night of noise and then everything went quiet. Three days later, my son-in-law cemented up the newly enlarged gap in the wall. That same night, Joss stayed over, he went to bed early, but at midnight, he went back to his house, explaining he had to get up early the next day and the loud noise in the cavity wall of his downstairs bedroom had become too much.
With no means of escape, the rats were trapped in the house and by now full of poison, I knew it would not be long before the inevitable happened!
Following a quiet week, Joss arrived for Sunday lunch. In the afternoon we went upstairs and unpacked the Christmas decorations, Joss carefully arranged a few around the fireplace (later re-arranged by me).
Feeling quite Christmassy, I indulged in the fantasy that all was well and on Monday morning I decided to put up the Christmas tree, but upon opening the door to the upstairs sitting room, I was greeted by the most obnoxious odour, the stench of dead flesh, in other words rotting rats!
When evening arrived, in an attempt to find the bodies my son-in-law took up the carpet and floorboards. Nothing was found, this led us to the conclusion that the rats had died in cavity wall where we were unable to reach them.
One week on and the stench has diminished a little, but I’m still unable to use the room and get ready for Christmas in the way I always do.
On a positive note, we are so lucky that they died in the area of the sitting room, it could have been far worse, it could have been my or Joss’s bedroom or one of the other rooms in the house. No other room has been affected by the stench, and I am fortunate to have my kitchen living area where I can write and relax.
We are also incredibly lucky that the interior walls and floors are well-sealed, and neither mice nor rats found a way into the house itself. If they had, I would have moved into the nearest hotel.
Useful Tips – check the outside walls around waste pipes regularly and after putting down poison, give it a chance to work and give the vermin a chance to leave before blocking up the exits.
© SueW-nansfarm.net 2019 Photo Challenge Visitors from Weekly Prompts – Fandango’s Indulge.