Willard Is In The Walls


I don’t know if you remember or have even seen the movie entitled “Willard” that came out in 1971.

It was one of the first “scream” movies I had ever watched with Willard actually being the man and the rats were called Socrates and Ben.

Willard had a connection with the rats that did his bidding and if you haven’t seen the movie I would suggest you don’t.

Even though I watched it in the ’70 it still brings back some not so pleasant memories of RATS!

This leads me to walking into the living room last night, turning on the light to see a large rat running (not scurrying) but running along the wall in front of the door.

The area that it was running from has a large bag of sunflower seeds in the corner waiting to feed the birds so I figured that it was having dinner or a late-night snack.

I considered waking Rob but instead locked myself in my office and did a little thinking.

First… when we built the house the whole underneath was covered in 1/4 inch wire mesh specifically to keep the rodents out.

But apparently, after 11 plus years, they finally found a chink in the armour.

Either that or one ran in when the door was opened or left opened when bringing in wood for the fireplace.

I knew we had traps under the house as fall is setting in and the rats are looking for a warm place to spend the winter.

We had already caught a few.

But it was dark, and I didn’t feel like going under the house to get said traps so I thought some more.

Light bulb moment.

Right under the deck, I had a live trap for catching squirrels and the rat was definitely squirrel-sized so I turned on the outside lights and grabbed the trap.

Baiting it with some peanut butter from the cupboard I set it along the wall where I had seen it run.

Closed the pantry, bathroom and office doors, left a note for Rob and went to bed.

As I climbed into bed Rob woke up and I mentioned the situation.

The next thing I heard was crashing and banging as Rob apparently decided to find said rat before the night was done.

I learned in the morning that he had basically cleaned out a closet (contents strewed across the floor), moved and upended all the furniture, and literally tore the living room apart.

When he finally came back to bed, this time waking me up he implied I was seeing things as there wasn’t a trace (poop) to be found.

This made me think about my harrowing experience 🙂 with the mice in the motorhome.

But time and a couple of traps had solidified into 7 mice.

Coming out of the bedroom in the morning and carefully closing the door behind me I surveyed my domain.

Things looked a little different than they had when I went to bed.

Leading me to believe that Rob had done a little more of an extensive search than previously thought.

Asking him if he swept all the dust bunnies he found apparently wasn’t amusing.

Turns out… he too saw the rat when he got up in the morning and proceeded to chase it round and round the house.

At one point in time, he thought he had it cornered by the back door when the rat in question tried to scramble out the glass to freedom.

But alas… it escaped his clutches and ran under the stove.

Thinking about it now, I’m not sure what he would have done with it if he caught it.

Can one bludgeon a rodent to death with the soft end of the broom?

Seeing it run under the stove he pulled the appliance out to discover a hole in the wall where the wiring came through.

Around the hole, the drywall was pushed away and the rat had disappeared.

Ah-ha… found the point of entry.

Now we just had to plug it up and somehow get the rat out of the wall where Rob could hear it running around.

A brilliant solution came to mind.

How about we take the live trap and put the open end right in front of the hole so when the rat popped through it would be caught.

No soon thought, then done.

rat traps

Off to the hardware store to get more traps and a moving crew of men to crawl under the house to find and plug the hole.

As luck would have it Rob was having the crew help him in the backyard today and now that was the first job on the agenda.

Typing this I can hear said men under the house and I will have to continue this saga when I get an update.

Findings

After inspecting the underside of the house they found that the critters had climbed up on the vent for the dryer and perched there and actually chewed a hole in the wire mesh.

Coming through this hole actually gave them the run of the house through the insulation and wire ducts and I guess the easiest place to come out was behind the stove as there was already a hole.

Under the house, they also found rat nests in the ground and proceeded to fill them up with large rocks.

They appear to be getting in under the house by tunnelling through the gravel alongside the walls and through the crawl space.

Rob is out baiting more traps as apparently, our neighbourhood owls aren’t doing their job.

The Catch

As the stove was pulled out and sitting in the middle of the floor, dinner was takeout.

I turned off the lights in the kitchen and we watched TV.

As I walked into the kitchen to put some dishes in the sink I heard a trap door shut with a snap.

And there he was… inside the cage with no way out.

We put him outside for the night and Rob made him disappear the next day.

I never asked and he never told.

We left just a plain ordinary rat trap outside the hole for another night, but the one we caught seemed to be the only one in the walls and the trap remained empty.

The stove is now back in place and we put the drywall back in the hole.

That way we’ll know just by looking to see if the drywall is on the floor that another rat has taken its place.

Fingers crossed… the rats have left the building!

One thought on “Willard Is In The Walls

  1. OMG funny, funny, funny I can j ust picture the whole episode in the middle of the night. And Robs crew crawling around underneath the house – searching, searching, searching. Wonderful prose

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