Archive for October 9th, 2012

October 9, 2012

My New Roommates

by Tabitha Kidwell

Disclaimer: If you don’t like bugs and rodents, don’t read this. Also, don’t move to Indonesia.

I may have been premature with my statement “the rains have come” last post. Unwavering sunshine is still prevailing, but I still hold out hope.

One major reason I am hoping for rain is because I am hoping it will wash away the rat family that has taken up residence in my pipes. There is basically one pipe that runs from the roof drain, through my bathroom, under my living room, and drains here:

Then everything goes into this open air sewer directly in front of my house:

Some history: one night, a rat got into my study/food storage room. I thought he climbed in through the open window, so I just closed the door, went to bed, and hoped he would be gone in the morning. It was a successful strategy and I only lost a cup o’ noodles. I thought closing the window would solve the problem, but the next morning a bag of soup mix had been nibbled on. My housekeeper told me they were probably coming from the pipes, so I constructed this:

Water can pass through, but not rats. Nice, huh?

But then I was awoken at 4 AM one morning by a rustling in the garbage in the other room. I arose just in time to see a little furry thing run into the bathroom and disappear with a clink of the shower drain. I have since started keeping a brick on there and that seems to have stopped them. I definitely confirmed that they are living there, because I saw 3 or 4 little guys peeking out of the drain hole pictured above, and I can hear their little squeaking at night. I’m hoping the rain will wash them away for good, but who knows.

Rats aren’t the only vermin to have taken up residence while I was away for the summer. I also have been killing cockroaches at the steady rate of one per day. They’re not even fast cockroaches, they just sit waiting to be smashed by my flip-flop. I wonder if they are a ploy sent out by the cockroach mafia to distract me while they are dealing cocaine in my back yard (or maybe I’ve been watching too much of The Wire?). I even killed one by accident in the door frame. It got stuck there, 3 feet off the ground, and for an entire day, an army of ants dismantled it and carried it away.

Which reminds me: ants are a problem, too. There seems to be a whole hierarchy of ant types: big, fat ones in the kitchen, medium-sized in my study, and teeny in the living room. But no matter the size, if I leave an empty teacup out for 5 minutes, they will swarm the still-sugary surface. I’m worried if I sleep too late they will begin to dismantle me like they did the cockroach.

In short, life is hard. But at least the spiders and small and the geckos are cute. And a mosquito hasn’t woken me up buzzing in my ear for like 2 weeks. So I’ll take the rats, ants, and lazy cockroaches. Until I figure out that cocaine scheme. Or until it starts to rain.