If you read our most recent newsletter Josh alluded to a rat story. He wasn’t sure if I would share it. You may have heard some of these incidents, but I thought I’d share our entire battle story. Our newsletter talked about highs and lows so here are some of my lows! Warning- this is not for the faint of heart.
Rat 1 & 2: The first time we heard one in our kitchen it sounded like a robber (“raskol” in Tok Pisin). It knocked down bottles, a garbage can, etc. and made quite the racket! Josh saw it behind our oven and said it was huge! Kind friends loaned us their T-Rex rattraps and we think we caught that rat. Shortly after, we caught another one in our attic.
Rat 3: The next one showed up on a Sunday while I was cooking lunch. Josh had put glue traps behind our oven and refrigerator. This particular rat was injured on a trap but managed to get himself off and drag himself over a shelf and under our refrigerator. As I stirred the taco meat, I saw something moving in the corner of my eye only about a foot away! Our friends were supposed to show up any minute. I’ll admit I ran away screaming. Josh saved the day, removed it and took care of it just in time.
Rat 4: The next rat actually chewed a hole in Connor’s backpack trying to get a banana we forgot to take out. We heard it in the kitchen but when Josh got up he didn’t see it. It also knocked over the garbage and there were wrappers all over the kitchen floor. Thankfully the T-Rex trap also took care of him.
Rat 5: While Josh was in a village sleeping on the ground a rat came and chewed a hole in his hilum which was laying next to his head in order to eat the biscuits inside. He discovered this in the morning when the biscuits were gone and there was a big hole in the hilum. Thankfully he was staying near the woman who made the hilum, and she was able to fix the hole.
Rat 6: The next time Josh was away when I heard a screeching sound in my laundry room at night. I knew a rat must have been dragging the trap on the cement floor, but I wasn’t brave enough to look. My very kind and brave friends came the next morning to look and found only 1 leg left behind.
Rat 7: Again while Josh was away I started smelling something. I thought I knew what it was and a friend confirmed it was definitely a dead rat and it was near my refrigerator or stove. My same brave friends came over and moved my appliances around to find a dead rat on a glue trap underneath my oven. At this point, this smart friend recommended removing said traps and replacing them with a T-Rex one which we could hear if it caught something. No one looked closely, but I wondered if we caught that 3-legged rat.
Rat 8 & 9: After Rat #7 we didn’t have any rat sightings for several months. Our cat brought these next 2 rats to her babies on our deck already dead. Yes it was gross seeing them on our deck, but we were very proud of Lily for finally catching big rats! We got the cat shortly after the first rat sighting and we had previously only seen her get baby rats.
Rat 10: This is the rat Josh referred to in our newsletter. Again we started smelling something, but we were comforted that it seemed to be outside or at least in our attic. We heard our cat in the attic the night before so we thought she had something to do with the smell. The smell went away after a couple days. A week later I saw a little chunky white worm-like thing on our desk in our office. Then I saw another. I didn’t know what they were. While I was out, another one fell on Josh’s head while he was working. Guess where this dead rat was? Josh poked his head up in our attic (the opening is only 1 foot by 1-1/2 feet) to see that it was decomposing in our attic just above the office and was covered in giant maggots which were falling through gaps in our ceiling! It was so gross Josh asked if someone from housing could come and remove (“rausism” in Tok Pisin) it. I heard that poor man gag when he removed it.
I asked Josh to remove the firewood that has been under our deck since we moved in since I suspect this might be where the rats are living. Connor proudly helped remove the wood with daddy. I expected to see rats during village living but we didn’t. No, we didn’t see any in PNG until we moved into this house. I seriously thought of moving, but I realised rats could be in the next house too. Some of the excitement of living in PNG!