Thursday, 26 June 2014

Visitors, some welcome, some not so much!

We've had a few visitors in the last week or so, all of them have taken me by surprise,
not always in a good way!
 
We've had so many birds fall down the sitting room chimney it's like they're (or rather their poo is) part of the furniture! Pretty much every other day I come downstairs to either a baby starling flapping round the room or fluttering away inside the woodburner. And may I say what a mess they make flapping into the walls and windows with their sooty wings!
Every morning I now check the room for new arrivals and chase them to an open window before I even put the kettle on!
 
And this morning, as I made my way down listening out for a flippety flap sound I spotted a pair of shoes by the front door which I didn't recognise, presumably not from a bird (feathered or otherwise!!). I looked around and found an unexpected teenager asleep on a very small sofa, sort of scrunched up ball like! It seems Number 1 son had arrived home in the early hours with a friend in tow. Now in our sitting room we have two large 3-4 seater sofas, we also have a large pouffe which turns into a single bed and Number 1 son has 2 beds in his bedroom. So where did the extra teenager sleep? On the tiny sofa, barely bigger than an armchair in the tiny room with the (still) broken window! When I asked why, apparently number 1 son couldn't think of anywhere else for him to sleep!! Is this the boy who hopes to go to University in the Autumn? Worse than that is this the boy who hopes to make it to Kavos all in one piece later tonight (and home again a week later we hope). Where did he leave his brain? answers on a postcard......
 
But our final visitors have got me a little worried! We have a little courtyard round the back of our house which backs onto a brick outhouse belonging to the neighbours. This is where I feed the birds regularly, well I put seed out for the whole of April, May and June then generally forget until the next April, but I try. We get a lovely selection of pretty birds which I can watch from Little Miss's window or the conservatory.
 
This is the view from Little Miss's room, not very tidy but I quite like it, makes me think of a walled garden, the wall isn't actually ours, the weeds however, are.

 








 But a couple of nights ago as I was pulling the blind, Little Miss and I noticed what we at first thought was a family of squirrels eating the seed and nuts which had spilled onto the floor. Hugely fat, furry and , at first glimpse, cuddly! But on closer inspection, not quite so cuddly!





 Great big, fat rats, several of them.


Are you, like me of the generation who went to bed reading The Rats by James Herbert? I'm just a tad scared! I do find them fascinating and sat watching them for ages, I think there's a whole family living in the brick outhouse, and they didn't seem too scared of me either.
Not really sure what to do, I guess I stop putting bird food out for a start, I don't like the idea of poison. Someone suggested shooting them but as we don't have a gun it's not so easy, I've got a water pistol but that may not have the same effect!
 
Sorry to leave you with those lovely pictures to think about!
 
Thank you to everyone who commented on the previous post, we'll probably stay in a Travelodge in London but any other suggestions are still welcome, I won't be booking until payday!!
 
Apparently I have to do this to claim my blog?? Don't really understand but I'm doing what I'm told.

See you soon
Jay
x

22 comments:

  1. Sounds like a very typical teenager to me! We had a rat (yes I know there is never just a single one but it helped me to think this way!) living in our compost bin. Every time I lifted the lid, up popped his head! My you he soon went once we acquired our cat! :) x

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  2. Eh, squirrels are bad enough, but rats, no, no no.
    I surprised a squirrel on our back deck this week, he leaped down to the lower deck and took a header into the pool, Mac had to fish him out.

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  3. Urgh, just make sure they don't make it in to the house. My suggestion is get a cat, or borrow a cat, they won't stick around long then. As for the birds, I remember one after another appearing in the dining room when I was a child, we got so many that dropped down the chimney. You need a cowl on the chimney, they can't get down then.

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  4. The rats look fat and happy but they need to go. Maybe your council could come and trap them, they do that here? You could stop feeding the birds for a week or two or only put out food in tiny amounts during the day so there are fewer spills and let overs.
    We have had them near the compost, but the cats soon put the wind up them.

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  5. Oh Lord those rats look very happy and healthy living right there, I hate to kill things, I'd rather catch them and let them go someplace far away.
    Good luck,
    Meredith

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  6. No doubt Number 1 son will pull it out of the bag when it comes to the big stuff! That's a beautiful brick wall you have to look at, very pretty. I'm not keen on rats either, in fact the mouse in the garden recently freaked me out quite a bit. The idea of trying to blast an entire family of rats with a gun is quite a radical one though! Not sure what the answer is. Lock all the doors and close the windows?

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  7. I think it's a testament to your good parenting that he gave his friend a place to stay but he could have been more generous about it. Haha. Rats terrify me...that is all. :)

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  8. Teenagers! I am sighing at the thought of what lies ahead of me. Maybe we'll have to convert the garage in the teenage den. The rat's faces look rather cute, don't they? I wouldn't want them in my house but are they harmful in the garden? I would probably just stay clear of them and pretend they don't exist. But I am a bit weird. Cx

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  9. That's to funny, I hope he donent have a sleep over at his friends home any time soon.

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    1. I guess at that age they can sleep on a linen line, as the saying goes!

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  10. Oh how i've just tittered at the bit about son and uni,our son graduated last year,there are many times when i have said "for his brains and cleverness, he can be quite thick"!! but he's doing ok, We had a family of rats in our shed a couple of years ago not knowing they were there until hubby went in to get something, don't know who flew out quickest rat or hubby, hubby screamed so loud the rat had no choice but to leg it, i'll send hubby over if you like,you could give the scream a go!!!

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    1. That would be great Sue, if we could loan hubby for a bit - we're not being very successful at the moment!

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  11. The rats look quite sweet... my cats have found a nest & keep presenting us with young ( dead ) rats so I suggest you get a cat !

    I think sleeping teenage boys found in the lounge also look rather sweet & they usually get a visit from the cats too !

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    1. Oh I'd love a cat, we used to have one but the nearby road has got so busy in the last few years, I don't think I'd risk another

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  12. Rats are gross, but unfortunately very common where there is any spilled food or compost. We get them occasionally and have caught a few using the traps that snap and kill them, using peanut butter as bait. The pest controllers use poison, but I wouldn't if there are any pets that could find the dead rats :( Good luck!

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    1. I've had to put poison down I'm afraid although I've (hopefully) tucked it in places no pets can get too.

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  13. Teenage boys just defy all sense sometimes don't they!
    I bet they have a fab holiday and manage that just fine, after all that's so much more fun!
    Love the garden wall.
    No help with the rats I'm afraid. they do look cute but I won't want them living near me either.
    Lisa x

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    1. He did have a good time Lisa, he doesn't know I stalked him on Twitter!

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  14. Definitely, a cowl on your chinmey pot will do the trick. As for the rats - ugh! You need to get rid of them - call in the pest control - and stop feeding the birds for a while - it's summer, after all, they can fend for themselves for a while. A bunch of well-fed rats will end up being a bigger bunch of well -fed rats. Fingers crossed for you!

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    1. I've taken in all the bird feeders Lynne, the rats are very brave and despite the poison don't seem to be going. And the cowl is on the to-do list....

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  15. Ew, rats, nasty. Can you put a wire thing over your chimney pot to stop the birds nesting there? My MIL had the same problem, and some sort of wire contraption worked.

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    1. We're going to put a cowl on both our chimneys as soon as the builder has time.....!

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