Friday, December 03, 2004

Mmm, Delicious! A Rat In The Oven

Drive-By Surfer Won't Cook Rodent

One of the visitors to my site on 11/14/04 showed a "referring URL" that was searching for WAYS TO AVOID RAT IN THE OVEN. So Site Meter told me. By that, I'd guess the visitor was searching for pest control tips on getting rats out of the underside or backside, not the inside, of their kitchen oven! If rats were inside, you could just cook 'em out!

That drive-by surfer will probably never find his way back to my site, but I'll give a few suggestions and maybe it'll help someone else in the world of blogging. I'm just entertaining myself, being always at a loss for post subjects.

Living With Commensal Rats

My guess would be that, if the rat is living in the oven at all and not just underneath or nearby, it may well be nesting in or behind the oven's insulation. You'll have to look. See if the shape of the insulation seems lumpy or rearranged—the rodent could be making a suitable nest for itself. See if the insulation has taken on a bad odor (rodent urine), a smell that encourages the return of the rodent or of other rodents. So, unless the infested insulation seems clean and free of odor, you should consider replacing the old insulation after whatever normal baiting, trapping, and exclusion (closing up pipe chase openings, etc.) you may perform. Remove what built-up grease you can while you've got it partly disassembled. Don't electrocute or gas yourself. Look both ways crossing the street. Oh, excuse me, got carried away!

Find The Little Creep!

If you don't find definite evidence that a rodent was in the oven area, don't ignore the possibility that the rodent could be making a home elsewhere in the area. Look behind and under the refrigerator. Pull out the refrigerator and use a flashlight so that you can get a good look, not a mere glance. Kitchen cabinets often have false bottoms, so check that—there may be a portion of it you can't see without moving some things. Look for holes. There's a good deal (for a rat!) of open space around and under a dishwasher, so look there.

Check anywhere that there is an area usually hidden from human eyes. Clean or at least sweep all those areas, even if you see nothing; then when you look again later, a freshly cleaned floor space will more easily reveal small signs, such as rodent droppings, chewed pieces of paper, greasy smears where the rat's body rubbed repeatedly against the wall and other surfaces.

Meanwhile, try to keep in mind that your dogs and cats also live with you and are not "perfectly clean", either. I don't want to pet most wild rats myself, but try to keep some equilibrium about nature while you're solving your pest problem.

Good luck, All You Demented Drive-By Surfers!

How I Found The Poem "Paradox Of Time"

Because I was interested in heroic sculpture it just happened that I ran across mention of a massive heroic statue called "Fountain of Time" by a 1920's sculptor named Lorado Taft. Playing on the Internet leads in all directions, I guess. The poem was said to be the inspiration for the sculpture. Guess I learned about them in reverse order.

Below is quoted from the web site, Photos of Fountain of Time

"By Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft, this piece is 110 feet long. It shows a wave of 100 figures passing by the figure of Time standing across a pool of water. It took 14 years to build, is made of steel-reinforced concrete and was dedicated in 1922. It was built at Taft's studios, a couple of blocks away. It's at the end of the Midway Plaisance at Washington Park."

Both poem and sculpture are very interesting to me. Wish I could see the sculpture in person, it's too large for photos on the Internet to show it off well.

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