June 7, 2009

Scratching Stopped!

Posted in Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , at 10:25 pm by lindaslongview

The urgency began when my son began looking rather haggard after a night of sleep.  After inquiring, I learned that a loud scratching sound from under the floor in his room was keeping him awake.  I knew immediately that the roof rats, (endemic to our area) had found a new ingress point to our crawl space under the house.  Being way past the stigma of having rats, I knew that they must be excluded immediately and proceeded to take action!

So, how does this relate to the Long View?

As I noted in “About the Long View”, “Although [we] sometimes struggle to make (or coach) “long view” choices because “near term” gets in the way….[it] is not to say that there is no place for short-term actions, to the contrary.  Sometimes you have to plug the hole in the dike right now in order to protect the dike for the future.

  1. Rat intrusion is a clear example of  the Urgent/Important – stuff needing to be fixed immediately or it will get worse quickly!
  2. In the time-management matrix that most technologists abide, it is acceptable to shift priorities to accommodate the Urgent/Important (1st quadrant).

After interviewing several local pest control companies (several wasted my time – they didn’t actually offer needed services!), I settled on a local company that was willing to enter the crawl space to assess integrity, seal potential ingress areas, and trap the critters out.  Once the technician arrived, he immediately identified several potential ingress points that had to be fixed (some in the roof area – which needed a specialist) and several at the baseline.  We worked together to fix the exterior baseline ingress points (where the scratching was heard).  Then it was time to “house dive.”  Miguel (the pest control pro) was able to assess the north-side crawl space, but the south-side was too narrow for him to access.  So, being both action-oriented and small-framed, I put on my coveralls, my headlamp (all self-respecting gadget queens have one!), safety glasses, mask, gloves, and squeezed into the south-side crawl space.

RatIngressPointI quickly discovered a single well-evidenced ingress point (many rat turds!) and evidence of excessive scratching.  MetalMeshFixIn a second “dive,” I hauled camera, metal screen, nails, and a hammer to the spot and dutifully sealed the ingress.

Over the next several days, my son slept on the couch because the previously loud wood scratching amplified/progressed to metal scratching.  The enclosed rats were desperately in search of food, allowing Miguel to trap the critters out.  The final score is 3-1.

TheBIGOneMiguel captured/killed three rats in the snap traps, and I caught one in an untethered glue trap.  Although the fourth rat touched the glue trap, it was able to scurry away with the trap.  In a third “dive” to retrieve the trap/rat(carcass?), I found the trap wedged at a pipe penetration – the rat had leveraged the trap off and escaped to another part of the crawl space.  Smart!  I have yet to find the carcass, but hopefully I will not need to.

The scratching has stopped, my son’s sleep is restored, and only the painter needs to come to polish up the roof work.  Whew, back to the Important/NOT Urgent (2nd quadrant)!

Are you working to the Important/NOT Urgent routinely?

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4 Comments »

  1. Janet said,

    Wow! That thing is huge!

    Hope all is well with you. Just checkin in with people from our class. Most people that finished well are still blogging. That is good!

    Hey, I started a couple of new blogs! One of them I just started a few days ago.

    Have a great rest of the week.

    Janet (from the BWC)
    http://www.thegoodybox.blogspot.com
    http://www.homeward4.blogspot.com
    http://www.homeschoolercafe.blogspot.com

    • lindaslongview said,

      Good for you for getting more blogs under way! I’ll come visit.

  2. Deborah said,

    I don’t know many with your guts to crawl in a small space to go rat hunting! I suppose you’d have to have a long view to be able to see the fast and efficient way that some jobs have to be done. Bravo!

    • lindaslongview said,

      As I said, I’m action oriented. Thanks for your support!


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