11 February 2009

things that go bump in the night...

sometimes even pretty homes can harbor dark secrets...

in the middle of the night, we heard a thump outside our bedroom- mona let out a soft growl and went back to sleep, but richard went nuts. m21, wondering what all the excitement was about, busted out his handy earthquake flashlight, and found this, outside on our balcony wall (mere feet from our bed, mind you):
ratatouille, up close and personal. yuck.

we spent most of the rest of the night wondering if rats could slither under the weather stripping on our french doors (thankfully, the google says although they can fit through remarkably small spaces, the tiny space under our doors is safe). the google also tells us that los angeles is home to a large and healthy black or tree rat population, though they usually aren't glimpsed as often as their NYC brown rat counterparts because they prefer to live high up in palm trees and on roofs (we imagine that was the thump we heard- ratatouille jumping off the roof onto our balcony wall- hopefully just passing through on his way to visit the neighbors). we also found lots of references for "tree rats & beverly hills", so hey, we're in good company too! the more we read, the less freaked out we became- just as our mild weather and abundant fruit trees make southern california a paradise for humans, seems our rodent friends like it too...

still, sometimes it's better not to know what goes bump in the night... and if the things that go bump in the night ever decide to come live indoors, we're moving!

14 comments:

Jennifer said...

Um, in my parents' Palm Springs abode, we have had several rat infestations. In the living quarters. They are DISGUSTING.

lynngweeny said...

I heard a similar bump one night and then frantic running back and forth in the ceiling above our bed. A daredevil rat had made the 4' jump from our neighbor's palm tree to our roof and then somehow got into the attic space.He was a crafty little devil and would stop moving when night after night I would wake the husband to listen. Finally, one night the husband heard him scampering about at warp speed and said "WTH is THAT?! Duh, the rat that's been living with us for a week? A phone call was made, a trap set and within hours ratty was sent packing. I always thought tree rats were a California urban myth. Wrong.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

We have a mouse issue in the city and living in a hundred year old house... well, there are a few cracks through which our little furry friends could drive a rodent sized truck...

I hate to say it, but old fashioned mouse traps make me sleep better.

Have you read the Thurber short story about a traditional Christmas? When he hears something on the roof... that scurried down the inside of the wall behind the headboard? "Santa wouldn't do that..." Hilarious.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Ick. I do hope he understands that he is not invited. Yikes.

Topsy Turvy said...

Ha - I LOVED that movie! It's a good thing your Ratatouille wasn't trying to cook up a gourmet meal in your kitchen!

-Lana

kelleyp said...

we here in Phoenix, AZ have them. came in from california. we call them "roof rats" as they like to be up high on roofs and trees. beware as they get VERY large and can fit thru a hole the size of a dime. we found one in our attic and had our house inspected and closed off from any future roof rats. it cost a small fortune, but all small entries are now "fenced" off. make sure all the entries in your roofline are unavailable to the rats as they like to set up house in your attic. good luck. oh and they like dog food and citrus so make sure those are covered.

katiedid said...

EEEEk! We have those in our neighborhood too. But I prefer to think that they are squirrels when I hear them at night. The bushy tail just makes for a cuter rodent.

maison21 said...

jennifer- ugh. ratfink better not come into my living quarters!

lynn- so far this is the only one i've seen and he was for sure on the outside, thank god. glad i'm not alone...

easy-

that is so funny- santa SO would not do that!

mrs. b- i posted "odents not welcome" signs- i'm sure he'll get the hint.

lana- ratatoullie comes into my kitchen, and i move. period.

keely- you're not helping the fear factor here! ;-) the size of a dime? yikes!

katie- i emailed you my feelings about squirrels since i didn't want to scare others, but seriously, i'd rather have a rat than a squirrel in my house any day of the week. the cute tail is just to fool you!

Brilliant Asylum said...

Eeek! I am hoping he was just a passerby as well. I will probably lie awake tonight worrying about any unwanted visitors.

Velvet and Linen said...

Oh my! We had similar visitors in our last home.
No fun. Good luck with your new visitors.

xo
Brooke

Suzy said...

I'm not a fan of rats...but that's slightly less gross than flying cockroaches...!

The House of Beauty and Culture said...

Sonic pest repeller.

muralimanohar said...

I had a massive scare the other week...some rat moved into my back porch, and was making forays under the door to get to the dog food. By forays, I mean, he chewed his way through the wood door AND the stone step to make his way in. Twice, cause we blocked the first off.

Obviously, we freaked, and were trying to hunt down humane traps (I know, most people have no probs with killing. But we had an infestation in Hawaii, where they are BAD, and the resulting cleanup, NOT pretty. Involving blood splatters all over the walls, and at other times, rat paraplegics. What the hell do you do with a rat paraplegic?), til apparently a neighbor got over it, too, and we found THREE dead rats in our yard from poison(we didn't do poison, either, for fear of hurting the pug). Actually, we found only two. The third we can just smell. We are avoiding the back porch for a while.

Jenn said...

Hahaha...I had a very glamorous mouse problem earlier this year. Biggest lesson learned: Don't name them. I had very mixed feelings when Mortie the mouse met his maker. The fact that I gave him a full persona complete with a long island accent didn't help either.