This is a true story. I sent it to the Cheverolet Nova listserv and a few other people. Fan art.
From: Nova SS [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 12:15 AM
Subject: non-[nova] Vacuuming rats
This morning my kitchen stunk like rotting flesh. The stench went away when the heat finally turned off. (The heat runs for over an hour because I let the indoor temperature fall to 62 at night.)
The stench was worse when returned home form work. Since I put rat bait under the house a few days ago, and since the stink subsided when the heat shut off, I suspected a dead rat around the vent under the house.
I donned my home made “hazmat” suit:
I crawled around the under-house crawlspace. I saw this rat scurrying around the perimeter of the foundation (it’s the red eye):
Better picture at full zoom:
That one’s not dead enough to stink. Note to self: need more rat poison.
While I was under there, I noted that the framing, pipes, and A/C vents are in good condition. When the heat kicked on, I did not even realize it was on because the ducts are well sealed! (Yippee!)
I pulled my mask away and found that the under house air doesn’t stink. So the dead rat isn’t directly in the crawl space. I only saw one dead rat down there. It was old and petrified.
I escaped the crawlspace and went back to the kitchen. I checked the trash, cabinets, sink, and so on. Everything was OK. Then I checked the vent. A plume of stink escaped when I pulled it. Yuck! (The kitchen vent is shut off in the winter. Otherwise it will get too warm when cooking, and the house thermostat is too close to a kitchen door.)
A few days ago I found a hole in a metal duct elbow. Here is my sealing job:
I think the previous owner caused the hole by spilling liquids in the vent. I guess a rat must have gotten in the vent through this hole before I sealed it.
Even though I couldn’t see any rat, the plume of stink gave it away. I borrowed my wife’s compact mirror and checked further:
BINGO! Dead rat 3 feet in! (I should have shoved the camera down the vent. The light colored kitchen floor distorted its white balance settings.)
I set up my stinky dead rat extraction apparatus:
AKA shove a shop vac hose down the vent. Fiddling with a flash light propped between the floor and my chin, a mirror in one hand, and the vacuum hose in the other hand, I sucked the rat up after 10 minutes. It came through with a dull THUD! Then a bad stink plume filled the kitchen.
Here’s this rat:
(Like my fescue grass? I seeded it in November.)
(Until a cat picks you up, you disgusting pest!)