A few months ago, we had a little rodent problem at the Embassy. We thought the problem had been solved but unfortunately the rats have returned.
Two weeks ago, maintenance crews noticed rat droppings on the floor in a few offices. So they set some sticky traps, using pieces of apple as bait. I didn’t really think the apples would attract rats, but I was wrong. Within two days, there was a dead rat caught in a sticky trap, found one morning in the same office where the dead rat had been captured last year.
The maintence crews thought there were likely additional rats in the building, so they added fresh apples to the sticky traps in my office and continued to check the traps daily.
One morning they saw a sticky trap that looked like it had been the scene of a life-or-death battle between a rat fighting to escape after eating a slice of apple. The rat are the apple and eventually managed to escape from the trap, leaving behind a decent amount of fur. The fact that he was able to escape from the trap led the maintenance guys to think that the rat must be a big one.
Last Friday, knowing there must be a rat nearby, the maintenance guys placed fresh traps around the office armed with apple slices. And then they left for the weekend.
When we arrived at work on Monday morning, we noticed an unusual smell, as if something were burning. A colleague from the South came by the office and immediately identified the smell as that of a dead animal. He said that one lifelong advantage of growing up in the South has been the unfailing ability to correctly identify the smell of rotting, dead animal corpses.
We doubted his opinion however because we looked through all the offices and found no rats in traps. When the maintenance guys arrived, they agreed that the smell was a dead animal. When they looked in my boss’s office, the maintenance guys noticed that a rat trap that had been placed under a couch was missing. So the maintenance guys started looking everywhere to see what could have happened.
Eventually, they found a rat in the air conditioner. Apparently the rat got caught in the trap by his leg, maybe on Frida or Saturday, and then dragged itself and the trap across the room and into the air-conditioner where it died. The little guy put up a good fight, but I think we’re all glad that he is no longer with us.