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Sledgehead

More On Cost Of Ownership

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When people talk about housing as an investment they generally:

1 ) ignore financing costs;

2 ) ignore costs of ownership;

Whilst the recent floods have made it patently clear that the insurance costs of housing are not optional, other costs are often ignored.

Gardening is one such cost. With the advent of decking, a swathe of property owners found a relatively cheap way of cutting down on garden maintenance. Or so they thought. Last nights "One Show" (BBC1 South) highlighted the growing problem of rats in Britain. It was pointed out that as well as new food sources, in the form of waste hanging around for a fortnight, rats, like the rest of the population, have seen a makeover of their living accomodation, taking up residence under many a garden's decking. The Guardian highlighted the same story in Dec 2006:

Garden decking triggers rat plague

So whilst FTB wannabes remain homeless, vermin of every description make hay - and homes.

Of course the likely outcome will be a decision to scrap the half-bakery of decking, either in favour of permanent hardstanding or a gardener or an unsightly mess, all, sooner or later, resulting in great expense: a cost all involved in the housing "investment" game will be keen to ignore.

Alternatively you could cross your fingers and hope prospective buyers won't be put off by your new neighbours:

ba_rats_001_kr.jpg

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I had to check the septic tank the other day - it's one of these rotating bio disk filter jobbies because we have discharge consent to a watercourse, anyway, i opened the lid and got the shock of my life, yep you guessed it - rats and big ones as well, jeez i shouted out big time when i saw these effers

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Thats the septic tank thats connected to your toilet right..? With pipes comfortably big enough for a cat size rat to climb up?

rat_found_in_toilet_bowl1.jpg

Just what you want in a midnight foray...

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Thats the septic tank thats connected to your toilet right..? With pipes comfortably big enough for a cat size rat to climb up?

rat_found_in_toilet_bowl1.jpg

Just what you want in a midnight foray...

That's right! - the wife has never been the same since I told her

having said that the inlet into the ST is a good deal above effluent level, but hey rats are pretty clever :o

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Thats the septic tank thats connected to your toilet right..? With pipes comfortably big enough for a cat size rat to climb up?

rat_found_in_toilet_bowl1.jpg

Just what you want in a midnight foray...

That's enuff to drive you round the bend ... hang on, that's not right .... it's enuff to not drive you round the bend. No wait, that don't work neither ... it's not enough to not drive ....

.... Can somebody please call the joke resuss team? :P

Of course all this nicely dovetails with another recent city trend : Eggs and the city

"Urban dwellers across the land are being encouraged to get in touch with nature by keeping hens in their back gardens. But does it make sense - and what do the chickens think about it?

How practical is it to keep two hens in the small patch of green most townies have at their disposal? What about the foxes?

"

What about foxes? What about rats you dosy fookers!

Sadly the knowledge of chickens attracting rats died around the same time as respect for money ...

Edited by Sledgehead

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Guest X-QUORK

There was something on the Today program this morning about how flash flooding and reduced birdlife are resulting from the lazy b*ggers who deck their gardens, or worse concrete over the whole area.

Apparently gardens equivalent to an area the size of 22 Hyde Parks have been lost this way in London alone. :huh:

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Guest Skint Academic

I used to live in a complete dive when I was last a student (actually I need to report the landlord to the local council next time I return there). Due to lack of room in the kitchen I left my box of grain, nuts and cereals on the floor. One night I went into kitchen and heard a load of rustling in the box before a huge rat jumped out from the box and ran under the kitchen cupboards. The rat got in through a hole in the wall underneath the sink (which would explain the scurrying noises in the walls at night).

Turns out this rat was a frequent visitor, a hippy with particularly refined tastes in organic local produce, such as porridge oats, lentils and pine nuts. It ignored all the foreign nuts. Except it also nibbled on the carpet and caused a huge hole in the corner. It was one reason why the landlady kept my deposit although never really explained in the letter why she should think I was nibbling the corner of the carpet.

Rats carry nasty diseases and I didn't really want this creature to run around my kitchen at night. Killing it was harder than I expected though. Springing rat traps didn't work. Nor did mouse traps. Or those buzzy things you put in the socket to make a repellent noise. It liked Green & Blacks milk chocolate, but would spring the trap first before eating it. I am not entirely sure how, but I know doing so scared it because it left a little rat turd behind. It wasn't so fussed with cheese and ham though. The only thing that finally worked was rat poison. It used to eat an awful lot of it and the next morning I would notice the rat poison replaced by bloodied vomit. Sounds like a typical night out in Glasgow to me.

I used to hate having to walking into my kitchen at night. Everytime I went in I would have to put on a pair of heavy boots, pick up a million-candle-light torch and rush in really quickly in case it was there and I could stamp on it. I had no chance, they are so fast! They maybe little furry creatures but unlike mice or hamsters, the rat really made me feel uneasy.

The joys of renting eh? If I had owned the house I would have sealed up the hole and put a skirting board around the kitchen cupboards to stop it gaining access. It was lucky that I kept the rat poison in place though as another rat started to frequent the kitchen a few months later. Maybe I should have warned the tenant that replaced me.

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So the story goes back in the hulme crescents some bloke got up in the night and didn't turn the light on when he got up for a call of nature. In the morning there were black footprints of crushed cockroaches on the floor ...

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Guest happy?
So the story goes back in the hulme crescents some bloke got up in the night and didn't turn the light on when he got up for a call of nature. In the morning there were black footprints of crushed cockroaches on the floor ...

Tsetse flies in the water feature, rats under the decking, bodies under the patio, and a ford anglia under the brambles in the front yard. Grind Farce here we come.

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Tsetse flies in the water feature, rats under the decking, bodies under the patio, and a ford anglia under the brambles in the front yard. Grind Farce here we come.

This increase in the rat population due to decking does not surprise me at all. Wood piles and garden sheds always harbour rats under them. I suspect the food waste hanging around in the street does not help either.

My wife went to look at a property the other day and a rat walked by and turned into the property as she was stood outside waiting for the agent. It went under a bush in the front garden, Curiously, when she went inside, she found the house had cats in but for some reason were unable to make the effort to catch the rat a few metres away in the garden.

We decided not to proceed with that property - it was in a really nice area too.

Best way to kill a really serious infestation of rats is rigorously remove all the food sources and cover (i.e decking) then put Warfarin bait down regularly. As a child my Dad used to pour diesel down the holes and drop a match in afterwards then when the burning rats came flying out of the holes his Jack Russel terrier would grab them. Strictly forbidden and not to be tried at home nowadays though. Mind you, so is setting fire to 20 acres of straw.

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By Strange coincidence my cat brought a rat into the house last Thusday. Little sod left it in the front room where it promptly took cover under the furniture. I shut it in the front room over night and came down to find it on the curtain rail!

So, the cat having failed to do it's duty overnight, it fell to me as man of the house to sort it out.

I soon found out that air pistols cannot be bought over the counter as they are now classed as a firearm. Neither could I find any rat traps.

A catapult was out as it would leave large marks in the wall as would anything of a large calibre ;)

So I was forced in the 21st century to construct a spear.

The cat eventually cornered him and I stuck him with the spear then administered the Coup de Grace with the back of a hand axe. I'd forgotten how much the feckers squeal.

I'd hate to think how much it would have cost to get a professional in to do it.

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Last week my brother had a flood in his kitchen from the bathroom above. On ivestigating he found the cause to be the end of the drainpipe from the basin had been chewed away by a rat at the point where it entered the 4 inch downpipe. The rat must have climbed the fifteen feet up the vertical pipe using climbing ropes and tackle or something. You have to admire them for their skills.

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I don't think rats know whether we own or rent our houses ...

But shit I hate them. At one stage we were completely infested, and they were running up and down inside the wall cavety. I actually met my first rat when I heard a funny noise in the night and went to investigate. He or she was in the rubbish bin. (And ues. removal involved some serious chemicals).

Anyway, so when I went to the loo a few weeks later in the middle of the night, and didn't turn on the light, I was a LEETLE concerned to feel something brush against my legs. Fortunately, rather than getitng out my gun, I turned the light on. And there, cowering beside the toilet, was a tiny little fluffy black kitten, 8 weeks at the most. We think she had mistaken our house for her own, they were all identical. Said kitten came to bed with me and OH, purred a lot, making me feel cat-broody, and in the morning we took her from door to door and quickly found where she really lived.

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Some very amusing stories in here. Fantastic thread.

I can tell you a few stories involving rats and the places that I have lived, but I feel I would just be boring you all.

Edited by sunama

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Guest Shedfish
Tsetse flies in the water feature, rats under the decking, bodies under the patio, and a ford anglia under the brambles in the front yard. Grind Farce here we come.

:lol::lol::lol:

...not from Stoke by any chance?

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I soon found out that air pistols cannot be bought over the counter as they are now classed as a firearm.

I Take it -

You must be under 17 years of age so you can't purchase one, between the ages of 14 and 17 and need it to be given to you as a gift, or are under the age of 14 and may not own an airgun.

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I Take it -

You must be under 17 years of age so you can't purchase one, between the ages of 14 and 17 and need it to be given to you as a gift, or are under the age of 14 and may not own an airgun.

No Im over the age of 17. The shop that I know used to sell them had closed down. The only other one I could find still sold air rifles but NOT pistols. He told me that the police had been around and informed of a change in the law on the way.

Maybe he was telling a porky and trying to get me to buy a (bloody expensive) rifle?

Regardless the upshot was I wasn't able to buy an air pistol over the counter.

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Last week my brother had a flood in his kitchen from the bathroom above. On ivestigating he found the cause to be the end of the drainpipe from the basin had been chewed away by a rat at the point where it entered the 4 inch downpipe. The rat must have climbed the fifteen feet up the vertical pipe using climbing ropes and tackle or something. You have to admire them for their skills.

Reminding me of floods, I watched the news today and they showed an area which had recently had bad flooding. I chuckled to myself when every house which was underwater up to the windows were, yes you guessed it, new builds, id say no newer than 3 or 4 years.

I think anyone who buys withing 15 feet of so of water level or in a potential flood plain deserves little sympathy, which brings me nicely on to Charles Church, a prestigious waterfront property where a two bedroom cell costs £400k, the north east facing balonies will the the least of their worries when their Bentleys are under 4 feet of water.

Daft Boy you remember when Cowes flooded last, I remember, I think CC basement carpark will be f**ked, good-o too.

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I cannot believe that so many people have rat stories! In Texas you might get a lone squeaky mouse if your house backs to a field (or a few if you're a slob) but RATS! Disgusting. Is this a problem all over the UK? Might they be in our back garden? I shudder to think of it.

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When I was living with my sister in South London, we had a fair few field mice that used to visit us. These were tiny balls of fur, not rats. I've dealt with rats before, when I was living in India, which I shall get onto later.

The field mice may have been small, but they scared me quite a few times. I would be sitting at my PC, at about 2am. The whole house has gone to bed. My PC is watercooled, so it runs virtually silently. All is quiet. Then, I would hear a rustling in the corner, right behind my PC. As if something is hitting a cardboard box. I ignore it, thinking that its nothing. Then suddenly I would see something scurry past me. Now, this was scary. Anyway, when I went back to my sister's house a year or so later, the mouse problem was still there and my dad just happened to be there and was beating the mouse hard with a slipper. The fur ball didnt die quickly, it needed at least 10 whacks of the slipper. My sister said that these mice just need a hole, whose diameter is no more than that of a pencil (8mm or thereabouts).

The real fun happened when I was a kid of 10yrs, living in India. Now, let me tell you guys, the rats of London DONOT compare to that of the rats of India. Indian rats, would eat their London counterparts for breakfast. Literally. We were living in a huge detached, single story property, in a hilly area, with at least a few acres of land either side. Around us were very few properties and we could see hills for as far as the eye could see. At night, we would have visits from the large rats. These creatures knew no fear and would quite openly roam around the house. I, myself, must have seen at least 6 rats on separate occassions. My father investigated this infestation and decided that he would need a mouse/rap trap, which he bought several of. Here's where it got fun. We would place these traps in various locations around the house with some food as bait. In the morning when we would return, the food would be untouched. This went on for a few days, however, we realised that the traps were being moved around at night (presumably by the rats). We hypothesised that the rats were too large for the traps and hence, couldnt get at the bait that lay within the trap. My father then went back out and bought much bigger traps. Once again, bait was laid and the traps set. I kid you not, but every single night for about 10 days, we caught rats in the traps. And these things were huge. On one occassion the rat was so big he could barely fit into the trap and the trap was HUGE. To dispose of the specimen, we would pour boiling hot water over the rat (which would squeal like mad), until it was dead. The rat was then wrapped up in newspaper and thrown out. Eventually after a few weeks, we failed to catch or see a single rat in the house.

Another Indian story that relates to a story regarding chickens and rats...

We were living in another property in India (and had kept the rat traps from the previous experience above). We decided to keep chickens in the front yard due to its huge size. These chickens would roam free during the day and return to their room (which used to be the servants quarters) at sunset. These chickens were wild, fast and aggressive, unlike the battery hens you see in the UK. To give you an idea, if you try and catch one of these chickens you would have to chase it hard for 15 mins or so. Also, in the process you were likely get bitten, pecked and scatched. I tell you, the chickens in India are wild. So, back to the story of rats: one night a small rat happened to run across our living room. The lights were on and there were 4 people in the room. We were amazed at its bravado and gall. Out came the trap. In less than 48hrs, this lone ranger (we never did see any other rodents around) was in a trap looking up at us not knowing its fate. We brought the trap out into the front yard, while the kettle boiled. It was a family event. There was a lot of excitement. However, the chickens who would normally run a mile from humans took great interest in the rodent. and began to attack the cage and the rodent within. At this point we decided to allow the rodent out of the cage and see if it could make a run for it. My money was on the chickens. Low and behold, as soon as the rodent was let out, it ran but the chickens ran/moved faster. They ripped the thing to shreds and ate it. I thought one chicken was going to choke as it ate almost half of the rodent and was struggling to get it down its throat. But it managed to get it down, eventually. After the rodent was gone, the chickens all scarpered as if nothing had happened.

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I cannot believe that so many people have rat stories! In Texas you might get a lone squeaky mouse if your house backs to a field (or a few if you're a slob) but RATS! Disgusting. Is this a problem all over the UK? Might they be in our back garden? I shudder to think of it.

.....and I thought that every thing in Texas was ten times bigger than elsewhere.

I heard that in the UK you are never further than ten feet (3M) from a rat at anytime. :blink:

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I think anyone who buys withing 15 feet of so of water level or in a potential flood plain deserves little sympathy, which brings me nicely on to Charles Church, a prestigious waterfront property where a two bedroom cell costs £400k, the north east facing balonies will the the least of their worries when their Bentleys are under 4 feet of water.

Daft Boy you remember when Cowes flooded last, I remember, I think CC basement carpark will be f**ked, good-o too.

I remember it well. I entered the front door of the Vectis Tavern in the High street on my back lying on an inflatable dingy using the roof beams to propel myself along inside the premises. I found it upsetting because they had called last orders at the bar by the time i got to it. I think your concerns about the Bentleys are unfounded because I attended a roller in a lake once and it remained partially afloat for a good hour. You get what you pay for . :lol:

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Ah, rats ...

I lived for years on a farm and killed several hundreds of them - in fact must have been at least 400-500.

They are out and about at night, but aren't particularly nocturnal.

This means good sport during the day as well.

Best thing is a .25 air rifle (head or lung shot; score the pellets cross-wise on the business end for dum-dum effect) and a .22 Brockock air revolver for fancy shootin'.

It takes patience, but spill a little temptation in an open area of floor (I preferred pig food or sheep nuts in the foodstore) and lay silent and hidden high on top of a large bale of hay. Like humans, rats never look upward, so that's your edge right there.

They'll come. Let them get confident, then pick one off. They'll still come back after a while. They're smart, but also stupid and greedy.

Traps only work if they're the old-fashioned cage kind, like lobster pots where they can climb in but can't climb out. Got ten in one of them once then just pumped pellets in until they stopped moving.

Never had another rat climb in a cage after that - they learn fast.

And in the end, they'll win.

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