Battling the rats

There are always things to learn about a new house, and when we moved to a “new” Maryknoll office on St. 420, one of the things we learned is that it has its share of rats.

We had asked the landlord to put screens on the downstairs windows, and he did, but the second night we were there rats chewed through the plastic screening. That was in the dining room through the door in the picture on the right.

Here in the kitchen the rats found they almost had a red carpet invitation. The kitchen is basically a semi-room built onto the back of the house, probably because the builders were cooking on charcoal braziers (like most Cambodians) and the smoke would not get into the house. A solid wall extends up about five feet and above that was sheet metal and chainlink fencing–an open invitation to the rats.

We finally had enough of the intruders and installed a metal screening in the areas where the metal sheeting was penetrable. In this picture, the new screening is silver colored and above the refrigerator.

There is a door leading to the outside in the kitchen and it would stop a human being but not much else. There was just a grillwork in the door, chainlink fencing above the door, and a 3-inch gap below the door. Very convenient for rat traffic.

We put glass in the door, an extension on the bottom of the door, and more of the silver screening above the door. All of this happened just three days ago. We haven’t seen any rats in the kitchen since the modifications but we’ll have to wait and see if we are successful or not in keeping the rats out.