This is a follow-up to An Open Letter to the Mayor of NYC (2-28-2019, typakmusings.com) and is motivated by a communication received from a friend whose son has spent over $1,000 hiring an extermination company to get rid of rats and mice gnawing and scratching in the walls and ceilings of his house, the goal still elusive.
Predictably, De Blasio has neither replied nor complied, forfeiting the historic opportunity to lead the global movement, eradication of this scourge as old as the beginning of our species. It is time for homeowners here in America and worldwide to take over and let their grassroots cause culminate in a miracle as epochal as the extinction of polio.
Recommended in the open letter are pipe bombs, that is, anticoagulant bait blocks placed in the middle of a 6-inch length of 1.25-inch diameter PVC pipe, to prevent pilfering by cats, dogs, or birds. Subsequent research has come up with an even cheaper and more copious method of deployment: the gallon milk jug, with an 1.5-inch diameter hole cut on each of its four sides halfway above the bottom, packed with double or triple layers of bait blocks, the lid off unless exposed to the weather. The jug is secured by burying into the soil up to the base of the 4 holes so the rodents can enter at ground level or, in the absence of soil, held down with brick or stone up to the holes. Set outdoors in frequent rodent traffic areas, the jug or jugs may be camouflaged or even dressed up aesthetically, if readily visible.
Concern has been voiced about the possibility of poisoned rats crawling into the house and dying, fouling the air indoors for weeks. This has never happened in my own experience. Nor have I found them dead in the open, leading me to believe they seek and die in more natural outdoor burrows. At least they have time, 4 or 5 days, to pick their own mausoleum after ingestion and awareness of their fate.
As mentioned in the letter rats have a superhighway of communication and come to feed on the bait from all over, including from inside the house.