Seen rats in the neighborhood recently? I’ve seen them scurrying about various places (along Holman Road, and fences). And we’re not alone.  Seattle now has a video about the problem and what we can do about it. And according to the video, it is not an urban legend that rats can come up through your toilet.

The press release from the city can be seen here.  If you cannot view the video above, it is also available here.

So, here is what to do if you spot a rat in your toilet:

  1. Stay calm, and shut the lid.
  2. Reach for a bottle of dish detergent.
  3. Squirt dish detergent into the toilet bowl. This will make it harder for the rat to float and swim by neutralizing the oils in the rat’s fur.
  4. Flush repeatedly until the rat is gone.
  5. Report the incident: 206-205-4394 or online here.
  6. More information is available here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/rats/sewerbaiting.aspx

Additional information about rats in the city from King County:

  1. How To Get Rid of Rats
  2. Fact sheet on rats in sewers and the sewer baiting program
  3. Bird feeders and rats
  4. Four steps to prevent rodent infestations

Trivia: The province of Alberta in Canada is the only place known in North America to be “rat-free” … read about it here.

2 thoughts on “Rats!”

  1. Dennis – many thanks for this useful article! Haven’t seen these icky critters but do hear them scurrying down the fenceline in the backyard at night when taking the dog out for that last trip before bed. Especially appreciated the detail about how to clean up – have done this 2 winters ago when they were in the basement. Thankfully no longer in the basement/crawl space but you’ve helped me prepare…….

  2. Suzanne, there definitely seem to be more of them this year than I can remember. A couple of folk have reported rats entering their houses through the crawl space, and pet doors. And I’ve seen roadkilled rats and some burrows along Holman.

    Can’t help but wonder whether they are being fed with some of the food people grow in their gardens.

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