Mice? Oh rats! And a whole host of other problems.

So, we thought we had mice in our loft but, after further inspection, a little web research, and discussions with other people about the size of droppings, we’ve decided we have rats. Booooo!

They seem confined to the loft above our extension and the wall cavities. After calling the council and hearing that it would take up to 5 working days to get back to us, we put poisoned bait down and this didn’t initially seem to help.

The man from the council came today though. He was a very helpful little Yorkshire man, who’s been doing the job of pest control for about 5 years – though I sense he could actually “smell a rat” if required – probably at a hundred paces.

He identified where they are probably coming in and out (rats have to get food and water, and there ain’t none of that in our loft), and put down lots…LOTS more bait. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. “They’re wild animals”, he said, and their behaviour is not predictable.

In the meantime, they’ve chewed our electric cables, tripping out our electricity, and subsequently causing us to have a non-functioning boiler. No electric, ho heating.

The fuse panel has several fuses and an RCD device. The RCD was what was tripping and this takes out the whole panel. Again, after a few phone calls and chats with other people, we worked out that our fuse box is completely incorrectly labelled, ran around the house flicking fuses and switches until we knew which fuse did what, and have isloated the upstairs lighting circuit (which is why we think it’s caused by the rats nibbling cables).

So, we now have rats, and no upstairs lights, but our heating and other electrics are back on.

If that wasn’t enough. I’ve done my back in (so I’m off the bike…AGAIN!), we have a leaky connection at the end of our washing machine inlet hose, which had caused a big puddle to form in our utility room, and our oven broke just before we had 6 people coming for new year (the timer switch, which has to be on for the oven to be on, had burnt out its contacts).

The joys of owning a house!!! Can 2008 have had a worse start?? (Well, yes, we could be in Kenya, which is in a right state at the moment – our problems are kinda put into perspective when you watch the news at the moment).