As most homeowners and renters will tell you, taking care of a rat problem is no easy feat and can take weeks to finally eradicate. To fix their rat or mouse problem, many opt for snap traps, sticky pads, poison (if there are no pets present in the house), or even live-catch traps. However, for those who choose the poison route, what happens when rats or mice start developing a refined palate?
It turns out that this is the case across the city of London, where urban rats are forgoing traditional poison (made appealing via smell or taste) for dark chocolate as well as other organic, fancy treats. These gentrified rodents have even become partial to organically-made peanut butter, ice cream, specifically the gluten-free variety, and Manuka honey—the last of which being completely understandable considering its impeccable flavor and easy texture.
According to Sophie Gadd, a 26-year-old resident of Lewisham in Southeast London, she spent much of the past week attempting to catch a rat that had decided to make her home his. “We tried normal traps, using poison, but each time the rat ignored them. I then lined the sticky traps with Nutella and Sun-Pat peanut butter, but again he didn’t bite. In desperation, I left out my Green & Black’s 80 percent cacao chocolate, and he monstered half the bar, foil and all, while cleverly avoiding the sticky spring.”
Gadd eventually made a call to a local pest control service, which informed her that rats within urban areas appear to be developing gradually more sophisticated palates, even to the point that one family had an issue with a rat that ate only their stash of Meridian organic peanut butter. It’s believed that these expensive tastes from so-called gentrified rats and mice stem from the rodents rummaging through dumpsters and trash bins and then finding these lavish delicacies.
DIY chains like Robert Dyas are even reporting increases as high as 75 percent in sales for rat traps in the past year, due to rodents getting wiser to more traditional extermination strategies. Given these small animals’ profound ability to adapt to their circumstances, revising trap designs and coming up with new ideas entirely will likely soon be necessary in other cities besides London. Perhaps even Manuka honey traps will start appearing on the market to curtail rat infestations—stranger things have certainly happened!
Photo By garloon