Service Story #35: “7 and 7 in 3,” The Craigslist Miracle
“Oh my god!” Rick said when he saw the two large rats dead on his front porch. “Get those things out of my house!”
Produced on Oct. 17, 25, and Nov. 8th 2019 for Rick and Trina of Vancouver, Washington
I am Wilderness Security Guide, the Environmental Control Operator for Storysold: Pest Control, and this is the story of my service –
The Action that follows was recorded in part on our human’s cell phone:
Friday, Oct 18th
TRINA: Hello! This is Trina, Ricks wife. You set up traps for us yesterday. All the black traps behind the fridge went off except for one, but caught nothing. I think we need to set more traps in the garage because they were very active this morning around 4-5am. Please call or txt so we can set up a time. Thank you!!
JAKE: We can move our date up, but those traps weren’t my A game. I put bait and lots of traps in crawl
TRINA: Oh ok
JAKE: Don’t worry…we’ll get him
Sat, Oct 19th
TRINA: Hey Jake, we got one in the garage! Neighbor took care of it for us. Can we reuse the trap again? I hear more of them
JAKE: Hoorah! Feel free to reset it 🙂
TRINA: Perfect! Thanks man. Hopefully we get more
JAKE: I have just begun to fight 🙂
Sun, Oct 20th
JAKE: Hell yes! Any bets on how many total?
TRINA: We need to kill their whole community lol
JAKE: Yes, for sure 🙂 I was just wondering if you have a guess how many in that community
TRINA: I’m guessing 5-10 [insert puking emoji] We got 3 so far. I’m guessing 5 more. What do you think Jake?
JAKE: Lol! I’m guessing 6
TRINA: When do you think we should check the ones in the crawl space?
JAKE: I space my services out weekly, because too much activity in their space is bad. If there’s a few dead ones down there they shouldn’t start to smell before Friday. But if they do, I can come out earlier
TRINA: Ok, yea we definitely don’t want any smells but we also don’t even know for sure if we have any down there right
JAKE: True, I’d like to know too…but good rat catching is a waiting game. Got to make them feel like they’re winning, even when they aren’t
Tuesday, Oct 22nd
JAKE: Well that set up worked! Are we still on for Friday at 10?
TRINA: Yes, you can come 9:30
JAKE: Cool, is earlier than 9:30 better?
TRINA: I just have to drop my daughter to school by 9:15
JAKE: No problem. I’ll be there at 9:30
TRINA: Great, thank you
[ The Action of 2nd service featured Jake fixing 3 of the broken vents with wire and cement, and the removal of three more rats from crawl. Jake asked Rick if he wanted to see them. At first he hesitated, and then he said yes. Not unlike a cat, Jake set the two large adults on the front porch for his customer to view. “Oh my god!” Rick exclaimed after he saw the two squirrel sized rats who’d been living with him for at least a year. “Get those things out of my house!” Before Jake left, he reset the traps, added fresh attractant, and made plans with Trina to return in 2 weeks. ]
Tuesday, November 5th
JAKE: Hey guys, I was wondering if you want me to come out on Friday for the next trapping/exclusion service?
[ No reply from Trina or Rick. The next day, Jake called Rick. Rick explained that money was tight. Jake agreed to do the service on Friday and let them pay in a week via invoice on PayPal. The original plan of excluding the house in 3 trapping/exclusion services wasn’t likely to happen.
Friday, Oct. 8th
When Jake arrived, he didn’t expect to find it clear enough of activity to seal up the home. Killing all the rats in their home in 2 services, then excluding the home in 3 services (all for $400) would be a true Craigslist miracle.
Yet there it was…no tripped traps. No missing bait. No eaten dog food. No markers moved. No reports of activity from Rick or Trina. Jake finished excluding all the entry points, except the inner most one behind heater in garage. When he was finished with the service, he showed Trina that he left the main entry point open at the bottom…just in case. All they would have to do is move the bricks and let the super sneaky rat out, or seal it up with a ten dollar bucket of cement when they were ready to make it permanent.]
Monday, Nov. 11th
And here’s the final text:
JAKE: Hello again guys. I finished your complementary service story. My website is still under construction, but you should be able to read it at: https://storysoldpestcontrol.com/35/ I sent your invoice for the final service to your email as well. Pay when you can.
And please don’t tell anyone I killed off seven rats and excluded seven entry points in three services for $400. That’s a super crazy deal. Wink, wink.
TRINA AND RICK: Ok you got it! Thanks Jake!
And my faith in humanity was renewed when they paid for the final service and, in the process, helped me sign up for The Venmo.
Eight months later, our human got a call from Trina. She said the rats were back and Rick was worried they were in the crawlspace.
We drove out to Vancouver the next day. Trina show us where their landscapers had scared up a big momma rat and her nest of baby rats under a stack of fence posts. She explained that the neighbor wasn’t keeping their garbage secure, and then she showed me the droppings they’d found in their work shed.
The only possible new entry hole Guide found was an old fence post hole near the foundation.
Trina said it best when she said, “I think they [the rats] would have gone in if they could…”
When I realized that their Homefront was still holding strong after 8 months in an urban wilderness still plagued with a lot of rats, I smiled to myself. It was a big, happy smile, because I knew the work I’d done was still taking at least one predator free shelter off the list and keeping the environmental pressure on my rat friends on! As it should be.