If you have rats, make sure to mount a strong defense

We have a problem in our neighborhood that is situated in southwest Las Vegas. Our issue is the invasion of  rats, an issue I heard about more than 30 years ago.

From what I’m told, it was Spanish Trail that started the problem decades ago. The community was supposed to bring a stately and stunning level of real estate to our valley with the addition of palm trees.

Back in the 1980s, the Sultan of Brunei gobbled up a big piece of Spanish Trail for a huge estate. Adding another element to the creation was the addition of palm trees, the latest architecture to hit Southern Nevada since the addition of Spanish tile roofing.

As Spanish Trail continued to grow, so did the problem of palm trees, which are indeed beautiful but also dangerous as it relates to the inclusion of pesky rats, which burrow in the palm trees.

Over the years, the palm trees were included in the land planning process of every design plan in town.

The trees have flourished, and so has the issue of rats both in and out of homes throughout Southern Nevada. You see, rats do love palm trees, but better yet, they love destroying a home biting through water or electrical lines while destroying a residence.

Rats have invaded Southern Nevada like George Bush did Iraq. If there is no opening, rats create one by climbing stucco walls before entering the attic.

The problem is so bad in Southern Nevada right now that pest control experts are warning anyone who will listen. Rats have been known to enter a residence anywhere possible – and once they get their grimy claws into a structure, it’s only a matter of time before you might as well level a home and start over.

Rats are the enemies and we’re the victims. They calmly give you the middle finger as you watch helplessly.

Back when we lived in Northern California farm lands near Sacramento, “river rats” terrified people. They carried disease such as rabies.

In fact, farmers working on tractors were known to immediately leave their favorite D-9 Caterpillar once it was determined that rats had found a home inside the tracks or inside the cab of a Caterpillar or John Deere tractor.

Mechanics carried small baseball baseball bats when they looked underneath a tractor. Rats the size of small cats preyed on people, pets and anything else they could overtake.

While today’s rats in Southern Nevada are smaller than the rats of yesteryear in Northern California, the potential of their producing the same end result is real in Southern Nevada.

“The worst thing anyone can do is not confront the problem,” said one home restoration expert. “I have seen them destroy homes, especially if they get in the attic.”

God forbid anyone in the neighborhood has a junkyard accompanying a home. Rats love junk, and they’ll do what they have to do to make things worse.

Worse yet, if you’re someone with a traditional “doggie door,” the potential issue is even worse since rats simply go through the doggie door.

Or, if you’re the owner of a high-dollar residence on a golf course, you might as well place a welcome mat from the ninth hole to the doggie door to your multi-million home.

Our own battle in Southern Nevada is also a war, and if you don’t believe it check out the casualties spread all over areas with palm trees and rats.

A series of books that include the title “Rat Bastards” is a perfect title to our current battle.

We have a Schnauzer, which has been known for its ability to hunt down and kill pesky rats.

We’re not done mounting our defense against rats that can carry a long list of diseases including rabies.

And to think that palm trees were supposed to be a benefit.

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