‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

The local pest guy told us we have a rat infestation under the house.

He put baits down and now, one week before our daughter’s birthday party, there’s a stench.

What do we do?

Maree and John R.

Maree and John,

I’m flattered that you think pest control is one of my many areas of expertise.

I’m also wondering if your question is a not-so-subtle metaphor for Donald Trump’s apparent ability to hold sway with the Republican Party while he’s facing criminal and civil cases for attempting to overturn an election, storing classified documents at his swanky home, electoral tampering, hush money to a porn star, business fraud, and defamation.

It seems impossible to fathom that he could cause such a stink, and still be hanging around.

And yet, there he is.

Now if you’re not being metaphorical and really are seeking rodent advice, I’m not big on the idea of baits, particularly if you have domestic animals who have an uncanny knack for finding a bait-infused rat and chomping into it, even when they turn their nose up at air-fried tripe and lamb nibbles with probiotics.

One thing I know from experience, is that the stench will only get worse.

At the moment it is possibly a heady waft under the floorboards, but by the time your daughter’s big day arrives, it will smell like a cocktail of methane and sulphur dioxide, which won’t be a very suitable accompaniment to the margheritas and strawberry daiquiris.

There is unfortunately no alternative but to put on some gloves, follow your nose, find the culprit (or culprits) from under the house and place it in the red bin (disgusting, I know, but not as distressing as the vet bill you’ll get if one of your pets eats poison).

In future, apparently rats hate the smell of peppermint oil, which seems a far kinder way to deter them.

Carpe diem,

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