The nasty rat that is...he doesn't know it yet, but he's picked the wrong mutha to mess with.
All you northerners, don't freak out.*
When we found evidence of the first rat, we thought it was a total fluke, and they would NEVER come back. We never had a problem before, right? WRONG. Notice the 1" gap between the door and framing:
Jim my exterminator warned me about this...but I didn't listen....
So instead of sitting on the couch today, eating chocolate and watching soaps, you know, what stay-at-home-moms do (wink), I'm sealing up my garage doors.
Ladies, if you need to go to a home repair store, and have the luxury to go during the week at or before 9am, I highly recommend it. There were oodles of people in orange aprons, standing around waiting to help, and it was AWESOME.
I did not buy the weatherproof garage trim with the rubber seal, because I've heard that rats just chew their way right through it, and it would have cost $50. I just purchased (4) 1x2 strips that were about 9' long and it ran me $8.44. I wasn't sure how I was going to get them home in my 4dr sedan, but I was desperate, envision some WT rig job, and that would be me.
When I got to the check-out, Tom the engineer/contractor working on the house next door was in line IN FRONT of me. PRAISE THE LORD! And he offered to stick them in his truck and bring them over for me. And if that wasn't enough, he measured all 4 openings, marked them, and cut them for me out of the goodness of his heart.
THANK YOU TOM!!!**
After I put my little Tom down for his morning nap, I got started.
1. I rounded up the usual suspects:
-Abe The stepstool (he's undergoing a makeover, so don't mind him)
-Stanley the nail/screw/anchor storage box
-Bosch the hammerdrill
-And the annoying....orange....extension cord....that is always tangled...can't...ever...wind it....up....properly...without it.....tangling....when....I want....to use it......
-4 (1x2x9) wood strips from the hardware store
2. Stick the strip up over the gap with the garage door closed.
3. Put the first screw on the drill with the screwdriver attachment, make sure the bit you choose fits the screw, I used a phillips (+).
One of these is fantastic because it holds the screw in place in the beginning, protecting your hand and the screw from slipping:
4. Starting in the middle, making sure the strip is flush with the door, insert first screw.
Continue with 4 more screws (1 at top and bottom).
5. DONE, right? WRONG. After closing the garage door, there was a large gap in the bottom:
6. After referring to this site I adjusted the down force, located on the left side of the motor:
7. 27 garage open and closes later:
8. Time to go pick up the girls from preschool.
9. Later, I'm going to paint "Nuckin' Futs" Hot Sauce on the bottom of the strips. I wish I could see their little faces when their noses touch those strips, LOL. Maybe I've been watching too much "Home Alone", what do you think?
10. Pray for us that this is our last rat encounter for a LONG TIME.
*Sadly, rats are very common in the Florida tropics--especially if you live close to the water. Palmetto bugs (really just glorified cockroaches), snakes, lizards, geccos, squirrels (glorified rats IMO) are also common. I've come to love and appreciate snakes (they eat rats), lizards and geccos too (they eat spiders, flies, mosquitos, and other bugs).
**The BIG MAN (GOD), teaches me many lessons about humility, jumping to conclusions, judging people on 1st encounters, etc. on a daily basis. Here's my lesson today: ALWAYS be kind to contractors that are doing work on neighbor's McMansions. You never know when they will help you out.