they'll get you ... in the end
August 19, 2015 9:13 AM   Subscribe

How The Rats Are Getting Up Into Your Toilet Bowl

Press play, and never leave the toilet lid up again.
posted by poffin boffin (92 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
You are a horrible, horrible person.
posted by Etrigan at 9:15 AM on August 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


"He explained why it's only a matter of time until a rat bites your genitals while you're on the can..."

ONLY IN NEW YORK BABY
posted by griphus at 9:17 AM on August 19, 2015 [26 favorites]


how do I get this job
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2015


They're so cute swimming in that big glass tank though. Little pink toesies!
posted by poffin boffin at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


Eddie Marco sounds like the sort of thoroughly no-nonsense guy one wants to have about when one discovers a swimming rodent threatening the gonads. I can think of many less productive ways to spend $200.
posted by rongorongo at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I kind of thought this was just part of living in a city…This happend to me, living in older studio apartments in Portland; granted, near the river. It just happened after a dry spell followed by a particularly heavy rain. Its happened to me a couple times. We were talking about this at work yesterday, and it was an odd realization that no one else I work with has dealt with this.

Next askme question: Whats the best way to remove my rat-toilet hex?
posted by furnace.heart at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


This has happened to me twice, each of the last two summers. So, naturally, every person I know was sending me this video yesterday. I was very, very happy to learn that I was just up against natural rat abilities, other than some problem with my house (although it's still weird to me that this has happened twice to me and not at all to anyone else I know).

A thing I'm curious about, though: both times, the rats have drowned in the toilet bowl. We keep the lid down, to keep a dog and a cat from drinking out of the toilet (and oh, god, i can just imagine the mess I would come home to if a rat actually got out of the toilet and ran into my dog, a german shepherd with a high prey drive), and I always figured that was what put the rats in a drowning position. But if they can tread water for 3 days, I'm not sure what's up.

Rats in toilets are a land of contrasts, I guess.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2015 [13 favorites]


My guy went in and beat it to death with a snow shovel.

This sentence should appear in all stories humans relate to one another.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


I absolutely love how that clip is presented like a true-crime re-enactment.

I have never had a rat problem in any city apartment I've had--ants yes, roaches yes--but then I have never lived in a densely compacted city like NYC. So kudos to you, you brave rat-infested denizens!
posted by Kitteh at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most sewer pipes are sealed and separated from storm drains. What's described in the link can happen only in older, usually northeast, cities where that isn't true.

So, if a rat is in your toilet, don't worry -- it probably didn't crawl up through the toilet.

Because it was in your house all along.

cue record scratch sound
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:21 AM on August 19, 2015 [21 favorites]


Well I'll never use the toilet again.
posted by riverlife at 9:21 AM on August 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


nope nope nope nope nope

rats you stay in the alley where you belong
posted by PMdixon at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


What the fuck why would you do this to us why?
posted by corb at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had a very tiny and adorable mouseguest one winter when I was being an incredibly slovenly depressed drug addict and I couldn't bear to get a mousetrap and kill this itty bitty little cornflake eating frand so I eventually cleaned my house and took out 6 weeks worth of trash and my tiny frand relocated, although the mouse nest smell (ancient horrible potatoes) lingered for many months after.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:23 AM on August 19, 2015 [17 favorites]


You are a terrible person flagged as horror.
posted by jeather at 9:23 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I do occasionally have mice in the house--mostly when it starts getting cold and they want to be somewhere warm like my basement--but having a chubby little cat who is surprisingly agile at the murderin' (the other two cats do not even bother to look at a mouse, figuring it is somehow beneath them) takes care of that.
posted by Kitteh at 9:24 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


We don't worry about this here in Florida. The toilet snakes eat all of the toilet rats.
posted by Splunge at 9:28 AM on August 19, 2015 [39 favorites]


luckily you have the toilet gators to keep the toilet snake population in control.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:30 AM on August 19, 2015 [19 favorites]


florida: america's australia
posted by poffin boffin at 9:31 AM on August 19, 2015 [57 favorites]


When I briefly owned a house on the north side of Chicago I had a major rat problem. It didn't appear they were ever getting in to the house, but they had completely overtaken the crawlspace under the three-season room in the back. (I lived near a stretch of road that was all restaurants, so rats were numerous. And then there were the people who dumped their leftover pots of food out onto the parkway [the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, for non-Chicagoans] to feed the squirrels or ???) Anyway, it took several trips of an exterminator and the labor of several sweaty dudes from a junk removal service to get all the scrap wood and insulation out of there that they had been nesting in. It kind of ruined the whole having-a-backyard experience when any time you walked outside on the deck, you'd catch a glimpse of a rat running to/from the alley.

I also once had a mouse in my first Chicago apartment. My cat had found it and was toying with it but it was still alive. Just a teeny little doormouse, it was way too cute to kill. So I captured it (put a glass over it, slid a piece of cardboard underneath, transferred to a box) and drove him to a park about a half mile away. I named him Mortimer.

Rats though, ugh. No mercy.
posted by misskaz at 9:31 AM on August 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Because it was in your house all along.
cue record scratch sound


GODDAMN IT RAT GET THE HELL OFF MY RECORDS
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:38 AM on August 19, 2015 [31 favorites]


it's only a matter of time until a rat bites your genitals while you're on the can

Hey, this is MetaFilter and we do not judge here.
posted by briank at 9:39 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


why would you do this
posted by Itaxpica at 9:39 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Give a rat some hard spaghetti and you will fall in love. You will have no choice at all. Rat based attempts at cinematic terror induction will never work on you again.
posted by srboisvert at 9:42 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


there must be a healthier way to deal with the ending of Hannibal
posted by sapere aude at 9:44 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


We worry about rats in the toilet, rats worry about human sh*t in their underground spas... It all seems fair to me.
posted by HuronBob at 9:45 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't imagine a rat wanting to do this. I've probably still got the accidental scratches from trying to give the ones I had as pets years ago a shallow bath in nice clean warm water. I wonder if they're trying to escape the sewer any way they can rather than get in to the house...

Not that it makes much difference to the bathroom's owner, of course.
posted by BinaryApe at 9:51 AM on August 19, 2015


misskaz: "I also once had a mouse in my first Chicago apartment. "

It's cute how you think you only had a mouse once.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:56 AM on August 19, 2015 [20 favorites]


When we got back from vacation a few years ago there was rat in the back toilet. Yup, fuzzy little sweetheart either came straight up the sewer, or came down the vent pipe and then up, and found himself in our toilet. And since the lid was down, well, he died there. And his little (not that little, really) corpse stewed in a gallon or so of water in our shut-up Texas house, in July, with the AC off for, I'm guessing, a week.

This produced, as you can imagine, a pretty memorable smell. And a pretty memorable clean-up job. If this ever happens to you I recommend burning down the house. I'm not even kidding. Easily the nastiest single job I've ever performed.

Yes, Monday morning quarterbacks, it MIGHT have been better to simply flush him away but I just couldn't get past the idea of him getting stuck, and the idea of having to use a plumber's helper on rotten rat chowder made me take the safer route.

Again, not sure if he came up from the sewer or down the vents but I can tell you this: I have since covered the vent pipes with mesh.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:57 AM on August 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia!
posted by lalochezia at 10:02 AM on August 19, 2015 [20 favorites]


So, if a rat is in your toilet, don't worry -- it probably didn't crawl up through the toilet.


Get out! Get out! The rat is coming from inside the house!!!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:03 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, remember: if you give a rat a toilet, he'll probably ask for a glass of milk.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:05 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh hi cute little disease vector

I wonder if you're a good alternative protein source when properly processed
posted by halifix at 10:06 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


...But if the rat makes its way out and you flush it back down again, then you're the jerk!
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:08 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would've thought the average monster sized NYC subway rat* would be too big to fit through the pipes but life finds a way I suppose

*once waiting for a train at 14th street I noticed something running down the middle of the platform "Why is there a cat in the subway?" I wondered, then someone screamed when it jumped over thier feet. It wasn't a cat.
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 AM on August 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


After seeing the list of the number of amazing rat superpowers (including a very Wolverine *snikt* claw effect) I googled for rat superheros. Which of course brought up Might Mouse. Now I have a very very depressing mental image of a drowned Mighty Mouse in a toilet.
posted by jeribus at 10:14 AM on August 19, 2015


poffin boffin: "florida: america's australia"

Perhaps you are joking...

It is Burmese Python hatching season right now. The python problem is so bad that for the last couple of years they have had snake hunts here. Snakes are sneaky. Last year they caught one (1).

They are trying to organize a black bear hunt as well.

Flying cockroaches.

Toe biters.

Gators of course.

No doubt there are other creatures I've missed.
posted by Splunge at 10:16 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh! And the armadillos give you leprosy.
posted by Splunge at 10:17 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


An acquaintance of mine* had a potty-training two-year-old come crying out of the bathroom because she had 'wet' herself and didn't know how and was so confused and upset, poor child. Yep. Rat splashing around in the toilet.

Poor little child is probably 30 now and still wearing pullups at night.


*In San Diego, not just a north-east problem.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:18 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


My mother grew up in an apartment in the Poncy Highlands area of Atlanta and this happened to them a number of times in the 50's. Now I'm living in an older house just a few miles away and that thought never leaves me. Especially during those late night trips. This isn't something that just happens in the north east. Anyone familiar with Atlanta knows the condition of our aging sewer systems...it's not a matter of if but when..... Oh lord, going to go buy mesh right now!!!!
posted by pearlybob at 10:18 AM on August 19, 2015


"mouse nest smell (ancient horrible potatoes)"

If you ever need the smelly feces of Satan Himself, but don't have access to an actual being of supreme evil, a reasonable replacement is to get a potato wet and forget it in a corner of the kitchen for a while.
posted by idiopath at 10:21 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


anyone know why we're getting cicadas in NYC right now?
posted by griphus at 10:23 AM on August 19, 2015




anyone know why we're getting cicadas in NYC right now?

maybe a bunch of jews with an egyptian boss are unhappy about their working conditions
posted by poffin boffin at 10:26 AM on August 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


OK, dirtdirt, you win
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:26 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not watching this at work, but two years ago, the plumber discovered that our toilet stopped working due to Dead Squirrel in the Pipe*, which I assume works on much the same principal.

*("Hey come look at this!" he said to my husband, who was unfortunate enough to be home.)
posted by emjaybee at 10:26 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've never had a toilet rat, but I have had toilet frogs. Many many toilet frogs.

When I was pretty little, maybe 6 or 7, my parents turned on the tv without paying too much attention to what was on. It was the episode of the X-Files where the alien/mutant can stretch his limbs like they're elastic, and at one point tries to squeeze his way through the plumbing and up the toilet. What I'm saying is I always turn the light on.
posted by autolykos at 10:31 AM on August 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


A year ago I heard this odd intermittent fluttering, scratching sound in the basement. Careful pauses to listen and gradual triangulation put the source in the laundry room, and ultimately in the exhaust pipe for the dryer (which of course leads outside). I considered the exhaust outside -- an opening on the exterior maybe the size of my fist -- and gloomily considered what could have entered: Mouse? Rat? Bat? Bird? Squirrel? Possum? Whatever it was, it got as far as the eight-foot vertical drop that leads to the exhaust vent at ankle level on the back of the dryer.

I pondered the situation then eventually got a garbage bag, disconnected the exhaust pipe at the top then quickly did so at the bottom and wrapped the garbage bag around it. I then awkwardly maneuvered the who assembly upstairs and into the backyard, where I set it down and yanked the bag off as I stepped away. I was fully expecting some exemplar of the local fauna to burst out in some unknown level of distress after X many hours trapped in there. Nothing did, and a cautious peering down the pipe showed it to be empty.

Puzzled, I went back down to the laundry room and saw and heard nothing out of the ordinary. The dryer sits with its back to the wall, so lacking any other way to see waht the issue might have been, I leaned forward and peered down the back, then started up the dryer for one second.

In a manner suggesting a rolled-up T-shirt fired from an air cannon, something dark shot out the back, ricocheted off the wall, and scurried for cover. After dealing with the primordial adrenaline surge and taking the lord's name in vain several times, I spotted that it was a chipmunk.

I reckoned that this was better than any of the other options for what it could have been. Still, it was now in my two-room basement, and either unwilling or unable to ascend the stairs to the ground floor, where I figure I might have been able to open the doors and drive it outside.

I consulted with the missus, who was at work (NB: I work from home, and my office is in the other room of the basement). She mentioned a humane mouse trap she had in storage from before we moved in together so I dug that up and set it up with some peanuts inside and a few scattered by the entrance to give little Chip the idea. Then I went back to work. The room I was in, and indeed am in right now, is lined with bookcases. There are a couple of desks, a cluster of a dozen musical instrument cases in one corner, a couple of filing cabinets: in brief, no shortage of places for a chipmunk to hide. The rest of that day, I saw it occasionally dart from cover to cover, but no luck in it checking out the trap. I eventually gave up and that evening went upstairs and shut the basement door.

The second day I found that it had eaten the peanuts by the trap but was either too wary or too large to enter the trap itself. I ruminated further but went back to work, spotting occasional glimpses of my guest. I began pricing out humane chipmunk traps online. At one point the chipmunk was on one of my bookshelves and I clamped an empty mesh wastepaper basket over the shelf, then waited until I heard it inside. I began to carry the bin upstairs, but he made a daredevil leap from out of the basket, fell five feet to the floor, and bolted for safety. Yes, I am now calling it "he", as the chipmunk was developing some character.

The unsuccessful use of the garbage can, coupled with his fondness for peanuts suggested a Wile E. Coyote stratagem to me: I put a little pile of peanuts on a small area rug, inverted the mesh garbage can above it, and then propped it up at an angle supported by a small plastic jar with a piece of string tied around it. Within twenty minutes my loopy plan had worked: he went under to check out the food, I yanked the string, and he was trapped. However, when I went to move the can, the rug opened a small gap, and he rocketed out to refuge once again. I set up the humane mouse trap again before bedding down for the night.

Day three: no luck with the humane trap. I was beginning to grow dismayed rather than amused at the situation, and it is doing no favours to my productivity to have local wildlife running around my office distracting me. I glumly set up the Wile E. Coyote trap again, but decided that if it didn't work today, I might just by a regular killing rat trap. If he was determined to die in my office, better a quick death than a lingering one by starvation. I had done some Wikipedia time, mostly to see if there was any chance he might be a she, because having a litter of baby chipmunks whelped behind a bookshelf would complicate things still more. Not likely an issue, as they give birth in spring and fall, and this was July. I also learned that they sleep fifteen hours a day, so I wondered how long I would have to wait to see any sign of him.

This time I had set up the peanuts on an orphaned single shelf sitting on the floor so there would a rigid barrier. Within maybe ten minutes he had nosed his way over and underneath, I had yanked the string, and he was trapped. I carried the whole thing -- shelf, inverted garbage can, captive chipmunk and bait -- up to the front yard and set it down. A moment's observation, by the way, established he was not interested in the food so much as the tiny lid of water I had put down for him. It stands to reason -- there were probably a few crumbs lying here or there in the basement, but no water source.

I tilted the garbage can back, and he looked up from his water. After a pause of perhaps half a second he bolted for the garden at best speed, got to cover, took one single look back at me and was gone. I hope after all that that the cat next door dd not eat him, but I did what I could.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:34 AM on August 19, 2015 [23 favorites]


So it said "Basement apartment or first floor..." So Seventh floor is safe, right? Why don't they drown? How long can a rat hold its breath?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:36 AM on August 19, 2015


How long can a rat hold its breath?

Per the video, up to three minutes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:38 AM on August 19, 2015


So one day I notice the batteries in the tv remote are dead. I go into the kitchen, rustle around in the mcgyver drawer for some AAs and pull out a live mouse. I looked at him, he looked at me - it's hard to say who was more surprised. After a long frozen moment I screamed, threw him back in the drawer and slammed it shut. Then came the realization that if he got in there, he could get out of there... which led to a wild profanity-laced hunt through the cupboards and drawers until I finally trapped him in a tupperware.

I was sitting on the floor amidst the destruction, eyeballing my wee friend through the plastic, when my husband and our terrier strolled into the kitchen. "Didn't you hear me?" I asked. "Yes, we did," he replied, "but I figured anything that made you scream like that, I didn't want to have any part of."

And that's how I discovered that apparently I'm the one in charge of rodent control.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:38 AM on August 19, 2015 [39 favorites]


anyone know why we're getting cicadas in NYC right now?

We get cicadas every summer, it's just that the annual cycle cicadas don't make the headlines like the 17-year cicadas do when they appear.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:40 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


How long can a rat hold its breath?

About 3 minutes.
posted by allthinky at 10:41 AM on August 19, 2015


> Flying cockroaches.

Palmetto bugs, the State Bird of South Carolina.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:42 AM on August 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ok...it can hold it's breath three minutes....Now how long would it take a rat to swim up seven stories?

I watched the video with the sound off. It was bad enough like that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:44 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


How long can a rat hold its breath?

Scientifically speaking, just a bit longer than you can hold in a pee.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:56 AM on August 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


poffin boffin: florida: america's australia

Except, less poisonous (for example, a thousand species of plants here are known to be toxic to livestock and humans in Australia, versus a few in Florida), so points to Florida for that.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:10 AM on August 19, 2015


true but on the other hand, rick scott.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:12 AM on August 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think this is kind of adorable
posted by en forme de poire at 11:17 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


So I gotta take a flamethrower to the toilet now, thanks a lot
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:19 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


A+++ WILL SHIT STANDING
posted by cmoj at 11:21 AM on August 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


but having a chubby little cat who is surprisingly agile at the murderin'

40+ years, and a dozen or two cats all told, have proven to me that the murderin' cats are the best cats.

Except when they decide to bring snacks to bed.
posted by bonehead at 11:23 AM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine grew up in Sao Paulo in the 1980s where, he claimed, this was a common problem. One memorable week his (American) grandparents came to visit and things were going generally well until that fateful evening when his grandma got up from dinner to use the bathroom. Several minutes pass, and then -- the bloodcurdling scream. Enter Grandma, white-faced. Shaking. To Grandpa: "Harry! I passed a rat!"
posted by The Bellman at 11:24 AM on August 19, 2015 [17 favorites]


Jesus H Christ splunge, that toe-biter wiki entry includes this photo of a male with eggs on its back and now I have another reason not to go to Florida.
posted by numaner at 11:28 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had a flying squirrel in my house when I lived in the DC burbs. Much cuter, but did ninja flips that had me chasing him for hours.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:29 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Per the video, up to three minutes.

I don't like to think how they worked that out (along with the "can tread water for three days").
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:39 AM on August 19, 2015


James Cameron probably did the research while developing 'The Abyss'.
posted by biffa at 11:46 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


James Cameron probably did the research while developing 'The Abyss'.

I thought that research was on how long Ed Harris could hold his breath....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:49 AM on August 19, 2015


OK the Stove Mouse story. I opened the top of our cooking stove to fix the sparking circuit and found a mouse nest. Nestled in the mouse nest was one or our cat's toy felt mice. It definitely made you go "hmmmm."
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:56 AM on August 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


the smelly feces of Satan Himself

Worst-selling attar ever.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:57 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




although the mouse nest smell (ancient horrible potatoes) lingered for many months after

Ancient Horrible Potatoes is the name of my Celtic/Klezmer punk band.
posted by JohnFromGR at 12:00 PM on August 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


40+ years, and a dozen or two cats all told, have proven to me that the murderin' cats are the best cats.


Well, we were surprised because Moxie Parker is the Queen of Derp, a little full-figured, and is generally the sweetest cat either of us have ever had. If there were a mouser in our house, we thought it would be Picasso, a former indoor/outdoor fella who would plow through the local wildlife and bring it inside. But apparently, to him, only animals outside are fair game.
posted by Kitteh at 12:00 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had a Chinese Hooded Rat as a teenager, so rats hold no terrors for me. Scary movies shots of rats in dry sewers? "Cute!" Scary movie shots of rats in wet sewers? "Poor things!" The film Ben was an ASMR video.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:11 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


My guy went in and beat it to death with a snow shovel.

That chilling moment when you realize that by 'rat' he means stool pigeon.
posted by vorpal bunny at 12:29 PM on August 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Press play, and never leave the toilet lid up again.

and today we learned that poffin boffin secretly hates us all
posted by zarq at 1:25 PM on August 19, 2015


secretly?
posted by griphus at 1:31 PM on August 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "Most sewer pipes are sealed and separated from storm drains. What's described in the link can happen only in older, usually northeast, cities where that isn't true.

So, if a rat is in your toilet, don't worry -- it probably didn't crawl up through the toilet.

Because it was in your house all along.

cue record scratch sound
"

Wrong wrong wrong.

drops microphone
posted by Samizdata at 1:34 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Johnny Wallflower: "I had a Chinese Hooded Rat as a teenager, so rats hold no terrors for me. Scary movies shots of rats in dry sewers? "Cute!" Scary movie shots of rats in wet sewers? "Poor things!" The film Ben was an ASMR video."

I miss Alfred, my hairless Dumbo. He loved everyone and loved to do his "Spiderrat" thing where he would climb the side of the cage and hand over hand/paw over paw across the top. He died of an extemely rapid respiratory thing. Rest well, old friend.
posted by Samizdata at 1:43 PM on August 19, 2015


#fuckinjeebies

Its mid-90s, I'm dressed two-layer male corporate casual and still clammy.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:51 PM on August 19, 2015


From beneath you it devours...
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:40 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


it eats you starting with your bottom
posted by poffin boffin at 3:28 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a NJ resident, I'm glad I only have the odd flukeman come out of my toilet.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:36 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Only things I have ever seen in Australian toilets (and only really in rural North Queensland) are green tree frogs, chilling cutely, or massive cane toads, being terrifying and gross.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:38 PM on August 19, 2015


... or massive cane toads turds, being terrifying and gross.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:07 PM on August 19, 2015


And his little (not that little, really) corpse stewed in a gallon or so of water in our shut-up Texas house, in July, with the AC off for, I'm guessing, a week.

And here I was hoping that we were immune to that in Austin. Also, I gagged a little at the very idea.
posted by immlass at 4:22 PM on August 19, 2015


murderin' cats are the best cats.

Last winter it was unseasonably cold here in Texas, and it drove at least one rat into our house. It had gotten separated from its entry point, a hole in the wall, and was sort of scurrying here and there.

We also have four dogs. A chihuahua/corgi mix, two chihuahua/terrier mixes, and an apparently full-blood Manchester terrier. The Manchester, Betty, is the sweetest, derpiest dog you could imagine. One of her favorite things to do is stand on her head against a couch back or similar and make snortling/cooing sounds until someone rubs her belly. I should also mention that Manchester terriers were purely working, rat-killing dogs as recently as a century ago. The other dogs were pretty interested in the action of me rummaging around in closets with a broomstick, then jumping around and yelling when the poor rat was flushed out, but Betty totally went into stone cold killer mode. She flushed the rat out (better than I could) from behind some folded up boxes leaning against a wall, caught it, shook it momentarily, killing it instantly, then dropped it and sat looking at me like, "Holy fuck look at what a good dog I am!"

I was amazed. There is almost no precedent for any of that behavior in any training or interaction I've ever had with her. She's only about 80% on "drop it" when I actually say it when she has a sock and not freshly conquered prey. It's absolutely amazing to me that instinct and breeding can produce such complex, automatic skill as that.
posted by cmoj at 6:47 PM on August 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


Okay sorry if this was answered later on, but I only made it about halfway through these comments to the "how long can a rat hold its breath?" discussion.

This is a red herring. The video misleads by filling the sewage pipe from the toilet with water, showing you a rat swimming up into the bowl. That pipe is by and large a void filled with very stinky air throughout much of it, in particular the part that comes up toward the lip that you see the rat crawling over to get into the bowl.

When you flush, you fill the bowl high enough that the water overspills that lip, creating a siphon that sucks everything down into the sewage pipe. Once the siphon hits equilibrium again the water trickling in from the filling cistern fills the bowl again, but slowly enough that it just trickles down instead of actually flushing.

This is perhaps best illustrated by the Internet-famous toilet snorkel patent from 1981. You'll be pleased to know that this patent has now expired, so you can breathe sewer air without paying royalties!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 9:18 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


poffin boffin: "florida: america's australia"

Far North Queensland: Australia's Florida (yes, Buzzfeed, but it hits the high points.)
posted by gingerest at 10:13 PM on August 19, 2015


More tiny mice up in my grill
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 PM on August 19, 2015


I thought that research was on how long Ed Harris could hold his breath....

The local pet shop only had the one Ed Harris so they did everything with rats first. It all made it into the film.
posted by biffa at 3:36 AM on August 20, 2015


I knew this had to be true, given two incidents, both of which took place in basement apartments:

a) coming home from work at my old apartment, visiting the bathroom and seeing what looked to me exactly like a rat's tail poking out from the toilet cave and kind of listlessly swishing back and forth under the water. I watched this, mesmerized, for a while, before concluding it couldn't possibly be what it looked like, and gave the toilet a flush.

b) sitting on the toilet in my current apartment, scanning Twitter on my phone, when suddenly I hear the telltale high-pitched squeal of a rat - coming from what sounded like the wall behind me at floor level. Only the wall is solid concrete, and this precise spot also happens to be where the first air pocket inside the toilet would be, judging by the video. Once you hear a rat's squeal, you never ever forget it, and the sound alone was enough to make me quickly void my contents and flush.

So I guess the time has finally come for me to tear the cable from the lamp in the living room, plug it in in the bathroom, and lower the exposed end into the toilet water. Better safe than sorry.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:25 AM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


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