Creative Residential Pest Control


brown rat

So blog post number one then… Where I grew up in this big old barn house in the south of France, me and my family were pretty used to rats. It was an ongoing battle that became part of every day life, just like brushing your teeth or arguing with the neighbour. But one fateful year, back in 1995, they must have run out of contraceptives (the rats, not the neighbours). Suddenly, they were everywhere.

Everywhere. You’d call this a serious infestation. So we gathered all the rat poison we could find this side of the equator and planted it strategically around the garden and house, although now I would obviously call in a professional pest control company! I remember having to wade my way through all the dead rats in the back garden afterwards, just so I could get to my favourite stick to play with (I was still very little).

But it wasn’t enough. I didn’t personally witness the scene I’m about to describe, but apparently it went something like this:

That day, it was mum’s turn to get up first, make the coffee and take it back up to dad. Just a normal day. I can imagine my dad, half asleep in bed, enjoying a peaceful lie-in and looking forward to a strong black coffee to start the day. Anyway, he must have heard some commotion downstairs, but it was only when he heard the sound of smashing tiles that he ran down to see what was going on.

He burst through the kitchen door to see my mum holding a broom above her head, and then smashing it down on the brand-new tiled floor – only narrowly missing the rat she was aiming for.

Naturally, this didn’t end well for the tiles or the broom. Or the rat…  eventually.

rat vs broom

broom vs kitchen tiles

Many thanks to Allie, whose blog drawing style inspired me and that I very very crudely imitated in my illustrations!! (

Category: Debugged - the lighter side of pest control, France
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  1. Posted August 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Oliver, great job on rendering this article with pictures (thanks Allie). I think if I saw my Mom with a broom swinging it to and fro- I would be laughing my but off. Rodents can really be a serious health risk and should be dealth with a Professional company as you say. Great article into your family life, thanks

  2. B
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Hope those tiles (and the broom!) were not too expensive to repair ;-) . If i ever have a rat problem, i will try to aim my “broom strokes” more strategically!

  3. Bran Norman
    Posted August 12, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    As the broom swinger in question, I need to add that my first experience of rats was seeing my Grandmother’s gardener chasing one with a spade around her back kitchen and the thrill of seeing the creature run up and down the walls and across the ceiling. She also had large squares of hardboard covered with thick green rat glue placed strategically around the house. So when we had our very own infestation I put poison down all the rat holes outside and set traps around the kitchen – and I heard one go off and ran to check it, but it had sprung without trapping the rat- it was just lying there stunned and I wanted to get it before it crawled off, so I picked up the nearest likely implement, which was the broom, and next thing there were a few smashed tiles and lots of blood everywhere. But I did get rid of them!
    Next is the story of Imogen’s bra…

  4. diane
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi can anyone help with why we can buy Rentokils SWAK product in France-we are inundated with disgusting cluster flies -I have seen a slow release insecticide release product called SWAK but it cannot be sent from UK and I dont know where to get it here in france
    can anyone assist

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink


      Thanks for your query; we are in touch with one of our offices in France and hope to get back to you later today.

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