This morning I woke up to a couple of maggots falling on my head.
Since I moved into my cabin, I have had one or two rats entering into the ceiling where the insulation is and possibly nesting. Frequently I have heard them scuttling about, scratching, gnawing, and occasionally squealing with antagonism at another. It is usually only one at a time, and I have thrown the sides of my clenched fist banging against the ceiling to scare them and hopefully either shoo them away or just shut them up from fright. And that was usually when I noticed much upheaval of accumulated rat droppings on the other side of the plywood where they were living.
The ceiling has two 1.5x1m (aprox.) sheets of plywood over the room, a narrow skylight with two PC sheets doubled over top of each other, and directly above the bed two narrow half sheets of plywood covering that end.
About a month ago, after waiting for a sunny weekend, I ripped the corrugated iron roofing off the bed end and found lots of droppings that I cleaned up, but couldn't find any obvious entry points for the rat to get in from the outside, only pathways into that area from the other area. Two weeks ago, I attacked the other side pulling off the roofing and again, finding no rats but many rat droppings. But this time, after doing some research, I sprinkled the insulation and general area with pepper, paprika, and oregano to use as deterrents while also dropping some rat poison in one of it's travel paths, and down where some of the insulation was.
I think the deterrent worked, as there was no more scuttling in that larger area of ceiling, but over the bed, the rat came back. Last night I heard a rat scurrying about, but then went quiet. This morning the maggots came to visit. Now, let me be clear, I expected there to be a dead rat up there: when the weather did heat up in the afternoon the last few days, I did start smelling the distinct stench of decomposition. So, I knew that at some point I would need to get back up and clean it out. This morning was that point. Three maggots at 7:30 AM, up I got, checked my hair - clean; checked the bed - a few more maggots; cleaned these up, got a bucket and put it beneath the plywood gaps in the ceiling where I suspected they had fallen from, and began getting the tools together to go back onto the roof and pull off the roofing.
This is what I found:
Yay! Dead rat. Urggh! Dead rat and maggots. (I thought rats were supposed to go outside to die?)
While pulling the infected insulation out and shoving it into a big black rubbish bag, my flatmate/tenant seemed to only care about the minuscule fibers missing the bag and falling on the ground, or drifting through the air. That got me a bit pissed off since having rats in the flatmate's ceiling seems to be the least of her concerns and I replied quite angrily "right now I'm a little bit more concerned with dead rats and maggots in my ceiling." After I got it cleaned out and vacuumed I said that there will need to be new insulation placed in because I've thrown it all out. She said she'd get it herself instead of telling the landlord.
But why not tell the landlord since it's his property, his housing responsibility?
"I just don't want him to be too concerned about what's happening here, especially with repairs, otherwise it might tip his decision to finally sell the property."
This has been her concern for some time I think, and should he sell, we are all out with nowhere to go: I return to a car that isn't running, potentially back to Tūranganui-a-Kiwa to live with my parents if I can't find a place as cheap as this to rent. With no current car running (mine stopped working about two months ago), returning to living in a car isn't much of an option: I could sleep in it on the side of the road outside the house, I guess!
So currently, I live in a cabin that the tenant doesn't want to contact the landlord about fixing for fear that he'll decide to sell. This property with the potential for vegetable gardening has become her home, the house is her home, and the village we live in has become her home. I understand that dilemma for her, but I do feel at times there is a lack of compassion and concern for her fellow flatmates.
If this cabin is to remain my home, then I am going need to fix it myself and block up every potential entry point for a rat to enter in through. It's not something I can rely on a landlord for, or the tenancy holder. It is my home, my responsibility.
Some updates to keep me updated.