A couple nights ago, Forrest went into the pantry/laundry room and discovered a rat staring back at him from atop the water heater. So over the weekend we spent the better part of a day moving all the pantry food into the kitchen or throwing it out (Pasta Roni from 2003, I miss you!). As far as we could tell, the rat(s) had only gnawed on a bag of rice.
We bought some nasty-powerful rat traps and baited them with peanut butter (per my dad's suggestion) for a couple of nights without arming the traps, so the rats would be complacent and unsuspecting. Last night, Forrest finally armed the traps for the first time. Around 1 AM, Forrest woke up, saying that he'd though he had heard a commotion and a rat-squeal from the pantry. It being 1 AM, he decided to go back to sleep and check the trap in the morning.
As you can see from the photo, we got the sucker! Please note that both Forrest and I had rats as pets when we were kids, so it's not that we hate rats indiscriminately. We just don't want rats living in our pantry, or worse, infiltrating the rest of the house.
We're hoping it was just this one rat — it's a small female, so maybe it was working on setting up a nest. We're hoping there isn't a colony of rats ready to move in to our pantry. But we'll be setting more traps tonight, just in case.