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Thread: I Hate Meeces To Pieces. And Rats, Too.

  1. #1
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    San Jose, CA

    I Hate Meeces To Pieces. And Rats, Too.

    I've got a rat problem. On my grill. And in my grill. There, I said it.

    ** WARNING: This story is not for the squeamish...or for those eating while reading this post. **

    I've lived on the "urban interface" of San Jose for 21 years. There's more open space out here, and our neighborhood backs up against old ranch land and the eastern foothills of Santa Clara County. There's a fairly natural, untouched creek running through the neighborhood which provides habitat for lots of critters, including wild turkeys, coyotes, bobcats, a few deer, wild boar, jack rabbits, raccoons, skunks, snakes, hawks, owls, quail, even an occasional fox. We've even got a herd of tule elk that visit the hills surrounding our neighborhood at least once a year.

    Oh, and did I mention mice and rats?

    I have trapped a few mice over the years in the yard, but until two years ago none had ever violated the sanctity of ANY of my Weber grills. I figured they had too much respect for Weber grills to do that.

    But about two years ago, I removed the grill cover to find the stainless steel work surface and condiment baskets on my Summit 450 littered with droppings and urine. No signs of activity inside the grill. I cleaned it up, set a trap under the grill cover the next night, and caught the intruder. Same thing happened a few months later, with the same result. Then last year, more of the same activity, but this time the little duder tripped the trap a couple of times without getting caught.

    Fast forward to last weekend. My wife went outside to grill some salmon fillets. She shouts into the house, "A mouse has messed up your grill!". Then she says, "I think it's still on the grill!" I go outside to take a look. Both work surfaces plus the control panel are covered with droppings and reddish/orange urine...lots of it...having flowed across the surface then dried in place...much more than with the previous incidents. Then I hear some movement, and I look underneath at the propane tank, and there's a big ol' brown rat looking right at me. After a 15 second stare-down, the rat jumped off the tank, into a nearby bush, over the wall, and out of the yard.

    I was not happy. And the salmon would be pan-seared that night.

    Later that evening, I did an initial cleaning of the outside of the grill, but not the inside. I did remove the drip pan, washed it, replaced the foil liner, but did not place it back inside the grill. I burned off the grill for 10 minutes, thinking that maybe it was the burger residue from a few days earlier that had been the attraction, then left it for the night. And I set a rat trap with just a little bit of peanut butter on the paddle, right next to the grill.

    The next morning, I checked the trap. Still set, peanut butter gone. How do they do that? I'm gonna need a more sensitive trap.

    Later that afternoon, I opened the storage doors, replaced the drip pan, and pulled the grill out into the sun for a better look. That's when I noticed fresh rat footprints on the work surfaces and control panel. $&#@$! I cleaned them off, then noticed the rotisserie bracket hanging off the side of the fire box and how greasy it looked. Should I clean it? Aw, maybe I should just remove it, I never use the rotisserie any more. Got a crescent wrench, lifted the lid, started to work on the first nut—and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. THE RAT WAS INSIDE THE GRILL! I jumped into the air like a little girl and yelled to my wife, "He's inside the grill! He's inside the grill!" and I closed the lid.

    A few minutes later, when I calmed down, I opened the lid again. The rat was right there, on top of the Flavorizer bars, but under the cooking grates. He walked to the left end of the grill, dropped down under the burners, walked to the right end of the grill, and popped up again onto the Flavorizer bars...a circular path down and up, down and up. It looked like he was trapped under the cooking grates. Great! Or...great??? Now what should I do? And how did he get up in there? Did he go up though the hole left unprotected because I'd left out the drip pan the night before?

    After considering my options, and assuming he was stuck inside, I decided to let nature take its course and turn him into rat jerky. I left the grill sitting in the hot sun all day...checked inside that night and he was still in there...left the grill in the sun a second day...still in there the next evening, but barely moving...left him in there a third day...checked that evening expecting to find a rat in a coma AND HE WAS GONE! $%^&#! What the?? Maybe he wasn't trapped after all?!?

    The next morning, I opened the grill and checked inside, and HE WAS BACK! Then it dawned on me, maybe he had never been trapped inside at all, he was just coming and going as he pleased, and he was getting inside some other way, not through the drip opening like I had assumed.

    But now what to do? Well, let's just say that a few singed hairs later, that rat flew out of the grill, up into the bush, over the wall, and out of the yard.

    I spent some time yesterday cleaning the Flavorizer bars and scraping down the inside of the grill. There was no nest, but of course some turds and signs of urine, and in the storage area below the grill, on the wire rack, some eucalyptus leaves and interestingly a couple of roses that he brought over from the yard next door. Those must be tasty.

    I didn't complete the cleanup yesterday, so I left the grates and Flavorizer bars out of the grill and left the lid wide open, thinking there was no longer any privacy with the lid up. When I went out this morning, there were little rat footprints again on the outside of the grill, a single rat turd in the bottom of the fire box where none had been the night before, along with a spot of urine, and several droppings on the patio under the grill. That rat hates me, but loves my grill.

    At this point, I don't see much point in putting a lot of effort into doing a final cleaning and burn-off of the grill as long as I have a determined rat hanging around, so I'm starting to put my efforts into trapping the sucker. I've ordered some better, recommended traps, but they won't arrive until Sunday. In the meantime, I've rebaited the one trap I have, the one from which he dined on my peanut butter a few days ago. I don't have much hope for that trap, but who knows, maybe I'll get lucky...but I'm not betting on it.


    How about you? Any mouse or rat stories related to barbecuing or grilling that you want to share?

  2. #2
    TVWBB Gold Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Kalamazoo, MICHIGAN
    No, but, one of my cats who claimed to be rather like "Dodsworth", a bit on the large side and did his best to not move any more than necessary, proved sly as could be. He had figured out that I'd put the butter in the cupboard above the gas stove. One morning, I noticed cat tongue prints on the butter! The little jerk had figured out that he could pat the door open just enough to get his face in to the butter, eats some and then slyly close the door!
    He never had any hairball problems and his coat was gorgeous!
    Even with the butter escapades, I miss that old fart!
    Time to tend the smoker!
    No rodent problem around my grills, had one in my oven once upon a time. But, he met his doom with a snap!
    Maybe you could leave the gas barely cracked?
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  3. #3
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Jim Lampe's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Raymond, Wisconsin
    Chris, are you keeping the grill or posting it to Craig's List?
    Living a dream in
    ......................The Home of THE P1GVILION

  4. #4
    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Montgomery, IL
    During winter mice like going into my garage, they chewed thru the weatherstrip on the bottom of my 16' overhead door. I replaced it but they did it again.
    They like eating the grass clippings from the underside of my mower, ate thru the bottom of a bag of Stubbs and tried that, went thru a couple small bags of pellets from BBQ delight ( italian herb, sassafrass,orange).
    I said enough and started using bait stations from Tomcat and that worked, no more mice.
    A few weeks ago I opened the door and found 5 dead mice on the floor. I thought that was weird because I put the bait station away at the beginning of spring and when I do use it I never find any dead ones ( they just go outside).
    I couldn't figure out what killed them, until I moved my propane fired infrared turkey fryer.
    They ate most of the disposable aluminum drip tray.

    Different smokes for different folks. Wish the Dollar Store sold gas!

  5. #5
    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Left Coast
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    I've ordered some better, recommended traps, but they won't arrive until Sunday {snip} How about you? Any mouse or rat stories related to barbecuing or grilling that you want to share?
    We have a lot of open space too, and we get our share of critters too. My favorite visitors are the Quail and my least favorite are the rats (roof rats I'm told) My cat keeps a good handle on any mice, but he don't mess with the rats, I guess "that's dad's job..." damn cat....

    There's a million "fancy" rat traps out there, but you really can't beat the tried and true Victor trap. It's my go to

    85 78

  6. #6
    TVWBB Gold Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Kalamazoo, MICHIGAN
    Say Chuck, do you trap the quail too?
    Part of the reason you're not seeing the corpses Tim, is the poison makes the wee beasties dehydrate so, they search for water then they swell up and die! It's kind of gross but, so is pee in the grill!
    Last edited by Timothy F. Lewis; 08-12-2017 at 08:04 AM.
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  7. #7
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Bob Correll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Near St Louis, MO
    Sorry about your situation Chris, but thanks for this morning's laugh.
    Maybe try the Never Cry Wolf solution.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Emerald Member Len Dennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    near Brampton Ontario, Canada
    Funny you bring that up. Had mine for at least 5 yr (covered) and never an issue.

    This spring I'm doing my early maintenance and try to pull out the drip tray. Nope. Not budging. Wiggle Wiggle. It is STUFFED to the rafters with grass and strips of cloth.

    Damn squirrels. Clean it out and power wash it.

    Summer rolls around (still use a cover) and one morning I see one corner of the cover (at the top) has been torn/ripped/totally missing. Hmmmm.

    Open her up and it's STUFFED full again (drip tray). I also saw some baby squirrels run away when I first uncovered.


    For about 3 days after the second de-nesting, those squirrels kept coming back. Nobody home.

    I tossed the cover (aftermarket and I liked it) and leave the tray out now when not in use.

    Damn squirrels. Can't shoot 'em within city limits unfortunately. This kid has the right idea
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

  9. #9
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Prescott Valley, Arizona
    That must be an absolute pain to deal with.
    Never had a grill problem, but mice built a nest in the engine compartment of my motor home and ate up all the wiring because the insulation has vegetable oil in it to keep it pliable. $1900 for a new wiring harness that didn't have vegetable oil in it.
    We had an infestation of Norwegian roof rats, to big to get into the grill, but one day I saw my 80 pound Golden Retriever backing up to the patio door and when I looked out onto the patio one of those suckers was walking toward him. Thing was as big as a raccoon, opened the door and the dog backed right in. Poor pup didn't know what the hell that thing was but he wanted no part of it.
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

  10. #10
    TVWBB Super Fan
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    Aug 2004
    FAT Wayne, IN
    If they're stealing the bait from your traps try tying some bacon to the trigger with fine thread and then smearing with peanut butter.

    We're rural and always have mice around. In the fall when the neighbors bring the crops in , the critters start looking for a secure place to live so I go through at least 2 buckets of paraffin bait chunks each year. The anti-coagulant bait takes a few feedings and longer to kill them but they're pretty much dehydrated when they croak and there's less risk of secondary poisoning to animals that might eat the carcass.

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