When people think of rats, they think of disease, dirty deeds done by those lacking ethics, and traitorous turncoats. Rats are actually quite fastidious. The bubonic plague may not have been brought to us by rats, or even fleas from rats, but by human fleas! Computer models at the University of Oslo studying the spread of the plague, have indicated that the plague was most likely spread by human fleas. Humans can be rather filthy. King Rat and I are no exception.
Over the past two weeks, we have been nesting. The weather has been unseasonably warm and dry, but the air quality has been horrid, so we are housebound. When one is forced to stay inside for days on end, it can induce a state of climbing the walls. While wall-climbing, we noticed the layer of dust coating the walls, door frames, and frankly...every surface in the house. It turns out our indoor air quality may be worse than that of the great outdoors!
Armed with damp microfiber cloths, dry two-inch paintbrushes, a vacuum cleaner, and hepa air filter we have been performing a top-to-bottom "cage cleaning". As we human rats age, our eyesight for close scrutiny begins to weaken. It is easy to miss the dust that surrounds us. (Okay, that is really just a lame excuse as I believe the last time the house was cleaned from ceiling to floor was when we moved in and painted over twenty years ago!)
Our goal is to clean our cage (ahem, house) thoroughly each week. Rats will clean their cages daily, but try as we might, we will probably never meet the standards of rattus rattus, but we can at least try to prevent the next plague by ensuring human fleas have no home with us.