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Man vs. rat: A true tale of life in Los Angeles

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Feb 6, 2019 6:00 AM 1+ mon ago

In winter, California's roof rats take shelter from the rain and cold -- often in homes. They are smart critters who can learn to avoid traps and poison bait. (LiphaTech)

Some of you out there may recall that for many years, I was at war, and I was not winning.

It got to where I was afraid to open my front door and see what new damage had been done overnight by four-legged trespassers. My yard in Silver Lake often looked like an archaeological dig.

At least I was not alone in the wildlife jungle we call Los Angeles. Readers weighed in with their own horror stories, their tales of battle fatigue and their suggestions for repelling varmints.

To drive away my unwanted guests, I tried coyote urine, ammonia-soaked sponges, cayenne pepper and motion sensor sprinklers. None of this deterred the raccoons for more than a few days. The paper's then-editor, a mild-mannered Southern gent, told me I should get ...

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