As a homeowner, I've dealt with squirrels in an attic and chipmunks inside walls. One thing I never dealt with and pray I never do is rats.

Adam Hochran's story about New Jersey towns that are suddenly besieged with rats made my skin crawl. It's one of the creepiest things my imagination runs wild with. I honestly don't think I could go to sleep at night knowing there were rats somewhere inside my home.

Perhaps it goes back to a story my mother told me about when she was a little girl. My grandfather was a troubled jerk and abandoned his wife and 9 kids leaving them in abject poverty. So my mom grew up terribly poor. The house they lived in had mice. She told me how at bedtime the lights would go out and within minutes she felt the skittering feet of mice crawling on the other side of her blanket, across her legs and toes. This was common. And this became a homeowner's obsession of mine. What if it were not mice but rats. The very thought of living in a place where a rat might crawl on me in the night, a disease carrying, filthy rat as a bedmate, just gives me the chills.

So when I read about South Amboy's influx of rats I zeroed in on this particular quote by their City Business Administrator Glenn Skarzynski. "Do rats use the sewer system as a subway system? Yes."
He went on to say there are not colonies of rats living in their system waiting to terrorize people, but my mind didn't absorb that reassurance much. I was focused on the fact that any rats were down there. Then it made me look up something I never should have. Was it possible for a rat to make its way through that sewer system and end up inside your toilet bowl? I went to YouTube and quickly found the answer was yes.

If you watched this video, you probably now have a new phobia. It's terrible enough imagining rats living inside your home. But this opens a whole new possibility. They were never in your home. But found their way inside your toilet through the public sewer system only to surprise you at 5 o'clock in the morning. If you'll excuse me now, I think I need to go find a Xanax.

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