Peggy Hull: Awaiting Japs, soldiers trap real live rats (2-18-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (February 18, 1944)

Hull: Awaiting Japs, soldiers trap real live rats

Oil can used for snare by Yank soldier in Pacific
By Peggy Hull, North American Newspaper Alliance

Peggy Hull, the only accredited woman correspondent of World War I, is now the only woman covering the Central Pacific area.

A Central Pacific base – (by mail)
I’ve just spent a day with a small anti-aircraft outfit in an isolated section of this island. They haven’t been over here very long and are a disappointed crowd because they haven’t had a chance to take a shot at a Jap plane.

I don’t know where they got the idea that they were going to set up their guns and go right to work on the Nips, but they certainly arrived here all set to work out on real targets.

A little camp problem has kept them preoccupied recently and I was just as well pleased that my invitation was for a day and not a week, for the site is infested with rats and mice and what is worse, the rodents have taken the low, thickly branched trees and made their nest there.

A mouse dropping in one’s hair during an evening stroll or a rat landing on your shoulder in the blackout isn’t something I can contemplate with enthusiasm.

At first, they tried arming themselves with bamboo poles, knocking the rats out of their nests and then running them down.

Then an ingenious G.I. thought up a new kind of trap and when I was there it was working to everyone’s satisfaction except the rats.

A 55-gallon oil tin (in case anyone at home needs this prescription for the same reason) is cut in half and partially filled with water. The sides are then greased, a thick piece of paper tied over the top with a hole in the center and some bait suspended above the hole on a string. It really works.