A heist targeting a Sydney woman's large chocolate Easter egg stash had her "jaw dropping to the floor" once she discovered the culprit.
Fiona Lane had more than 100 chocolate eggs from Easter sitting in a bowl on a bench, however within the space of a few hours, most of them mysteriously vanished.
"My jaw literally dropped to the ground, I thought 'who could have taken them'... surely I didn't eat all those eggs," she told Yahoo News Australia.
Incredible find under kitchen sink
Then the lightbulb moment hit. Fiona remembered she temporarily taped up a gap in a kitchen bench last week after seeing a rat scurrying around. Slowly making her way to the bench, there was now — to her horror — a large hole in the tape. She then made the telling discovery.
"I looked under the sink cupboards and saw all the eggs there. The rat had munched through the tape to get to the chocolate on the bench and has taken around 100 in the space of a couple of hours," she said.
"Then went and got the remaining in the bowl after I've taken the picture. I had no idea rats love chocolate, otherwise I wouldn't have left them out."
Winter is peak rat reason
Turns out rodents are fond of milk chocolate, and chocolate in general, which is a good way to bait rats and mice. However Warren Bailey at ABC Pest Control Sydney says "food in general" will do the trick.
"It's very common," he told Yahoo News Australia. He recommended to "proof off the entry point" and buy some baits, just "not from Bunnings or Coles" as they "don't work".
"They're more active in the winter, especially when it's wet and stuff. We've had some rain recently so it's probably trying to stay dry and is hungry."
To the displeasure of renters and homeowners, "rats are also around all year." "Just you wait till the heat comes out, it's going to be crazy. They'll want to shelter from the moisture."
Fiona was "devastated" she had to throw out all the chocolate eggs, saying they were her "chocolate stash for the next few months."
Although disgusted, she couldn't help but be impressed by the chocolate-loving rat's mission, which was no small feat. "He's dedicated, gotta give him that," she said.
She has now taken to finding a more permanent solution at the rental such as fixing the hole properly and putting all the food in containers. But for now, the chocolate thief remains armed with his tiny hands, ready to strike again.
"The hole has gotten bigger, the fat bastard," Fiona joked.
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