Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Electric Owls and Giant Rats: Pest Control at Pastime

Pest Control at Pastime Hardware, ink & watercolor, 5x8". Sketch of artificial owls and other pest control devices
Pest Control at Pastime Hardware, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

When we made our annual sketching pilgrimage to Pastime Hardware on a cold winter evening I picked the Pest Control department. I was attracted by the big, ugly, inflated hanging rat and the artificial owls who seemed to be discussing who was going to nab the rat.

The names of the products seemed inflated too: Pest Chaser Pro and Sonic Pest Chaser (both made me imagine cartoon critters that jump out of the box and chase critters away). And then there’s the Tom Cat Mole Trap (contains cat? that chases moles?) and Cat Stop (do you need Cat Stop after you’ve released the Tom Cat Mole Trap?)

I know someone who is courting real owls by putting up owl houses in her yard. That solution might be worse than the problem. My son has a family of screech owls living in a tree across the street from him and they keep him awake, screeching all night long.

6 replies on “Electric Owls and Giant Rats: Pest Control at Pastime”

He was pretty upset by them. I Googled owls trying to see what they sound like and it was pretty awful–definitely not something you’d want to hear when trying to sleep. I used to have a neighborhood mockingbird that woke me up all night long–they’re such goofy birds and quite loud. The one in my current neighborhood is amazing–does car alarm sounds and frog noises as well as other birds but fortunately only in the daytime.



Hardware stores are so much fun, although I haven’t seen one quite as dramatic as this. Wonderful drawing. We have screech buses on our urban street 🙂 and one coyote trying out all the dog and cat food in the neighborhood.


Funny–Screech buses! That’s pretty exciting to have a coyote in the neighborhood–where do you live? The biggest wildlife we get around my neighborhood that sample the petfood are raccoons. They get pretty big and can be dangerous but not like coyotes. Deer are a big problem in other neighborhoods around the bay area, but mine is too urban for them. Jana


Hi Sue,
We don’t usually request permission unless it’s a small venue that we’re likely to overwhelm or we are asking them to stay open later for us. Surprisingly we have had quite a few places stay open just for us–one even served us cake and tea!


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