The other day while we were at Lowe's, my daughter saw some bird seed and begged to get some, to which we said,"no way!"
Backstory: Last summer we hung up some bird feeders in the yard. We loved checking out all the different birds that stopped by. Unfortunately, the birds were messy eaters and would leave seeds all over the ground. Turns out there was a nice little family of rats living under the deck waiting for the dropped seeds. Every morning the kids would press themselves up to window and watch these baby rats scurry around for seeds. There were five of them zipping all around the back deck and even coming around to the porch where we had another feeder. They were completely unafraid of us. We would bang on the window, and they would just hide for a minute and then come right back. Mama Rat never made an appearance. She was probably resting while the babies were running around fending for themselves. Hey, that's kind of like me. Except I'm not a germ-filled vermin. Yuck, I get disgusted just thinking about it.
We never did anything about the rats, just removed the birdseed. We never saw them again, and for my peace of mind, I have to assume they moved on to another house.
I was surprised to hear my daughter ask for birdseed. I reminded her of what happened last year, and she said,"I know. I want the baby rats to come back so that we can catch them and keep them as pets."
We now have a pile of sand out back to attract the neighborhood cats. It's a small price to pay to be rat-free.