How to Tell if that Pitter Patter in Your Walls are Rodents or an Italian Mafia

A mafia (Left) or society of rodents (right) could be living in your walls. But which one?

As you sail away into a night of dreams and warm sweat, there are unfortunately occasions where dreamland gets interrupted by the sounds of shuffling in the wall, as if something is scampering around in there. But everyone asks the same question: am I dealing with rats or a sophisticated Italian crime family?

It’s important to know what kind of intruder you’re dealing with in your home and as important to learn how to discern between the two so to keep you and your family safe. First, let’s begin with some facts:

No matter the price of rent in your building, rodents can burrow their way into any narrow crevice. In fact, it is their preferred type of crevice when matched against slim, tight and fat. Similarly, Italian mafias tend to gather in areas void of sunlight — locations that fall under the 3 D’s: Dim, Dusty and Dingy (these also happen to be very common mobster names). Coincidentally, the slim area between most people’s walls qualify under all the 3 D’s. However, if your walls are missing a D, don’t immediately disqualify the possibility of a mafia.

Some people claim that it’s obvious to tell whether rodents have infested your walls versus the Prosciutto Family. One tell sign people claim is that smoke coming from your walls is a dead giveaway of a mafia, since a favorite past time of a mobster is to puff a fat cigar. But this is simply not true. Rodents are fully capable of blowing smoke out of walls, often as a result of its civilization advancing to the point where they discover fire (signaling that infestation may have been around longer than you think). Conversely, many people attribute the sounds of nibbling in the walls to rodents, but the noise is extremely similar to the musterings of a group of mobsters playing Old Maid.

Ultimately, it’s not as easy to tell the difference between whether your walls are housing a colony of rodents or acting as a front for a familial crime syndicate. So hopefully some of the following pieces of advice help you to determine whether you call a fumigator or an investigator.

  • If you knock on your wall and they ask for a password, it’s probably a mafia
  • If you have weird people knock on your door asking “if Tony’s home”, it’s probably a mafia
  • If you have weird cats knocking on your door asking “Mrrraweeooooo”, it’s probably rodents
  • If you notice the TV cable outside your house has worn away as if nibbled on by rodents, make sure it wasn’t just the mafia stealing your cable by listening for Sunday Night Football
  • If on Friday nights mysterious bottles of wine start showing up around your house, it’s probably a mafia
  • If you start finding little stone tools and hear tiny railroads running in your walls, it’s probably rodents reaching the industrial age
  • If you lay a rat trap and it catches what looks like a rat tail, make sure it isn’t the finger of a mobster
  • If you lay out a piece of cheese at night and by the morning it’s gone, it could be either rodents or a mafia

And these are just some of the ways to tell the difference between rodents and the mob in your walls. Of course it will vary with each species of rodent and each family of mafia in existence, so make sure you know your floor plan and Miranda Rights well.




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