But if keeping up with the times was always a challenge at the White House, the old building’s greatest problem came with four legs and a hairless tail. Rats infested the building throughout the 19th century. Andrew Johnson, a devout animal lover, took to leaving flour and water out for them, while his daughter, Martha, waged a losing battle against them with traps and poison. Rutherford Hayes claimed that rats nibbled on his toes at night while he struggled to sleep, and by Grover Cleveland’s second term in office, the rodents were joined by armies of roaches and spiders. The tide finally turned against the rats during the presidency of Benjamin Harrison, who enlisted not only professional exterminators, but also ferrets, [what are ferrets?]which were allowed to roam throughout the White House in search of their prey. Hundreds of rats perished in the resulting carnage.