By James Stuart
The Pied Piper is dead. The rats are coming. Not so long ago rats were a seasonal problem but these days they are a constant threat to you and your home. In the long run you absolutely must seal them out of your home.
Here is what happens. Your neighbor leaves town and his bird feeder gets left empty for a few days so the rats (they eat the seeds the birds scatter all day at night) that have been living and multiplying for several months start getting hungry and decide to look for food at your house. All the little places you have been meaning to fix look like a new home to the rats. Even if the neighbor (no way you have a bird feeder) keeps their feeder full , the rats will over populate their yard and start migrating to yours. If that same neighbor tears down a storage shed you will get lots of rats fast. Rats are really smart and will test all the usual entry points on your home for soft spots. Where the AC lines enter the home is probably the most common access, followed by corroded chimney caps and rotted fascia and soffit.
Temporary and spot exclusions are not the best solution. I recommend using a competent contractor with the experience necessary to do the job right. I don’t recommend using a pest control company to put a patch on your house when you need a new roof or new siding. We have heard and seen hundreds of situations where the rats chew a new hole next to the patch or find a spot on the other side of the house that was in the same condition as the original location. A good roofer or siding company will resolve the problem completely and prevent wasting money on multiple patches before the patch installer gives up and tells you to call a roofer or siding installer.
After the needed repairs are done, you’ve made sure you are not feeding the rats, and you are not giving them an easy place to live, it is time to call a pest control company and set up a rodent prevention program.
Bait stations on the exterior of the structure will allow the incoming rats to find a meal and hopefully go back home to die.A trap station in the attic will catch a rat the first night he gets in if it is there waiting on him when he arrives. The trap can set there for years and still work when a rat arrives. If it never goes off it might indicate you sealed your house well.Sealing out the rats and setting up a prevention program is a lot of trouble and expense but it is a lot better and a lot less expensive than having rats.
Rats will usually find the most expensive wire in the house to chew through in the hardest place to fix. They will usually make their nest directly over the headboard of the master bedroom.
If you put poison bait in the attic the rat will usually die in the worst possible place. Rats will not go away on their own. They will multiply and cause more and more problems until you force them out.
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