New Year, New Rodents in the Garage and Attic

Tis the season for rodents to be in the garage and attic. It’s cold and sometimes wet outside and the inclement weather will send those rats looking for warm shelter. Think of that warm insulation in your attic, keeping your home warm. It’s perfect for rats to burrow into. Once they get in there, they will urinate all over in that insulation causing a major sanitation problem if it’s left unchecked to long. The good news is….there is a solution to any rodent situation.

Rats in the attic: The first step is the obvious step. We need to set traps to knock down that population. But remember trapping is only the first step. It is NOT the only step. If you trap the rats you likely will eliminate the the current problem. But a week, a month or maybe months later you will likely have rats again. So you solved the current problem, but you didn’t solve the problem permanently.

A year ago I had a customer who had rats in her attic. So I placed traps in her attic and monitored for about a month. In that months time I caught 3 rats. We identified the entry point, where the rats were coming into the attic as well as other potential entry points. The one entry point we know by the grease marks the rats were leaving on the side of the house. We let the customer know about these areas and suggested to seal these points up. The customer said she would like to see how the trapping goes first. The first check back I made on those traps I caught two rats, the second check back I caught one. The third visit I didn’t catch anything. The customer asked me at this point if I could wait two weeks instead of one week before my fourth and final check back since I didn’t catch anything on my third visit, to which I agreed. Two weeks later I came back and didn’t catch anything on that visit either. Because I didn’t catch anything, the customer didn’t see a need to seal the entry points up. That was a year ago this month. So far so good. As far as she knows there are no rats in her attic as of October of this year. She’s been lucky so far. But she’s running a risk. There is definitely rodent activity in the yard, as I have bait stations out there and those stations have high activity every month.

So as I mentioned earlier in this blog you never know how long it will be before the rats return if you don’t seal the entry points. In this case it’s been a year and she’s good. But I have had other jobs where I trapped the rats, did not seal the entry points and within a couple weeks or months, the customer is calling back, saying the rats have returned.

Doing just the first step with rodents is a gamble with your money. Why spend your hard earned money to only do part of the job? Only doing part of the job isn’t doing the job correctly.

So let’s talk about doing the whole job properly. To properly keep the rats out of your home you want to do what I call a rodent proof. First as mentioned above we set traps and we monitor those traps for three to five visits, depending on the severity. After the traps have been placed for approximately 2 weeks, we will come in and identify the entry \ potential entry points and seal those. These entry points can be roof joints , t- vents and other vents on the exterior of the home among other locations.

We always recommend rodent bait stations to be placed outside the house too. After we have sealed, or “rodent proofed “your home, we will generally leave the traps in the attic for 5 – 7 days after, just to make sure we didn’t seal a rat inside the attic with no way out. When all three of these measures have been taken, we will give you a 2 year warranty on the rodent proof. You are guaranteed to not have rodents in your attic or home again. If you do and it is in the 2 year warranty time, then let us know and we will promptly return to solve the problem free of charge.

So have you heard noises in your attic?