7 Mistakes When Hiring A Rat Removal Company
While no one likes rats, they are a worthy...and destructive adversary. Not properly dealing with them will result in reoccurring issues, chewed wires, destroyed insulation, a “rat smell” in the attic, droppings EVERYWHERE and many other issues that can cost a mint to repair...such as flooding from chewing the dishwasher water hose.
There are some great pest control companies but the truth is they do not have the mentality needed for many “Rats In Attics” situations. Pest control companies focus on bugs...such as ants, roaches and termites. Solutions are very process driven and general. To properly deal with rats, given they are a conscious, thinking animal...you must have a “Trapper Mentality”. Ask yourself...do you want to “Control” the rats in your attic or do you want to “Eliminate And Prevent” rats in your attic?
1. Using Poison
Your pest control guy says “I’ll just put some bait/poison down. Don’t worry, they will eat it, get thirsty and go outside for water and die.” Um...no they won’t. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no poison that makes rats thirsty so they go outside for water and die. Just like what you would do, they crawl into their bed and curl up...and die...and that is in your attic.
There is also no poison that makes rats miraculously dry up immediately after death so they do not smell. That happens over time...about 3-4 weeks.
This means you will have dead rats in your attic. Along with dead rats, you will also have a horrible smell, flies and maggots. Depending on how many rats there are and where they die, you may have just created an unbearable situation.
On top of that, putting out poison does nothing to tell you how the rats are getting into the home...which is the most important thing.
2. Using Glue Boards
Glue board are a horribly miserable trap and should never be used in rat elimination. The greatest thing a rat glue board does is tell you that your rat guy is an amateur. Not only are glue boards insanely inhumane, they are the most unreliable trap available. Even when they do catch a rat, often times the rat has managed to move the trap and gotten everything with glue.
3. Not Completely Inspecting The Roof...Including Climbing On It...
While you may call them citrus rats, fruit rats, palm rats, attic rats or disgusting rats...they are Rattus rattus...the roof rat.
What that means is that 90% of the time they will enter from the roof and if your rat guy is not going on the roof, he is not solving your issue.
4. Putting Traps In Attic (a very, very few exceptions)
The logic is that the rats are in the attic, so why not put the traps there? Well, because it only “Manages a rat problem”. Putting traps in an attic will not tell you HOW they are getting in and can be very inconvenient. Meaning, you need to adjust your schedule so your pest control guy can come out, then drag a ladder into your home, lift the attic hatch...possibly spilling dirty insulation everywhere then pulling any dead, smelly rats out.
By putting traps on the outside, you can use the traps to isolate any openings to tell you which ones are active and which ones can be sealed up.
This also allows you put the trap in the path of the rats. For example, if I had to find you, I could sit in a room in your home and hope you came into that room...or I could seal all but one door and sit at that door and wait for you...that is what I call “Logical Trapping”. I have 95% certainty that I will catch you that way. If I do not, that is because I missed a door somewhere and need to go find it and seal it up. Not only is it effective for trapping rats, it also tells you if you have missed any openings.
5. Focusing On The Trapping, Not The Animal Proofing
It would seem to make sense...if you have rats...focus on the trapping, right? Just focusing on trapping rats is easy...and shortsighted. The key is to find any...and all points of entrance. Focusing on find every opening will ensure a long-term solution.
By using my “Logical Trapping Method”, by using the traps on the outside of the roof, placed outside of the openings ALONG with marking the hole you will find every opening. “Marking the hole” is simply covering the openings with something like plastic. It allows rats to come out without the risk of being sealed in but will tell you if there is still activity or not.
For example, if the traps are not being touched, the marks are not being touched but you are still hearing noises in your attic...that means an opening is being overlooked and the home needs a closer re-inspection. Setting traps in the attic and/or not going on the roof misses this Key Discovery Method all together.
6. Not Sealing ALL The Openings Or Using Great Stuff Foam
Just because there are no more noises and no more rats getting caught does not mean the job is over. Rats leave their smell EVERYWHERE and that means that more rats will be attracted to your home. One you are certain everything is gone, all openings need to be securely and properly sealed. There is nothing wrong with using “Great Stuff” to secure hardware cloth but it is worthless when used alone to seal up openings. Rats will chew right through Great Stuff like butter. It is very common to use Great Stuff when sealing up an a/c chase on the side of many homes.
7. Not Explaining To You Why Many If Not Most Tile Roofs Make Rat Proofing A Home Impossible Nor Understanding It Themselves
Tile roofs may look great on a home but they can be a nightmare when it comes to rats. Some are laid properly and are nice and tight. Others though create quite the challenge. Rats, squirrels...and bats will enter under tiles that are broken or have exposed ends like in the valleys. While the bats prefer to remain under the tile, the rats and squirrels will travel between the tile and the plywood of the roof until they find a way into the attic. If they can find a corner to chew...they will create their own opening. The reason this is a challenge is because you cannot see the opening. You can see where they go under the tile...but you cannot see where they go once they are under the tile.
Sometimes these roof issues can be fixed. Other times, sealing the openings would create issues with rainwater gathering between the tile and the roof...and cause the roof to rot and leak. If this is the case with your home, it is best to get an opinion from a roofer as to the possibility of sealing.
While the devil is in the details...the process is simple.
Complete 24 Point Inspection (including roof).
Determine all access and potential access points
Secure all potential access points
“Mark” any current and questionable openings
Set snap traps (almost always on the roof next to access points)
Return in 2-4 days to check traps
Rebait, reset traps and re-mark access points
Once the marks are not being touched, nothing is being caught and no more noises are heard, the openings are sealed and the home is warrantied 100% for one year.
NOTE: Many companies will only warranty “Their work” for a period of time...meaning, if they missed an opening...you will be paying big bucks again. Creepy Creatures warranties the entire home...meaning, if we missed something OR if the rats chewed a new hole through a wood soffit...it is on us and not on your checkbook.
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