Rats are the most common pest animals people have to deal with in Tampa Bay. You can find Norway rats, woodrats, and roof rats (AKA palm rats), but the most common pest are palm rats.
Evidence of a Rat Probelm
Rats do not discriminate when it comes to real estate. They’ll choose any home type, any house age, or any level of cleanliness. We had a call from a Tampa homeowner reporting strange noises from her attic at night. While she was trying to fall asleep, she heard scurrying and gnawing noises.
Rats are nocturnal so if you see one during the day it’s a sign of a large population. Before you see a rat in your home, it is more likely to notice signs of a rat infestation.
Those signs include:
- Droppings and Urine
- Gnawed Objects
- Rub marks
- Rat tracks
Rats can squeeze into a gap smaller than a quarter but took advantage of this gap where utilities enter the house. You can see rub marks on the brick and gnawed insulation.
During an inspection, we comb over the entire house. Because she noticed issues in her attic, we started there. Once in the attic, we discovered evidence of rats – rat droppings and nests in the insulation.
We noticed evidence of another rat entry point in the gable vent and a potential entry point on the unsecured chimney.
Effective Rat Control
Effective rat control requires an integrated approach which can include trapping and removal, exclusion, habitat modification, and occasionally rodenticide.
Based on what we found, we set several traps in the attic. We placed the traps near the evidence of rat activity including the rat runs through the insulation, near the droppings, and next to the gable vent.
Over the next few weeks, we would consistently check the traps and remove the rats. Standard rat trapping takes five to fourteen days.
Professional Home Exclusion
The most complete rat control solution is exclusion work. Rats leave a pheromone trail that other rats can follow into your home. During the inspection, we also identify all current and possible entry points.
We found several potential entry points: the gap for utilities, the gable vent, and the uncapped chimney.
We installed a new rodent-proof screen-made hardware cloth made of galvanized steel on the gable vent and utility gap. It’s not uncommon for older homes to have screens that rats can easily gnaw through. We installed a new chimney cap.