Wayne County, Detroit Rat Control Situation:
Please can you offer me some free practical advice to eradicate rats from my roof space, I am English but now reside in Brazil. Here in Brazil there are no such associations, councils to exterminate vermin, the only choice is either to employ local labour and hope he is being truthful about his qualifications, quality of workmanship, formal training etc. or to do the job properly do it yourself. For several months I have heard pattering of tiny feet in my roof space, the roof space being the area between the bottom of the tiled roof (pantile type tiles) and the top of the plastic false ceiling with only about 4 inches, 100mm in between so snap traps are not practical, I live in the apartment directly below the area contaminated and have not seen any rat droppings in the apartment, the area is approx 9 meters x 15 meters =126 square meters , 29ft x 49ft = 1421 square feet. The apartment is a first floor level approx 4 meters= 13 feet from ground level with no adjoining buildings. Am I correct in assuming that the rats enter up through 4 inch, 100mm plastic rain down pipe from the roof guttering? or up through the toilet sewage system through the u bend in the bowl and then climb a wall to enter the roof space, or do the rats scale the outside 12 meter = 39 feet wall and enter the roof eves. I am considering to remove all the plastic false ceiling to gain access to the infested locations but am concerned firstly that if I disturb the rats they will disperse and then return the same way they originally entered the area, secondly, if l remove the false ceiling will l be the unlucky victim to receive their bite, what do you suggest I do? Poison the visitors first? then if quiet after a week or two remove the ceiling and completely sterilise? (with what can you recommend). I am not concerned with the humane topic of eradicating my guests, they pay no rent. (KK KK ). Also it is my intention to fully enclose the rafters and eaves on the outside with either aluminium or galvanised steel mesh. If you can take time out to advise me, I will be very grateful. For your information a cross section sketch of my roof is enclosed to help you understand the constructional theme of my roof. Would it be practical to remove the plastic ceiling room by room, first destroying the nests if any, then sanitising ,sealing all access points of entry, then to move to the next room etc.? I would really appreciate any advice you would furnish, unfortunately I can not afford to pay your expenses etc. for you to submit a quotation, I can offer you though if you ever visit Brazil a nice glass of cold Chopps (Brazilian draught beer). Fondest regards and in anticipation of a reply many thanks.
My response: Yes, your plan to seal off the roof with galvanized steel mesh should work. But you have to seal 100percent of the openings. Then, trap, properly trap on rat runways, ALL the rats, and remove them from the house.
Detroit Rat Control Tip of The Week
Dealing With A Rat Infestation In Your Attic
Black Rats are small rodents that are common in almost all areas across the United States, and because of their smaller size they are considered to be less of a threat and a pest than Norway rats, their larger cousins. However, rats also carry a range of different diseases and can also pose a health risk to you and your family, so if you do find an infestation, it is worth dealing with is promptly. Rats are also good climbers, so finding them nesting in your attic is not uncommon.
Identifying That You Are Dealing With Rats Rather Than Other Pest Animal Species
The first step to dealing with an infestation is to ensure you are dealing with rats, as the sounds of scratching from the attic can sometimes be other animals such as rats, squirrels or even raccoons. The best way of identifying that it is rats you are dealing with is to check on any rat feces that you can find. These small pellets of poop should be significantly smaller than rat droppings, and will be around the size of a small grain of rice, and is black when fresh, turning brown and then grey after some time.
Precautions Before Carrying Out Rat Control Work
Going into a confined space where pest animals are present can be dangerous as there are often diseases that can be transmitted by rats. Wearing long sleeved clothing and gloves will help protect you from any nips from animals and also prevent direct contact with feces of urine. Another smart precaution is also to wear goggles and a breathing mask, as some diseases transmitted by rats can become airborne, and can then prove to be a dangerous problem if those airborne particles are then inhaled.
Laying Traps To Catch Rats
By far the most common and affordable way of dealing with a rat infestation in the attic is to lay traps to catch the little animals. The standard snap traps on a wooden base are cheap to buy and just as effective as more expensive options, and can be re-used, which is particularly useful if you have a larger rat infestation to deal with. When laying traps in the attic, make sure to lay them near the areas where you see the greatest buildup of rat feces, and also near any entry points they may be using to get in and out.
Removing Carcasses And Monitoring The Rat Problem
Once you have laid the traps, the next step is to monitor all of the traps over the next few days, to see how effective the traps are at dealing with the problem. With any rat carcass, you can simply bag it and place it in the garbage, or it can also be incinerated as well if you have the facility. Keep re-setting the traps and continue to monitor until you are no longer seeing any signs of rat activity and you are no longer catching any rats in your traps.
Repairs Required After A Rat Infestation
The key step to take after catching and dealing with all of the rats is to seal the attic, as they will often have several entry points to help them get in and out of the area. These should all be sealed using metal flashing or a suitable filler to prevent other rats from being able to get back into the area again. You should also try to remove any feces that you can, and if insulation is heavily soiled then that should also be replaced. One wise precaution is also to fumigate the attic after your repairs, to kill off any remaining bacteria or other particles that could be harmful to anyone going into the attic in the future.