Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Rat Control Situation:
Hi David, I'm in southern California. I have at least one rat in my ceiling, maybe two or more. I've read your website and really appreciate the great insight you're providing. Based on your advice, I've caught 3 rats around the outside my house (over the last 2 months), trimmed trees back (3 days ago), and plugged all the access holes I could identify (3 weeks ago).
Yet I still have at least one rat in my attic. Though I've place several snap traps (baited with peanut butter and bird seed) in the attic, I get no nibbles. I also cannot find any evidence of their paths. I've moved the trap several time with no success. From inside the house, I hear them in sections of the attic (about 3:00 am) that are completely inaccessible to me (because of firewalls.)
So I hired a pest extermination company. For $275 they put some poison bait stations outside, and three snap traps in the attic that are baited with a beef jerkey substance. The traps are near the attic access panel - not near the rat noise activity. The guy's reply was that the scent would lure them. He also reviewed my hole-plugging and said it was fine. He didn't get onto my roof. It's been three days and I check the snap traps in the morning and around dusk each night.
My questions are:
1. Is it safe to assume that the rat(s) sleep in my house during the day and at night they are coming and going outside? Does this mean I've missed an access point?
2. Considering the inaccessibility, is it common to drill a hole in the ceiling (like a 4" hole for recessed lighting) to place traps in the attic for those inaccessible places? If I drill a hole, then I can stick a camera up there and take pictures to look for evidence, place the traps, monitor them, etc. But then I've got a hole to deal with.
3. Is it worth parking myself on the roof and patiently waiting to see where the rats are coming and going?
4. Have I given the beef jerkey snap-traps enough time to do their thing? Any other advice? Thanks for your help!
Los Angeles Rat Control Tip of The Week
Rat Damage In The Attic
Having rats in your attic is substantially more than only an irritation. These rodents can cause a lot of harm, mainly because they are generally social animals that live in groups. There is a chance of the rats in your attic putting your family in danger of getting a disease, and these animals will likewise cause physical damage to your attic.
The essential harm that rats will cause in an attic is leaving their waste products behind, especially excrement. Depending on the number of rats in the attic and how long they were there, there can be a significant measure of these waste products, requiring serious clean-up. In some cases, the urine may even drench into planks of flooring or other wood structures and compromise their integrity. At the very least, the urine and excrement will debase your attic, spreading illness and causing a foul smell. If you don't deal with this smell, it might attract more wildlife to the attic.
Chewing Wires, Pipes, Insulation, And More
Like mice, rats will bite on almost anything you have in your attic, regardless of whether it is a wire, funnel, or something else. Rats are famous for their gnawing behavior and will bite on anything in your attic. In the case of chewed wires, this can result in a serious fire hazard, especially if you don't know that the wire has been compromised. Rats may likewise damage your pipes and insulation from chewing. Without the insulation fit as a fiddle, your home won't manage temperature as effectively, making you spend more cash to run your cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. If you have anything stored in your attic, for example, books or old furnishings, you can expect these also to be damaged by rats. They will likely be chewed and may even end up covered in waste products.