Rats and Homes in Foreclosure

Hi David, Recently discovered your very informative website and have a few questions for you regarding mice, rats, flying squirrels and bats in attic and basement. I recently closed on a home that was foreclosed and renovated by a flipper so it was left uninhabited for some time. The flipper did a lot of updates and renovations. The home is a split level from 1970 and it has 3 attic spaces. One above garage, one up at top level by bedrooms (both of them have pull-down stairs and floor boards for storage.) Then theres a non-storage attack with a hatch above the stairs. Also an unfinished basement. During the inspection, my home inspector noticed small rodent droppings in attics and basement. We requested seller clean them up but as it turns out he did a half ass job probally sweeping some of them and leaving some behind.

We also requested some holes be plugged up which he did a few big ones in basement foundation where wires go through using expanding foam. So I called an NJ Critter Removers on Sunday for a free estimate because I wanted someone who deals with specifically my problem. The guy was very thorough and entered all 3 attacks and went up on roof and briefly looked at basement. He took pictures of openings he found on roof. He said the basement was likely mice but believes attack was flying squirrels based on feces and he saw one piece of feces he thought may be a bat. His solution was to install a one way door and seal entry points on roof including upper and lower entry gap seal (foam and caulk), louvre vent screenings, soffit end/porkchop reinforcement seal, soffit to roof line connections reinforcement/seal, mechanical vent caps, install Large galvanized Roof vent guard, place snap traps in basement then monitor for a week. Then come back and do attic clean up and fog attic space and remove some of the nasty parts of insulation. He actually entered all 3 of attics and said it wasn't the worst he has seen. He didn't focus too much on basement but theres significant gaps still there and feces. He said he can hit that with cleaner too. His price for this is about $3500 (which comes with 3 year guarantee) which is a lot of $ to me so I researched it all day and found your website and was reading and educating myself all day. I wanted to at least get another opinion so I clicked on your map and found the one you recommend in NJ where I live and he came out yesterday. He also seemed very informative but had a very different take on my problem. He said he likes to start from bottom up because that's what mice usually do so we started in basement and he saw a lot of feces the other guy didn't look at and a lot of areas that could use foam/caulk to seal out rodents. He went into two of 3 attics but didn't go into non storage one but looked in and we saw some insulation roughed up. (it is original insulation and there has been people in there installing lights and fans over years im sure). He didn't want to turn attic lights on...he just used flashlight. He says I have level two infestation and wrote up invoice as just mice-rats. He didn't mention bats or flying squirrels. He did a walk around the house but didn't get up on roof. His method takes 3 hours and he said he will have a couple guys come and they will go into all 3 attics. They will seal entry points they find. He will repair a ripped gable vent screen in attic, and they will clean up feces in basement and attics with disinfectant. Then he will leave baited posion traps for mice and come back for a follow-up to see if bait was taken. He claims the mice wont die in my attic and if they do and it smells he will remove them. He guarantees it for 1 year and it would cost $2120. Significantly cheaper than 1st guy from Critter Removers. Second guy also does insects and other pests. I wanted to ask you because on your site I see how your against poison traps but the guy you recommend uses baited poison. His price is certainly a lot better for me but I really want to resolve the problem even though I just got married and money is tight. I just wanted to explain to you and get your expert opinion. My wife and I stayed in the place a couple nights but were not really moved in yet just been getting stuff ready to move in. Neither of us have seen or heard any noises from walls or ceiling. Sorry for the long email but just really confused and not sure which one would be better way to go for my problem. I'd appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks very much, Brian

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