I am absolutely petrified of rats

Below is an example reader email.

Hello David, I am absolutely petrified of rats. We have noticed scratching & in our attic for months now. A few weeks ago, I heard loud scratching coming from what I thought was coming from the attic cover. Then I noticed it was coming from our wooden pantry. Then we started to notice that ant traps near the pantry were moved around. Next we noticed two ant traps & a roach trap were moved over on a rug near our shower. I would move the roach trap back & the next morning it would be back on our rug. We could see where the rats were chewing on the ant & roach traps & also a messy mess by our pantry. We had an exterminator come last Wednesday, the 11th & he saw where the rats were getting in at. Plus a big hole that was never closed by our water heater & by our fuse box. Two holes from our awnings outside, that the exterminator thinks the rats are getting in by. The exterminator said he was going to spray foam the holes outside. The two holes in our utility room he would put wire or steel covering over it & spray foam over it. I noticed over the weekend, one of the two ant traps by the pantry was missing. My mom noticed it on the floor in our living room, above an air vent. It might be possible the trap was taken to the attic & dropped through the air vent? It scared us. On Saturday night around 8:30pm, my Mom heard scratching in the pantry & knocked twice on the pantry door & nothing. The third time she knocked louder & it ran out from the pantry & ran near the toilet, like it was heading in the direction of the opening of the water heater. Yesterday, November 16th around 4:26pm, I was heading back out to the utility room to get to my bedroom & long & behold, I saw black or dark brown grayish run past the shower & run behind our washer & dryer. Now the exterminator was suppose to come on Monday & but he was sick & he text me today & told me he was still not feeling well. After I told him after we saw the rat twice, he said he would definitely be out tomorrow. In the mean time, I am afraid to leave my bedroom until after the rat is caught & all of the holes are sealed up. We have been using peppermint oil out in the utility room & the smell is strong. It has not deterred this rat in anyway. Peppermint oil has worked before in our cabinets, but not this time. We also tried using a spray called Rodent Mace. Do you think spray foam is effective to plug up the holes on where the rats are coming in? Any advice on what I can do to protect myself & my dogs? Had I noticed your webpage first, I would have called you. It's just my mom & I & we are both on fixed & tight incomes or we would have called someone a lot sooner. I'm at my Wit's End & so terrified to leave my room. I live in Largo, FL. I apologize for rambling on, but I am really scared. Sincerely, Elizabeth

Read about:
Rats in Foreclosure Home
Rats in New Jersey
Can Rats Live in a Hot Attic?
What do rat bones look like?


Although I wrote this site with rats in mind, such as the Roof Rat and Norway Rat, the same principles apply to other rodents, such as the house mouse. Mice behave very similarly to rats, they're just smaller. Email me if you have any questions about mouse removal, how to remove mice, rodent removal, other queries.