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ATTIC RATS – Terror From Above

attic rats
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rattus Norvegicus is the scientific name for the very common brown rat. I read an interesting article the other day which speculates that the overall rat population in the world is greater than the human population. So, what is that, around 8 billion rats scurrying around? With those kinds of numbers my happy home owner, you are at some point bound to at least interact with one. If you keep the interaction down to one I think you’ll be okay.

The real trouble begins when you get a rodent infestation in the crawl space under your home or in the worst scenario, Mr. & Mrs. Norvegicus decide that your attic is going to be their honeymoon suite. Mrs. N can produce up to five litters of offspring a year with the kids ranging in numbers from seven to fourteen at a time. Rabbits got nothing on these guys!

Rats are burrowers by nature and the insulation found in your attic, especially the blown in variety, is the perfect nesting ground. One of the first signs I look for when doing an attic inspection are tunnels through the insulation. I get into attics on a regular basis where the home owner has no idea they have a rat problem until I get back from my inspection. I can tell you that I am not the most popular person the moment I break the news to my client. Then there are times I hear, “It’s just some rats in my attic, what’s the big deal?”

After hearing this, I pick myself up off the floor, wipe the dumbfounded expression off my face and share the following thoughts with my unaware client.

  • Rodents carry many different diseases, many of which can be transferred to humans, some of which are deadly.
  • Rats are not what you would call housebroken. They defecate and urinate as they are walking around so not only do you get the smells, you guessed it, even more diseases can be contracted by breathing in crystallized rodent urine.
  • Rodents will DESTROY your duct system given enough time. They are after the moisture in the ducts. I have even seen them chew through a PVC drain line to get to water.
  • Once rodents get in the attic the only way to stop them from returning again and again is to have an attic remediation done. They are mostly blind so smell is super important to them. The pheromones left behind act as perfume to other rats so just trapping what’s up there is not the answer.

A couple of things you can do to help prevent rats in the attic are to keep all trees and plants from touching your home’s roofline. A small rat only needs an opening the size of a quarter and he or she is in. Once rodents have access to the roof they love to chew their way into the attic. During rainy season their desire for cover is even greater so they are looking for a way to stay dry. If you reside closer to a lake or canal you may want to consider a professional service to help control the population as we also have a few varieties of water rats that call the Sunshine state home.

The moral to today’s story, you or the professional of your choice should be checking the attic at the same time they are checking the air conditioner — just in case. If you do have the misfortune of a rodent infestation in your attic, just remember, Art Can Fix It!

Until the stars align that we meet again my friend, I do find that insect puns bug me.

House Whisperer out!!

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