Get ’em out and keep ’em out….

Rats have been trying to get in to our homes ever since we first built walls and heated our spaces. Because of this you have to know a whole lot about their behavior in order to keep them out. I looked at a commercial building today that has been battling a serious rat problem for a long time. It often stinks and the employees are sick of it. The smell is bad enough, but the real concern is that the insulation is being destroyed and the electrical wires and plumbing are in jeopardy of being damaged as well. The people in charge of this space have been paying for rodent control for years but the situation continues to get worse. I was called out to take a look at the situation and see if there was a better way to go about all of this. I actually see a fair amount of other companies’ work and sometimes it’s pretty good. Other times though it’s just downright awful. Today was one of those “It’s awful” days. The building definitely has some challenges since it’s close to the water, there are commercial dumpsters and the rats are constantly trying to gnaw their way in since it’s warm. The main issue in this particular situation is that there are large pipes that enter the building from underneath the foundation (The concrete wall that buildings are built on). This breach to the foundation makes it much easier for rats to tunnel and end up in the crawlspace. I see this all of the time and there is a good solution. Concrete! You know what’s not a good solution? Expanding construction foam. In case you didn’t know, rats absolutely love to chew on foam. You can shoot foam over every square inch of a crawlspace and the rats will chew through it and be right back in over a day or two. This particular situation had been treated with screen AND foam which is better than foam alone but still didn’t hold at all. When it was clear that fix wasn’t working there was also an attempt to pour some gravel around the pipes. The rats came right back through the gravel and re-created their “Highway to Happiness.” (That’s not a real thing, I just made it up to sound cool). So, to re-cap…. when you have a rat problem foam is bad and concrete is good. Repeat after me ….. “The more concrete the better.”

Hope you have a great day – The Rat Girl

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