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Rats on the INSIDE of his house!
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Reputable, maybe, but certainly not experienced in the ways of rats....

I am located in Oakland, California. We have  rats in our walls, etc.  About six months ago,  we were able to engage a reputable company  locally called Rat Patrol.

But, he has not been able to eliminate the rats entirely. He uses snap traps and finds and closes up entry points  We live in a multi-level house on a sloped property. It seems that the  rat's entry point is not accessible without cutting into interior sheet rock or cutting into an exterior portion of the plywood covering near the  where the foundations are. Either of those ideas would only be diagnostic to begin with.

In order to do this will propably require a separate contractor. Can you suggest a strategy or direct me to some literature about this.  

The problem was first noticed by finding a very smelly dead rat in one of our walls. We believe the former homeowners used bait.  

Should we consider injecting poison?

I am at  "wits end".

Thanks in advance,

Bruce L.
Oakland, California



And in reply....

Hello, Bruce:

Traps are not sufficient for rats.  Rats are intelligent animals that live in a colony and learn from each other.  The only way to eliminate your problem is with the use of baits and/or tracking powder.

WHAT YOU DO OUTSIDE:
Clean up all food sources, trash and whatever attracted the rats in the first place.  Eliminate water too, if you can.  Make sure that you and everyone else around you is not feeding the birds or other wildlife.  If you can see rodent burrows on the outside these should be baited.  Actually, tracking powder would probably work quicker.  Closing holes in the house or foundations is a MUST, but don't do it before all the rats are gone.  Is your house a singe-family house or are you connected to someone else?  If you are, BOTH of you have to do everything in concert.

WHAT YOU DO INSIDE:
Bait or tracking powder is really the only option.  Yes, you may get a dead rat in the wall, but better a dead one than a live one!  A really good exterminator (with rat experience) should be able to clear up your problem inside of a month.  I had a 10 story high-rise apartment building that took less time than that.  If your exterminator wants to trap for rats, get rid of him.  Look for someone that will use baits and/or tracking powder.

What kind of rats do you have?  Do you have roof rats or Norway rats?  Ask the exterminator and if he can't tell you, fire him!

I don't know any exterminators in Oakland, but let me know if you can't find a good one & I'll try.  Forget the big guys, get a small exterminator in the same calling (phone) area that you are in.  Talk to him personally, make sure he has experience with rats.  Forget talking to "salesmen," you want the real thing!

Let me know how you do.  

-------john



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