Archive for the ‘Attic’ Category

Northern Manhattan Subway Riders Say Rats Abound

Fulton Street in Manhattan, June 2010.Marcus Yam/The New York Times The rats are downtown, too: Fulton Street in Manhattan in June.

Rodents, the traditional scourge of New York City, are having a rough year. The rise of the bedbug seems to have rendered rats a has-been pest, a mere nuisance to be ignored rather than read about in countless alarmist trend articles. The bedbug is a breakout media star; the rat is, well, still a rat.

But there is one realm where the rodent still rules, where rats play the stars of an underground theater with a captive audience in the millions. Where else but the subway?

Earlier this year, the city’s Board of Health, in what was called the first study of its kind, discovered that half the subway lines in Lower Manhattan exhibited signs of mild or severe infestation. At the time, many New Yorkers expressed a surprising fondness for the creatures.  Now, a new, slightly less scientific survey has found a similar rat takeover of 20 stations in Upper Manhattan, based on the observations of thousands of riders who say there is a “severe” rodent problem in the underground.

The Have You Seen a Rat Today? campaign, sponsored by State Senator Bill Perkins, a Democrat of Harlem, collected responses from about 5,000 New Yorkers who filled out surveys distributed by the senator’s office.

Because this type of survey is self-selecting, and because there was no way to verify the responses, the results of Mr. Perkins’s study (also see below) ought to be taken with a grain of rat poison. But the findings do seem to match up anecdotally with many New Yorkers’ experiences.

Nearly 9 in 10 respondents said they saw rats on a daily or weekly basis in the subway, with a majority of sightings on the tracks. (Far fewer rats appeared to make their way onto benches or into the trains themselves.) Only 1 percent of the respondents said they “never see rats.”

All 20 stations in Mr. Perkins’s district, the 30th, were cited. The worst offenders: the big 125th Street express stop at Saint Nicholas Avenue; the 145th Street station on the A, B, C and D lines; and the 163rd Street station in Washington Heights. Strangely, the new 96th Street station at Broadway was also cited, although perhaps all the recent construction sent rodents scurrying of late.

The point of the survey, Mr. Perkins said, was to prompt officials to examine new methods of attacking the rodent problem. He also proposed a ban on eating in the subway, similar to no-food policies used on transit systems in Chicago and Washington.

“What we know for sure is the rats are not growing the food they are eating, nor are they shopping at Whole Foods or McDonald’s,” Mr. Perkins said in an interview. He noted that discarded food and litter are the primary culprits that attract rats to the mass transit system: “If you feed ’em, you breed ’em.”

Mr. Perkins mailed his survey results to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Oct. 21, and he urged the agency to step up its eradication efforts. The agency has laid off station cleaners this year and acknowledged over the summer that it may not have the budget to pursue a more advanced attack against rodents.

“I know this is a challenging time for transit and for the M.T.A.,” Mr. Perkins wrote in his letter. “But rodents in the subway jeopardize the health of all those who travel and work underground.”

In the interview, Mr. Perkins emphasized the far-reaching effects of his cause.

“This system is so important to people,” he said. “It is an experience that determines significantly one’s daily life, not simply from a bread-and-butter go-to-work point of view, but from an emotional and psychic point of view.

“You’re on a subway and a rat is sitting next to you — that moment does not end for a while.”


“Worst Year For Rats”, Says Pest Control Company

Warm spring likely reason for outbreak

 By Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen  
 Those rats seen scurrying around Confederation Park are also invading homes and restaurants across the city, says an Ottawa pest control expert.

It’s not a full-fledged invasion but the rodents are rummaging through garbage and even entering improperly secured green bins, says David Saunders, owner of Paramount Pest Control.

“I can find rats … in many residential backyards all through Ottawa so it’s just not Confederation Park,” says Saunders, who has been in the pest control business for 21 years.

“People have this problem in their backyards, under their doorsteps and behind their garden sheds. When people feed birds and the bird seed falls to the ground it attracts a lot of rodents,” he says.

Saunders says his company has had its busiest year responding to rats and insect control calls. He suspects the outbreak is largely attributed to the warm spring the region experienced.

“This is the worst I’ve seen for rats in Ottawa, especially in residential areas,” he says.

National Capital Commission officials have resorted to calling in an exterminator to control rats spotted scurrying through Confederation Park, located at Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue, near the National Arts Centre and across the street from City Hall.

Eight poison-filled bait traps have been placed in the park. The traps read “rodenticide, do not touch.”

NCC spokesman Jean Wolff said this is the first time the Commission has experienced a rat problem at the downtown park. He said the traps seem to be working.

“The first indication is that we’re on the right track because in the last few weeks there has been fewer sightings of rats. But we hope to get the situation under control,” said Wolff.

The traps will be in place until the end of November, he said.

Wolff said he’s hoping the public will co-operate by properly disposing of trash in the park’s litter bins.

A warmer spring definitely led to a longer breeding season for the city’s rat population, says Saunders.

“Whenever you have a better food supply and a longer season all rodents and all insects tend to do better,” he says

Saunders says the region’s growing population and increased construction in the downtown core are also factors that contribute to more rats. He says rats are also getting into green bins because homeowners often forget to secure the lid.

“I don’t know how many customers’ homes I’ve gone to with a rat problem where they’ve got inside. If you can put your pinky finger in the bin then a rat is also able to pry his nose in and get inside,” he says.

Saunders says sloppy habits cause rat control problems. He says proper disposal of trash works.

Read more:

Rat’s And Their Attic Insulation Highways

Well, it’s getting close to that time of year again when you will start hearing more thumps and bumps in your attic. When the nights start to get cooler, rodents will start looking for better accommodations, namely your attic.

While on a termite inspection for a realtor and good friend, Liz McCool of Re/Max Preferred of St Pete Bch, I chanced upon a network of runways that rats created while running about the attic.

You  should be looking at a solid wall of insulation but constant rat activity has created a cool little habitrail in the insulation.

This was just a little pocket that was hollowed out, possibly to house their newborn “pups”.

The dark cylindrical on the right is proof positive that rats are in the attic. The dark object is not a Cheeto, it’s rat poop! (Of course it depends on what the rat has been eating, in that case, it may taste like a cheeto.)

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, rats are becoming somewhat more noticable with the coming cooler weather. Rats can cause a whole list of bad things for your heath as well as the health of your home.

Hearing things go bump in the attic? Call us at 727-388-6759

It does not cost you anything for us to inspect your attic for

those those creepy little creatures.

Yes, You Have Rat’s, Heres How We Know!

We have been asked about a million times by prospective customers, “How did you know we have rats?”

We usually smile and just point to the most obvious clue that could ever be observed…that is if you knew what to look for.

Here it is…..

Rodent Rubmarks are a wonderful creation by greasy haired rodents everywhere! If looked at correctly, you can see the natural path that the rodent travels.

Entry into this residence  is mostly from the “wires” coming to the house as seen in the first arrow to the left, the rodents follow  the “wires” around the corner and into the hole that was created (and not sealed, very common) for the conduit.

Here is a close up of that hole! Yikes!

What causes the marks from the rodents? Rodents are a very dirty creature and Rubmarks  appear from contact with the rodent’s body. Rubmarks on walls appear as black smudges left by the rodent. New rubmarks are soft and will smudge. Old rubmarks are brittle and will flake when scratched. Rafters may show swing marks of roof rats.

This house had just about the most active rodent infestation that we have seen in a long time. But nothing is impossible…through a rigid program of trapping, baiting and exclusion the problem was easily solved.

Having rats in your attic is very bad for so many reasons, one of the most important reason is that  rodents gnaw every day in order to keep their teeth short and sharp. Rats also gnaw to gain entrance or to obtain food. Teeth marks on food, building materials, wire, and edges of beams are indications of gnawing. They will gnaw holes in wooden walls, pressed wood, and posts.  Many house fires have been attributed to the rodents chewing on wires.

Rodents will also destroy A/C ducts for the insulation (nesting) and also chew A/C water drain lines (water) which can also do serious water damge to your ceiling.

Of course lets not forget fleas, diseases and possible “biting”.

On a better note…

My son and I have had pet rats for many years and deeply enjoyed them. They are loving, curious and spontaneously funny. We have not had one since we obtained our best friend Mighty “Mullet” the Wonder Dog. He is a Jack Russell and is naturally rodent driven with four confirmed kills of wild rats, although he was done well (very nice) around our friend’s pet rat…I believe that  if the rat ever got out and we were not around, I think he would do what comes natural.

The squirrels endlessly tease Mullet everyday around our tree’s. The very moment he comes out of the house the squirrels come down from the tree tops and make him chase them. He will chase them for literally hours on end.

Got Rats? Call Us  Now 727-388-6759



Squirrel’s in the Attic

The squirrel can become a nuisance when it chews through the facia board or roof and gains access into your soffit and attic as this one did.

If you think you have a squirrel in your attic, think again. You have more than one, usually 4 or 5 or more. Squirrels are very social animals and will stay as a family unit. We caught three already!

Once we removed a small portion of the ceiling, we were able to be a better idea of what we were up against. Notice the “gnaw” marks around the pipes. these rascals have been doing some damage! squirrels can create tremendous damage in an attic.

If you try and resolve the squirrel problem yourself, you may end up enclosing a squirrel or squirrels in your attic which will cause major damage as the enclosed squirrel or squirrels will chew a, exit  hole to get out. If one or more of the squirrel family members are outside, they will assist the enclosed squirrel or squirrels in chewing the hole.

Here is a picture of some nesting material that was gathered up by the squirrel.

It is best to leave the squirrel removal and exclusion to a professional in the animal control or wildlife control field. Most of the time the problem can be corrected in a short time with no more damage caused. As a  wildlife professional, we  will also assist in preventative measures which will deter future problems with squirrels.

A squirrel can climb almost anything. If squirrels are determined to get somewhere, they will. There are devices that wildlife professionals use to help solve this problem and deter a squirrel or squirrels from climbing.

Remember, nuisance squirrels should be handled by a wildlife control professional.



I placed a squirrel Havahart Live Trap in the area of the attic cutout that was just previously made. This trap does not hurt the animal! Once captured, we will safely release it


This little fella and his friends will have a nice home away from this attic to lead a fun filled life. No squirrels were hurt during this whole operation, although I almost fell off the ladder, the squirrels were safe and happy!

Attic damage by…Humans! What? No Way!..Really?..Why?

A call came in about a rodent problem in the attic. the caller said that there was a dead rodent hanging in the air vent located at their ceiling.

There usually is no way for a rodent to get into the  air system unless there is a hole created by themselves or a larger animal like a raccoon.

Once there we went to work immediately with our inspection. of course we found evidence of rodents in the attic and lucky for us the homeowner already removed the dead rat dangling from the air vent.

There was the typical rodent infestation signs in the attic such as , droppings, rub marks and the smell of urine.

But what we did not expect to discover was that damage to the air duct system. There was serious damage and it was not caused by rodents or even a large raccoon, but by a human.

It appears that pressure was applied downward as to create a seal break at the collar.

This giant hole is where the rodent entered.

 This hole is a result of an object being thrust into it..


This  supply line was crushed until it split, not good.

It was later explained that the previous homeowner was mad because the closing was slightly moved up. He took it upon himself to do some bad things to the house before he left. 

The present home owners just thought that their air system was bad. It is a shame that some people have to be so mean, the present homeowners are wonderful people who did not deserve this at all.