Archive for the ‘Exclusion’ Category


Remodeling in the East Bay

From dirt to doorknobs

It’s a rare attic or crawlspace where we see no evidence of these nasty critters. It seems like they climb, swim, dig, or chew their way into our houses no matter what we do. One homeowner complained of rats that ate the fruit out of their dining table centerpiece!

Rat raceway between insulation and subfloorRat raceway between insulation and subfloor

It’s bad enough that they get into our attics and crawlspaces, worse yet is what they leave behind. Proteins in their urine are potent allergens and become airborne when dry. Their urine and feces can contain hantavirus, a group of deadly virus that can be aerosolized and transmitted through air movement (more on hantavirus).

In the average house ducts leak at least 30%, and the building “shell” leaks at least 100% more than what’s required for adequate ventilation (data). If the leaky ducts run through the attic or crawlspace, they can directly vacuum up rat leavings and deliver it into each room of the house. If they don’t vacuum it up directly, they can depressurize the house, causing the house itself to suck it in through all the little holes and cracks between the attic or crawlspace and the house.

Rat urine on a water pipeRat urine on a water pipe

 In a typical building performance project that involves rodent infestation, we remove all contaminated materials and neutralize soiled surfaces. Then we reduce duct leakage and eliminate air infiltration between the attic or crawlspace and the living space. Even if the rats eventually get back in, the bad stuff stays in the attic or crawlspace, not in the bedrooms.

This unsealed, leaky duct plenum makes a handy toilet. Unfortunately, it is also pulling pollutants into the indoor air.This unsealed, leaky duct plenum makes a handy toilet. Unfortunately, it is also pulling pollutants into the indoor air.

“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:

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.

Rat’s In The Attic

We were called to a residence that had a horrible problem with rats. The last owners moved out and left the new home owners with quite a mess.

 Sadly the pest company before us didn’t do their job very well.  Eighteen rats were caught by the tenants, not their pest control company!

Once there, entry the holes were closed and the snap traps were set. I was surprised that with so many rats in the attic, there was very little evidence.

Over a short period we pulled out a few rats in traps and it had been quiet  until yesterday. We were informed that there was a foul odor coming from the kitchen area.

When we arrived, all the windows were open as well as the doors. The stench of decaying rodents smacked us in the face immediately.

The kitchen had a drop ceiling and the smell appeared to be strongest there. Brandon climbed into the attic and started looking for a dead rodent(s) but could not find anything. The smell was faint, this puzzled us. Then as Brandon started digging through the  thick insulation I heard him say “Aha”!

Brandon had located a hole that led to the drop ceiling which was concealed by the heavy insulation.

A small opening in the insulation that was once unseen.

This hole was in such a position that Brandon could not look inside,  so we used our  T-mobile HTC-HD2 cell phone and took some pictures to get an idea of what was in the hole. The camera feature with its flash, worked very well.

As you can see, there is a heavy amount of rodent droppings just above their kitchen.

I guess T-mobile people can now say they have an Rodent Locater App. in their new HTC-HD2, lol.

The picture allowed us to locate the dead carcass and remove  it from its drop ceiling tomb.

Rodents in that attic can cause serious damage to your home and your health. Most people have openings around their home that they do not know even exist but the rat’s do!

Do you have a rat problem? Don’t want a rat problem? Call us 727-388-6759