roof rats

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We just bought a house and the attic was infested with roof rats. The pest control company has heavily baited and it has been two weeks & there seems to be no more rat activity. The problem is that he said it was the worst rat urine problem that he had ever seen! It must have been going on for several years. How do we neutralize this rat urine up in the attic that has soaked into the insulation? Or will I have to have all of my insulation removed and new insulation put in which will be a large expense that we were not counting on. Please advise us. Thanks.

There is no doubt roof rats can create a mess along with some nasty, foul and biologically unhealthy odors. Locally we have companies that specialize in insulation removal due to odor problems similar to what you’ve described. In my mind, removing the contaminated material is the only way to go. I suggest you remove as much as possible and then vacuum with an industrial shop vac to get anything loose. I also recommend using a RESPIRATOR, RUBBER GLOVES and DISPOSABLE COVERALLS to insure anyone working in this environment avoids the hazardous contaminates undoubtedly present.

I then suggest treating with the NNZ ODOR NEUTRALIZER. It does a great job of breaking down and eliminating odors and is very effective on both rodent droppings and their gland scent which undoubtedly is distributed throughout your attic space. I’d let the area sit for a few days before I reinsulated just to make sure the treatment was effective and to your satisfaction. In most cases we find people have to treat just once but in extreme situations a second spraying may be required. Based on the description you provided, that might be in order for you home.

On a side note, hiring a service company for this task will no doubt be quite expensive. I wouldn’t be surprised if it would be a couple of thousand dollars depending on where you live, the size of the attic and some other factors. Doing it yourself would be a huge cost savings but obviously it will require some hard work. If you’re interested in more information, read up on the products mentioned above by following these links. You can also give us a call to discuss this matter at any time on our toll free 1-800-877-7290.

Here are the links:

Respirator:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page706.html

Rubber Gloves:  http://www.bugspray.com/item/nitrile_gloves.html

Disposable Coveralls:  http://www.bugspray.com/item/large_disposable_coveralls.html

NNZ Odor Neutralizer:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page877.html

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hi there,

we have had an ongoing rat problem since we’ve moved in to this house (here in atlanta!) there are places in the house on the carpet where rats have left their “scent” shall we say…. and one of these being in the room where my newborn will sleep. nice. do you have an organic spray that will neutralize the scent so they won’t come back? our pest control company said that smell is so strong they come back to it…

Roof Rats will definitely create and use scent trails to navigate their way around. Their vision is limited but they have an amazing sense of smell and use it to the fullest potential as explained in our ROOF RAT CONTROL ARTICLE. In fact, it’s clearly one of the biggest reasons why homes that get rodents once have a tendency to get them again; the lingering odors and scents are clearly an attractive nuisance and should be removed for long term rat control to truly be achieved.

If you check out our RODENT EQUIPMENT page, you’ll find a section on ODOR CONTROL. In this section there are links for two products that will solve this problem. Both NNZ and N7C are organic and can safely be used in the home. These products don’t mask or “clean up” anything. Essentially they break down and decompose the odor molecules that have been left behind. This decomposition process will morph the odor into another “scent” altogether and most importantly, one that roof rats will not interpret to be their own (and not detectable by humans). Of the two, I’d recommend the NNZ. It’s the odorless version and best suited for inside applications where no smell is the desired end result.

Additionally, it would be ideal if you are able to peel back the carpet and get the treatment down under the rug as much as possible. If there is wood or cement under the carpet, there is no doubt some of the odor molecules embedded on this substrate as well. This means treating over the top of the carpet won’t be nearly as direct as we like to make the application. In the end, the more direct you administer the NNZ,  the better the results you’ll enjoy (and the faster they’ll be noticeable). You may be able to achieve the same result by spraying over the carpet but there could be a impact on the carpet color since it will require a lot of water to get the NNZ down through the carpet. That means a good soaking and this process could alter or change the color of the rug. Avoid this altogether by treating under the carpet. After the initial application you can mist over the top of the carpet to ensure the carpet fibre’s aren’t harboring any scent.

For more information on the NNZ, check out the NNZ LABEL we’ve posted on line. And if you have further questions about how to do the job, please give us a call at 770-985-9392 during our normal business hours.

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Firefighters say rodents may be the reason a fire broke out Thursday morning in Chico.  The fire was called in by a neighbor around 7:45 AM after they saw smoke and flames coming from the upper level of the home.  The resident told firefighters he heard a scurrying noise in the attic a few hours earlier, around 1:30 in the morning, and then the power went out.   Roof rats, squirrels and mice will commonly chew power lines so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they indirectly caused a short.

The homeowner apparently didn’t realize the danger and just reset the circuit breaker. About 6 hours later the fire broke out. You can read the full the story here:

ATTIC FIRE CAUSED BY RODENTS?

In fact, rodents regularly chew on pipes, wires and just about anything attempting to grind down their teeth. As explained in our ROOF RAT CONTROL article, they do this instinctively. This is just one more reason why roof rats should not be tolerated in or around the home. Be sure to trap out local populations if you find them in or on your house using one of the methods detailed in our article.

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Is it possible to live trap rats in a tree?

Live traps can be set most anywhere when targeting rats. The most important factor seems to be whether the location is where they are willing to feed. If you suspect you have roof rats or some other rodent active in a tree, chances are high they are finding food on it making live trapping a possibility.

Roof rats will commonly forage on trees which yield nuts such as acorn, pecan and walnut. From these trees they’ll find their way onto rooftops and then inside the structure. If you are seeing activity in trees close to the home, make some live trap sets to help thin the local population. Failure to remove and relocate local activity close to the home will undoubtedly lead to some getting inside. Once inside they’ll be harder to control. This picture shows a good tree set made with one of our a live traps.

Live Trap Tree Set

Good traps to use for this set include our 5x5x16GREEN, LT5518RD and our 3.5X3.5.24REPEATER. All these models can be strapped to branches using plastic cable ties, nails or screws. They can also be anchored with more elaborate mounts like the one pictured above. This is actually a bird feeder mount which serves as a great “ledge” on which to rest a cage trap. Use some PECAN PASTE along with a good quantity of the nuts the host tree yields when baiting. This combination will both enable the rodents to find the trap quickly and give them good reason to enter.

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I noticed some large droppings on my barbecue grill a few weeks ago. I didn’t know what left them but I cleaned the grill out and was hesitatant to even use it. Then I found them again!! Whatever it is seems to like something up in the grill and is grossing me out thinking what they are doing on the grill. Do I need to throw it away and what would crawl up into my grill looking for food?

The droppings you are finding are most likely being left by a roof rat. As explained in our ROOF RAT CONTROL article, they are resourceful and will eat almost anything a human would eat. Additionally, the odor from any grill will surely lure roof rats active in the area to at least investigate what it is that smells so good. Roof rats commonly feed on nut trees and bird feeders and if any are close by are it highly likely they are in the vicinity. This means it will only be a matter of time before a rat or two made it’s way to your grill and it sounds like this has happened already.

At this time I suggest you do a good inspection of the area to see where there might be a localized rodent population that’s active. If this is on your property, I suggest you diminish the activity by using a LIVE TRAP. Failure to do so will almost certainly lead to more activity on the grill and ultimately activity in the home.

As for the grill, I would refrain from using it till the problem is resolved. You could spend some more time cleaning it but I’m afraid until you remove the local rodent activity, they’ll just come back over and over thus contaminating the grill every time they walk over it. Rats carry a lot of disease and when they move on or around objects like grills they deficate and urinate to leave scent trails. So unless you remove them for good, the grill will just get contaminated over and over since the smell of food it releases will cause the rats to keep coming back. When you are sure the problem has been resolved, a good cleaning with the NNZ will remove the scent trails which in turn will make it a lot less likely that any rodents will find it so easily in the future. Of course you can throw it away but remember, if you don’t keep the new one clean and free of odor, it too will attract rodent activity at some point.

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I was looking at you roof rat trap selection and I’m trying to figure out which would be best for my situation. I’ve got several up in my attick and I don’t know if I should live trap or kill trap them. What do you suggest?

As our online roof rat article explains, using a kill trap is generally only effective when you’ve got 1-2 animals to trap. This is because rats will become trap shy when they see other rats dead in any kill trap. If you suspect there are more than two rats in the attic, use one of the rat trap live cages to insure trapped rats don’t become suspect of what you’re using. Our live traps will catch rat after rat as long as you fill the trap with seed when making the set. Trapped roof rats should be relocated or destroyed to insure they don’t come back. Once the active population is removed, you can consider sealing off the attic to further rat invasions.

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I’ve been hearing noise in my attic for the past two weeks and finally went up there to see what was happening. I found lots of black droppings all over and think its from a rat. What kind of rat can climb all the way up to my attic?

Most rats are good climbers. Roof rats in particular are very good and it’s most likely this is what you’ve got since they love attics. The best thing to do right now would be to start trapping them out as explained in our roof rat control article.  Just don’t start cleaning the area until you’ve got them removed and know for sure there isn’t any still up there! This way you’ll be able to keep them where they’ve been and in the end, be able to get control that much faster. If you disturb the area, you might end up moving them to some other location in the home that won’t be so easy to access. I suggest you review our online article for more details…