Tag Archives: rat removal

The Longest Night

Around this time last year, we had rats in the walls.  I look back on the whole situation and I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t realize it beforehand.  I would find little black pellets both inside my house and on the deck near some gaps in the siding.  Obviously I’m not completely oblivious, I recognized the pellets and feces and assumed it was a small mouse problem so I set out some mouse traps here and there, but never had any success so I assumed the feces I had found was old and that my cat had already killed the culprits.

That was until one night I was enjoying old NCIS reruns, and my TV stopped working.  I tried turning it off and on, and plugging and unplugging it but still nothing; no sound, no static, no anything.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to do so I Googled possible problems.  I came up with a blown fuse, faulty cord or plug, or even a failed power supply; I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with that information so I called my neighbor and asked if he’d come take a look.  He came and checked everything he could and said he wasn’t sure why it wouldn’t work, everything seemed perfectly fine and nothing else was down.  I had to wait out the night in radio silence until the cable company could come in the morning.

When they did, I was genuinely surprised at what they had found!  It wasn’t a problem with any of the actual electrical sources, but something had chewed through the cable in the wall that fed to the back of the TV.  After that I called in a Wildlife Technician and they were able to identify my problem: there were rats in the walls.  It took a month or so to get them all trapped and all of the mess they left behind cleaned up, but I was very happy with the outcome.  Now I can sit and watch my shows without any worry of rats chewing up my wires.

Rat in Window Well

“Mom!  Mom!  There’s a rat in the window!”  Not exactly what a mother wants to hear while she’s busy cooking, feeding a baby in a high chair, and caller ID says her mother-in-law wants to chat.  Once again, just when a parent feels everything’s under control, something happens to bring everything to a screeching halt and toss chaos back into the mix.

Sighing and slightly freaked, this busy mom turned off the burner, checked the oven, made sure baby was secure and had enough on the tray to keep her occupied for a moment, and headed outside to face whatever nature had in store.  Sure enough, her three children and a couple of neighborhood kids she didn’t even know were in her backyard were gathered around the window well that led into her basement office.  They weren’t just gathered, they were actively prodding whatever it was with sticks.  Sticks were confiscated, and nerves were steeled as she looked down.  A large rat lay dead in the window well, amongst the rocks and debris the children had tossed down there over the summer.  It looked like it may have died of natural causes, and a while ago, judging by the degree of decay.

This wasn’t the first time this had happened.  A few years prior, a skunk had fallen in the window well and couldn’t get out.  She had tried for a while to tempt it out, by putting a long piece of wood from the shed down in there, hoping it would climb back out.  It just scared it and the skunk almost sprayed in the window well, which would surely have resulted in a horrible smell throughout the basement, if not the whole house.  Fortunately, she ended up calling Allstate Animal Control, and they got the skunk out of the window well.  That was the year they got the metal grate coverings.  Apparently, the openings were wide enough to let a rat fall down in there and breathe its last.

Mom quickly assessed the situation and got everyone moving: dead rat in the window well should be removed as soon as possible so it wouldn’t bring smells and bugs into the yard and house, neighbor kids were sent home, her children were sent inside to wash up and finish feeding baby, while she finished cooking dinner and called for dead animal removal.   She had enough to deal with.  The thought of crawling down in the window well to remove a dead rat was just not on her to-do list, and she knew Allstate Animal Control would take care of it soon enough.

She allowed herself a quick, satisfied smile, knowing that once again she’d successfully dealt with yet another problem.  Then, she heard a crash from the kitchen and knew it was going to be a long night.get rid of rats

Rats In House


Rat (1)

Oh, no, this will not do, we will have no more rats in the house, uh uh, no way. I don’t know how the dirty damn things got in my house, or why they chose us. I run a clean home. We don’t live in a museum or anything, that’s not what I’m saying. We live in a cute little clean home, though, and I refuse to let rats in the house destroy it.
But, we are losing this battle, and I am ready to drop kick the little suckers into next year if I have to.
I first noticed we might have a rat in the house when I went through the Christmas decorations that I keep in the downstairs office. There were holes chewed right through the cardboard boxes, and little rat turds sprinkled in the tinsel and garlands. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d up and had babies right there in and amongst the nativity scenes and tree ornaments. At least there wasn’t anything dead in there, but just knowing they had made free with my decorations was enough to give me the shivers.
I made everyone tear through the house, looking for little rat holes or rat droppings. My niece found half an eaten potato in the pantry. Oh, no, we not only have rats in the house but they’re in the kitchen, too?! It was on, I was at war.
We put out traps, sealed up all the food, cleaned up all the rat turds. It obviously wasn’t enough. The rats in the house chewed through the water line to the refrigerator next. Oh, yes, they did, chewed enough holes in it that water soaked up underneath the floor boards and ran down the wall into a closet downstairs. Water damage on two floors, all because some furry little rodent can’t keep clear of my house and keep its teeth off pipes.
We caught two rats with the kind of rat traps you get at the hardware store, and I thought, phew, we don’t have anymore rats in the house. But, it turns out I was wrong, because the next thing you know, we found out that a rat had made its way into a guest bedroom, chewed a hole into the closet where we keep all our extra winter clothes, and made a rat nest and had babies inside a spare skiing jacket. It chewed its way clean through the jacket lining and used the inside fluff to make a nest for disgusting rat babies.
This will not do. I cannot have rats in my house. We are a clean family and I expect our home to be free of rats, so you gotta send someone out here ASAP to trap the rats, kill the rats, whatever you gotta do to get them out of my house.

Dead Rat In Wall

get rid of rats


My apartment smells like sewage, and the maintenance guys for the apartment complex told me it’s probably a dead rat in the wall.  We’ve been having a rat problem outside in our area, which is bad enough, but when the rats get inside the building and then die in the walls, it’s awful.

When I was in high school, a rat died in the wall of my Mom’s house.  It smelled like urine and decay and it was just awful.  It had died inside one of the walls of the downstairs bathroom, and we had to have someone come in and tear up the walls of the bathroom until they found the dead rat and removed it.  So, I know what you’re supposed to do if you have a dead rat inside the wall.

But, the maintenance guys for my apartment complex figured they’d just do something else, something simple.  They came in and re-caulked the top and bottom of the walls and then  left, saying I’d have to just deal with the smell until the rat had decayed enough that it stopped smelling.  Uh, yeah, great idea.  Or not.  Who wants to live with an apartment that smells like sewage and dead rat??  I would think they’d have to check the pipes to see if somehow rats have damaged them, and then go inside the wall to remove the dead rat.  Because, a decomposing rat means that, not only are there nasty smells, but probably lots and lots of bugs, too.

I had a party planned for this weekend, but I’m going to have to cancel it or maybe convince one of my friends to have it at their place.  I can’t even stand to hang out in my front room, which is where the smell is worst, so how can I expect my friends to come over and sit around in that room?

The smell is so bad in that front room that I don’t even relax in there anymore.  I walk inside, holding my breath, go straight to the kitchen to drop my stuff off and get dinner, and then go straight to my bedroom, where I work on the computer and watch TV until it’s time to sleep.  I’m furious the maintenance people won’t do anything about the dead rat in my wall, other than just add a little caulk to “seal out the smell.”  But, I called the property manager, and convinced him to reduce my rent for next month by what it would cost me to get the dead rat removed out of the wall.  That doesn’t help me if there’s a problem with the pipes, but at least it gets the dead rat out of the wall.  One step at a time, I guess.

Rat in the House

“Well, of course there’s a rat in the house.  That’s just great.”  I was speaking to myself, of course.  There wasn’t anyone else around at the moment to fully appreciate the resigned and slightly sarcastic tone in my voice.  There were days I loved being a mother of four.  There were days I was so proud my husband was serving in Afghanistan that I didn’t mind being a single parent for another six months.  This was not one of those days.  This had been the kind of day that ends with me sending the kids to bed early and in tears because I was just too sick of their fighting to bear one more minute.  This had been the kind of day that ends with me sitting on my bed, eyes glazed, can of whatever in my hand, and an open bag of some kind of junk food.  This had been that kind of day.

It had started off badly, when I overslept.  I’d stayed up late, because I had a chance to talk briefly with my husband.  His call had been delayed for some reason, but we did finally talk.  I miss him terribly.  I miss my partner.  After our conversation, I stayed up even later, feeling sorry for us and wishing he could come home and stay home forever.

Oversleeping means that the children are late for school.  When I did wake up, chaos began.  I had to yell at Martin for watching television before school, and make him get himself dressed and ready for first grade.  Andrea pretended like she was still asleep, until I threatened to sing our Good Morning song, and then she was up like a shot and whining and complaining that life was sooooo unfair to her.  Cody and Brady fought each other in their sleep, I think, because they woke up angry at each other and didn’t stop fighting all day long.

I got them all off to school, eventually, although Andrea missed her bus and I had to drive her to junior high.  That meant I was late for work at the recreation center, which meant I missed our morning meeting and had to sit in my boss’ office for ten minutes while she told me how important it was to get to work on time.  My boss is fifteen years younger than I am, and feels she has something to prove.

Work didn’t get any better during the day, but I managed to stick it out and make it home in time for the kids to come home.  Helping them with their homework seemed like a special punishment designed for the worst levels of hell.  By the time everyone had finished homework and eaten dinner, I wanted to kill everyone.

I survived another couple of hours while their fighting, bickering and complaining increased, and finally had enough.  They all went to bed early, and I lay on my bed, too dazed to cry.

That’s when I saw the rat in the house.  It stopped in the middle of my bedroom floor and just looked at me.  “Good timing, stupid,” I thought, “I’m just spoiling for a fight!”

Rat in the House

rat removal

Laundry is one of those chores I actually don’t mind, as long as a rat in the house is not part of the process.  My wife loathes doing the laundry.  She would much rather take care of the garbage, the vacuuming or the dishes.  She says she can’t stand sorting through dirty laundry, looking through the pockets of our boys’ pants to make sure they don’t contain rocks, sticks or other debris they treasure for a moment until it’s forgotten in the dark recesses of their pants.  Once everything’s finally washed, my wife just cannot stand turning clothes right-side-out, folding them, and fighting with our boys to put them away before they are unfolded.  Plus, she says the process dries her hands out.  So, I made a deal with her – she takes care of the garbage, and I will stay on top of the laundry.


A typical rat.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

I keep my end of the deal, and secretly rejoice that I don’t have to face the disgusting garbage can ever again.


So, one night, after we put the boys to bed, I trundled off into the laundry room with the upstairs hamper in tow, and proceeded to prepare the clothes for the washing machine.  My elbow bumped the liquid detergent, and some of it spilled onto the floor, so I pulled open the drawer on the bottom of the dryer to grab a rag with which I could wipe up the sticky detergent before it made a bright blue path under the machines and down the drain.  It was at that moment that I discovered we have a rat in the house.


Apparently, the rat in the house loves the warmth that comes from the dryer, and the relative quiet it enjoys in that laundry room, since I’m the only one who really uses it.  It had made a nest out of the rags that I’d neatly folded up long ago and placed in the drawer.  I have no idea if the rat explored the rest of the house often, or if it just stuck to the laundry room, feasting on whatever tidbits I’d fished out of the boys’ pockets and tossed in the small garbage can.  And, I have to admit, I was simultaneously glad my wife hadn’t been the one to discover the rat in the house, and jealous of her.  Really, of the two of us, you would have thought the one who dealt with the garbage would be more likely to discover a rat in the house.  But, no, it was me.


Fortunately, we’d already used Allstate Animal Control in the past, when we’d discovered another critter digging holes in the lawn.  So, it was a no-brainer to email them again and have them get rid of the rat in the house.


You know, after that incident, I haven’t left a single pile of laundry just sitting in the laundry room.  I hate to imagine a rat making a nest in our clothes!



Rodent Removal Service

Working for a rodent removal service, I’ve heard it all.  I say I’ve heard it all, because my job is not removing rodents.  I work in the office as support staff.  I handle the incoming calls from people desperate for rodent removal service, I make appointments, I cut paychecks.  I’m essentially a one-woman show keeping the operation running smoothly so my guys can focus on their jobs, getting rid of rats, trapping mice, and removing all kinds of other rodents from people’s properties.

I get all the great and awful stories, though.  People who need rodent removal service tell me what’s been going on at their home, office or property.  The technicians tell me horror stories of rat swarms, mice nests, and all kinds of other critters.

One day, though, I got to see it all for myself, and really learned just how valuable rodent removal service is to our community.

A call came in from a woman who runs a small farm with her husband.  She told me, like most farmers in the area, rat problems come with the territory.  They’ve trapped rats, killed rats, poisoned rats and gotten rid of rats for as long as they’ve operated the farm.  But, this year the rat population just seemed to be exploding and they were overrun with rats.  They were desperate for our rodent removal services so they could spend more time on farm production and less on rodent removal.

The only technician we had available at the time couldn’t drive.  It was silly, really, because he’d forgotten to renew his license and let it expire, but until he got it renewed, he couldn’t drive out to the property.  It was at the end of the day, and I volunteered to drive him out there.

We pulled up, and the woman came out to show us where the biggest rat infestation was.  I was curious, because I’d never actually seen our technicians at work, so I hopped out of the truck and joined the two of them as they approached the large barn.  She led us to a back door, where they usually stored extra bags of feed and some tools.  She told us that’s where they needed rodent removal service the most, and then she high-tailed it back to the house, leaving us to open the door ourselves.  I was starting to get a little nervous, and my friend instructed me to stand off to the side of the door as he opened it.

When that door opened, it was like a scene from a nightmare.  Have you ever seen a cloud of gnats or an anthill that’s been disturbed?  Try multiplying that a hundred times and making it rats, and then you’ll have an idea of what I saw.  They literally poured out of the barn, running over each other, leaping, biting, scattering like roaches.  I couldn’t breathe as they swarmed over my boots before they ran off into the farmyard, seeking out any hole, door or ditch they could find.  No sound came out of my mouth, but inside I was screaming.  Eventually the rat flow slowed and I looked up at my friend, wondering how on earth he was going to get rid of these rats.  Even he looked shocked, and he admitted he’d never seen anything like this before.

I retreated to the truck and called some of our other technicians, making them promise to come out to the farm to help out just as soon as they were finished with their current appointments.  More than ever, I was proud I worked for a rodent removal service, proud of what we did for our community, proud that we were the ones people could call for help.

Rat Problem

get rid of rats

It’s a rare sunny day in the middle of a long winter, and you decide to enjoy the break in the weather by relaxing a little in your backyard.  You take the cover off the deck chair, settle down with a hot cup of cocoa and watch the dog run around.  But, then, your frolicking dog changes his behavior.  He’s barking wildly at the gas grill, nose to the ground, running back and forth.  Curious, you approach, grab a large stick, thrust it under the grill, and leap back in shock as a huge Norway rat streaks out and runs under the fence, barely missing your dog’s snapping jaws.  You throw the stick down in disgust.  This isn’t the first rat you’ve seen on your property.  In fact, lately, there’s been a lot of them, more than normal.

How could you possibly have a rat problem?  You keep a clean yard, a clean home.  This is a nice neighborhood, so why are there so many rats?

Residents of an upscale neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah are asking themselves the same question, and some think they have the answer.  Recently, Chevron Oil cleaned up an oil spill in Red Butte Creek, running right through the neighborhood.  Some people believe the remediation displaced the rats and they fled to their backyards and homes.  Others believe this is just a natural cycle to rat populations.  A 1948 study found that undisturbed rats populations naturally fluctuate in numbers, but found no consistent trends.  In other words, it is normal for rat populations to surge from time to time, and no one knows why.

So, was the Chevron oil spill cleanup to blame for the upsurge of rats along Red Butte Creek in Salt Lake City, Utah?  What about people all across the country who notice there are more rats than normal in their area?

Whether you have 20 rats or just one in your home, business, yard or commercial property, there are a few things you should know.  They are not just “socially unacceptable” creatures.  They can transmit diseases, such as rat-bite fever, to humans.  They often have parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites or worms, which then infest your home or business, and which can transmit other diseases, such as Lyme disease.  They can get into your building through a hole no bigger than a half quarter.  As rodents, they must continually chew things in order to keep their teeth filed down, so they’ll chew through plastic, soft metals and wiring, which damages your property and creates a fire hazard.  They can nest in vents, which contaminates the air you breathe.  They contaminate your food and water sources.  Outside, they’ll burrow up to 4 vertical feet under ground, and tunnel through yards and gardens, destroying grass and plants.  They’ll eat bulbs and vegetables out of the garden.  And they attract predators onto your property, which cause further damage or safety risk.

If there is a rat population upsurge caused by something like a new housing development or an oil spill clean up, you may be at a higher risk of finding one or more in your home or business.  Upsurge or not, though, it is important to get a professional wildlife removal service to get rid of the rats, safely clean up after them, seek out entry points and seal them up to prevent the rats from returning, and properly clean up the disease-bearing urine and feces out of your business or home.

Get Rid of Rats

rat removal

These people, these cats, dogs and stupid birds all think they know how to get rid of rats, but the only way I’m leaving my home is if a real professional rat trapper comes in here and drags me out, kicking and screaming.  I’ve been here long enough to have established my residency, so they can just kiss my little furry rat tail if they think they can run me out.

I was drawn to this place when I was a young rat.  There’s a feed mill nearby, and even though it was tough to get inside the mill itself, because it was protected against me and my friends like they harbored told inside, there was still enough grain that blew away in the wind, fell, or was left out long enough for us to feast like kings.  Our lean days were over.  Not only that, but there was a perfect little farm nearby, with lots of perfect places in which to nest.  While some of my bolder friends chose to dangerously nest inside of the barn, I preferred a tunnel and burrow in the ground, under a nut tree.  The people who own the place got rid of the rats inside the barn, but there are still a few of us around who remember what it was like to live in the fields, chased by the machines and cats, and merely hoping we could enjoy a meager meal each day.

The feed mill still operates, but the barn cats, the guard dogs, and the rat traps that people set out got rid of most of the rats long ago.  There are still a few of us that were wiser in our choice of home, and are more secure.  We feast, and I admit, I’ve gotten fatter than I’d like, but I’m still lightning fast and can strike quickly when I need to.

Recently, a huge flock of blackbirds discovered the feed mill, and realized there wasn’t as much competition for the food as exists in other places.    It started out with just a few birds, which didn’t bother me much.  But, birds talk and yammer more than any other creature I know, and before long, there were hundreds here, gossiping and cawing and taking over the place.  They acted like they discovered it first.

Until then, my little burrow under the tree had been a perfectly quiet spot.  Then, it was taken over by these bird pests, and they got increasingly more aggressive.  Before I knew it, they were eating all the feed before I had a chance to get to it, and they were guarding the entrance to my burrow to keep me from getting out.  What wild cats, guard dogs and rat traps had failed to do, these birds just might pull off.  They were going to get rid of rats just by being annoying.

Fine, I’m going to fight for it.  Show these birds who’s boss.  That’s why this morning, I crept up to the entrance of my burrow with all the stealth I could muster, and then pounced on one of those annoying birds!  Made the other ones think, I can assure you.  Like I said, it’ll take a professional trapper to get rid of this rat.

Rat Control

rat removal

“I’m calling my boyfriend, because he’ll know what to do about rat control!”  Tish, who was normally so sweet, nearly screeched this sentence.  I had come home late from working a long shift at the campus library, and had nothing but a couple of hours of study ahead of me.  But, when I walked in our front door, I nearly tripped over a pile of furniture and various belongings forming a maze throughout the small house we all rented together.

At first, I thought my roomies were playing a practical joke on me.  Last week, three of us had packed up all of Trish’s belongings, including her bedding, and left a note on her bare floor that read, “We’ll miss you.”  She’d walked in, taken one look at the empty room, and burst out laughing.  It was the kind of thing we all did to each other, so it was no wonder that I mistook my roomies’ maze of household items as a practical joke.

And, I have to admit, I didn’t believe them at first when they told me they were doing rat control.  I thought it was more of the joke.

But, when I saw the rat streaking across the room, leaping over the turned-over ironing board and a box that had once held file folders, I just about leaped out of my skin.  Over the course of the next hour and a half, the four of us tried unsuccessfully to perform rat control ourselves, but Trish was right.  It was time to bring in a guy, as much as we hated to admit it.

Once Trish’s boyfriend arrived, he couldn’t stop laughing at my roommates’ maze, and I have to admit, I was a little fuzzy as to why they thought they needed to make a maze.  Apparently, they had discovered a rat in the couch, and built a pathway to the front door, in hopes the rat would leave the couch, follow the path, and go outside.  Unfortunately, after they banged on the couch with a broom, that rat ran out and leaped up and over the walls of the maze.  So, instead of leading the rat safely outside, all the belongings scattered on the floor only served to add to the chaos as we all tripped over things trying to flush out the rat and then run away from it at the same time.

Rat control was not our strong point.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t something Trish’s boyfriend did, either.  I think he only made it worse, by laughing at us and making the rat even more frenzied than before.

After another forty-five minutes of fruitlessly chasing the rat and running away from it, we finally decided we had to call a professional rat control service.  After all, where there is one rat, there may be many more.  And, I didn’t want to live in a rat maze anymore than a rat did.