How to inspect a house for rat entry holes

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When we inspect a house for rat entry holes, we perform a 32-point inspection process that covers the entire interior and exterior of your home. If you are performing this examination yourself, we would highly recommend that you do it twice - once during natural daylight hours, and once again during the night, using a head torch to spot those damage-spots you didn’t see earlier on. You are also likely to capture different animals during the two times. Bats, for example, tend to be more active around dusk and dawn, and rats are generally more active at night too. In fact, although many wild animals you’ll encounter will be active during the daytime, a lot of them prefer a nocturnal hunt. They’re less likely to come up against humans for a start.



In order to identify problem areas, you’ll need to have a little understand of the rodent itself. They might seem like quite large creatures, but rats only need a hole the size of a quarter to be able to gain access to your home. Now that you know that, take a peek outside. How many holes can you spot that's about the size of a quarter? That's how many ways a rat could get inside your home. Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough already, they also have the sharpest claws and constantly-growing teeth that will make a small hole a much larger one in almost no time at all.

There are certain hotspots when it comes to rats - areas that they tend to afflict the most. These are the areas you should most definitely make sure you're checking, and include the following:

Spaces / gaps around pipework going in / coming out of your home
Around windows and doors
Brick joins - where the chimney meets the walls, for example
Paneling and siding of your house
Where the walls meet the roof
The roof itself (tile roofs are often the worst afflicted)
Basements
Garages
Under porches
Vents - these are often the worst culprits
Fascias
Along the lines of your roof
Cable entry points

Essentially, any hole that you spot that you can fit your thumb through - it's going to become a prime target for these rats to get in.

You're going to need a ladder. You'll also need a person to stand at the ladder and make sure you're safe. Above anything else, regardless of how annoyed this rat makes you, keep yourself safe. What's the point in throwing yourself off a roof accidentally for a rat? If you have a safety harness, wear it. If you don't have a safety harness, we’d probably recommend that you buy one. You're going to need to perform relatively regular inspections of your home now anyway. Well, at least a couple of times per year. Home maintenance is the only way that you can ensure these rats don't get back in again. Yu need to spot any damage early on, and then get a head start on fixing it BEFORE any wild animal gets any stupid ideas about inviting itself in.

Make a note of any damaged areas you see, or call them out to someone on ground level to write down for you. Make sure you do though - you’ll only forget a patch if you don’t, and that means you’ll be right back to square one. The rats still have an entry point, and you need to go through the entire saga once again. Get this job done right the first time and you’ll thank yourself for it.

When you are repairing the damage you come across, make sure you do so with materials that the rat can’t chew or tear through. For the record, these are creatures that can actually chew through brick and cinder blocks, but if you are repairing holes or vents, etc. use materials such as aluminum flashing or steel mesh wire. That, combined with a polyurethane based sealant will do the trick. The sealant works to block off the flow of air through a space, and that’s what attracts the rats to start digging in the first place.

Finding those holes that rats are using to get in won't be an easy task. In fact, it will be long and arduous, but it is essential. If you don’t seal those holes, the rats will keep breaking in, and the traps you are placing down will be in constant use. First, deal with the holes. Then you can deal with the traps.

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If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com