Rats in my basement


  #1  
Old 10-21-04, 08:44 PM
luchman
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Rats in my basement

I have a finished basement and a roomate that lives there.(The place is pretty clean, the house is only 7 years old). For the past couple of weeks it appears that we have a rat problem. Certain areas of the basement have a strong odor, so I am assuming that the smell is from the rats because we have seen a couple of them. There are only certain areas of the basement that have that odor. At the stair level as I go down, and around the bathroom area; there are droppings of rats some places around the basement as well, including in the ceiling. I placed about 6 vitor rat traps throughout the basement and ceiling area with not much luck. I used peanut butter bait and caught 2 rats. The smell is still there, and I changed the bait to corn flour and water mix. I haven't caught anything with that. I can think that the smell is from a possible dead rat somewhere, but it does not smell like dead animal. Is patience the virtue here?..or I should call a specialist?
Please help ..before I get eaten by rats.
Tks.
 
  #2  
Old 10-22-04, 01:32 PM
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Rats

How are rats entering the home? Do an inspection of the exterior. Seal all holes, cracks, and possible entries after eliminatin of rats. Do not seal until after rats are gone, because they are determined to find their way back into their home. Seal where pipes and wires enter the home. Make sure all garbage is stored in sealed containers. Eliminate pet food dishes and bird seed after you eliminate the rats. If you have been leaving food outdoors, rats will come indoors in search of it. Eliminate any clutter or debris that would provide shelter and hiding places for rats. On the interior of home practice good sanitation. Store food in airtight containers. Keep counters and floors clean.

Roof rats can climb up the sides of your home and access attics through openings in roof and gables. Norway rats burrow in the ground and often find their way into crawl spaces and through cracks in concrete. The droppings of roof rats are pointed on ends, but droppings of Norway rats are round on ends. It is important to set traps where you see droppings. Turn trigger of trap toward wall because rodents travel along the wall.

Trapping is the preferred method of control. Poisons and baits are not recommended on the interior of home because rats may die in walls or other areas not accessible to you. Then, you will have to live with the odor of a decomposing rat. The odor can last several weeks or longer depending upon size of animal. Spraying enzyme deodorizer will help keep odor at bay.

Patience and persistence are important in eliminating rodents from home. Rat control is an ongoing task. Eliminate the population. Exclude pests by sealing all possible entries. And, eliminate food sources and shelter in the landscape.

If in doubt, call a professional exterminator.
 
  #3  
Old 10-22-04, 02:32 PM
luchman
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Thanks. It looks like the are Norway rats and after your suggestion, I did see some wholes outside, but previously though it was from a chimpmunk. Is it wise to poor water through the wholes and see where it ends up, or colaps their tunel? What do you think may couse the current odor. Did they aready formed a colony? there are 2 places where the odor is strong. I went in the basement and pulled the insulation to get acess under the steps, but nothing seems to be there. Where do they hyde? Though my house is kept pretty clean, I will put ALL the food in th epatry in containers.
 
  #4  
Old 10-22-04, 03:01 PM
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Rats

Norway rats live in colonies within extensive chamber systems. Go to http://www.ratbehavior.org/WildRats.htm and take a look at how complex their chamber network can be. As the family grows, so does the network. So, you see that pouring water in the entry hole would do no good. More than likely they have other entries as well.

Rats will seek food outside, but many times will come inside at night to forage for food and return to their burrows. Needing a water source, they can obtain water from toilets, sinks, rain puddles, or condensation from utility pipes. Rats are suspicious of changes in the environment or new foods, for this reason it may take a couple of days for traps to work. Set traps at right angles to walls with trigger toward wall. A dozen or more traps for a heavily infested home may be necessary. Place rat traps about 10 to 20 feet apart.

Rats are nocturnal, with their peak activity at dusk or before dawn. You will see them during the day if they are hungry. Norway rats usually travel an area of about 100 to 150 feet in diameter; seldom do they travel any further than 300 feet from their burrows or nests. The average female Norway rat has four to six litters per year and may successfully wean 20 or more

It is important to find how they are entering the home. You indicate you have a basement. Where are they coming in? Rats can squeeze beneath a door with only a 1/2-inch gap.

Continue the trapping of rats on the interior of your home. Call an exterminator to eliminate the ones in the chambers. The exterminator can inspect both the exterior and interior of your home for entries and make recommendations for exclusion of pests. Once rats are eliminated, seal all openings into structure.
 
  #5  
Old 10-22-04, 04:10 PM
luchman
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Does any bait work better then other? can they become "trap shy?" Do you think that the smell is from their colony? It dificult to figure out how they got in. I have a 2 story house with half of the basement finished. The only 2 wholes i have seen are right in the landscape by the entrance. After reading your link I will go look for some more along the house. tks.
 
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Old 10-22-04, 09:17 PM
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Rat baits

Single-dose and multiple-dose rodenticides (toxic baits) are registered for rat control. A wide variety of active ingredients and formulations are available. Multiple-dose rodenticides generally are considered much safer than single-dose rodenticides. Anticoagulants cause death as a result of internal bleeding, which occurs as the animal's blood loses the ability to clot and capillaries are damaged. The active ingredients are used at very low levels, so bait shyness does not occur when using properly formulated baits.

Rats must feed on most anticoagulant baits for several days before death will occur. Fresh bait must be made available to rats continuously for at least two weeks, or as long as feeding occurs.

Several types of anticoagulant baits are available. Grain baits or pelleted forms often are purchased in bulk or packaged in small plastic, cellophane or paper packets. The packaging keeps baits fresh and make it easy to place baits into burrows, walls, or other locations. Rats readily will gnaw into place packs and feed on baits. Anticoagulant baits formed into paraffin blocks are useful in damp locations such as sewers or gutters, where loose grain baits spoil quickly. Unfortunately, they are not accepted by rats as readily as other baits.

Bait stations are recommended when applying any toxic bait. They protect rodenticides from weather and provide a safeguard to people, pets and other animals. Rat bait stations should have at least two openings about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and should be large enough to accommodate several rats at a time. Place bait boxes next to the walls (with the opening close to the wall) or in other places where rats are active.

Because not all rodentcides are available in all areas, it is best to check at your local hardware store or consult with your Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent about what is recommended in your area if you plan on DIY extermination of Norway rat colony.
 
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Old 10-22-04, 09:28 PM
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You say only 1/2 the basement is finished. Is the unfinished area sealed off from the unfinished area. If so, is there access into finished area? Is there access to unfinished area for inspection by you, exterminators, plumbers, etc?

If odor is not a dead animal smell it could just be the smell of live rodents. It could be mold & mildew if it's a musty smell. Odor could be coming from your sewer if it smells like methane. Sewers can also emit odors where local industries are dumping waste into the public sewer. Check basement drains and pour boiling water down them.
 
  #8  
Old 10-23-04, 02:13 PM
luchman
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When i was refering to "trap shy rats" (I've read about it somewhere) I tought the victor traps need bait as well (like peanutbuter), then the rats will learn that its a trap and not come to it anymore. The unfinished side of the basement is accesible. I did a visual inspection and saw an area where the rats are coming in.(the insulation was damaged and just hanging on the side of the wall..and then the 2 holes in the landscape in front of the house)I did look under the steps as well where the smell is most prominent, but there are only dropings in that area, as well on the ceiling (i have a drop ceiling in the finish part of the basement). I moved all the boxes from the unfinished side of the basement in the midle so i can have access along the walls. i will buy few more victor traps and place them along the walls...and see what happens. If I still see droppings i will try the pisinous bait...and deal with the smell if they end up in the walls.
 
  #9  
Old 11-09-04, 07:04 PM
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Rats

Keep us posted.
 
  #10  
Old 11-11-04, 02:02 PM
luchman
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Well, I cought about 5 total and the smell is gonne. I still have the traps set...just in case there are more. Should I start covering the holes around the house yet?..or wait a little longer?
Thanks for your advice.
 
  #11  
Old 11-11-04, 04:28 PM
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Rats

If see no more evidence of rats, fill the holes and seal the entries into the home. If entries are large, use spray foam insulation. Wear gloves and have a trash bag handy for the container. Don't get it on anything you don't want it on because it will not come off.
 
 

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