Rats in the walls. (back again)

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Old 05-26-20, 03:57 PM
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Rats in the walls. (back again)

We've just finished several weeks of interior snap traps (caught one baby rat) and exterior bait traps (which had to be refilled weekly) and then sealed up the entry point and think/hope they're all either dead or moved on since we haven't heard any activity in a few days. The internet tells me horror stories about the stink of dead rats in walls, the exterminators didn't seem too concerned about it, and none of us have smelled anything yet. I guess I'm wondering if it's too optimistic to hope that they'll quietly decompose without making our building smell like death? Does that ever happen?
 
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Old 05-27-20, 02:57 AM
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If a mouse/rat decomposes in the wall you will know it
There is a rat poison that does something different where they die but don't really decompose. Unfortunately I don't really know anything about it
 
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Old 05-27-20, 05:02 AM
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"...without making our building smell like death?"
Yes, they can make the building smell like death. Usually, as you'd expect the smell is worse closer to the source.

"Does that ever happen?"
Yes, that's why so many people talk about it.
 
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Old 05-27-20, 07:08 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply! Sorry, I should have been clearer - it's been several days and we're not smelling anything, so I was wondering if it's possible that we won't. Looks like that's wishful thinking, though...
 
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Old 05-27-20, 08:34 AM
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If you are lucky DON'T jinx it. Merely mentioning a dead rat in the walls is enough to cause one to sneak back into your house and commit suicide in some place inaccessible. If you are somewhere warm something dead would smell it within a few days so hopefully you are OK. I would pay attention when the house is quiet for any critter sounds like scratching, chewing or scraping in the attic, crawl space or walls. If you trapped one inside he's probably getting desperate for food & water and might start chewing & clawing to escape.
 
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Old 05-27-20, 12:38 PM
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I rarely used snap traps but relied heavily on rodenticide inside and out. The industry is now moving in the direction of trapping inside, baiting and/or trapping outside. Probably is a better way to go, but it is more labor/time intensive this way. Once in a while we'd get an odor complaint but not that often, surprisingly. Mice will smell badly for a couple days, rats longer. That can get bad but your baiting program was in progress long enough that I think you're leaning toward the "safe" side.

Heat and humidity make it worse. Cooler and dryer minimize the odor.
Sometimes the odor vents itself to the exterior anyway, depending on wall/roof penetrations. Changing barometric pressure can keep odor inside until it changes and then it will vent to exterior. That's why people would notice the odor one day, but not the next.

 
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Old 07-13-20, 03:18 PM
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Guess who's back (in the walls)

This spring some rats made their way into our small condo building's interior walls through a gap around utility cables, and one of the residents could hear them running around in the walls/ceiling. Cue 4 weeks of exterior bait boxes, interior zappers, sealed the hole, burrows baited with ditrac powder, etc. We had a few days of flies and bad odor, then silence for about 6 weeks, now that same resident hears scurrying in the walls again. We've got the exterminator coming back out to see if there are any holes that we've missed, but I'm not gonna lie - this is pretty discouraging. Assuming it's rats again, any suggestions for getting them out of walls? There's been no sign of them in the living areas, other than some droppings in the utility closets where we put the rat zappers. A friend suggested cutting a couple small holes in the walls and putting traps there to draw them out, but the exterminator said that would just scare the rats to another part of the building since they're neophobic.

My original plan was "burn everything down and start over", but no one else in the building agrees - any advice is welcome!
 
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Old 07-13-20, 03:29 PM
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Threads combined.

With a problem like this it's best to build off of an existing thread where you've already gone thru several steps. It will save time in asking the same questions again.
 
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Old 07-13-20, 03:36 PM
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Thanks, I should have thought of that!
 
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