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What to do about rats..

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:17 pm
by librarysue
I just bought a 20 year old mobile home. The home is across the road from the intercoastal waterway, and apparently, when you have water, you have rats. The previous owner was elderly and let the foliage get jungle-like around the house. She also kept her bird and squirrel feeders full. :roll:

At the home inspection, we found a large dead rat in a trap right inside the crawl space door. The belly wrap was torn in several places. The owner had her pest control guy come over to tape it up, but the very next day I went to check on it and it was ripped again. (I suspect this is because he used duct tape. I really hope it wasn't because a rat was taped INTO the belly wrap.

As soon as I closed on the house in June, I bought 6 bait stations and a bucket of poison. It must be working because I've refilled them twice, AND Unfortunately, when I went to the house yesterday to finally move in (she had rented it back from me for 7 weeks) the place reeked of dead rodent. The exterminator is coming back tomorrow. Hope he will clear out the corpses.

I read through the postings and gleaned a few tidbits: Some mentioned having a sealed crawlspace. Is that even possible? Can't rats get in if they want? The house is on a cinderblock foundation with a small 2x3 ft door. By sealed, do you mean there is no door to the crawlspace? Someone else mentioned that you can't use duct tape on the belly wrap. I'm not going back under there myself! Tomorrow I'm going to swing by Clayton Homes to see if they can recommend someone who can help me out.

I have removed all the birdfeeders. I'm redoing the landscaping so it is no longer a jungle.

What else do I have to do to keep these rats away? a pet boa constrictor is not a viable option for me.

Re: What to do about rats..

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:47 am
by mdnagel
"Sealed" means no entry points, no gaps/holes. If they're burying under the blocks they you'll need to dig down around the exterior of the block and put down some wire mesh: I'm guessing this is your best bet; others can speak to what's best.

I don't like poison as it usually results in critters dying inside of walls etc..

Re: What to do about rats..

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:29 pm
by Greg
You found the main reason why poison is not recommended for critters in mobiles. You need to find a way to deter the critters. I have always been partial to steel skirting, if a critter can chew through it I'm NOT messing with it.

You need to make the skirting 100% tight with no gaps for critters to get through. You can make the access panel tight also.

Bird feeders are not a problem, but keep them clean and the area around the home clean.


Re: What to do about rats..

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:02 pm
by librarysue
Had the exterminator over today. He found a dead rat in a trap. I'm not sure why the previous owner had them leave traps but not pay them to come and check them. I'm signing up for a quarterly service.

They had plenty of bait placed under the house, but it was intact. I put the bait boxes in my neighbors yard! (right on the other side of my fence. ) I figured the rats would go somewhere else to die. He checked those for me and there was still bait after 2 weeks so apparently I have killed 'all' the rats.

He said my screening looked good although I'm sure he didn't check every inch....the foundation is quite low on one end.

Re: What to do about rats..

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:29 am
by mdnagel
You do NOT need a regular service if you get things sealed up properly.

I am currently addressing a rodent issue at my place. It's been on my TODO list for a while (higher priorities). I am completely re-doing my skirting (will be using metal roofing material [chew proof!]). It costs, yes, but once done it's DONE.

Bait is "food." What sense does it make to put out stuff that attracts NEW critters? Yes, they'll eat it and die, and while that rat is no longer in the picture a new one will be along to replace it. Further, rats eventually learn. They're wanting to get under your home for a reason- unless you can eliminate that reason they will keep coming. The ONLY solution is to "close the door" (seal things up).