Severe Rat Infestation in a Davenport Home

This article will analyze and recount a rat infestation case that required more than one visit. It will detail the steps taken in both exclusion and pest control, by the technician, to control and eliminate a rat infestation in Davenport. This is located between Davenport and Wallace Emerson and is near to several restaurants as well as a park. The technicians, before excluding or treating a pest issue must first inspect and confer with the customer or customer’s on the issue and then must inspect for levels of activity. The customer’s original complaint was that there were rat droppings in the furnace room. A technician was dispatched to the property.
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Davenport: A Quiet Subdivision Surrounded By Industry
The area was originally a farming community in the late 19th-century but a new railway brought industry which is still one of the area’s primary industries. The area is primarily a large subdivision surrounded by restaurants and large commercial industry. Most of the houses in this area were built between the early 1900s to the 1960s and many have since been renovated. A large number of industrial buildings provide a lot of garbage and along with the restaurants that surround the subdivision (some are even inside the subdivision) it all provides a great deal of food for rats. Most of the houses are at least fifty to one hundred years old and often have crumbling foundations and openings rats could use to enter.
Exterior Inspection
When the technician arrives on site they will perform an exterior inspection of the outside of the house. The technician will be looking for possible damage that could be an entryway a rodent could use to enter your home. These entry points can consist of broken foundations, open drainage pipes and open vents. Weep vents are especially problematic and are common among older brick buildings. Inspections are extremely important in identifying potential rodent entry points. The inspection found various holes and openings in the foundation as well as access to the crawlspace that was not sealed. The technician sealed off the crawlspace using steel mesh and attached to it a one way door that would allow the rats to leave. 
Entrance to the crawl space
This is an open entrance to the crawl space which allows rats to enter the crawl space easily. This area was excluded and a one-way rat door was installed to allow the rats to vacate but preventing them from getting back in.
Foundation Gap
This was the most important find in the exterior inspection of the property. This foundation gap was the reason rats were entering the home. This area was sealed off with concrete and snap traps were placed in the basement where the rats were most active.
The technician can then seal these openings using a variety of tools, materials and methods. From steel mesh for openings like vents and stainless steel, inserts forweep vents at the base of brick homes. Concrete can be used to seal holes in the foundation.
There are many ways to seal any opening that can be found around the exterior of the home. When all exclusion is done the rats will no longer be able to enter the home and will be stranded outside permanently where they can feed on the rodenticide placed in the exterior bait stationsMultiple openings in the foundation were found at the back of the home and around the house and possibly under the deck though it is not easily accessible. A small opening to a crawl space was also found.
Interior Inspection
The interior inspection for exclusion found issues with the furnace room including open plumbing and floor drains that can allow rats to enter through the sewer system. These areas can be sealed and excluded so the rats cannot enter the home through the sewer or through burrowing outside into the basement through openings in the stone walls. A large number of rat feces was also found in the basement. Cleaning it safely requires a HEPA shop vac and hospital-grade botanical disinfectants either with a hand-held spray pump or for larger heavier accumulations and larger spaces a disinfecting fogger device.
Basement openings
The basement was very old and was badly constructed and broken down. There were an enormous number of entry points that could allow rodent entry. this area was sealed off with spray foam.
Plumbing opening
This was an open interior plumbing vent in the basement that allows Norway rats in side the basement. These rats are excellent swimmers who can hold their breath for 3 minutes, tread water for three days. They can easily enter a home through a toilet or plumbing vent like this. It was excluded with rubber-coated galvanized steel mesh.
Rodent feces
These feces are large enough to clearly be from a large rat. It can be very dangerous to clean without protection and sterilizers. Do not try cleaning it yourself if you are not fully prepared.
The purpose of the interior and exterior inspections is to find the cause of the infestation, what attracts the rats to the property and what allows them to enter the home. The interior inspection is intended both to areas and levels of activity within the household. The number of feces and the amount of damage done by gnawing can be an effective way of gauging the population. The locations can create a map of the property where the locations of highly active areas can be zoned in on and treated specifically. Without this process, the technician would not know what is necessary to perform the treatment and control and exterminate the pest in question. The cause was found on the exterior near the entrance to the crawlspace which was excluded. A oneway rat door was installed to allow the rats in the crawl space to vacate on their own. The inspection was successful and areas of activity were discovered. Signs of rats were found including chewing and feces and a large number of possible entryways both from outside and from the sewer.
Initial Measures
Snap traps were arranged in the basement and furnace room to kill the rats outside of the walls. The reason for this is that rats have high water content and will rot in the wall causing a terrible smell and even a visible stain. To prevent this, snap traps are used. Exterior tamper-proof bait stations that are weighted with concrete blocks were placed in areas of high activity on the exterior.
Commercial Grade Snap Traps
These bated snap traps are intended to stop rats from dying inside the walls of the house. rats, unlike mice, have a very high water content that causes them to rot for long periods. Do not try to poison rats in your home. only use traps to catch them in place.
Proposed exclusion
A large opening in the basement was sealed over as well to prevent access from the crawlspace. Exclusions done on open pipes and drain on the floor both inside and outside. Based on the findings from the inspection the exclusion proposed was to seal off the open pipe in the basement using black rubber-coated galvanized steel mesh. Floor drains were also covered both outside and inside. The crawl space opening is to be sealed off and a oneway door attached to allow the rats already in the crawl space to leave. Concrete was used to seal off openings in the basement and in the foundation.
Excluded Plumbing vent
This is the final result of the exclusion of the plumbing vent that was allowing rats into the basement.
Foundation gap sealed
This was the initial discovery that led to the treatment and exclusion of the home. This foundation gap was the primary entrance for rats into the basement and was sealed with concrete.
Basement Rat Access
The opening in the basement was sealed with spray foam. This will prevent the rats from accessing the entryways in the future.
One Way Rat Door
The one-way rat door was installed at the excluded crawl space door and allows rats to vacate the basement but prevents them from getting back in.
Conclusion
The exclusion was used to limit the rat’s access to the crawlspace and the basement both from the exterior, from the crawl space and the sewers. This will prevent their access and allow them to leave via the oneway door attached to the entrance to the crawl space. Interior snap traps are placed as a precautionary measure to ensure no rats die inside the walls and to minimize further damage. After placement of exterior tamperproof bait stations and snap traps rat population reduced steadily over the next few months. Repeated rebaiting of bait stations found reduced consumption over time starting from a very high rate of consumption down to nearly none at all. The rat feces was cleaned using a HEPA shop vac and disinfected with hospital-grade botanical sterilizers. The exclusion and interior and exterior treatments have prevented severe rat damage and saved the customer a great deal of money.
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