The Case Of The "Perennial Rats" - Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

The Case Of The “Perennial Rats”

Rodent-wikiIt was another hot summer day in Orange County and the office phones were ringing non-stop. The ladies in the office were busy scheduling appointments, when one person called and insisted that she be allowed to speak to Termite Terry.

Termite Terry was repairing some equipment when he took the call. The person calling him turned out to be a landlord, whom he had known for sometime.

The landlord shared her story with Termite Terry. She said that a rental home of hers had a rat problem, and that it had been going on for four years. She also said that another pest control company had been battling these rats for the entire time, and that they had failed to get rid of them. After discussing the issue for a few minutes, they set an appointment for him to investigate the house.

Termite Terry arrived at the home the next day and met with the tenants. One of the tenants, a lady, took Terry for a tour around the inside of her home. The tenants had lived in this location for quite sometime, and had accumulated a lot of clutter. But, there were no signs of rats inside.

The lady of this house said that she could hear the rats running around in her attic at night. She pointed to areas of the home’s ceiling where she most often heard the noise.

Terry went out to his truck to put on a pair of coveralls and respirator. He also got a flashlight and ladder. He went back into the house, set up his ladder and climbed up into the attic.

As soon as he opened the attic hatch, an overwhelming cloud of stench came out from the attic. Once standing in the attic, Termite Terry turned on his flashlight to have a look around. This attic was covered with rodent droppings and urine stains. Besides a few dead carcasses spread around, most of the rodent activity appeared to be located the north end of the attic. There were no obvious holes or entry points where the rats could get in. So, he decided to go outside of the home and see if he could figure out how these pests were getting into the structure.

Termite Terry started his inspection at the front of the house and went all the way around, looking for a way for the rats to get in. This home was built pretty well, and he saw nothing that would lend a clue.

Next, he went onto the roof and checked every inch of it for any signs of rodent activity. He found nothing up there that would indicate a problem.

Running out of places to look, he decided to go back inside of the home and look further. With all of the stuff that these tenants had collected over the years, the interior of this home was not all that easy to inspect. Fortunately, the tenants were very cooperative and helped him clear out cabinets, closets and move furniture around so he could find where the rats were getting in. Again, he came up with not a single shred of evidence.

Termite Terry was puzzled by this time, but he promised the tenants that he had not given up on finding the answer.

He said to himself, “This is crazy! I know there are rats in the attic, but how are they getting in? There’s no food or water in the attic for them to live off of. So, I know they’ve got to be going in and out of this place, somehow.”

With no clues to be found in the attic, interior or on the roof, the only place to look further would be on the outside of this house.

Knowing that most of the rat activity was on the north side of the home, he went back to that area to look further.

Termite Terry just stared at the north side wall. There was nothing to look at but a solid wall that was covered with stucco. The wall had a couple of windows that were sealed very well, so they weren’t a problem.

It was at this point that he started to look closely at the electric meter that was located on this wall. The meter was in good shape, and there was no way for a rat to get in there.

Subterranean Termites Costa Mesa

“Termite” Terry as Columbo

Looking closer, he observed that the meter had been installed on what they call a “wall chase”. This construction element protruded out from the main wall about ten inches, it was about two feet wide, and it started from the ground and ran all the way up to the roof line. The builder of this home had installed this so that there would be this “tunnel”, built on the outside of the main wall, for him to run all of the electrical wiring from the meter and to the rest of the house.

If it weren’t for the electric meter and fuse box on it, one could have easily thought this wall chase looked like a fireplace that had been built onto the wall. It was covered in stucco, just like the rest of the house and appeared to be rodent proof.

Termite Terry kept looking, and then got down on his hands and knees. He started looking at the bottom of the wall chase. After looking closer, he saw that there was a very small gap between the bottom of the wall chase and the ground. Termite Terry said to himself, “That’s funny. There’s no concrete under this thing. You’d think that the builder would have poured a slab under this.”

He pulled out his pocket knife and started probing under the wall chase. Sure enough, there was no concrete to be found. He then got his mirror and flashlight to see what was under it. Low and behold, he found that the bottom of this wall chase was wide open. Any rat could easily squeeze under this thing, crawl up the wall, and go into the attic.

Solving this case took a lot longer than Termite Terry had expected. But, he was excited to have the answer and couldn’t wait to call the property manager.

Now that he had found out how the rats were getting in, fixing it was the easy part. His crew dug out the dirt from below the wall chase, and then filled in the bottom of it with concrete. The “Case of the Perennial Rats” was now closed, permanently.

Do you have a problem with mice or rats and need help? Call us at (949) 631-7348 and we’ll be happy to “investigate” your case.