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The Aluminum Interstate----it is outta sight!

     Inspectors are always harping on keeping vegetation cut away from the home. 

 The Rat Highway to Heaven    Hack them roses. 

     Pull off all that ivy. 

     Get rid of that crappy camellia.

     Ivy League schools would cringe at what we have to say about ivy.

     Espalier Apple tree lovers would protest our intolerance.

     Beside the mechanical damage that vegetation can do to homes they are a pathway for moisture and VERMIN into the home.

     What am I talking about?

     My favorite topic of course, RODENTS!  Whether it is Roof Rats, Warf Rats, or Nutsy the Squirrel, you do not want these critters in your house.  I don’t even want them in cages in my house----but that is just me, and to each his own.

     Ivy growing on chimneys for example, makes a great cover for rats to sneak unobserved up to the roof structures where they can either gnaw their way into the attic, or simply find an opening already there somewhere along the Aluminum Interstate Gutter System that wraps the whole house.

     This home showed much evidence of rodents in the attic.  Can you see where they were getting in (at least ONE of the places)?

Rodent access into roof structure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Sorry----but the vegetation has GOT to go.

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspectors, ASHI Home Inspector, Licensed Home Inspector, Structural Pest Inspector, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, WA

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 26 commentsCharles Buell • September 17 2009 09:15AM

Comments

Good morning Charles ~ Yes, I have seen many houses that have Ivy growing on the outer walls, looks great and a bit quaint, but with it brings many critters . Not just rats, bugs, roaches etc... not my cup a tea.

Posted by Janice MacMillan, Associate Broker (ERA Joyner Realty) about 9 years ago

Charles - It's the look that counts.  What's a few extra rats if your house has that "old school" look.  And if we didn't allow a few varmints in our homes, what would the critter ridders do?

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) about 9 years ago

I hear you but did not realize that the rodent problem was an avenue too! WOW!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 9 years ago

New foreclosure in my nick of the woods has that problem too Charles.

I will not be setting foot into this garage.  I'll just let the critters have it and tell the potential buyers that the critters are a free bonus if they buy this one.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 9 years ago

I love controlled ivy (that's an oxymoron) crawling up posts but know better. So I always hope a neighbor opts anyway for the creepers and I live vicariously through their choice.

As a sidebar (a way to disguise rambling) A daughter just redid their entire backyard and found a skunk digging away in the nice loose soil over the week-end. Rodents! Yuck.

Posted by Kate Kate about 9 years ago

Jan, true----and a pathway for moisture into the structure as well.

John, what is that saying, "It is better to look good than feel good."

Russell, yup, rodents need a highway too:)

Tammy, come on, just grab a broom and go on in:)

Skunks (a euphamism for perfumed squirrel)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Perhaps Nutsy needs a new look to add to his many faces... (hint hint)

Posted by Kate Kate about 9 years ago

I love "crappy" camellia, you're making me sad Charles :)

Tree rats around here are the worst..I lifted up my bbq grill lid once and out shot the rat. I will rethink my views on certain kinds of vegetation.

Posted by Ana Hitzel, Professional Home Stager Inland Empire ( AccentPositives Home Staging ) about 9 years ago

Mr Charles,

Your silly, and infantile, little post ONLY makes sense if one accepts that there is some problem with rodents and, personally, I resemble the term "tree rats." Oh yes, that floozy Mrs Kate will jump for joy about how clever you are, but it does not play in Searcy or Bellingham.

Nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Whoa, a little vehement are we? Oh well, Nutsy, you know what they say about vehement squirrels. They resemble rats. Ms Kate

 

PS Nutsy, did you read Ms. Ana's account of a squirrel I mean rat (what's the difference anyway) in a bbq? heheh

Posted by Kate Kate about 9 years ago

Mrs Kate,

I am reluctant to ask for your advice at anything, but who is Mrs Anna and what does she know about squirrels compared to me? Probably very little. Mean people make Nutsy very angry

N.S. Wallenda

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

"The squirrel doth protest too much, methinks."

Posted by Kate Kate about 9 years ago

Kate, I will be working on that:)

Ana, sorry about the crappy camelia comment:)

Nutsy, you are chock full of nutsy

Kate, I think Ana may have it figure out:)

Nutsy, and what is the problem with that?

Kate----WAY too much

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Ivy has become public enemy number one at my house Charles!
Remember when Friday was the end of the week?
Paul

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) about 9 years ago

Ha! Thanks for a rodent post, Charles -- you can have them (even cute furry squirrel if they try to get into my house).  One of the big ones here in Florida is palm trees: when the fronds start drooping on the roof, there is a perfect rodent and bug avenue.  It's a tricky balance, since you want shade, but you don't want fruit rats (!).

Posted by Shoshana Shay (St. Pete Realty) about 9 years ago

I was showing a house the other day and the owner was there.  I mentioned she has a lot of stuff growing on the house and it wasn't good for the house.  She said she loved the look more than she cared about the possible dangers!  She's selling it so hope the next owner will be smarter.

The term "crappy camelia" just turned off all of the South.  No one has EVER called a camelia crappy.  And calling Nutsy a critter wasn't very polite either.  Nutsy wears many hats with style and verve.  At least you didn't call him a "crappy critter."

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 9 years ago

Paul, Ivy can be really invasive----as pretty as it might be

Shoshana, rats just love to operate from places of cover---they don't like to be out in the open much

Barbara, I really didn't mean to offend the entire South with my comment about camelias:)  In fact, I think they are really beautiful.  Around here the blossoms seem to last about a day and then drop and turn brown though.  The "crappy critter" goes without saying.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

I just had a client that was admiring the ivy.  Took a bit of re-education and he really didn't get it until we were inside the house and he saw the ivy growing in aroung the frame of a window.

Hard a heck to kill, too.

 

Posted by Paul Duffau, Caring for People, Educating about Homes (Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington) about 9 years ago

Mr Charles,

You had better watch your big mouth around my Godmother. She calls you on the carpet, rightfully so and it makes Nutsy, her Godson, so very happy.

Nutsy, her Godson

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Paul, I know what you mean----I had one once where the ivy had gotten in the cleanout of the chimney and was growing out throught the ash dump opening in the fireplace.

Nutsy=Issues

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Charles:  Great pics.  Carpenter ants seem to love hanging out in ivy too.  I always tell people that they can do anything they want, after all it is their home but I would not let Ivy anywhere near my home.

Posted by Jim Allhiser, Salem, Oregon Home Inspector (Perfection Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Jim, for sure----great pathway for Carpenter ants into the home.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

I once ENCOURAGED  ivy to grow because I loved the look. Learned that lesson! It's easier to let the cat out of the bag than it is to put back in...it was so hard to eradicate the ivy! Never again!

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) about 9 years ago

Leslie, I think Ivy is kind of designed to be invasive:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Charlie, for a guy who doesn't like rats you sure seem to like to tell us about those nasty relatives of Nutsy.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 9 years ago

James it is kind like driving by a car wreck and not looking:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

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