The previous blog, RATS!......,talked about rats in the basement. This time I will talk about Attics, where infiltration by rats and other vermin into the home is perhaps the most prevalent. Often there is a network of trails visible in the insulation. Sometimes the infestation is so bad that I have to call for the professional removal of the insulation. Rodents can damage wiring hidden in the insulation and find there way into walls and the rest of the home. In the picture below we can see the tell-tale "body-grease" on the plastic exhaust duct being used as a roadway into the attic from the roof vent. The roof vent is missing its screen. (The duct should also vent to the exterior at a roof vent cap with a back draft damper----subject of a future blog.)
Again, all openings into the attic must be eliminated to prevent re-infestation. A very common point of entry is all along the gutters of the home. If rats can get to the roof (from trees/bushes/ivy too close to the home or even along the electrical wires from the street) they can usually find a way into the attic along the gutters. Proper eave flashings can eliminate this problem. In the picture above the primarily entry point was at the roof vent with a missing screen.
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board