The Roller Coaster Of Infestation

For about five hours yesterday, I was feeling slightly euphoric. Why, you say? Because for about five hours, I thought our attic visitors might be squirrels instead of roof rats. Then the Terminix man came back, and plunged me into rat despair again.

It’s completely irrational that I felt better about the squirrels. I mean, squirrels are rats!!! And if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already know about my squirrel mantra – Death To Squirrels! And you might recall my trip into redneck country.

Death to squirrels and now rats, too!

I think the reason I felt a little better is because squirrels actually want to leave the house. If you patched the hole they made to get in, they would chew through a wall to get out. But not rats. They want to stay. If you patch the hole they made to get in, they just burrow deeper into your home. The hair on the back of my neck is standing up as I write this! Yuck!

So that is the roller coaster I have been on this week. I’m off to find a contractor to patch the hole, repair all the chewed facia boards, and wrap (painted) metal around the ends of all those boards. What a nightmare! Anyone else ever had roof rats? Been ignoring sounds in their attic? I wouldn’t recommend it. 🙂

19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lou on January 12, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I hear all kinds of scurrying above my head…but I also see squirrels on my roof daily. Please don’t mess with my nice thoughts…I don’t even want to consider any other possibility. I can not believe you are even living in your house right now. Miss Erika would need therapy if this happened to her!!!


  2. Posted by Jesse on January 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Ok- I am officially creeped out for you! Never heard of roof rats- I will happily take my mice and tarantula-sized spiders anyday now!


  3. YUCK!! I’ve never heard of a roof rate before. Bleck!!


  4. Posted by Anonymous on January 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    It looks like a squirrel…


  5. # Roof rat droppings are long and cylindrical.
    # Roof rats are nocturnal.
    # Roof rats can transmit diseases like the bubonic plague and typhus.
    # Roof rats will enter homes and buildings. They only need a hole the size of a quarter to gain entry.
    # Roof rats are good climbers. They can climb walls and use utility lines and fences to travel from structure to structure.
    # Outside, roof rats will nest in trees, woodpiles, garbage, and plants. In our area, oleanders seem to be a popular nesting location.
    # Inside, high places, like attics, are their preference.
    # Roof rats do not burrow in the ground or swim.
    # Roof rats eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, pet food and invertebrates (spiders and worms, for example). They will also eat paper.
    # Female roof rats can each have up to four litters a year, each containing five to eight young. In urban areas where they have no natural predators, the survival rate of the babies is high.
    # If you have the following items around your home, you may be more prone to attracting roof rats: palm trees, yucca plants, pampas grass, honeysuckle, Italian cypress trees,

    The rats are also between 12″ and 18″ long including their tail…sleep tight, good night, don’t let the roof rats bite! Love, Ken


    • Wow! Thank you so much Ken. We’ll definitely give you our room next time you come to visit, so you can be as close as possible to the rats. 🙂


  6. Posted by lisa on January 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Please call me – we have a very good exterminator for this problem…in fact, he calls himself the “cajun rat-killing machine” and when he helped us out we were finished with the problem in no time (no kidding)….
    Sorry for you all


    • Lisa, Thanks so much. We have a Terminix contract, so they are taking care of it for no extra money right now. But if they don’t make progress soon, I will definitely call and get your guys info.. I need to work on getting a roofing contractor out to plug the hole. 🙂


  7. Posted by Stacy on January 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I had roof rats in my condo in college. They ate the leather strings out of my soft ball glove and left droppings all over my stuff (which was mostly boxes). I remember calling and calling the landlord who owned the condo and they wouldn’t do anything about it. When I moved out, I made Eli get up in the attic to pull everything down because I was so freaked out! Ugh…makes the hairs on my arms stand up just thinking about it! I hope the Terminix man gets ’em! Seriously, roof rats die!!

    Oh and I really don’t think squirrels are much better. When I lived in Chicago I had some of them in the roof of my apartment (they were in the attic, in the floor boards). The sound of their nails scratching on the ceilings is enough to make your skin crawl. They would only get in in the winter, trying to escape the cold. But they did come back every winter even with the landlord repeatedly patching the hole they would chew to get in. I used to sleep with ear plugs! Haha!


  8. Ok.. I read your post and all comments and I’m freaking out!

    Here’s a little secret: we live by a gorgeous river and the bay (beach) is one block from our home… and this should be common-sense, but I never knew that living by the water can be really bad! Last winter we had mice in our basement and we had people coming here to clean everything and get them out. I must say that I am more scared of a mice than a lion! lol I even cried because I was so, so scared! Now, I can’t even imagine having rats… sorry, but I feel like saying a bad word here!!!! lol

    I’m still scared… lol

    PS: never invite me over..LOL … Just kidding! LOL


    Luciane at


    • I know! It’s really creepy! And to make it worse, I have friends that I’ve been trying to get to visit me. Fat chance, now! 🙂

      I just keep telling myself that by this time next week, we’ll have it all figured out.

      Have a great evening, Luciane!


  9. Some of our good friends had a squirrel infestation in their attic. Since apparently they’re protected wildlife, they had to pay tons of money to have them watched for months while they grew-up. Crazy! Glad you got those rat creatures out! No fun at all!


  10. Posted by Jen on January 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I’m pretty sure the squirrel in the above picture found his way back to your house! 🙂


  11. […] The rat saga continues. We are going on almost two weeks with nothing caught in the traps. That’s also two […]


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