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Rats like your house as much as you do
Rats are cute, but they can carry disease and damage your house
Rats are a fact of life in San Diego County. They are found everywhere from downtown and rural areas, to poor and rich neighborhoods alike. But you should not put up with rats living in your attic. Rats
can carry disease, and you do not have to come in contact with them to be affected. Hantavirus can be contracted by breathing in dust contaminated by rodent feces. Other diseases can be spread from bites, or fleas that bite the rats and then bite you. Rats can also chew through the insulation on wires causing a fire hazard. They nest in heating ducts, in your walls, and even in your cupboards.
When you are buying a house, you need to be aware that a traditional “pest inspection” does not report on rodent infestation. The inspection performed during a transaction is called a WDO or Wood Destroying Organism inspection. They inspect for termites, carpenter ants, dry rot, fungus – anything that will destroy wood. Rats and mice are not included as a Wood Destroying Organism.
Your home inspector is also not responsible for reporting on rodent infestation. Most home inspectors are not licensed pest inspectors. Pest inspectors are required to be licensed by the State of California. In the interest of your health and safety, if we see evidence of rodent infestation we will recommend additional investigation which we feel is in your best interest. So if we observe piles of poop, strong urine odor, or numerous traps in your attic, we’ll let you know.
San Diego County Vector Control is responsible for controlling any source of disease that can be transmitted by animals or insects. This includes rats, mice, mosquitos, etc. They have put together this video which illustrates how rats affect a house, and what you can do about it. To keep rats out of your home, follow these steps. You may even be able to get a free inspection.
If you have a heavy infestation you may have to have your attic sanitized. This can be costly. All of the insulation has to be removed if it is saturated with urine and feces, all of the waste must be carefully removed, and insulation must then be replaced. If you are concerned about a rodent infestation, you may need an additional inspection from an exterminator.
About the author: Philippe Heller is the president of The Real Estate Inspection Co, one of the largest private home inspection companies in San Diego. Their team of home inspectors have your health and safety at the top of their list when performing an inspection. Visit their website today to see how they use the latest technology to perform the best inspections available.