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Old 08-18-2010, 09:34 PM
Status: "John 16:33" (set 28 days ago)
 
4,449 posts, read 3,567,409 times
Reputation: 6085

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Does anyone have any experience or advice to give about rats in the attic?

Found out today that our rental house has previously had, and may currently have, rats in the attic. There are piles of rat poo in the attic. The exterminator who was out today also remembered treating the house prior to renovation and trapping rats in another room of the house.

We are at a hotel right now.

The neighbors and owner are saying, hey no big deal, they're pretty common around here, just get some traps, etc. and make sure the vents are blocked. The owner said maybe he would have the rat poo taken care of in a couple of months. ?????

But my husband and I are pretty freaked out and scared to death about rat bites and the bugs and disease they carry (2 young kids)....

Do we try to move out IMMEDIATELY or do we try to get the owner to fix the problem? (I should add that this is not a cheap house we are in). We can't afford to stay at a hotel for very long.

HELP!!!

Last edited by calgirlinnc; 08-18-2010 at 10:12 PM..
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:53 PM
 
482 posts, read 693,783 times
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I wouldn't be able to stay there, especially with children.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,541 posts, read 2,300,167 times
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You should be concerned, rats carry some pretty horrible diseases, and fleas from the rats may infest your home. Plus, gross! Just killing the rats won't do enough. All points of entry must be found, and blocked completely. Look for grease trails alongside walls and above pipes for hints as to where they are entering. Also garage doors should be kept closed whenever you aren't using the garage. Rats may or may not be a common problem, but they are much more serious than a few bugs, and once the rats are eliminated you'll need an extensive cleaning (I know, duh!) or rats will keep coming.
All this is assuming you can stand to go back in there. Does your lease specify if the landlord has to deal with pests? I would look into ways to legally break the lease and get the heck out of there.

FYI, consider finding another exterminator too. If yours treated the house before and failed to do the proper exclusions that may be why rats returned. It's just as possible that they've found a new entry and he's completely fault free, but just keep that in the back of your mind.

Last edited by roxanneself; 08-18-2010 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,889 posts, read 4,883,064 times
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Don't move in! Contact your property manager or home owner and put everthing in writing. Is this home down town? Rats are not common here, at least not where I live. We personally do not handle rentals as far as real estate, but usually when I have rented my landlord has taken care of ant/pest issues.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:02 AM
Status: "John 16:33" (set 28 days ago)
 
4,449 posts, read 3,567,409 times
Reputation: 6085
A couple of things are bothering me, apart from the actual rats themselves:
1) the landlord knew and did not tell us and lied about it initially
2) he is reluctant to have it cleaned up immediately and handled properly (like Critter Control)
3) he has been very belligerent to my DH when DH contacted him about it

Isn't this all covered by tenants rights or something like that?

We did move in last week--half unpacked, half still packed, but now have to repack and rehire local movers (and find another house.)....and my son started his new school and this is very stressful and scary on top of everything else.....

Definitely not a good situation. All I keep telling myself is that the health and safety of my children is paramount.....
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Cane-Bay Plantation
2,223 posts, read 4,456,305 times
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Saw this on Billy the exterminator:
Dirty Jobs - Vexcon - Billy the Exterminator - Part 1 of 2 | Full Time Part Time Jobs

GROSS! DONT MOVE IN!!!!
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:22 AM
Status: "John 16:33" (set 28 days ago)
 
4,449 posts, read 3,567,409 times
Reputation: 6085
OK, but we've ALREADY moved in.

I am really thinking we need to move out ASAP. Despite the cost and the hassle.....

Anyone know anything about tenant's rights? From what I can see online, SC law says the place must be "habitable"....and of course with rats, it is not habitable.

Oh, and the house is on IOP.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:40 AM
 
1,710 posts, read 5,120,283 times
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Found this Isle of Palms - Animal Control Towards the bottom you will see people must have problems with rats on IOP...Interesting, I would have thought that was a downtown problem.

I would move out. Before you move your boxes into a new place I would unload them outside just in case a rat is in one of them.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
1,046 posts, read 1,944,192 times
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I would also move out ASAP. Rats aren't your typical rodent problem. THey carry all kinds of diseases, fleas, and their waste can spread the Hanta virus which is an airborne illlness that you get from breathing in the dust from the excrement after it dries out. I agree that your children's safety comes first. If you get no help from the landlord call the Dept of Health or the local Housing Authority. Living with rats is just not an option.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:57 AM
Status: "John 16:33" (set 28 days ago)
 
4,449 posts, read 3,567,409 times
Reputation: 6085
Thanks all for your advice.....

I should add that the landlord said, "well, if the rats are in the attic, just don't go in the attic"
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