At a recent inspection I was reminded of the fact that Rats are barely human. We all know what rats human beings can be, but actual rats are rarely to be outdone by human rat wannabe’s.
Rats bite everything and anything—–they are required to—-otherwise their teeth would grow around into their skulls leading to a nasty death—-no matter how well deserved. Humans have a long history of hating rats and I am sure the feeling is mutual—-except the rat is much more evolved in that they still see his enemy as food. While some cultures do see rats as food—-this delicacy is not widespread—-and I am grateful for that. I am more than willing to let this plentiful source of protein go to waste.
Back to my recent inspection.
I noticed that many of the vent screens in the crawl space were points of entry for these creatures of the night and they had apparently eaten through the hardware cloth screening of many of the crawl space vents.
Now I have heard of them eating through wire screening and even concrete, but this amount of damage seemed excessive. I finally realized that this hardware cloth was plastic! No wonder they had such an easy time of it—-this realization returned them safely back to the realm of being more like humans. I can’t stand the thought of competing with something that can eat through wire and concrete. I am still trying to figure out why anyone would think that plastic would make an acceptable screening material against any kind of rodent—-even humans could bite though the stuff.
On a recent inspection I did find where they had eaten through cement board siding—makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it.
Alert: My more squeamish readers might want to skip the next paragraph (even though I know you won’t).
I once had a barn in Cato, New York—near Syracuse—-where I had lots of rats due to some stored grain. I started trapping them and caught perhaps 30 during the course of the winter. One morning I checked the traps and found a large rat with his head still in the trap—-the rest of his body out of sight inside the hole in the floor. (Now this is where Edgar Allen Poe or the Marque de Sade would toss their cookies—-but probably not Vlad Tepez. Trust me when I tell you, if this makes you squeamish, you do NOT want to Google Vlad Tepez—-proof of who the real rats are.) When I picked up the trap to dispose of the poor critter I discovered much to my horror that his buddies had eaten everything below the floor level.
This was pretty much the final straw of whatever respect I had left for these creatures.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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