I find it difficult to align myself on the side of the everyday rattus rattus or others of their ilk.
I lost whatever respect I might have had for rats “back on the farm” in Cato, New York. One day as I went to remove a dead rat from a trap, all that was sticking out of the hole in the floor was the unfortunate rat’s head—-and the trap. When I removed the rat & trap, I was disgusted to discover that “his” (I was never much into figuring out which sex a rat is—-a rat is a rat) cohorts had eaten the rest of his body!
As a Seattle home inspector I find evidence of these critters ALL THE TIME. From the 800 sq ft beater rental to the 8,000 sq ft McMansion. I have noticed that generally speaking, BUYERS HATE RATS! In fact I have known rats to “kill-a-deal” quicker than asbestos and mold! Good pest control operators will treat the property for rodents and will find and repair the openings that allow them into the home. Without making repairs to where they are getting in would amount to job security for the PCO (Pest control Operator).
Over time, as rats (any mammal—including humans) move along walls and floors in the home they will leave their “body grease” from their bodies/hair. Hair oils can build up into a dark shadow-like discoloration that is very distinctive. (You have seen this look—all the places where the kid’s hand-prints show up on the doorway to their room.) In this first picture you can clearly see the grease marks.
In this picture the grease marks are highlighted in green.
Marks this dark represent MANY YEARS of rat activity in the home.
This next picture shows where the rats were able to get drinking water from the leaking faucet over the laundry sink.
The highlighted areas show where their fur oils have darkened their pathways.
Now don’t you feel better about rats and your kids finger prints already?