Monday, August 08, 2016

addressing a terrible rat problem in a basement apartment

See this 08-08-2016 message:

We renovated a basement apartment on North Capitol that has had a terrible rat problem. We contracted American Pest, but they can't find the entry points, they just set traps, remove caught rats, and basically shrug when asked how to improve or solve the problem. Are there other companies/methods people have tried? It's not a food/cleanliness issue because they're staying in the ceilings and the walls. It's awful. The tenant is going nuts. 

Hope my neighbors have good ideas!


  1. Definitely not an expert, but I used to volunteer at a historic mansion near Dupont. They had the same problem, and fixed it by digging out about 3 feet of soil directly adjacent to the outside wall. Then they placed chicken wire and back-filled with gravel. Another option might be to use an expanding foam to fill the voids in the walls and ceiling.

  2. I am posting this comment for another Bloomingdale resident:

    I totally understand it, we had a totally new rehabbed building and after 4 years, rats started chewing over our heads. Drove us crazy. We had our pest company come out and try the usual stuff of stuffing up holes, putting down bait, etc but nothing helped. They finally got someone to come out and do a "smoke" test. They went up on the roof and taped up all but one of the plumbing vent pipes, then put a smoke machine (like a disco fog machine) attached to the last one to blow "smoke" into the plumbing pipe system. Way down in the basement by the front entry door smoke came pouring out of the wall around the door jamb. When we cut into the sheet rock to see what the problem is, the old original drain pipe was tapped into for the new plumbing, and they plugged the top of it with a rag stuffed down into it and duct tape around it. There was not much problem with that for water's sake but the rats from the sewer system found it and chewed through and were coming into the house. We would never have known that without the smoke test. For sure worth a try. We use this group for our monthly pest control, they had somebody come out and do the smoke test when all else failed, I wish we had started with that!

  3. A comment from another neighbor: my thoughts is that there are no entry points - that they are living & breeding "in place"

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  5. The smoke test sounds like a great idea. I would also change pest control companies too. Orkin for the DC area is great. They will not only trap but check for entry ways. They truly act like partners in crime with you. But you define rely want to track down how they are getting in. You kill one or two but they leave a scent to tell others how to get in. Good luck.

  6. this is ronnie with doh rodent control, where is this place located.
    i might have some ideas.