Roof Rats An Expensive Lesson Learned

Dated: 02/05/2018

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Roof Rats—An Expensive Lesson Learned


San Antonio is a wonderful city.  The wildlife in the neighborhoods do not “bother” me—I’ve mentioned that I see a skunk several times a month when taking my pre-dawn walk.  Nearly a month ago, a family member learned that it’s not just the wildlife you can see, but also those you can hear that cause problems.  When they get in my home--that scares me!   San Antonio is a city that ranks high on the list of cities with a Roof Rat problem. 


I am not an expert on Roof Rats (and never hoped to be, by the way), but these pesky critters love heights and they get on roofs using tree limbs that hang close enough to the home for them to jump off the limb and onto the roof.  They search for an opening, even those as small as a nickel, where they slither into the attics and cause damage.   


The rats need a food and water source.  If there is no water, they will chew your water pipes until they get some.  In fact, they will chew and chew the water pipes—and then chew some more.  Naturally, the chewing causes leaks, in our case, multiple leaks, wet carpets, hiring an exterminator to set and monitor traps, seal the attic—so far without one carcass to reward us for the effort, inconvenience and expense!


Due to the multiple chews, so far about thirty in number, the water has been shut off.  The plumbers came back this week and repaired some of the piping only to have it chewed again.  They left the outside faucets on to supply some of the water the family needs and the nasty critters went down into the walls chewing as they went.  The chewing caused additional leaks and more damage.  The plumbers had to cut the sheet-rock to get to some of the pipes, my goodness.   So now there are temporary patches over the holes that were cut to keep the critters out of the main home, damage where none had been before and a lot of frustration.


As I started, this has been and continues to be an expensive experience.   If you have tree limbs hanging near or over your roof, consider having them trimmed.  If you haven’t checked your attic for rodent access, consider doing that too.  Roof rats grow to be over a foot in length.  If they can smell the inside air, it may be enough to drive them inside.  It is quite expensive to get rid of the critters, replace the carpet and drywall, not to mention the expense and inconvenience a family encounters trying to live without water for a month! 


If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate in the San Antonio area, I am available to help.  If you have a Roof Rat story, I’d like to hear that too!

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Sharon Miller

Sharon is a military wife who moved at the direction of the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years, a Federal employee who retired after 30 years of service, an active Broker Associate/REALTOR in San Antonio w....

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