Houston Residents Facing a New Post-Harvey Battle: “Roof Rats”
Pest control companies are seeing a record year in rodent activity as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey.
More than a year later, Houston-area residents are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. And the latest flood-related hurdle many are facing seems plucked straight from a nightmare: roof rats.
KTRK reports that pest control companies are seeing a record year in rodent activity as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey. Normally rodent activity has an offseason, but unfortunately, that’s not the case this year. Not only have the rats moved in, they’ve moved up.
"The populations have grown to a level it's never been anywhere close to over the last 35 years," Raleigh Jenkins of ABC Home and Commercial Services told KTRK. "Since Harvey, there has been a big change. There has been a huge increase in rodents that were nesting in other places that have up and moved into attics."
The flooding, Jenkins explained, brought the rats inside where they’ve been nibbling through wires and wreaking havoc on homes.
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Jenkins told the station that rodent-proofing is all about plugging holes. "A mouse needs the size of a nickel and if you can stick a nickel in there, a rat or mouse will be able to get in there too," he explained.
To plug small rat holes, the CDC recommends filling them with steel wool and putting caulk around it to keep it in place. For large holes use lath screen or lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting.