Q. I’ve been doing a rat job in Riverside, CA for over a year. I’ve done the exclusion work and activity stopped for a couple of weeks and calms down every now and then, but they continue to get rats in the attic. I’ve caught over 20 rats. The owner, property management and another pest management company have tried and we still can’t find the entry point. What else can we do?
— Tony, NV
A. It may be time to have the plumbing smoke tested. Difficult rat jobs often involve broken pipes or open drains. Rats will use these to enter buildings from the sewer. Advise the customer to schedule a smoke test with a plumber. They force non-toxic smoke through the drain system, which will escape from and identify problem areas. If smoke escapes near areas where rats have been trapped, then it is probably identifying a source for the rat infestation. You may trap some rats after repairs are made, but that should not continue if the broken pipe or open drain was the root of the problem.
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