What’s in your attic?

Having been involved in 3 or 4 home inspections during the past couple of weeks or so, I’m reminded of a story from about 7 or 8 years ago. I will try to re-tell it exactly as I remember it, so if you are sensitive to a swear word now and again, my apologies. So the home inspector for this 1920’s, farm style, 1.5 story home in the outskirts of Seattle discovers in the dormer storage sections upstairs, that among the rafters, there lie a few abandoned mattresses which happened to be absolutely covered with rat excrement. Now, I’ve been through many inspections and have seen numerous rodent droppings in both attic and crawl spaces, but I have not ever seen one to this extent. So, the seller agrees to have a professional check out and correct the situation. The pest professional is called and the seller and myself meet at the property. Upon the return from the ‘attic’ where the festivities had been happening, the ‘exterminator’ says: ‘Yep. You’ve got a rat problem alright, and you’ve got yourself a “Norwegian” rat.’

Norway rat

“Norwegian rats”, we ask, “can you get rid of them?” His reply: “Well, it’s not a them as you only have one.” “One”, we ask, “how do you know?” Seems odd to the seller and I that there could only be one rat with the amount of you know what scattered everywhere. So he says, starting to get a little attitude at this point: “Yep, like I said you only have one, as the Norwegian rat is very unsociable and in fact hates all other rats and will fight ‘em and run ‘em off.” “You’re kidding right?” We ask. “Listen buddy” he says, getting a little hostile now, “I’ve been looking at rat sh*t for over 30 years and I know my rat sh*t and I can tell ya, you have a Norway rat and you only have one of ‘em.” Well, the seller and I were amazed at his knowledge and of course hired his company to come out and trap the little fella. The next week, the ‘trapping kid’ comes out and of course he wasn’t aware that we just had one Norway rat and he sets multiple traps in the attic. Well, needless to say, over the next 4 weeks as the ‘trap kid’ returns every week to empty the traps, he hauls away at least 7 large rat bodies to the rat graveyard. So much for the expert on the nationality of ‘our’ furry attic dwellers…kind a funny though, for many years afterward, the two small sons of the buyer, would refer to the attic storage area as the “rattic”.

Thanks to Stan Mackey Coldwell Banker Agent from Seattle for this post!

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