Experts agree majority of southern Oregon homes, maybe 90%, have rodent problem
Because southern Oregon is a rural area, rodents can be a big problem. One real estate agent, home inspector and rat exterminator agree a good majority of homes have evidence of rats or mice.
"I pulled out the stove and found a beautiful little entry point for them," Brian Druihet, the real estate agent and homeowner, said of his own kitchen.
Druihet had a pretty compelling reason to even look behind the stove in the first place for a hole that rats or mice could get through.
"It was late at night," Druihet remembered. "I came out and literally on our stove, there's a rat just hanging out."
He's lived in his Ashland home for about two years. Last week, Druihet filmed a rat running under his porch in his backyard.
"It's where my kids play, so it's just kind of gross, you know?" Druihet said.
He guesses there could be four or five different rats somewhere under his porch or near his house. He looked to social media for solutions - those included buying a cat, traps, sealing access points, not using poison or call Rob Parks, The Ratinator.
"The state, a few years ago, implemented additional rules about rodents," Parks said. "My boss at Ashland School District suddenly decided that I was going to be The Ratinator, and the name sort of stuck."
Parks no longer works for ASD, but has kept hunting rats for the past few years mostly as a side job in Ashland. He says he gets at least two to three calls a day and has visited hundreds of houses.
"It's not in one particular area. It's everywhere," Parks said. "I get calls 20 miles up into the mountains to [getting] calls downtown."
Because Druihet also helps sell homes in southern Oregon, he will work with home inspector Kelley Skudstad, the franchise owner and inspector from Housemaster in southern Oregon.
"A lot of times, where I'll see it is usually around the HVAC system or the trails [in attic insulation] and then in the crawlspace, it'll be on the crawlspace floor," Skudstad said.
Coincidentally, Skudstad looked at Druihet's own home and pointed out exactly how rodents got in.
"We have a crawlspace access," Druihet said. "There's a small hole that's the size of a quarter. That's where they were getting in."
All three agree the majority of homes have rodent problems. Parks agreed when asked if he believes 90% of homes have evidence of a current or past rodent problem.
"That's completely accurate. I think I've been under two houses in five years that I haven't seen rodents and/or caught rats at," Parks said.
Druihet and Skudstad didn't feel comfortable agreeing with a hard 90%, but still said a good majority of homes have evidence of rodents.
All three said the biggest reasons for rats to go under or inside a house was because food was left out or because it's warmer than being outside. Skudstad and Parks gave solutions for preventing rodents from getting inside a home. The two biggest were to seal any access points - vents around the house (roof or walls), holes made for pipes/tubing - and to call a professional.
Skudstad also recommend to leave a couple peanuts out in your attic or crawlspace to see if you have a rodent problem. If the peanuts are still there in a few days, you're in the clear. Parks said independently that if there is a rodent problem, three or four days won't make much of a difference in terms of damage if they're already there.