They say you are never more than a few metres from a rat these days. I recently had the displeasure of proving this fact to a client in a most shocking way. In 10 years within the industry I thought I had seen most things and I am therefore not easily shocked. However, during a recent survey of a domestic dwelling, a trainee surveyor and I discovered a novel yet alarming nesting site.
Our client had called reporting rats running in his house. He had called in the local council but was not too impressed with their approach to the situation, and he therefore requested a second opinion. When we arrived the elderly gentleman spared no detail as he proceeded to explain the situation to us.
We inspected all corners of the property to determine if the rats were just using the property for their food shopping or if they had bigger plans to set up residency in the flat.
It did not take long to find evidence of nesting! As we looked behind the sofa that the chap was happily sitting on, we noted a lot of debris which resembled chewed foam and fabric. The gentleman got up to allow us to pull the sofa out from the wall. As we did, a rather large well-fed Rat jumped out from within the frame of the sofa, ran directly over the trainees feet, much to his shock and my amusement. It then darted across the floor and down a hole in the floor it must have made earlier.
On further investigation, we discovered that the rats had not only built a nest under the seating area of the item, their entrance and exit was approximately 2 inches away from the gentleman normally parks his bottom! We asked the chap “were you not aware of any signs that this may have been going on” to which he replied “Well, I did feel some movement underneath my seat last night but just presumed it was a touch of wind!!”
It seems that with reports in the press of increases of Rodent activity, it would appear that they are not satisfied with intruding into our homes to steal our fruit and bread, they are now brazen enough to become flat mates and then have the cheek to insist on sharing our creature comforts too. How long before they gain control of the TV remote control?!
On a happier note, we cleared that rat problem and by working together with Rentokil Hygiene Division, we utilised a Drain Inspection Camera which located the source of the infestation: a broken mains drain beneath the property. We cleaned his sofa and removed all the dangerous bacteria and even got him a quote from an upholsterer to repair the damage. Pests eliminated, source found then sealed and everything returned to its original state. One happy customer. Plus an even happier trainee technician with an experience he will re-tell down the pub for many years to come.
So next time you feel a vibration in your seat, just ask yourself : “Are you sure that was just a loose spring?”
Read another pest sofa story here – do you have any of your own to tell us about?