Amanda Guerra, NBC 5
The cold weather has rats scurrying to find new (warmer) homes in attics.
On Christmas Eve at the Pest Shop in Plano, owner Michael Bohdan said he received an unexpected number of calls from homeowners complaining about scratching noises in their attics.
"They thought maybe it was Santa Claus, but this ain't the reindeers!" said Bohdan.
Instead, those scratchy and scurrying noises were rats.
“I mean we’re talking almost 15 inches, from the tip of the head to the tip of the tail,” Bohdan said.
The 30-year rodent control expert said starting about a month ago, the rodents began invading homes in North Texas. The reason? Bohdan said the cold and wet weather the DFW Metroplex experienced the past few weeks drove the rats indoors.
“If it was cold and wet would you want to be outside? I don’t think so. You’d want to be inside,” Bohdan said.
Bohdan said the real problem is the rats pose a serious risk to your home. They tend to stay in attics where they chew on wires. Bohdan said one spark could easily turn into a raging house fire.
Pointing to a nibbled on wire, Bohdan said, “This is some very good evidence of damage. You can see where had they kept chewing, then this could’ve been shorting out, and again- possible fire.”
Bohdan said you want to listen for scratching noises, especially at night.
“If you hear them during the day, it’s probably going to be birds or squirrels. But if you hear them at night our chances are 99 percent it’s going to be roof rats,” he said.
Homeowners also want to set out traps, both inside and outside their homes.
Lastly, look for small holes where rats could enter your home.
“They can actually crawl through a hole the size of a quarter, and that’s not very big at all- one inch,” Bohdan said.
It’s a tiny opening that could lead to one big problem.