Late one Friday in darkest January we got a call from one of the lettings companies we work with requesting an “emergency” attendance to one of their properties. What’s the emergency we inquired?

“Our tenant heard noises in their 1st floor en-suite and opened the door to find a rat. They then went downstairs to the kitchen to find it flooded with water and damage to the wall behind the radiator. Please meet the plumber at the property.”

So, off we trotted to survey the carnage. When we got there the kitchen was in a sorry state and the water and heating systems had been switched to limit the damage. However, with no rat or evidence of rats presence we only had the word of the tenant that this was the culprit.  When dealing with activity that is on several floors and in wall cavities you would be wise to bet on rats or mice as they have the size and nature to access the areas that allow free movement around the hidden voids of a property.

Whilst waiting for the plumber we surveyed the property and the neighbouring connected properties and could find no entry points whatsoever. No sign of rodent in the loft either. An hour later, still no plumber so the tenant was shipped off to a local hotel for the evening with two excited children.

So, we set traps and left for the night. Next day, Saturday, the plumber finally arrived and immediately declared that he wasn’t happy working in a house with rats and that he had heard noises. He left, advising that he would return when they had been removed. NOT VERY HELP FULL!!

By now, the charm of hotel life was wearing off for the tenants and we arranged to go back on Sunday to inspect the traps and take off the radiator ourselves to review the stud wall and see if there was any signs of access from below the floor. It wasn’t long before a little investigation with our boroscope revealed a furry captive that had recently expired and was now firmly stuck through the metal stud work frame.

This was no rat and, as the next picture reveals, following further removal of the wall, was somewhat larger.

We deal with a lot of issues that relate to squirrels and the damage they can cause but have never seen one make such a torturous journey through a house to arrive at ground level.

Good news though, as we can exclude rats and we can get the plumber back … or so I thought.  “Sorry mate, I don’t work on Sundays and can get back until Wednesday.” The damage that had caused the leak was to a plastic heating pipe, caused by the gnawing of the squirrel as it attempted to escape the stud wall.

Looking at the pipe and knowing a little about plumbing, I thought it wouldn’t take much to join a new section on and get this family back in their home.

So, a trip to the local DIY shop for supplies, fit a new section of pipe, rebuild wall, refit radiator to wall, refill central heating system, restart boiler and check for leaks, warm up the home, mop the floor and call the tenant to invite them home. I think it was fair to say that they were relieved to escape the hotel room earlier than expected as the experience with two small children had now become somewhat less than fun.  So, when you’re up against it and the chips are down know that you can rely on Prokill to be there for you as your pest controller, plumber, builder, cleaner or anything else that we can reasonably be.

Oh, yes….it got in by a hole in the roof and unusually tracked it’s way down the cavities.