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Drought, Hot Weather Causing Rodent Infestations In East Bay Homes

DANVILLE (CBS SF) -- Business is booming for pest eradication companies as the drought and the hot weather hitting the Bay Area has forced rats to come out of the woodwork in search of water.

The vector control of Contra Costa County has been out putting leaflets on doors in some areas that are impacted.

Mike Robinson checked for rats at a Danville home this week. The owner, Barbara Corsi, noticed rodent droppings when she bought it.

"It was rats in the attic, and under the house, and in the garage," Corsi said.  "He said it's like you have a rodent freeway going underneath your house."

Mike works for Got Rats Rodent Proofing in Concord, and with the summer heat and drought, he says he's booked with 20 to 30 calls a day from neighbors reporting rat infestations.

"In the field, it's just very dry and every animal needs a water source," Robinson said.

He's taken these photos of rats he's trapped in county homes.

"They're finding pipes, dog bowls - people that leave water out every night, it's an easy food source for water and easy source for food," Robinson said.

Mike sets the traps after sealing up points of entry.

"We're looking for any kind of gaps, cracks, pipes, anything that can lead directly into the home."

We made calls to other Bay Area rodent removal companies, and discovered similar rat problems from Danville to Pacifica.

Mike says you can keep rats from invading your home.

Because they're nocturnal, put your pets' food and water away at night. Don't leave food lying around.  Keep doors and garages closed at night.  And seal holes and cracks in your home with galvanized screens and cement.

Barbara had openings sealed in her garage vent and deck.


"We needed to get that taken care of right away before we moved in," Corsi said.

You can use the same wooden traps that the professionals use.

You can buy it at the store.

He uses peanut butter, or snickers bar for bait.

Apparently cheese does not work as well.

The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District will conduct door to door outreach next week in Pinole. It's part of a new program designed to educate county residents on how to prevent rats in the county one home at a time.

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