In a post earlier this week I wrote about the problem an inspector might have in trying to determine if rodents are present in a home or if the inspector is seeing signs of a paranoid homeowner who thinks there are pests, but in reality there are not. Sometimes it can be hard to tell, if one sees a trap but no droppings or damage. However, in the situation below, it was pretty obvious that we could smell a rat. For those of you who are not home inspectors, the look of the insulation in the crawl space (top photo) is a classic view of rodent (usually rats) that have been working. This is a dead giveaway. The next photo below, the gross one, says it all. You see two rat traps that are part of the homeowners trap line. He struck gold. Yet the homeowner was not able to resolve the problem so behind the two spring traps was a plastic commercial pest control operator's "bait trap" -- one of at least two such devices at the site. In this case, stating that rats were present was a pretty safe assumption.
Bellingham Home Inspector
Steven L. Smith