Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to keep rats out of your garage

Answer:  I haven't found a solution to this problem, but read on so that you can understand this issue fully. 
My husband has been hard at work with the bait battles, obviously.  This was the juvenile who greeted me when I stepped into our garage this morning.  She could not have been dead for very long, but our battle won't end with her.  She probably has 29 brothers and sisters waiting in the wings. 
If you read up on the subject of rats and garages, probably what you'll find is a lot of useless information that tells you to ensure that the rubber seal on the bottom of the door is intact and tight against the ground.  But the problem is rarely with the bottom of the garage door.  The problem is with the corners.
The unfortunate light of day:
The door seal is just fine - but by design, it stops about an inch short of the side of the frame.  That creates this gap below the guide wheel that holds the door in the track. 

This opening is HUGE to any rodent.  You might as well send them gold-embossed invitations to come live with you. 
Several months back, I scoured the internet searching for some kind of product or retrofit that would seal these very obvious points of entry.  I came up empty-handed, so it seems that I'm going to have to invent something to do the job.  It's a tricky proposition because obviously the door is a moving part that can't be interfered with, and there's no fixed infrastructure in a convenient location for attaching any kind of a guard, because the wheel and its bracket are obstructing the area of concern.  We have two garage doors so this means four corners, and I have a feeling that I'm going to have to custom-cut and bolt four individual barriers. 

Sounds like a fabulous way to spend a Saturday, doesn't it?  I'll post on the outcome of that job when I get it done.  Given the strong cold front we just had here in Houston, the one that motivated rodents to seek even more indoor shelter than they usually would, my date with door destiny might come sooner than later. 

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