And while I'm on the rat subject, If we're going up in an attic with rat scat all over, what sort of ventilator mask would be needed? We have the little disposable masks that are good for drywall dust, but I have doubts about them. I've heard scary tales about rat crap. Makes me nervous.
It is really common to find it in my area. There is a certain type of little finch bird that lives around here that loves to peck at the screens covering the "bird holes" in freeze blocking. Then they build nests inside the attics. The rats come after the eggs and then take up residence. I've seen brand new houses with chewed up insulation on cables. Dust mask is not good enough, wear a real resparator, and gloves.
Rats like to chew but a certain target will be a cable that gets in their way. If they want to get through a bored hole and a cable is there they will open up the hole. It really seems to be a radial chew, making a nice round hole through the whole circumference but they will certainly take the wire down to the conductors and beyond. (had it happen in my boat) They also just pick a wire and chew it but that still may just be in the way of where they are going. Rats are just a fact of life around here. They are "country rats" (Roof rats rattus rattus AKA fruit rats, tree rats or the chamber of commerce name "palmetto squirrel") but there are plenty of them. I really don't see much difference between them and the fuzzy tail squirrels. The big Norway and brown rats more likely what you see in the big city.
Ya know I don't think they 'eat' it, they do however make nests out of it for sure. It's kind of funny when you find a NM sheath lined nest in the fiber-glass.
And personaly I do not think it is grounds for a full-blown resiparator, IMO a simple dust mask is sufficiant. It is only dander and funk dust. And the bio-hazard threat is not as high as one might think - but gloves and washing your hands is definately a good idea.
I once found one in a wall as skelital remains, it apparently locked on as it got through the insulation - it was a funny find. I remember saying 'your problem is right here' as I wacked my hammer through the rock, as I had to open the wall anyway to replace the cable, and out comes the rat dangling by his teeth.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
... Ive seen the damage they can do,..and yes,... squirrels love to "nibble" on the jacket.. As an attic rat myself, tho', I've never gotten used to the taste...I much prefer the older cloth covered version as opposed to the new vinyl stuff, as it tends to get stuck betwixt my teeth...
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"
What about charging extra for working conditions? Those old home's that were built back in the early ninteen hundreds. Guaranteed to have all sorts of vermin in the attics and crawl spaces.
Yes I know, sometimes electrical work is not pretty. I'm way used to that. Sometimes, when I am literally crawling and squeazing my way under a house and around all sorts of dead 'carcasses' makes me wonder if I should charge more.
I charge more when I encounter fecal matter in attics and elsewhere. One job had several bushels of raccoon droppings removed from the attic, plenty stank!!! and in the end, the business with the client smelled bad too. Go back to the Business discussion and in my thread Contract Clauses... there is a clause contributed by Sixer thst sddresses the above, I refer to it as the poo-poo clause.