I have rats. My dogs go crazy night and day, chasing them around or at least thinking they are. Boris whines and barks at any time of the night when he thinks he hears one, so I have to lock him in my bedroom with me because I am afraid he will wake my neighbours. They are not in his imagination because I can hear them scampering in the ceiling. They are well fed fat rats. I bought some tiramisu mix - gone. A hole chewed in one end and nothing left but wrappers inside where the ladyfingers cookies were. They also got some Korean snacks and an entire large bag of sliced almonds. The weirdest thing they have been eating has been tartar sauce. I found a package with three small bottles in a store. I noticed one is half empty. After you open them they must go in the fridge. The one that is half empty has gone bad. I picked up another one and I guess they don't like rancid tartar sauce because they chewed a hole in that one too
So I went out and got several different kinds of traps. I got the metal kind that snaps shut and the sticky kind that when they walk on it they stick to and cannot escspe. The sticky kind was worthless - they seemed to just leave footprints. I thought that maybe they were old so i got new ones. They were just a dance floor for the rats. The metsl trap was a feeding station. They just ate the almonds I put on it. I put some peanut butter on it and jammed some almonds into it. While I was in Vietnam one of the rats stepped onto it. It caught his leg and he was dead by the time i came back. Then nothing for seversl weeks. Last Friday in the morning after I let him out of my bedroom Boris started making a horrid frantic yelp. I checked and the rat trap was gone. It was caught in the wires of the shelf with a rat caught in the middle. Even if I released it outside it would never survive, it was too badly hurt so the only thing I could do was to take it outside to the bucket I keep under the eaves trough to catch rainwater and put him head first in it.
Some people think rodents only live in dirty places. I cannot say my house is sparkling clean but they are opportunists. My dogs are usually crated when I am not home so the rats can sneak around freely then. There is a hole into my house where the exhaust for the stove would be if I had an exhaust fan. You can see the claw marks leading up to it. And my building has new owners, The husband loves cats and he feeds the feral cats in the neighbourhood, so my backyard is teeming with cats. So I am not too surprised they were looking for safer new stomping grounds and they found a perfect place - lots of cover with my stuff and I provide food.
As it gets colder more things will be looking for better accomodations. I just have to find a way to block that rat door into my house before any more make themselves at home.