I've killed 15 rats and now need to clean and disinfect my garage. Please help!
February 24, 2009 8:00 AM   Subscribe

My garage has been a rat motel for the past year. Now that the rats are gone how do I clean it and make it usable again?

My wife and I recently purchased a house that was in pre-foreclosure and although the house itself was in decent condition, the garage was an abandoned mess infested with rats. We've been working with an exterminator for the past three weeks and, 15 dead rats later, finally have succeeded in clearing out the current infestation.

Pictures of what we inherited can be seen here, here and here. Overwhelming, to say the least.

Now that the rats are gone and the garage cleared out I'm at a lost of how to move forward. The smell is tremendously bad (in February, in Chicago), there are rat droppings everywhere, about 20% of the concrete is dug up and there are three holes that need to be plugged. Part of me wants to just tear down the entire structure and build a new one but it is a beautiful brick garage from the 1920's and is in really great shape overall.

So please help me! What's my next step(s)? How do I make this garage suitable to be a garage?
posted by phixed to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Whatever else you do, cleaning is key. Bear in mind with rat infestations is that the smell of urine (and droppings) can attract future rats. I had a recurring roof-rat problem in an attic of my last house, and sealing the various holes only went so far. There are supposed to be enzyme-based cleaners that will break down the remaining waste products, but you've got mostly solid surfaces (as opposed to an insulation-filled attic) so a solid cleaning may be all you need.
posted by jquinby at 8:22 AM on February 24, 2009

We had a rat or two sneaking around our garage last spring. A good cleaning, secure storage of the bird seed, and liberal application of peppermint oil soaked cotton balls did the trick.

And to prevent future infestations we brought in a Wire Fox Terrier.
posted by notyou at 8:31 AM on February 24, 2009

If you're patching holes in the concrete where the rats chewed through it, mixing some broken glass into the concrete prevents them from chewing through. Also, sealing cracks with steel wool can keep vermin from chewing its way in.
posted by electroboy at 10:01 AM on February 24, 2009

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