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Homeowner nightmare as family finds rat infestation in Scottsdale home

Posted at 5:06 AM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 14:00:45-04

Do you know what's living in the walls of your potential home? One Valley family signed off on a deal, not knowing there was a rat infestation.

When the family hired a contractor to do some remodeling at their Scottsdale home, that's when they discovered a beehive hidden in the walls. They said the smell is possibly what attracted rats, who left urine and feces everywhere.

Their contractor, A.J. Gates with Gates Custom Homes, said he asked the homeowners if they wanted to try and resell the home with the massive problem, or stay.

The family decided to stay and fix it. But it's now costing them nearly $90,000, because all the drywall needs to be ripped out and replaced. They also hired a pest control company to get rid of all the rats.

"We're going to come in here, we're going to catch all the rats," Chad Little, owner of Urban Desert Pest Control, said. "We're going to seal the house up, keep the rats out and then bait the rats on the outside."

Gates said the previous owners knew there was a rodent problem, and even set up traps. However, he said they didn't know the extent of the problem.

He said when the home inspector came out, they didn't find an active infestation. 

"The home inspector isn't going to necessarily catch the problem," Gates said. "If he doesn't see signs of activity, he can't look in walls. So you really need a specialist to come in and inspect to make sure the problem has been dealt with because if it hasn't, we end up with this."

Gates said unfortunately, it's a crack in the system.

Gates and Little both advise that before you buy, get a third party to do a full inspection of rodents, because you never know what can be hiding in places you can't see.