One of the many exciting things about home inspections is getting to go places where most people don’t go, like the crawl space. For those of you who are not home inspectors or do not know about crawl spaces, let me digress and paint a quick picture.
A crawl space is an area under a home that one can access for inspection, work on plumbing, electrical, structure, or find thigs like rats. Crawl spaces range in height from walkable to laying flat on your face and army crawling under beams and joists. Not a good experience for anyone who is claustrophobic.
So I’m in this crawl space which is about two feet tall and fairly full of heat ducts and plumbing pipes. The house is decent size, so I have traversed from the exterior entry hatch to the other side of the house. The voyage at this point has taken about 10 minutes. As I am laying on my side, I swing my flashlight over and up and I notice a normal sized NW rat sitting on top of a heat duct watching me. This is a little weird because rats usually run away when you enter the crawl space. You usually find damage from them but never actually see them. I get my camera out and take a picture of a structural issue, and when I look back to where the rat was there were now two rats sitting there looking at me. This was definitely abnormal. I put my camera back in my crawl space suit pocket and pick up my flashlight and look one more time and there was a third rat lined up with the other two, all of them watching me intently. I figured this was my cue to leave immediately. Thankfully, they did not follow me as I retreated.