We’re all changing the way we do things due to the severe drought that our area is experiencing. Here is an example of an unexpected consequential hazard from the drought…
A large commercial building sustained water damage; the culprits are rats. The rats chewed holes in condensation water lines above the ceiling tiles of the building to get to the water inside. When the hot weather hit and the condensation flow increased for several days running, the water escaped through the holes in the lines and caused major damage to the ceiling, walls, and flooring which produced mold growth quite quickly into the warm air.
I started asking around and heard a similar story about rats chewing on plastic lawn sprinkler heads and causing geysers… and another story about a house where, after dark when the sprinklers went off, rats had been observed sipping off each of the sprinkler heads. There have been more skunk and possum encounters in neighborhoods too. Yikes!
What are they looking for? As water and food sources dwindle, wild animals are known to search further afield to find what they need to survive. Be aware and prepared for changes in the behaviors of our animal ‘neighbors’. Perform more inspections for droppings or other clues of habitation to prevent and mitigate encroachment and damage.
For more information on local wildlife, contact your local county offices.
In Sacramento contact:
Agricultural Commission & Weights/Measures
4137 Branch Center Road
Sacramento, CA 95827
The Wildlife Services webpage provides information on services regarding non-domestic animals, such as skunks, opossums, raccoons, beavers, coyotes, and damaging birds that pose a threat to human or animal health and safety, or cause damage to property or livestock.