Rats chew through water pipe causing thousands of dollars in damage
Brian Turner has a rat in his ceiling and he's not sure what to do.
This month the rodent, or rodents, repeatedly chewed through tough plastic water pipes in his roof causing water to flood his New Plymouth home.
Turner's had to call in a plumber to fix the leaks but the cost to repair the damage to his ceiling, carpet, wallpaper and warped door frames is set to reach an estimated $8000.
"There was water dripping from the ceiling and the carpet was damp," Turner said.
While the cost of repairs would be covered by insurance Turner has had to put up with weeks of inconvenience - no water to shower or do washing, the constant sound of commercial dryers and smell of damp furnishings.
"For the first week the noise was horrendous."
Turner even tried to get away for a few days to relax last week but again returned home a sodden house.
"I came back on Sunday and the floor was damp again.
"It doesn't manifest itself until it's coming through the ceiling."
He said there were no signs of where the vermin had gained entry to his home, or if they were nesting, but he has now set traps and was using a rodent repellent.
"I'm gutted. What if it happens again? The worry is the rats might come back."
Turner said he would be waiting for his wife, Bessie, to return from a holiday to the United States before making any decorating decisions.
"We have got to choose wallpaper and would you choose wallpaper without your wife's consent?"
Jeff Wills, of Bio-Tech Pest Control, said the main reason rodents headed indoors was for warmth.
"Normally you are just going to hear them in your ceiling and you will hear them at nights," Wills said.
Gnawing on water pipes wasn't a sign rodents were after fluids it was mainly done to keep their teeth sharp and to stop them growing too big, he said.
Rats were also able to chew their way through uncured concrete.
Wills said the vermin didn't need much of an invitation to move in, with a mouse able to slip through a six millimetre hole and a rat through a mere 20mm.