He didn't see food, but he found rat feces. The racoon might have been trying to get at a rat... Fucking yay. This is what happens when fucking people leave food out for the fucking wildlife. My Mother-in-Law mentioned once when she was in town that during the day, the squirrels come to eat the food, but at night, rats come around for it.
While the roofer guy was here, he also had a look at our garage which is leaking like the dickens. There are three drains and the seals are completely gone. Blahblah, wear and tear, yes, I understand that there's a maintenance aspect to HomeOwnerism. What steams me most, though, is that there are a few other drains that are not being used AT ALL, but there's another corner of the roof where there's a huge puddle and no fucking drain.
In any case, he's going to write up two estimates for us. One for patching up the three drains and making the fourth one in the right spot. And one for replacing the whole roof, which may not cost all that much more. But it all has to be done when it's sunny and dry. Good fucking luck getting "sunny and dry" in the spring in Vancouver.
I went inside and called Orkin. The really nice customer service lady told me that we may or may not have rats even if there's feces around. Usually, rats are veryvery noisy with their running and chewing. I hear skittering on the roof every once in a while and I'd think it's crows or a squirrel running across, but apparently we should be hearing them a lot more often and we probably wouldn't be able to sleep at night because of the noise if we actually had rats. She said that rat poop in attics and what-not are fairly common, but it could have been there for a long long time.
But Mother-in-Law HAS seen rats around and judging by the length of time they've been getting regular food, they WOULD have learned to come around here.
The Orkin lady said that we should get the surrounding tree branches trimmed back so that the animals can't jump onto the roof from the trees and start nesting. If they start nesting and breeding, there's nothing they can do, they have to wait until the young grow big enough to run around. The rat pups need to be old enough to run around on their own, otherwise, you'll have their dead bodies laying around after fumigating.
To actually be sure we have a rat problem, we should set a "Snap Trap" thing where we think there are rats and put peanut butter on it. If in a week, the peanut butter hasn't been touched, then we don't have rats.