In addition to having all kinds of folks climbing down to the crawlspace on contractor day shortly after we moved in, we recently had a contractor in to clean the entire crawlspace out (yucky insulation, old vapor barrier and such) and install a new vapor barrier. While they were here, four young men for over eight hours, they found multiple rodent carcasses, a bit of water (nothing to be worried about we're told) and "Whoops! There's a live one!" Yes we have a guest under the house. A rat named Ben. Why Ben, I have no idea.
Scott was home while all this commotion was going on and heard the workers surprise at finding Ben. He found it rather humorous. What wasn't so funny was the amount of dust that was kicked up in the house by the crawlspace cleaning. We are talking serious dust all over the house.
And then to make dust matters worse, but ventilation and breathing hopefully better, the furnace ductwork cleaning crew arrived the next day. I suppose if you have to clean the house top to bottom it's better to only have to do it once. Honestly though, I do think I'm breathing better and attribute that to both the crawlspace and vent cleaning.
The ductwork cleaning truck with its six "vacuum" bags
We have hired a contractor, recommended by the crawlspace guys, to take care of sealing obvious rodent access holes in the crawlspace and to set bait. Due to the freaky weather in Portland they have had to cancel on us twice - Ben gets a temporary reprieve. In a different situation I might want to fire the contractor, but when you consider that we haven't received our mail, newspapers or deliveries in about a week due to the weather I think we'll cut the contractor a break.
By the way, the lead crawlspace guy that was here, a certified crawlspace expert (who knew?), told us the the foundation is in excellent shape and that this is a really great, sturdy home. He did recommend fixing one pier in the middle of the house sort of under the living room that was all catty wompus (a technical term), which we had them do. He showed us pictures, but hasn't sent them to us yet. When he does I'll add them to this post.