The Issue

The building demolition and never-ending list of construction projects taking place downtown Milwaukee causes a disruption of habitat for rats living in the city. Because of this, a Batzner client started seeing a steady increase in rat activity, and a small rat population quickly turned into a massive infestation. In just one service visit, Batzner captured 15 rats. Knowing time would only allow this problem to get worse, Batzner got to work on an inspection right away.

The Inspection

Upon arriving at the client’s location, the initial inspection revealed heavy rat evidence along an exterior wall of the basement. The interior of this same wall was lined with a 40 foot walk-in cooler. There was a 4 inch gap between the wall and the cooler, creating an “alleyway” with plenty of room for rats to utilize and stay secluded and hidden from the human eye.

The Issue Discovered

While there was evidence that rats were using this area, it was difficult to do an in-depth inspection due to the size and length of the cooler. It was the perfect space for rats to run back and forth, but unfortunately, the same is not true for humans. However, with the help of a scope camera and a trail camera, Batzner was able to confirm the rats were using an opening in the floor about 10 feet into the “alleyway” created between the wall and the cooler. The views from both cameras confirmed heavy rat sebum and gnaw marks on the concrete.

The unsolved part of this case is knowing where the opening in the floor leads. It likely leads to a damaged sewer line or void underneath the alley next to the building. Brandon Myer, Batzner Lead Service Specialist assigned to the case explains, “Due to large amounts of snow at the time, the exterior inspection was limited. The most likely scenario is the rats are emerging from an underground entrance into the basement.”


Batzner continues to provide rat control as a part of our ongoing partnership with the client to maintain the rat populations. In order to completely solve this specific issue, the client will need to reach out to a contractor to find a way to access the area behind the cooler so that exclusion can be performed. In any downtown area, especially downtown Milwaukee, consistent rat control is a must.

Rats Invade a Downtown Milwaukee Restaurant in Wisconsin

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