When South Seattle’s Danny Kelly-Stallings built a chicken coop in his front yard, he anticipated fresh morning eggs. He did not anticipate a rat problem.
“When you would walk by at night, you would sort of see rodents just scatter,” Kelly-Stalling said. “Four, five or six of them just duck into a hole and skitter away.”
He decided he needed professional help.
“I mentioned this to a friend at work and he said, ‘I’ve got this guy. And he is the guy.’ Kelly-Stalling said. “‘This guy, he’s good at all issues related to rats, but his specialty is rat psychology.’ This guy who took a lot of joy in learning the habits of the rats and using his knowledge of the rats to fix the problem in a kind of environmentally friendly way.”
“The guy” is Chris Sean, owner of Myzzer Exclusion Corporation. He’s a rat psychologist.
“Myzzer is a word for a person who stops mice,” Sean said. “You’ve heard of a mouser? A mouser is a cat. So a myzzer is a person who stops mice.”
But Sean is not an exterminator. He has a chemical allergy so he chooses not to use any.
“Ideally, I don’t want to kill any rats if I don’t have to,” he said. “Best case scenario is we force them out and nature takes care of it.”
The rat psychologist
Sean says he doesn’t know of anyone else who does what he does, all other exterminators use the kill approach. I asked him repeatedly what makes him the rat psychologist, how he gets into the rats minds, but he kept skirting around my question. I asked him if it was a secret.
“Is it a secret?!” he said. “No. Rats all pretty much do the same thing. What’s more of an issue sometimes is what the homeowner is doing. So they may not even realize they’re doing things that are causing the problem to get worse. So a lot of it is seeing what the homeowner does, seeing what the rats are doing and then making some adjustments so the rats go a different direction. Instead of going to your house, they go to your neighbors. So I usually give guys like Danny a couple of extra cards and tell him, ‘When the rodents go a different direction and your neighbors ask about it, now you have a card.”
He’s basically the Pied Piper. Sean says he can seal up your house so rodents can’t get back in.
“About 90 percent of houses, it’s going to be the same dozen issues,” he said. “Trees up against the house, rodents will jump about three feet off of trees. They’ll just hop down those vent pipes or a lot of time they’ll get under the bottom shingle and get into the attic. You could have a cable guy come and punch a hole to run his cable and he makes it too big and now there’s a hole for a rat. Rodents circle your house a couple times a night, so a lot of times they’re going to find any problems on the house before the homeowner.”
Sean’s humane rat ridding solution has him traveling to homes up and down the West Coast. He likes to remind people that no one is immune to rodents, not even the rich. He says he has serviced many celebrities.
“Ichiro,” he said for starters. “Oh, [former Seahawk] Christian Fauria, he’s a real sensitive guy about chemicals. He’s a guy who calls and says, ‘I’m leaving! I’ll be in a motel for a couple days while you’re dealing with this. Call me when you’re done!’ Randy Johnson was interesting because he has this house and he bought the house on both sides and just kept them empty. Then one of the houses got a rat problem because nobody is in there. A lot of the athletes just have these big, half-empty houses with sports memorabilia.”
If this story is giving you the willies, here’s another fun fact:
“There’s a rat within 25 feet of everybody at all times,” Sean said.
Especially if you happen to live in a home next door to one that the rat psychologist just worked his magic on! Sleep tight, everyone!