Chris Curtin is on rat patrol on Bainbridge Island. He used to come out here just a few times in the winter when rats seek the warmth of a Bainbridge home. That's not the case anymore.
"This year has been primarily year round, they've been busy. We're out here pretty much on a daily basis, full time,” he said.
Sound Pest Control and other companies say this year the rat problem is bigger. So he's on the job, showing customers how to seal up cracks in the homes rats can slide through, he sets up poison baited boxes outside.
"He'll also put rat traps in the crawl spaces under houses, but wildlife biologists say there's another rat trap out there that will work if you just leave it alone.
The lead biologist at West Sound Wildlife Shelter says coyotes are rat eating machines.
"Research has shown that 40 percent of their diet are rodents,” said Mike Pratt, Dir. of WIldlife Care/West Sound
Pratt is convinced people on Bainbridge are actually destroying the best rat control nature can provide.
“We've gotten tons of calls of people shooting, poisoning and killing the coyotes,” he said.
Pratt wants people to put down the gun and pick up the phone...he says he can help them with any coyote problem. He said it's a choice between coyotes on the outside than rats on the inside.
Pratt and other experts say coyotes will prey on cats or small dogs but are usually more interested in rodents than pets