The second company was a recommendation of a guy who came highly recommended. This time, two guys show up and do a thorough inspection of my house. I watched the whole thing, very curious about the problem and wanting to learn as much as I can. The two of them crawled in places I would never go and definitely looked around.
What they determined is that I don't have an infestation. All of the evidence they found was of previous inhabitants and that there were no current rats in my house. There was no logical explanation of what I was seeing in the way of the eaten avocado without any droppings. They were perplexed and didn't even try to sell me their services because they didn't think they would be successful in helping me any more than the previous company.
In the course of the inspection, they pulled out my refrigerator, behind which we found a bunch of droppings. Rather than put it away, I asked them to leave it out and that small service was worth the $50 they charged to come out. I cleaned behind it, on top of it and around it. That thing sparkled.
While it was out, I noticed a little something on the back side:
It was a ribbon coming out of the back of my fridge. I tugged it. And tugged it. And that damned thing didn't budge. I finally got out the screw driver and took part of the back of my fridge off to find this:
Look at how long that thing is! Some rat had made a nest in my fridge motor with that thing! Even still, I saw nothing.
Fast forward to tonight. It's late. I stayed up to watch the end of the Manchurian Candidate when it occurred to me that the critter might be out and about at this time of night. I snuck back into the kitchen and flipped on the light to find a giant rat on my kitchen counter. I just cleaned it!
I started to get freaked out, having finally confirmed my worst suspicion that a rat was living again/still in my kitchen and stunned at the thought of now what? The rat surely had the same idea and I don't know if it was more afraid of me than I of it. I screamed, just like in the movies, and it ran behind my refrigerator.