Minor victory! There were significantly fewer rats in our patios last night after I sealed up some gaps with Joe. I saw a few frustrated ones digging at the chicken wire with no success. However, I saw a few working around the steel wool I used to plug up some gaps in the chicken wire.
Takeaways: 1/2″ chicken wire works well, but steel wool is no match for a rat.
Next step: Install more chicken wire to close up as many gaps as possible.
Side note: Kathy pointed out a rat contraceptive that appears to be working in a number of cities in the US to lower the population. I’m looking into it.