Gross Topic- Rodents in Attic- HELP!

Sam_I_AmMarch 22, 2006

This is so repulsive. We live in Florida. We've never had an issue with rodents. For about the past week I've been hearing lots of activity in the attic. I'm afraid it's roof rats (Uggghhhh!). We called our regular pest control people and they set a trap, but nothing has happened in almost a week. I was hearing the foot steps above the kitchen/family room. Yesterday it started above our master bedroom which is upstairs and on the other side of the house. I was up all night last night listening to it. You can well imagine the vision in my head.

Any suggestions anyone? I've heard if you leave bait that they can die and decompose in the walls. I'm just sick over this. Thanks.

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Find a pest control company that specializes in critters - not bugs. I had a similar issue and contacted a local company (that I found on Angie's List). They came out and assessed the problem including where the rodents might be coming in - very helpful in pointing out a problem on my roof. They put poison inside and outside (that would not kill my cats if they caught a mouse or other desireable animals/birds). Haven't had a problem since and no decomposing rodents as far as I can tell. It is really a relief. I am having them do a preventive treatment quarterly as I do live in the woods and there is really no avoiding mice where I live. I initially thought it was something larger like chipmunks but fortunately not.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 8:45AM
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We had squirrels in the attic when we first moved into our home five years ago. It sounded like they had a bowling league in there (bowling with walnuts?). A pest control guy poisoned them. He also spotted the the gap in the fascia board where they were getting in (and we then closed off). No problems since.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 10:47AM
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I have a cat that is literally a killing machine. She will take care of your problem pronto. Seriously. Where do you live? I will drop her off. We must have her back tho. Trust me, she's a keeper and you will want to "keep her". My DH is a homebrewer, hence, grain is kept in our garage. Without her we will get over ran with critters. She will hunt and catch anything. Mice, shrews, snakes, lizards, and squirrels are so far on her resume. (**We do not encourage the active hunting of cardinals, squirrels, or bunnies and prefer if she stick to mice, rats and shrews) But I don't mind loaning her out, I will need a deposit however, she is valuable little worker.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 11:22AM
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Do you have citrus trees near your house? They attract rodents (Norwegian rats). Anyway, you need a critter trapper. Our neighbor had a stench coming from his attic and it was a dead rat. They had to call the critter trapper who came with all his stuff to clean out the house. If you are in the Tampa Bay area, I would be happy to ask our neighbor for the Critter guy's number.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:21PM
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If your pest control person set only one trap, it could be sprung (and empty). Sometimes they'll run over the trap and spring it without getting caught. Even if the trap does catch one, you need to discard that one and keep resetting the trap. There's always more than one rodent, especially at this time of year. Try to position the traps where the rodents will run over them, like near entry points or along the walls.

I think there are poisons available that "dehydrate" the critter, so they don't smell after they die. Even in a trap, the smell will go away in a couple weeks.

A cat is the best idea. Female cats tend to be better hunters than male cats. See if you can borrow a hungry and/or bored cat if you don't have one. Be sure to remove all traps and poison first!!

You also need to figure out how they're getting in, and close up the point of entry. I've heard that stuffing holes with steel wool works pretty well. They don't like chewing thru it apparently.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:29PM
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You would need the right kind of cat - I have three (male and female) and they are marginally useful in this regard. Of course they are indoor cats who have gotten "soft" after living the good life too long. Since we live so "close" to the cats, I really prefer they don't have anything to do with rodents. The times they have cornered or killed one have really grossed me out. I'm liking the professional critter control better myself. The final straw that pushed me over the edge was when I could hear something in the wall/ceiling and the cats could only listen and look at the spot where the noise was coming from - couldn't get to it. YUCK!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:57PM
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Seal the outside entry points first. You can buy a cage bait it with peanut butter and watery fruit, like apples, then leave the trap in your attic. Thirst will drive the critters to your trap and once you catch them you can let them go (like squirrels) or kill them. Act fast, you don't want them chewing your wiring. Even if they die between the walls, the smell is gone in a week.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 2:03PM
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cup, The smell is unbearable. I couldn't live for a minute with a dead critter in the wall. Nor could my neighbor which is why he had to get the trapper to come over.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 4:47PM
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After months of listening to mice crawling around in my attic every night, and months of listening to DH telling me there were no mice in the attic (he's a heavy sleeper), I took matters into my own hands. I had my DS build a mouse-catching contraption that I read about on the internet.

DS filled a small plastic trash can with water so that it was half full. Then he smeared peanut butter on a cardboard toilet paper tube (no toilet paper on it) and strung a piece of twine through the opening in the tube. He attached the twine ends to opposing sides of the top of the trash can (I'm not sure how - he probably drilled holes before he put the water in) creating what looked like a tightrope (going through a a toilet paper tube). He put this thing in the attic with a piece of wood leaning against it. The theory was that the mice would smell the peanut butter and walk up the "plank", falling into the water as they tried to get to the peanut butter on the tube.

I was skeptical but this thing worked like a charm. After two days there were no sounds coming from the attic at night. DH went into the attic after five days and found three dead mice floating in the water. They looked bloated and kind of gross but at least they were in the trash can and not dead somewhere in the attic or walls.

I would highly recommend giving this a try!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 7:57PM
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Ours were an extended family of raccoons that nearly quashed the house sellling. Inspector discovered momma birthed in the furnace flue and the little ones awaited her daily excursions for food. (It was summer)

Being a softie, I opted for trapping rather then killing. What an adventure. Stinky tennis balls, Led Zepplin at high decibels - these guys tried everything to get Momma and crew to move out. Finally they scooped out the young-uns with mirrors and nets and set a trap for Momma right outside our bedrooom window on the shed roof. Momma got trapped all right and spent the next 6 hours banging that cage around. Sheesh. That was a night!

Agree you should seek only critter control folk, not bug control. I had a generic "pest control" (national brand) guy out once for mice and once I unleashed the mice from the old dog food bag, he (honest) started screaming and running around the basement, whacking at them with a broom. Which just got me screaming and running around the basement too. Total crazy Three Stooges scene. I'm still laughing years later. He actually later said "God, I can't stand mice." Duh, Cubby, you need a diiferent line of work....

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 12:48AM
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We had critter control out yesterday and they're almost certain that it's a squirell(s) up there. It's mating season so there may be a family. They set some traps. Hopefully this will end this problem!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 6:33AM
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celticmoon, I snorted coffee out my nose reading your post!

My brother got rid of badgers underneath his house (also Florida- do all creatures retire there?) by grinding up several Tylenol PM in ground beef and throwing it beneath the crawl space. After the guys got good and wasted, he scooped them out, one by one, with a pool net on a very long pole.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 8:03AM
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In my last house, we had a 12/12 pitch on our roof.

I kept hearing noises like you are descrbing. The first night after we brought our twins home from the hospital, a small baby bat fell through our attic fan and got into the house.

DH killed it with a broom. We had an expert come out the next day and found out we had a whole attic full of bats. You can't kill them (it's illegal).

DH had to sit outside at dusk and watch where they came out of, then plug the whole.

It was truly an awful and now looking back almost hilarious experience. I can still see dh running through the house chasing that bat.

So--do you maybe have bats?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 4:12PM
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