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Old 10-15-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Need some advice guys - moved into a new home (new to me but built in 1991) about a year ago. Last year I went into the attic and noticed a considerable amount of droppings through out the attic on top of the insulation. Since then I have put glue boards down and contracted with a pest control company who has put bait station in the attic. In the past year there has been no additional evidence of activity as I have caught nothing in the glue boards, the bait is never touched (checked monthly) and I don't hear anything. So maybe this is an old infestation of field mice or something? We do have small grey field mice outside occassionally. I am not sure if its ok from a health perspective for my family to just leave the dropping up there, however there really is a considerable amount and I can't see how to clean it up short of replacing all of the insulation, as its sitting all inside of the fiberglass. What do you guys think?

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Old 10-22-2008, 09:37 AM   #2
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Can anyone help on this?

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Old 11-14-2008, 10:10 AM   #3
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Another issue with Attic droppings


In 25 years of pest control and nuisance wildlife trapping I have very rarely seen an attic more than five years that did not show some sign of rodent activity

To keep the problem from coming back seal the house up or just continue to maintain traps

I would not allow poison bait to be placed in the attic for any reason
The rodents will eat it and die somewhere in the house and then you have a very large bill to find it or you have to live with the stink for awhile

You may want to buy some bait stations from a DIY pest control store for about $15 and place them along your fence line if the problem seems real enough
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
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Another issue with Attic droppings


THanks - I have placed some bait stations outside my home and have definitly seen some activity within them. In the attic I am going to try and place some glue boards and some traps to see what happens.

I did have a bait station in there recently to just see what happened and just this week there was some small nibbling evidence on the bait. I am going to get rid of that and replace with traps. I can't figure out how the hell they are gettin in - I looked and looked and cannot even see small opening where they are getting through. I'm at a loss on how there getting in.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:22 AM   #5
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Do I need to replace the existing insulation in order to get rid of the droppings? Its a pretty considerable amount
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:59 AM   #6
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Removing and replacing insulation may be a good idea
That cost of removal is about $2 a foot

Another method is to treat the attic with a enzyme that attacks bacteria
This will help to break down any organic material and destroy the scent trails that are bringing new rats in
That costs bout .30 cents a foot

Then you can reinsulate with blown in

The holes are probably staring you in the face
I have gone to many many accounts where the home owner tells me that he has gone over it with a fine tooth comb and can find no entry points

One guy in particular was a home builder with over 30 years construction experience
Standing in his driveway before I even began my inspection I pointed out two active entry points


The two key areas that I find most opften are
AC chase ways
If your AC is the old outside unit where the piping goes up the side of the house and then into the attic, with a square metal cover over the pipes
Check to see if the bottom of that chase is open
If so that is an invitation and direct access to the huse

Second is eave gaps
Where two roof lines come together and for a sort of pocket
This is the best I could find right now
Look where the dormers are on this roof and where one roof line runs into the other
There will be a gap in that eave gap that will sometimes be large enough for rodents to come through
http://www.realestateroofing.com/images/roofparts3.jpg

I have never done this before, but if things I have shown you are not the problem
Take good digital pictures of your house
Perhaps I can see some problems

Like I said I have never done an inspection based on pictures, but it will be fun to see if I can
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:13 PM   #7
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Thanks - I will take some pictures over the weekend and upload them. How are they getting up though? Would they be using the gutters as a runway to the roof? I will need to wait until spring to redo the insulation, pull out the old roll insulation and put in blown. Everything that i have caught outside have been small grey mice - I'm assuming field mice. My wife is driving me crazy on the inside to make sure she doesn't "see" anything. What I thought was weird is that the droppings in the attic are not along the walls - they are right out in the opening - on top of the rolled insulation in the middle of the joists. I would have expected to see it primarily along the edge. But it is significant
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:29 PM   #8
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Typically yes the droppings are along the top of the perimeter wall
until they start moving in

I have seen some heavy infestations where the dropping are literally everywhere and many where they will be just as you describe along the joist ways and sometimes in the middle of the space between joists

Rats and run up downspouts easily
I have a house now here everything we did did not stop the noises until we figured out that they were running up the downspouts and then playing in the gutters making the customer think that the noise they heard was coming from the attic

They wil also climb up screen and awnings, trees and especially AC chaseways
They can also fairly easily climb up the side of your house are come into a garage and them work their way up

If we are talking about mice it only takes a hole the size of a dime for a full grown mouse to come through
A rat come through a quarter sized hole

Also
I should have said this sooner
I live in Orlando Florida
Our houses are built different here and we have different pest problems
Mouse problems are fairly rare
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:29 PM   #9
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Another issue with Attic droppings


my two cents, me personally, wouldn't be worried about the droppings in the attic, and I sure wouldn't rip out the insulation and start over. Anyway, I have an attatched garage, they could come in under the garage door, somehow made thier way into the attic over garage, through a hole in the wall and presto, they are in the attic, they being mice. I set alot of traps, caught alot, sometimes trap was tripped, anyway, someone suggested mothballs, havent' had any action sinse I threw half a box all over the garage attic, along with some in the wall cavities of the garage, enough that you can smell the mothballs when you go in the garage. And just saying, after installing a new roof, alot of debri laying on the insulation, looked like droppings.
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:08 PM   #10
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Maybe you had bats? Their droppings would tend to be in the center area, as they fly in and out ....
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:48 AM   #11
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Another issue with Attic droppings


Thanks - Someone else recently suggested that possibly it was a previous bat issue. They thought that made sense since the droppings were all over the top of the insulation and not along the walls or joists - the only thing they said that is that there would be a strong urine odor if it were bats and we definitly dont have that. I put some snap traps out last week and still haven't caught anything, thats a good sign, given we are in such cold weather here now. I will continue to monitor them and then have some blown in insulation done in the spring.

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