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jeh 03-29-2012 11:32 PM

Critters between ceiling and subfloor
Hey y'all

I was in the basement tonight prying some crown moulding off the ceiling ready to open up the basement staircase.

As I ripped it off the ceiling/wall, it exposed a gap between the ceiling and wall and a metric tonne of rodent poo fell out of there!

I would say it mostly looked like rat poo, but some of the poo looked a little larger.

Its actually insulated in the space between the ceiling and subfloor too with pink fiber.

I guess its because my garage is underground next to my basement den, and the joists in the garage are exposed (whereas I have a ceiling in the den next to it), so critters can get access to this space from the garage by running between the joists and into the next room. (despite my garage being sealed pretty well, if I leave the doors open for a while who knows what comes in).

That would take a large amount of sealing up between every joist on the ajoining wall.

Is it common to find so much poo between the ceiling and subfloor?

jeh 03-29-2012 11:36 PM

btw, I live in Nashville in a 22 year old house. I am surrounded by 200 acres of woods - so critters are abundant.

Plus we get all 4 seasons in Tennessee, so the mice want to come inside for the winter.
I dont have any signs of them cohabiting with us except for my discovery this evening!

Ironlight 03-29-2012 11:53 PM

As you noted, rodents like to come indoors when it gets cold and will take advantage of opportunities to do so. No, it's not uncommon at all.

A few years ago, when we were doing a renovation to our prior house in suburban Maryland, some beams leading into the joist area between the first floor and the second floor were exposed during the fall. We ended up with a couple of rats in our a residential area where I had never even seen a rat, ever.

I've certainly had mice coming into the house every fall in every house I've ever lived in. I don't think in an old house that it's really possible to prevent given the face that they can enter through a hole the size of a dime.

Okami 03-30-2012 12:48 AM

I had some mice intruder and they could not resist gummy bears, most died this way but In the end the cats killed the last of em.

jeh 03-30-2012 08:12 AM

but is it common to have so much poo in the joist space? is that not a health risk?

Ironlight 03-30-2012 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by jeh (Post 888399)
but is it common to have so much poo in the joist space? is that not a health risk?

It's common if they've had access for years and it has accumulated. I would be more focused on denying them access in future than ripping out your walls to track down rat ****. That is the kind of thing that is a slippery slope. It could be everywhere, for all you know, as once they are in house it is relatively easy for them to travel around it through plumbing and heating and cooling chases.

No, it's not a health risk. It dries out and is basically just dessicated organic matter sitting up in a sealed area.

Of course, it might be a risk to your psychological health, knowing it is all there. That's a different matter.

PAbugman 03-31-2012 09:45 AM

My first concern would be if there are live rodents. Set traps, rodenticide, etc. Otherwise, how far you go in ripping out and cleaning is your call. Ironlight gives good advice-that job could turn into something you regret starting, but it is your call. You need to be comfortable in your own house; let that be your guide. Itís not an emergency; take your time and learn and assess.

At least get some fresh rodent bait in the garage and check/change it regularly. If nothing eats it for a long time, then you probably didnít change it frequently enough. Rodents like fresh food, no mold/mildew. In the mess that fell out-was there any evidence of acorns, nuts, seeds, etc? If so, I would suspect squirrels, chipmunks, etc.

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