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noone 08-09-2011 09:12 PM

Rats in the attic. Help.
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There are rats, squirrels or mice in our attic. I have heard them rattling around up in there a few times in the early mornings thus far. Poop droppings everywhere and I have found about 15 empty packets of rat poison in various locations in this attic thus far. I have set big Victor snap traps loaded with peanut butter from the fridge and have not been able to catch any so far, surprisingly. Have left the traps in the attic for up to 4 days? Do I need to leave them there longer?

Background- This is a 3900 sq foot house on slab. 2 stories, about 800 on 2nd story. 15 years old. Stucco on frame.

I have walked the house and don't see any obvious entry points from any of the soffits.

I'm thinking that the wire mesh on any or several of the 6 ridge vents on the roof have been compromised. The problem is, I can't physically reach all of them from inside the attic because some of them are too high, as in 12 feet or more off the floor of the attic. I would like to be able to check all the ridge vents from inside the attic and then staple up some hardware cloth on all the ridge vents from the inside.

How do I do this? Grab some rock climbing ropes and hoist them over the rafters??

How do I catch these damn rats? How come they don't like my peanut butter?

Thanks for any advice....

Here is a pic of one of the high ridge vents:

mar0isa 08-11-2011 10:35 PM

Get a small cage type trap (non lethal) and bait it with cake frosting. They love this stuff. Can you get a ladder in your attic? Is there tree limbs that need cut back to prevent easy access to your roof. They could also enter the walls/attic from the crawspace. Do you by any chance have a dear camera or know anyone who will loan it to you?

mar0isa 08-11-2011 10:39 PM

Rat poison empty? They may already be dead if you aren't catching any in the traps. Anything eating the bait? Your better off traping them than poisoning them. Dead rodents stink! Rat poop is twice as big as mouse poop by the way. Good luck.

noone 08-11-2011 11:34 PM

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Well, 4 days later and nothing in the 4 traps I set up there. When I was pulling them out this morning, I could hear a knocking on the roof above me. Sounded like the knocking I heard Monday morning which I **thought** was coming from the tray ceiling. Do squirrels crack nuts loudly on roof tops?

There is no 'crawlspace' on this house. Concrete slab foundation.

All the rat bait I believe was from years past that the previous owners had placed. When I first bought the house three months ago, there were trees touching the roof but I immediately had a tree surgeon come in and cut all trees back as soon as we closed. I have removed all empty or partially empty rat bait that I have seen so far.

I am thinking I have been hearing squirrels on the roof now. There are tons around here and they are pretty noisy.

I'm thinking if we do have rats, it won't be questionable as I will definitely hear them scratching and humping up there?

josall 08-12-2011 06:14 AM

As Mar0isa said get a small live trap, use peanut buttter and sprikle some bird seed on top. You will catch one or the other.

noone 08-12-2011 06:37 AM

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Live traps?

I dont think so. What a pain that would be to dispose of them.

Snap traps for me thank you very much. I could care less about being humane to rats!

josall 08-12-2011 07:25 AM

Since you have had 0 results I thought this would tell you what is in your attic. It's not about being humane it's about results.

More Power! 08-12-2011 07:44 AM

Could be chipmunks, too.

One way rodents get on the roof is by climbing the downspouts. One way to solve that is screens at the top. (That will lead to the need for more frequent cleaning, if you have deciduous trees overhead, tho.)

I'd have a roofer out to inspect and, if necessary, repair the ridge vent.

If I could not determine what, if anything, was running around in my attic, I'd hire a professional exterminator and be done with it.

mar0isa 08-12-2011 08:30 AM

Ya, deer cam or live trap should tell you something.

noone 08-12-2011 08:52 AM

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Pro exterminator wants $1000 bucks to take care of the 'issue'.

The problem is, I don't know if I really currently 'have' an issue at this point.

As mentioned previously, the house used to have tree branches laying on the roof which have now been remedied.

If you have rats, would you hear them scratching around up there? I would think so?

All I have heard so far is a knocking from the ceiling once, a light knocking that I now know may have been coming from the roof.

What has freaked me out is all the partially eaten and empty rat bait I have found in the attic thus far combined with the poop I have seen. It's obvious that there was once a rat/mouse issue previously, but I am not sure if there is still an issue since my attempts at catching anything with peanut butter baited on snap traps have failed. The peanut butter was completely untouched in all cases.

I like the deer cam idea. I need to hit up my brother-in-law for one.

mar0isa 08-12-2011 05:45 PM

Squirles can jump a good distance if the limbs are nearby. Could it be limbs or nuts falling from a tree? What about attic fan noise? New homes have funny noises too. You may be a bit too worried. Is the poop dried up?

noone 08-12-2011 06:29 PM

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I squeezed some of it and it felt hard but was shiny black in color. Don't know if color indicates poop age.......

boman47k 08-12-2011 09:50 PM

If you hear them scurrying around in the attic, I'd bet on squirrels. I don't think rats scurry like squirrels.

If it is squirrels, I doubt you will catch any in the attic with any kind of trap. When I had my squirrel problem, I read an article by some guy that stated they will not be trapped inside the attic.

I had two live traps, a gopher trap, and a leg trap in the attic for a good while with peanut butter and seeds. They were ignored completely. All mine were caught in the yard or leaving the attic in a matter of several days.

nanuk 08-14-2011 09:44 AM

could be bats?

Originally Posted by noone (Post 705913)
I squeezed some of it and it felt hard but was shiny black in color. Don't know if color indicates poop age.......

"Shiny" indicates insect cuticle is present. Could be bats?

A wonderful forum. Congrats!

ironman70 08-17-2011 07:30 AM

I had good luck with glue traps in my attic.

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