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Old 08-25-2011, 08:02 AM   #31
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Itís possible that mice are setting off the traps. Donít set mouse traps as that would not catch the rat but would make him trap shy. Set more rat traps; try the expanded trigger trap. They can catch mice sometimes as well.
Glue traps can work but bring other issues. Rats will get stuck and sometimes get off. When stuck they will scream and raise h___ until you physically kill it. If you arenít there when it happens and others are-you will get an emergency phone call whereever you are. If only front feet are stuck they will move around until they are someplace that you canít get them without getting up close and personal with a mad rat. Donít nail the glue trap down as they then can pull against it and get off.
I know rodenticide isnít a great option in the attic due to dying rodents, but at this point it may be better to have dead rats than live rats in the attic.

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:35 AM   #32
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Rats in the attic. Help.


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It’s possible that mice are setting off the traps. Don’t set mouse traps as that would not catch the rat but would make him trap shy. Set more rat traps; try the expanded trigger trap. They can catch mice sometimes as well.
Glue traps can work but bring other issues. Rats will get stuck and sometimes get off. When stuck they will scream and raise h___ until you physically kill it. If you aren’t there when it happens and others are-you will get an emergency phone call whereever you are. If only front feet are stuck they will move around until they are someplace that you can’t get them without getting up close and personal with a mad rat. Don’t nail the glue trap down as they then can pull against it and get off.
I know rodenticide isn’t a great option in the attic due to dying rodents, but at this point it may be better to have dead rats than live rats in the attic.
Looks like a rat to me in those last pics??

The deer cam doesn't lie. It pics up **any** motion as it is pointed towards the set traps. If a mouse was messing with the traps, the deer cam would have snapped a picture of it. If this is the same rat (hopefully), it looks like he may have lost some weight.... How long until a rat starves to death if locked in the attic?

Last edited by noone; 08-25-2011 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:27 AM   #33
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Rats in the attic. Help.


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How long until a rat starves to death if locked in the attic?
How can you lock a rat in the attic? He'll find a way out, or make one.

Try peanut butter on the traps. No rodent can resist it.

I'll bet you wish that snake was still up there.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:00 PM   #34
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Itís a rat and heís not going to starve; he would already have chewed and tore up much trying to get out. You would know it. Heís getting in and out somehow.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:12 PM   #35
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Rats in the attic. Help.


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Itís a rat and heís not going to starve; he would already have chewed and tore up much trying to get out. You would know it. Heís getting in and out somehow.
Just got back from attic inspection. When I got home, I was changing in the closet and heard a knocking noise. Sounded like it was coming from the outside wall where 2 of the ac condensers are located. Could the AC be rattling the pipes? Walked outside to the ac units and no way the units were causing the knocking. Head on up into the attic and find the AC electric wire all chewed up right next to where this SOB has been living for some unknown amount of time. Further inspection yielded another location of entry some 10 feet away. The dirt all over the insulation below this area where the roof lines and eaves meet gives it away. Should I seal all holes from the inside or outside? My dad and I were thinking to stuff 1/4 inch hardware cloth in every hole we find real well, make it like barbed wire for them, and then spray foam it shut. Seems like a good idea to me. Thoughts?

P.S. I put the 4 rat snap traps baited with peanut butter right next to the nest where I heard it/them chewing the ac wire. I know I can outsmart this rat. We are smarter than rodents!!!
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #36
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Rats in the attic. Help.


These guys are challenging you arenít they?!? You are doing the right things; I may be afraid to seal them in the attic accidentally. I know you are busy with working on the inside, but it may pay you to go outside and figure out how they are getting in. This could give another opportunity for trappings, baiting.
Are they going up behind the siding? Burrowing under cement slab or against basement wall? Are they going up a tree and onto the roof and flipping under the soffit? Look for ďbody rubsĒ where their body oils will darken a corner or place where they rub their body repeatedly. Sometimes they will live under dog houses, sheds, etc. as their exterior harborage. They must be getting food outside and bringing it into your house as they arenít eating your food. Suspect neighbors pet foods, gardens, bird sees/feeders, etc.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:29 PM   #37
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Rats in the attic. Help.


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These guys are challenging you aren’t they?!? You are doing the right things; I may be afraid to seal them in the attic accidentally. I know you are busy with working on the inside, but it may pay you to go outside and figure out how they are getting in. This could give another opportunity for trappings, baiting.
Are they going up behind the siding? Burrowing under cement slab or against basement wall? Are they going up a tree and onto the roof and flipping under the soffit? Look for “body rubs” where their body oils will darken a corner or place where they rub their body repeatedly. Sometimes they will live under dog houses, sheds, etc. as their exterior harborage. They must be getting food outside and bringing it into your house as they aren’t eating your food. Suspect neighbors pet foods, gardens, bird sees/feeders, etc.
Found the mother load entrance this afternoon. There is an opening where the soffit doesn't meet the roof about 1.5 inches wide x the width of the soffit. My dad and I spent this afternoon stuffing hardware cloth up in there and then spray foaming it. Will use a couple more cans of foam tomorrow after this first round dries and then nail up the soffit again. This was a straight shot into the attic of this house. I mean, you could see the ceiling insulation after I removed the soffit. Incredible! This is in addition to the 2 other smaller entrances they were using as well. I didn't realize I was going to spend my entire weekend plugging up rat entrances on this house. There are at least 6 other areas that we need to check tomorrow where the roof line changes.

This is a concrete slab house and the only way they are getting in is from the roof and so far, there have been plenty of places they are getting in.

Oh and I can see my next door neighbor has a bird feeder.

Perfect!

PABugman -

What do you usually do to seal out rats from customers' houses? Hardware cloth stuffed in the hole and a little bit of spray foam? Do you do it from the inside of the attic if possible? The entrance in this particular picture was impossible to get to from the inside of the attic. The other 2 found entrances so far I will seal from the inside of the attic tomorrow as they are reachable.

Any pro tips to sealing up an attic you can offer?
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Last edited by noone; 08-27-2011 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:35 PM   #38
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Spray foamed about 10 other spots around the roof where the roof line changes. There were so many different ways these guys could enter the attic. Party central. Well not anymore. Right now I hear them scampering around on the roof trying to get in and scratching too. Could be coming from the inside, but it's hard to tell. Have 3 traps set at the main entrance (now sealed) outside and 3 inside, all set as light as possible. We will see what tomorrow morning brings.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:45 AM   #39
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Youíre doing a great job-they will never get ahead of you again, Iím betting. I rarely get into the actual job of sealing/excluding as there are many more talented than I. There are others that visit this site can offer good guidance, especially with that photo. The hardware cloth and spray foam is one trick that I used to exclude grey squirrels in a house and it worked well. The cloth gives a backing and structure to the foam.

How are they getting onto the roof? The harder you make it for them to find harborage at your house, the more likely they will go and live with the bird-seed neighbor, especially after the ones who have been acclimized to your house are dead/gone/given up. Can you discreetly set your deer cam to the bird feeder for confirmation? That could be touchy as far as neighborly relations can go. Sprinkle some bird seeds on the baited traps as they are familiar with that.

Sealing from inside or outside doesnít matter too much, I donít think. Try to get surfaces as flush as reasonable so they canít get a tooth hold so well.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:55 PM   #40
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Rats in the attic. Help.


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You’re doing a great job-they will never get ahead of you again, I’m betting. I rarely get into the actual job of sealing/excluding as there are many more talented than I. There are others that visit this site can offer good guidance, especially with that photo. The hardware cloth and spray foam is one trick that I used to exclude grey squirrels in a house and it worked well. The cloth gives a backing and structure to the foam.

How are they getting onto the roof? The harder you make it for them to find harborage at your house, the more likely they will go and live with the bird-seed neighbor, especially after the ones who have been acclimized to your house are dead/gone/given up. Can you discreetly set your deer cam to the bird feeder for confirmation? That could be touchy as far as neighborly relations can go. Sprinkle some bird seeds on the baited traps as they are familiar with that.

Sealing from inside or outside doesn’t matter too much, I don’t think. Try to get surfaces as flush as reasonable so they can’t get a tooth hold so well.
Thanks for the encouragement.

I'm not sure how they are getting on the roof to be honest. There used to be tree limbs laying on the roof when we first bought the house back in May. I immediately had the tree surgeons out the day after we closed to take care of that issue. The closest tree limb now is about 10 feet away vertically. I think I have been hearing them in the gutters that are hung on 90% of the house, so they may be coming up a downspout possibly? It's also a stucco house and I see squirrels walking up the side of the house all day long, so I don't know if that is a possibility? I ended up sealing from the outside. It was too hard to get to the areas from the inside of the attic, plus too damn hot. I am going to trim all the foam tonight. I have now become a master of roof walking. Pretty hairy on this roof. It's STEEP.

I now have 3 traps set with bacon in one part of the attic. On the other side I have 3 traps set, 2 are those plastic Victor 'Power Kill' rat traps (http://www.victorpest.com/store/rodent-control/b144-2), the only ones I could find late at night at Wal-Mart. On this side, I have the Victor old-school trap set with peanut butter, the other 2 plastic jobbers have a macademia nut in the tray. Nothing from last night suprisingly. I can hear them rattling around. Last night, I could clearly hear a scratching/gnawing noise for a few seconds from one side of the attic. I heard it and then stood there quietly and didn't hear it again. This morning, when I went up to check one side of the traps, I heard a scurrying on the roof. Could have been a squirrel, it's just hard to tell. I am thinking they may be locked out now, luckily. I will keep trapping all week and see what happens. It's funny, but I really, really, REALLY, want to see a dead rat in ONE of my traps. I just hope I didn't lock in a nest of babies in there. I guess I will know in a week or so.....

Last edited by noone; 08-29-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:57 PM   #41
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Got home today and went up on the roof to trim back some of the foam I had over sprayed in a few areas. I then noticed that the rat had chewed right through the foam in one particular area! All in one night. I knew I had heard chewing last night. Went inside the attic and plugged the hole with hardware cloth from the inside and foamed the hell out of it. It will now have to chew through an inch of foam from the outside to get in, only to be met by a wall of hardware cloth. No way he can push that aside unless he can also move another 4 inches of foam laying on top of that!

Just got finished laying 6 glue traps. I don't care what anyone says, i'm desperate. Snap traps have been entirely ineffective for me the last 3 weeks. I put two at one roof entrance, and 2 at the other roof entrance I just plugged. The rat(s) have already started chewing at the foam trying to get back in!! I also put 2 on the inside of the attic at this same spot. I think something is going to turn up in the morning

I hope there isn't a babies nest in here!

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:09 PM   #42
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Wow... at this point, I'd be considering adopting a really big tomcat :-P
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:19 PM   #43
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Rats in the attic. Help.


Nothing for several days now. Glue traps seem to have scared everything away, or maybe they just gave up for now. Looks like things are under control. I think that realistically there was one, maybe two rats in my attic at any one time. I bet it was a lot worse when the previous owner lived here with the trees laying all over the roof. Plus, I counted at least 20 or so empty poison packs scattered around about this attic that covers a 3900 sq ft house, making it pretty evident that there was probably a more serious problem at some point in the past. Well, the house is sealed up now and I don't think anything is inside. I'm still surprised the original owners of 15 years never remediated like I have now done. I will continue checking the foamed areas and monitor for intrusion.

I never did trap a single rat.

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