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Red Squirrel 12-09-2011 07:34 PM

Think I have a rodent in my attic
For those who have experienced this, how consistent is the noise? For the past week, every couple days I will hear a sound that is similar to what it would make if you shook an electrical wire inside a wall. Just a light rubbing/taping sound. It will do it for maybe a minute then go away.

Could this be a rodent? I figured they'd be making more noise and wrecking more havoc than that. But guess if it's staying on top of the insulation most of the time I could see why it's so quiet.

I will probably go up there and check tomorrow. It's a huge pain to go up there, but I can't really take chances either.

Edit: It was bugging me so I took the step ladder and just popped my head up there to take a quick look. Looks the same way I left it a year or two ago when I did some work. I got an idea of putting some peanuts up there and tomorrow I'll check if they're gone. That should confirm if I have a rodent hopefully.

NancyNGA 12-09-2011 07:57 PM


Originally Posted by Red Squirrel (Post 790072)
I got an idea of putting some peanuts up there and tomorrow I'll check if they're gone. That should confirm if I have a rodent hopefully.

Or else you will have them now because they got a whiff of the peanuts, and they'll be back every night to check for more.:wink:

Red Squirrel 12-09-2011 08:04 PM

Yeah hopefully with this cold, the smell wont go very far. :laughing:

If it is a rodent I'm hoping it's just one of the neighborhood chipmunks. He'll be hibernating most of the winter, I'll just leave him alone and kick him out in spring. It's kinda hard to go inspect the roof vents and other areas for entry points when it's covered in a foot of snow. :laughing:

Hmm now that I think of it, I could check for tracks.

Bud Cline 12-09-2011 09:38 PM


I got an idea of putting some peanuts up there and tomorrow I'll check if they're gone.
And what if it is a RAT? Why feed him healthy peanuts then send him off to tell his friends? You'll have a commune in no time. Why not just bait a trap with peanut butter and test your theory that way? Those things reproduce rapidly and you'll have an infestation in no time if you don't get ahead of it now. By next spring you could have a hundred of those rascals crawling around in your walls and kitchen drawers.

PAbugman 12-11-2011 09:12 AM

By all means you should set multiple rat traps now to monitor/catch whatever is up there. If it is rats they are “neophobic” meaning fear of new things. They will have to get used to the traps, unless they are real hungry or are young rats. Don’t wait.

Red Squirrel 12-11-2011 08:16 PM

Ok so peanuts are gone as of this evening. There definitely is something up there. I don't want to use lethal force yet just in case it's a chipmunk or squirrel. I will have to try to find or make a small live trap. I just have to remember to check it often.

I might be forced to actually go for a crawl up there and inspect things further. Last thing I want is a fire because of chewed electrical lines arcing after being chewed lol. I see no signs of damage above the insulation, but perhaps he's playing between the batts so I'm not seeing the whole picture by just popping my head up there from the step ladder.

I just need to really figure out how it got in so I can fix it first thing in spring. I don't want a nursery up there LOL.

Red Squirrel 12-11-2011 09:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Been brainstorming for a trap design, think this will work?

Or will a rodent be smart enough to try lifting the door up to get out? I could maybe add some kind of mechanism that makes it lock in place when it closes. I could have it so it's always up and then it gets activated once the mob goes in. Basically like a mini cat trap.

The tricky part is I need to build this big enough for a squirrel, in case that's what I have, but small enough for a mouse. I'm thinking a plastic container as it's rather cheap and versatile, having a lid and all. I'd just punch a bunch of holes in it. I'll just have to be sure to check it every single day.

I'm still trying to figure out how it got in the attic though, that will be a tricky one to find. Guess the easiest way to check is from outside. I'll have to wait till summer and go on the roof. The only thing I can really think of is that there may be something wrong with a vent hole where the flashing has some spacing or something.

Ironlight 12-11-2011 09:58 PM

Get one of these and be done with it.

If you build your own chances are 9 in 10 that it will have some flaw that will render it useless if it is not designed to kill them outright. They'll chew their way out, get the door open, etc. They are persistent when they are trapped.

As to finding how they got in, if it is a small rodent you could spend a lifetime looking and never nail it down. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime, a rat through a quarter. Better just to leave a trap baited up there and check it every couple of days. The varmits come in when it gets cold. Clear them out and you'll be done for the winter as they are not likely to migrate from other warm places they have found in other homes.

Bud Cline 12-11-2011 10:34 PM

The gestation period of a female rat is normally 22 days, but can vary from 21 to 23 (and maybe even to 25):

Red Squirrel 12-13-2011 09:26 PM

I made a simple pipe trap, I will start with that. The cage on amazon is not available in Canada. It's been warm out, so hopefully I catch it during this weather, and I will just drive it far into the bush and leave it a bunch of food. No idea how those roads are in winter though, but I'm guessing there's enough traffic so the snow should be well packed. I'll probably put the chipmunk in my cat's cage and wait for the weekend so I can drive in daylight. I'll keep it well fed and give it water. Damn thing is lucky I'm an animal lover, putting a snap trap would be so much easier. :P

I'm looking forward to seeing what it is though, it might surprise me and be something completely random like a bat or something lol.

Red Squirrel 12-17-2011 02:49 PM

Ok so that trap was fail, and the chipmunk ran out laughing. I went to Canadian Tire for supplies so I could add a locking door to it and figured it's worth looking around, maybe they actually sell traps, and sure enough there was some made for chipmunks and squirrels. Should have looked the first time. Did not figure they'd sell that. So I bought one and set it up there now.

dougp23 12-17-2011 04:28 PM

Yes, like the other posters have said, get on top of it right away.

My wife heard the noise first, I dismissed it for a few days. When I did start setting traps, I got 18 of the rascals (mice) in two weeks....

I am sorry to say it, but my experience has been the only effective means of dealing with them is with lethal traps. Most of the "capture them live" they always seem to get out of, the glue pad traps are terrible....

Good luck to you! And def check for their "running trails" (mice tend to leave trails of urine and grease when they move around, you will see these brown streaks where they are running).

Prob got into the attic by way of a chimney chase, that's a favorite of theirs, in my experience.

Red Squirrel 12-17-2011 09:05 PM

I don't see anything unusual on top of the fiberglass, though if it was to poop or pee it would probably just get absorbed in. (yummy). I have not gotten up there with a full size ladder and crawled around though, only looked around the opening as I can't actually get up there with the step ladder. Once I capture it, I'll probably go take a look around for any damage and clean up any food stashes. The sounds I was hearing was probably it getting into it's stashes that are burried under the last layer of insulation.

I'm assuming it's a chipmunk, but I might be surprised and it will be something completely random like a snake or something lol. But I don't think snakes eat peanuts.

Red Squirrel 12-20-2011 04:59 PM

No catch yet. The weather cooled down to the seasonal norm, so it's probably hibernating more now. I wonder if playing Justin Bieber or Celine Dion in the attic will wake it up, though it's probably going to just kill itself and I'll have to deal with the smell.

Bud Cline 12-20-2011 05:02 PM


though it's probably going to just kill itself
That's probably what I would do if I had to listen to either one of them.

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