Miscellaneous Rumbles

How do you guys deal with rodents?

1

I guess this is about as off-topic as it gets on a guitar forum, but I trust your judgement and experience so am throwing it out there.

We got some rodents. I don’t know if they’re rats or squirrels, but they’re up in the loft and driving us crazy of a night. It seems to happen about this time every year so guess they’re trying to find somewhere to hole up in the dry.

I was wondering if there’s an ultrasonic solution rather than poisons or trapping, but having googled it there seems to be mixed opinions on whether they work.

I figure some of you folks are rural dwellers and may have some experience you can share.

2

The loft....you're in England, eh? We have attics here in the colonies. First, I guess you have to find out what kind of rodents. I've dealt with rats, mice, flying squirrels, raccoons, skunks....all different approaches.

3

Yep, I’m in England. We call it an attic too

Not ‘coons or skunks. Too heavy for mice, so I’m going with rats or American grey squirrels (all the English reds are pretty much gone now and we see greys in the garden all the time).

4

My Rottweiler shows up every so often with a big rat in its mouth. The rats like to eat the free kibble that occasionally falls out of the dog bowl.

The green colored rat baits work pretty good, as well as the traditional rat traps. If your trying to go the humane route, I cant help you on that as Im no fan of rodents.

5

if you have squirrels, firearms or trapping would be in order. however, squirrels, you should see them around your home during the daytime also.

so, you may have rats. here in Minnesota, when it starts getting cold, the mice come inside where it's warmer. I usually put out some type of poison to get rid of them. for rats, as a kid in Louisiana, I set traps. if you use some type of trap, use peanut butter for bait. the peanut butter is "sticky" and they have to put more effort into getting the bait thus "tripping" the trap. happy hunting.

6

I’m trying to avoid poisons for the sake of other wildlife, pets, etc. Also, the attic is a PITA to keep accessing, so I’d rather not have to keep checking traps if I can avoid it.

I was hoping for an electronic plug-in-and-forget type solution.

7

Rural dweller here and the poison didn't work. The #$#%# mice actually gathered all of it up and deposited it in a "safe" place. I've tried ultrasonics too and they did nothing. Some of the #$%@ mice actually started to deposit acorns into my Gretsch! Traps with peanut butter will get some as Sgt. Rock says. Get a cat, they like to do this work. We've had no problems since then. Well, occasionally he'll barf a bit if he's had too much rat. He seems to like crunching their heads.

8

I've had luck with peppermint scent. You can buy little bags that you can toss up into your attic, and rodents apparently hate the smell. My dad bought some peppermint oil that he poured onto paper towels and keeps inside his RV when stored. You really need to go nuts with the amount of whatever you you use to really make the area reek of peppermint, but it will drive them out. The scent really only lasts a month or so, so you might need to do it few times during the season.

9

Probably not an option for you, but my latest cat is the Lord High Executioner for wayward rodents. Low-tech to be sure, but I don't have to worry about traps or poison.

10

Poison once they're in. I've had success keeping rodents out of certain areas with the ultrasonic sevices. Good luck.

11

oh, if you find a hole where they are coming in and out, plug the hole with "steel wool". they hate the way it taste, so to speak.

12

We had an internationally recognized pest control conference every year at our theater. The Vet school and entomology schools were heavily involved. I learned a lot just by osmosis. Ultrasonic critter control doesn't work at all. They are only good in separating you from your money. Find out what pests you have and how they're getting in, then you'll have an idea on how to deal with them, keep them out where they belong. Squirrels are just bushy tailed tree rats, and they are smart as Hell. Both can be nasty when they get into your house. Raccoons are worse---they're really dexterous. The problems with poisons is that the animal might die in your house, and the stench afterwards isn't anything you want to deal with at any time. Exclusion seems to be the best policy.

13

Thanks all. I’m pretty certain they’re getting in through the open eaves, the house is around 500 years old so has no soffits or facias like newer builds. There has been chicken wire applied in the past as a barrier, but it’s missing in a few places and needs replacing. I’d be keen to make sure they were all on the outside before I did that though, hence the ultrasonic query.

14

For rats and mice, use a tin cat. It's a big metallic trap that can capture multiple critters. Sold in small and large for respectively sized creatures.

Squirrels, Rats, and Raccoons(if in your house): Shoot 'em. With squirrels and rats, you can use a pellet gun and kill them with one shot outside. You must be patient with the squirrels, as they come out during the day, and will hide up in the trees, peeking their heads over. Once their rhythm of peeking over the branch is established, focus your aim, and you'll be surprised at how much of a good shot you become. Leave the carcass near the tree where you shot them. They'll get the hint over time, and other creatures take them away at night.

Rats will go into steel cage traps at night. Get the right sized trap, the ones with the finer steel mesh. Shoot them right in the cage, or toss them into a bucket of water and drown them.

Raccoons, you'll need a .22.

They'll all rip your house up, but I've found that squirrels to be the most destructive and noisy at night, endless noise and movement, too.

Possums are cool, and are usually quiet. I've caught and released dozens of them. They hiss and whatever, but they are relatively harmless. Cool marsupials.

15

My advice, based on two separate invasions into our suburban domicile, is "call a pro". You will spend some, but in the end, it's done right and won't put you in the hospital if your lungs are the slightest bit touchy.

In our District, we've been assured that no one is ever much more than 100ft from a rat, which is disconcerting, but apparently true. I've been through a winter invasion twice. The first put me in the ER with a serious lung infection, so the second time, I called the pros.

Last year about this time, a family of 4 took up residence in the ceiling of my garage- right under the living room. Fortunately, lessons learned in the first instance meant this time they stayed in the garage and out of the house proper.

It took until March for the pros to deal with it. Once the 13 rats were dealt with (rats being rats, the population boomed), the disaster management pros moved in and two weeks later, we had a clean, mess-free, and rat-poop (etc) free garage- and our bank account was over 5G lighter!

But it worked- we stayed clean, rodent free and infection free for most of a year now. The garage has been re-sealed, all the access points taken care of, and life has moved on.

16

Was the lung thing from the rats or did you try to deal with them some way?

17

Deke- It was from the rats, or rather their leave behinds. I was using poision, but took extreme caution with it, and the evidence the doctors found pointed to rat urine and droppings, not warfarin.

I've got a lengthy history of COPD, which makes my lungs somewhat susceptible to infection. When I wound up in the ER in the fall of 2016 the Resident there suggested that I had perhaps inhaled a little too much airborne rat poop (old rat feces gradually break down as they dry, are easily stirred up and become aerosolized if disturbed- and I disturbed a LOT of it two years back. A huge dose of Prednisone with a large antibiotic followup set me to rights, but the lesson was learned.

Also, there is an even bigger risk when dealing with rat droppings- Hanta virus. You need a pretty decent mask to stop it from getting inside you, and it can be even more seriously nasty.

So when the rats came back, I picked up the phone.

18

When we had this problem it turned out to be starlings nesting. I watched them come and go, then shoved a bloody great builders sponge in the hole where they were getting in.Where we used to live the mice infestation our neighbours had was eliminated by Jezebel. Turns out the fluffy sofa dweller was a seriously amazing mouser.

19

Funny how this comes up now. London has been very bad this year. I've cleared out at least 10 mice at this point from my kitchen and it's a daily, relentless pursuit.

I bought some of those electronic ones this morning on Amazon.co.uk but I have no idea if they will work. I'll have to report back.

20

Deke. I guess we're about 30 miles from you and we've had this problem. Kent mice can make a surprisingly loud racket when they start clogdancing around in the middle of the night.

We tried humane traps -- those tin or plastic boxes that snap shut -- and they worked OK, except the little buggers just kept coming back! In the end, traditional mousetraps with peanut butter did the trick. But you'll need to block their access route -- there are lots of 'em out there.

We have quite a few grey squirrels around the place but never had one in the house (yet). I'm just glad that we don't have raccoons and skunks over here.

Hope you are both keeping well. We had a band gig at the Great Danes not so long ago and also a little trio gig at a pub called The Green Man at Hodsoll Street, somewhere near Vigo.

21

I agree with the pro tip. Animals in your home can be unhealthy. They can cause major illness too. For rats and mice, i like cats and homemade traps constructed of a two liter plastic soda bottle on a axle over a deep bucket. You can live trap them if your bucket is tall enough or killem with water in the bottom of the bucket. Youtube has many rat mice homemade trraps.

23

I hope you get this settled alright. They can be nasty. Get those holes plugged up and keep those pesky pests out. Best to ya.

Dang, John. That website is crazy.

24

I hope you get this settled alright. They can be nasty. Get those holes plugged up and keep those pesky pests out. Best to ya.

Dang, John. That website is crazy.

– Suprdave

Yeah, man.

I thought I had rodent issues, but dang!


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