Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)
  • Rats or mice or squirrels in the loft
  • monksie
    Member

    Driving me mad! We live in an extended stone cottage with very high rooms, no easy access to the eave and to compound it further, very little space in two seperate lofts. In fact, I can barely see above the loft hatches before I’m banging my head on the roof tiles. I need a periscope, I think.
    Anyway, I can’t check droppings to see what’s up there so I’ve started small and assumed mice. Snap traps with peanut butter deployed just inside the loft hatches.
    My questions are: Based on the noises. Scampering, middle of the night, nothing during the day, no squeeking or anything I’m thinking it’s not squirrels? Possibly rats? They sound louder than mice although I don’t know what a mouse foot fall sounds like. Is my only other option some potent kills everything poison (not my favourite option) and live with the hideous smell until they’ve decomposed?
    I’d offer them a substantial deal to move out but as I can’t contact them, I’ll have to resort to force.
    The old dear next door and her obsession in feeding the birds with her 11 bird feeders is lovely and a twitchers delight but mice, rats and grey squirrels are gate crashing the party daily.

    Bats? – Should be hibernating at this time of year though…..If so, disturbing them, even unintentionally and you’ll be breaking all sorts of laws*

    *Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
    Conservation Regulations 1994
    Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

    cranberry
    Member

    I need a periscope

    Nope, a cat.

    Is my only other option some potent kills everything poison

    Nope, a cat.

    I’ll have to resort to force.

    Yes, a cat.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Subscriber

    Could be bats living under the roof tiles. I think we have them, cos there’s a very slight whiff of wee in the loft but no sign of droppings or anything else.

    FWIW, some rat poison makes them thirsty so they go outside to drink before shuffling off their little ratty mortal coil, so they don’t stink up the loft.

    Before writing this, I am not condoning this activity. However, if anyone does have a bat problem they would like to be rid of, but don’t want to commit any crimes, you could do as my old man did.

    Put a radio in the loft, right near them, ,and play Radio 1 (or alternatives), very loudly 24/7 until they go. Pretty sure they left within a day or two.

    monksie
    Member

    Bats we can probably put up with but any mention of them to our neurotic daughter and we’ll be on the move again. One flew into her bedroom in the house I rented from my wife when she didn’t like me very much (long story) and that was not an experience my daughter nor I and definitely the bat would want to repeat.
    It would have to be a ninja cat if I got one as a) the loft space is ridiculously small and b) westie dog is scared to death of them and we’ll have another ‘bat in the bedroom’ like experience with the mutt.
    Rats and the effects of poisoning sounds promising (for us – obvs not for the rats) apart from my newly started Buddhist type wannabe life style karma led philosophy. I’ll put my spiritual ambitious to one side until this problem is resolved. Needs very definitely must (ps. your ‘gift’ from St Ann’s Hospice is about to be donated to a local charity shop, if that’s OK with you Mr N? It’s been a long time).
    A loud Radio playing 24/7 would probably have us out before the bats but I’ll keep it in the arsenal as a last resort.
    I can’t even put the mice traps in the ‘run’ of the vermin as I can’t get in to see what the vermin actually is, where they go and ergo, what will persuade them to leave.
    I’m sure I’m facing a ‘kill all’ poison and hope they venture over for a taste. I can’t even put one of those high pitch noise maker things in there as there isn’t any power up there.

    Rats. You won’t hear the mice. Does it smell? Rat wee is particularly pungent.
    Get some bigger traps. Don’t use poison. If they die where you can’t get them it’ll niff for ever!

    monksie
    Member

    Not a massive stink by any means. A bit ‘musty’ if you know what I mean? I’ll go and get rap traps today. Thank you
    The noise is intermittent through the night as well. Sort of 20 mins and then nothing for an hour or so. Occasionally, it sounds like a marble rolling a little bit which made me think it may be squirrels with nuts but the internet suggests the noise is at the wrong time of the day / night.

    nickewen
    Member

    Sounds like rats.. We’ve had issues in the past and it’s not a nice thing to deal with. As above – definitely go with traps over poison.. I had the displeasure of fishing a dead ‘un from under the floor at peak smelly phase.. the single most awful smell I have ever encountered! (thanks next door for putting loads of poison down!)

    If it is rats, you need to try and find out where they are getting in. They live in the sewers so any entry/exit of waste pipes etc. is a good place to start. Do you have easy access under the floor? Get a few traps down there as well. As above, their pee stinks to high heaven as well so if you pull up some boards and it stinks you have an answer.

    nostoc
    Member

    In my last house the council rat man told me that rats usually come into the loft at night to remove insulation material to line their burrows. He also said that when poisoned they would go outside to die. When I moved out there was a hell of a stink coming from the loft.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Get a small terrier if the current dog is scared of cats?

    jolmes
    Member

    Stick a gopro up there to film anything or a motion activated camera with night vision – find out what it is and deal with it accordingly.

    If its rats up there, once they are gone you might want to investigate how they go in there, holes in roof, guttering etc etc.

    Bats, you’ll need to get them removed legally or illegally, that’s your choice.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    Glis glis perhaps?

    monksie
    Member

    It’s looking like I have a rat problem then? Traps being purchased later today. Poison is going to the back of the list of options based on the lingering nasty diff experiences. No chance of getting another dog. In fact, when this one goes, we won’t be having another, ever. I don’t own a Go Pro nor any desire to own one previously. Anybody local to Hayfield / New Mills willing to loan me one (but you’ll have to take up any damage costs with the rat in question if any is incurred).
    Without scaffolding and a very experienced person to put it up (very high banking all around the house – either higher or lower than the ground the house is built on). There is no chance of getting up to the guttering etc. this is going to be expensive, isn’t it?
    The radio will have to deployed if it’s bats.
    Just Googled Glis glis. May well make the purchase.

    muddodger
    Member

    Please don’t discount the idea of having mice because you “can’t hear mice”.
    You can, we have them regular in our loft, and it sounds exactly like you have, Scratching, running, and chewing. Sounds like they’re trying to eat joists, I’m sure they’re not really but the noise one can make is amazing.

    If you’ve found mouse droppings, which are small oval brown then you’ve got a mouse. It’s probably a field mouse (or mice) which come in over winter out of the cold.
    Get some of the black and red plastic mouse traps, about £3 for 2. I’ve caught them with chocolate jam,and belive it or not a nut.
    Hope this helps

    Buy a sheet of 2mm ply board, and cut it into lengths slightly wider than your traps,

    Screw two traps back to back at one end of the ply, bait them, and poke it through the loft hatch,

    Fan them out across your loft eves, when they go off you can just grab the ply,

    If the angle into the loft isn’t to steep, you could dust the ply with a little flour and see if you get any foot prints. bigger the print, bigger the problem.

    djglover
    Member

    Mice will readily take bait from a trap, rats won’t. If you suspect rats, get some poison.

    We’ve had both, rats entered through a hole at ground level.

    shifter
    Member

    I had a squirrel up there last year and eventually saw where it was entering. Bunged the hole and the noise stoped. Whether he was in or out I’ll never know.

    garyfisher
    Member

    Had similar problem 6 months ago. Would hear scurrying between lounge ceiling and bedroom floor, especially at night. Not wanting to pull up the floorboards, I bought an ultrasonic rodent scarer and some traps, plugged the device in underneath bed. Its like magic and I’ve not heard any furry visitors since or even unwrapped the traps.

    Bought this one, but others are available

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    For bats we were advised to rig up a temporary bright light in the loft, never bothered in the end

    Mice will readily take bait from a trap, rats won’t.

    They will. They seem particularly fond of Chorizo.

    natrix
    Member

    As Muddodger says, you can hear mice in an attic. Had them in my previous house, the more you trap, the more they come in. A battery operated ultrasonic rodent deterrent in the attic was the answer. Every year or so the scurrying sound would come back, I’d pop fresh batteries in and off they’d go. 8)

    monksie
    Member

    Those ultra sonic things, then. If I plugged it in on the landing below the hatch for the one of the lofts and I kept the loft hatch closed (it’s not very thick plywood), would that work? The only place that i can find locally that I can get to today has 3 plug in to the mains versions (in oner pack) for £25.
    Thanks for all the advice and help.
    Forgot to say, no access to any under floor areas and due to the position of the loft hatches, no way of getting a person over the average size for a three year old into the loft.

    natrix
    Member

    If I plugged it in on the landing below the hatch for the one of the lofts and I kept the loft hatch closed (it’s not very thick plywood), would that work?

    You would have to have a look at the instructions that come with it. Some of them need to be in the same room as the rodents..

    Premier Icon core
    Subscriber

    You will hear mice, they make a lot more noise than their size would suggest. Traps – the killing sort, none of this humane business.

    dirtydog
    Member

    Out of those three I’d probably choose squirrels.

    If it’s squirrels , knocking them down with your car probably isn’t a viable option.

    Very road safety aware are squirrels.

    Weasels….not so much.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    Birds? Sparrows nest in roof spaces just inside the eaves, spaces that are increasingly scarce due to the obsession with sealing houses up to make them more ‘energy efficient’ resulting in the sparrow population crashing.
    They make scrabbling, scratching noises from time to time, but nothing much else. I’ve had sparrows nesting in the eaves above my bedroom, but the only time you hear bird noises is when they’re sitting outside on the phone wires chattering to each other.
    Might be raccoons…

    monksie
    Member

    Hope it’s birds, probably not racoons. I’m going to retrieve the traps in about 20 minutes. Wife is convinced she heard one of them snap shut last night….I’m not looking forward to this.

    Premier Icon jonnyboi
    Subscriber

    Most likely mice, the ones that got into our attic climbed up the outside walls. Rats are more the ground dwellers. Mice are noisy buggers too, and they breed quick

    Nutella is good, I had three traps up there and caught a dozen in a week. It tailed off after that 😉

    muddodger
    Member

    Apologies, just re-read and noticed you haven’t actually seen any droppings, I was skip reading and saw droppings / small.
    Anyway, don’t think that mice are only nocternal either.
    We heard scratting in the loft at midday a couple of weeks ago, caught him the same day, and Mrs-muddodger was greeted one dinner time by one sat in a kitchen cupboard feasting on the packets of nuts we had in there.
    This was at high level so we think it had climbed up the microwave and somehow jumped up through a little gap underneath the cupboard.
    Anyway, after a short face off where she thought I’d left a toy in there, until it blinked at her, She put a trap in and got it the same day. Will be glad when summer’s back, we don’t get any then

    jambalaya
    Member

    OP if you don’t like the idea of removing dead mice and especially Rats from a trap them wear rubber gloves. As an aside we where recommended wearing gloves to set the traps as mice can smell you on the trap and may avoid. Finally caught the little sod we had in our flat, took a month and we would often see it running accross the floor ! Genius at hiding the little devils.

    Mice aren’t nocternal, why would you see kestrals etc hovering during the day otherwise.

    hammyuk
    Member

    Where are you? I’ve a set of US repellers kicking around somewhere you can have.

    muddodger
    Member

    monksie – Member
    Occasionally, it sounds like a marble rolling a little bit which made me think it may be squirrels with nuts but the internet suggests the noise is at the wrong time of the day / night.

    This made me laugh! I think you’ve been watching too much Ice age…. Although we’d sometimes hear what sounded like something had slid down the full length of the tiles into the guttering.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Any joy from the allegedly snapped trap OP?

    monksie
    Member

    The result so far……4 peanut butter loaded mice snap traps……4 DEAD MICE!
    I thoroughly recommend Sainsbury’s budget peanut butter and B&Q’s Diall Trap Mouse Control 107G.
    Hammy, I’m near Hayfield (Peaks). More than happy to send money to purchase and cover postage if you’d like to sell them?
    Apologies for taking so long to get back….I’ve had a couple of whiskeys to steady my nerves and as I’m completely tea total, I’m now a bit drunk.
    Eeeeew, they were rigour morticed as well.
    I used two pairs of blue bike mechanic gloves, googles and a dust mask. My wife was at the other end of the landing, peeping from behind the bedroom door :- )

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    You can get “USB endoscope” cameras: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01EWO99CY/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485376491&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=usb+endoscope&dpPl=1&dpID=41WeUE-FlNL&ref=plSrch

    I got one of these to investigate our roof space scratchings. Tape the end to a stick/dismantled wire coat hanger and you can have a look around the loft space.

    Rodents will chew through cables btw, so getting rid of them one way or another is necessary. If you don’t you might end up with an electrical short leading to a fire in the loft space. The sooner you get it done the better. I’m bracing myself for clearing up the mess and rewiring in our extension where we had mice/rats. 😐

    Edit: cross posted. Murderer! 😉

    bear-uk
    Member

    Rats are great fun. Especially with an Air rifle and Night vision.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Glad you’re getting it sorted OP. At least it’s mice and not rats. I had a rat living in the wall cavity in my first house. Tricky, smart and huge. My deranged neighbour caught it in the end and broke its neck 😯

    Premier Icon richardkennerley
    Subscriber

    Apparently rats are creatures of habit, so they follow the same routes at the same times of day. So if you hear the scratching at roughly the same time in roughly the same place it’s likely to be rats. This happened in my last house, they were in the attic directly above our bed and it was always about 2am. Council poisoned them.

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