Squirrel & Rats in Attic Crawl Space

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by LAYNE, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. LAYNE

    LAYNE Active Member

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    Hello All:

    It's been some time since I've been on this forum. have missed it but have been busy as I moved to the boonies in the panhandle of Florida, at least for the winter months. I have come across a problem in this old house we are trying to refurbish. It is an old one and there are gaps everywhere along the eaves at the moment where critters can get in. We need to find a temporary solution for the problem until we are able to get the necessary work done to seal the place up. What is happening is the new wiring up in the attic space is being chewed by some sort of rodent. We think we finally got rid of the squirrels by enclosing and screening in along the bottom perimeter of the house. We have been using rat poison and moth balls but discover today that there is new gnawing on the wires. Does anyone know of something that can be sprayed on the wiring that would be so distasteful to rodents that they would no longer chew there?...or maybe there is another solution. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Layne
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First, wearing a mask, sweep the area up then scrub it good. A bleach solution would be good. you are not concerned with dirt per se, but with germs and parasites. Next, get a jar of dried hot peppers. Toss these wherever they are getting in, and wherever they like to hang out.
     

  3. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Use more rat poison. Lots more. & sticky traps. & mechanical traps. Go all out. Place the poison & the traps Everywhere. It's WAR untill they're all dead or gone from your home.
     
  4. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I'll second the war thing. We had to have the county come out because a neighbor cut back a date palm, where they were living and they descended on all the houses on the street. He gave us pointers:

    Cut back all vegetation near the nouse, especially if it's tall enough to allow access to the roof.

    Wood piles need to be 6-8" off the ground to prevent them fromnesting under the pile...they seem to find lots of gaps when it's just piled on the ground.

    Find every vent or access to the house and seel it with wire mesh. Make sure they aren't chewing into the facia, if they are, replace it or cover it with wire mesh.

    Now, some of my own pointers:

    If using poisons, like just one bite or squirrel bait, leave buckets of water out, as many as you can, because, once they start feeling the effects of the poison, they become VERY THIRSTY, so they go to the buckets, fall in and drown.

    If you can't afford lots of poison, I suggest buying squirrel bait and bait stations. I ca use they around all my other animals, without being disturbed. Squirrel bait is SOOOOO MUCH CHEAPER, and just as effective. The bait stations are more expensive, but they will pay for themselves on how effective they are.

    Snap traps...don't get the everyday Victory traps, get the big black plastic onces that look like a jaw with teeth. The best snapping trap I have ever seen. My youngest daughter sets them up every day, and now that it's spring the rats are retunring...she's got 1 a day.

    Live traps...I use small live traps, too, to catch them. They don't stay alive, but, it's still another way to trap them. For those with reptiles that eat them, this is the way to go...rid yourself of rodents and slinky the snake gets a treat.
     
  5. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    We have had squirrels in the attic. We throw moth balls as far back as we can to keep them from coming back, plus try to plug up the outside entrys they find to get into the attic.
     
  6. LAYNE

    LAYNE Active Member

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    thanks loads for some of your suggestions....sounds like it'll be awhile before we can get rid of them
    Layne
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cats are great too. Put them in the attic at night. The rats and squirrels will very quickly learn to stay away.
     
  8. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is a fight, simply because they use urine as a beacon...it stains and you can rearely ever get the smell out. As long as the smell is there, it lets rats know that is a place to go...it impregnants, for lack of a better word.

    Be vigilant, and don't ever slack off on treatment/prevention. They will always come back.
     
  9. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

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    Layne- We had a problem with flying squirrels in the attic/roof space that they entered by pouncing/flying onto the roof and finding cracks in the fascia ect. of our old house.

    They were quite annoying and difficult to get at. I killed some at night with a scoped air rifle and light but didn't get rid of them all until I put a small live trap on an oak tree nearest the house. I baited the trap with a little cup of sunflower seeds and caught them all(10-12) in about a week. They are cute little critters and my wife didn't want to kill them so she carried them off to another forested area 20 miles from the house. They may have died anyway with the translocation but she felt better about it.

    A live trap with seeds/bait will probably catch whatever is in your attic and then you can do with them what you want.

    Good luck. TnTnTn
     
  10. Lisa A

    Lisa A Well-Known Member

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    We don't use poison due to the chickens and cats (in the barn, not the
    attic :), but DH has had good luck in the barn with several spring-type rat
    traps, peanut butter with a little sweet feed stuck to it as bait: check
    frequently (like twice a day) to dispose of bodies and reload. After a few
    weeks of this and dozens of bodies, we weren't seeing any more, but we
    keep a sharp eye out, one small rat leads to bajillions in a very short time.
    Our cats can't get into the barn at night, so the rats learned where they
    were safe.

    DH got a squirrel in a rat trap the other day - it was burrowing under stall
    walls - I never heard of burrowing squirrels? He felt bad but it's a pest.