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Think I've got squirrels in the attic

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Geoff738, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    At least I hope it's squirrels.

    I live in an old (1880) Victorian semi.

    In the 5 winters I've been here, we've had mice every year except when we were reno-ing the kitchen. This year so far, I've caught one about a month back and seen no further evidence of them. I had thought that whatever's in the attic could be mice - mostly just heard a skittering pitter patter. But there's been a bit of scratching/digging sounds the a couple times the last week or so that are definitely way too loud to be mice. So, that and the fact the traps still have peanut butter in them and no mice in 'em leads me to believe I have something else, and bigger, up there.

    Pretty sure it's not raccoons. They'd make a whole lot more noise.

    Don't think it's rats. Although the neighbor on the side we're not physically attached to had them in her place a few months back. Apparently. (Not that anybody told us at the time.) The space between our houses was closed in eons ago. If they were in her place, they could get in there and then here no problem. But I didn't see any evidence of that, and supposedly they dealt with the problem. The current residents of my attic also don't appear to have gained an entrance into the house.

    Other possibilities: skunks and the odd possum are around. Don't think either of them are attic dwellers though.

    So, assuming it's squirrels - how much damage can they do?

    How can I get rid of them? I don't have access to the attic and neither does my neighbor on the other side of the semi. I ain't gonna be going up on a ladder to a steeply pitched and snowy and or icy roof.

    Time to bring in the pros?

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  2. jonzer

    jonzer Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Throw a cat up there.
     
  3. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've got bats in my belfry.
     
  4. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Squirrels can do quite a bit of damage. They are fond of chewing wiring. Most local animal control departments have humane ( and effective ) traps you can borrow to catch the little guys. Good luck!
     
  5. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Holic

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    It would be difficault to catch them if you've not got the access to the space. If you can work out which route that they're taking laying a suitable trap will be the best option. They don't cost too much and are normally very effective but, be carefull, they are viscious bastards when cornered. Wear sturdy gauntlets when handling the trap after catching, they'll bite and scratch their way though anything less causing plenty of damage you your delicate skin. I don't know what the protocol for disposal is in your neck of the woods, but if you intend on releasing it take it a long long distance away as they will find their way back (surprisingly!). Here in the UK grey squirrel's are basically considered vermin and threaten our resident red population, so they are generally disposed of in a more permenent way. It's recomended that they are taken to the RSPCA (animal charity) for repatriation to their native country, but I'm sure that I can read between the lines of that statement.

    There you go, find the route they're taking, buy an inexpesive trap, bait it with peanut butter. A very effective and cheap method.

    Hope this helps, Paul.
     
  6. Jeff B.

    Jeff B. Tele-Meister

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    Most (but not all) types of squirrels go into hibernation for the winter. Mice is more probable even if they didn't eat the peanut butter. I've had mice that wouldn't bother with peanut butter on occasion.
     
  7. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am afraid that the pitter/patter scratching/digging suggests Rats. They can do a lot of damage especially to electrical wiring. Get an exterminator now. The fact they have not touched your mouse traps means nothing. They are extremely cunning animals.
     
  8. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Holic

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    One more thing - do it quickly. As mentioned, they can cause much damage.
     
  9. brianbanjos

    brianbanjos TDPRI Member

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    Squirrels can be very destructive. I was battling red squirrels for a while. Thought I had them all out, sealed up where I'd seen them getting in, and the little *&^%'s chewed a hole through the house! Definitely a job for an exterminator unless you want to try trapping them yourself.
     
  10. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Mmmmmmmmmm, Squirrels. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  11. wylde4canes

    wylde4canes Tele-Holic

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    Another way of interpreting this message is they are fond of putting your house in jeopardy of burning down.
     
  12. Mike H.

    Mike H. Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It's more likely that you have roof rats than squirrels. The best way to get rid of them is rat snap traps (the big ones) baited with peanut butter. Poison bait works, but then you have the problem of dead rodents smelling up the place.
     
  13. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    We had raccoons a few years ago. They were very loud and gnawed on everything. A pro got rid of them.
     
  14. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire

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    Squirrels is rats! Theys is tree rats! Kill 'em all!
     
  15. goldtopper

    goldtopper Friend of Leo's

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    Red Squirrels = bad damage
    Gray Squirrels = not so bad.
    Find out where they get in- mine climb up the stucco and go into the gable vent. I set a box trap with peanut butter and crackers. I then dispose of them as I see fit.
    You will NEED attic access, because after you trap them on the way in, you need to seal them out. Use 1/2" square hardware cloth (wirecloth) and nail or heavy duty staple it over the opening(s). If you don't make sure they're out of there, you'll seal them in and they'll find another way out, or worse, starve in there and start to stinkin.
    Good luck!
     
  16. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    There was a David Letterman spot around 20 years ago where he needed some help with thinking up a new slogan. One of them was "Oh no, we've got squirrels!" I believe. Some of the others:

    Who do you think you are, Bjorn Nittmo?
    Oh no! I just lost my dolly.....down the CRAPPER!
    Let's see, what would Hitler do at a time like this?


    and then something about the itching being tolerable, but oooooh! the swelling is killing me.


    anyone?
     
  17. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ok, did a bit more research.

    Almost certain it's squirrels. The buggers in my attic are active most in the morning. Most of the other critters (coons, mice and rats) do the evening and night thing.

    Plus, I saw a big black one on top of the neighbor's house near where I think they're getting in. The black ones are greys that found some hair coloring product, apparently. Different species from the reds.

    I had thought about pulling down a light and seeing if there was enough room to throw some poison around. Glad I didn't - I don't want whatever it is (and there's more than one) sitting in a wall rotting.

    Have contacted some pros. We'll see what they say.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I remember when my previous house had mice in the kitchen cabinets. I baited mouse traps with peanut butter. Lying in bed around midnight, nodding off to sleep and *snap* from the kitchen.
     
  19. BGTele

    BGTele Tele-Afflicted

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    They are getting in some way. Look for holes up high.

    An exterminator might seal it off and put a one-way-tunnel up, a small cone made of steel mesh that they can exit from but can't get back in. Steel mesh will prevent them chewing their way back in.

    Best thing is trap them with a havahart trap after you've plugged the holes. Peanuts for bait in the trap. Also peanut butter, tuna fish, think protein. Stay away from poison, it is a horrible death for them if it is a coagulant based poison. No need to be cruel.
    If there are babies, it will take a few baitings to get them. Let them go across a river near you if you can. If you hate ladders, call a pest control guy who offers a guarantee.
    Don't let them talk you into an expensive "Squirrel Proofing" job, they'll charge you $1500 and there ain't no such thing as squirrel proofing.
     
  20. Lost_N_Austin

    Lost_N_Austin Friend of Leo's

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    Electronic Rodent Deterrents

    Search for these devices to see if they might be for you. I know someone who has a Ranch House that is unoccupied during the week and some weekends. They leave their sonic deterrent running when they are gone and that keeps out the mice, rats, raccoons and squirrels and skunks. The up front investment will last for years and the one time pest control guy will cost you again and again.

    Here is one linky
    http://www.ehow.com/about_4761511_electronic-rodent-deterrents.html

    Good luck

    Lost_N_Austin
     
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