There is something in my attic

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    :surprise: This has just been one of those weeks where I have stopped asking myself "what next", because I haven't had to wait long to find out. Started off with a shockingly cold shower bright and early Monday because our 2-year-old heater decided to complain about an impressive collection of dust/lint, and the week has gone steadily downhill from there.

    Today's episode of "As the Mother Loses Her Mind" introduces a new character into the mix. Not too sure what it is, but it sounds sizable anyway. Also sounds like it's eating the ceiling in my bedroom. At this point? I say, dig in.

    Seriously though, we've had possums in our garage and they were none too pleasant. While I can't imagine how a possum would have gotten into my attic, I *really* don't want to be surprised by one. I did go up there, well, at least I opened up the hatch into the attic area and turned on the light and nothing showed itself. I also slammed the hatch back into place - didn't hear any scurrying but did continue to hear the munching. I swear, it sounds like something just chewing on the ceiling. I know I'm not hearing things because as soon as I got off the ladder, Elsie the killer cat jumped up to the top of it and then jumped onto the shelf in our closet. Was looking up at the ceiling and pacing back and forth, growling.

    I'd like some opinions on what kind of varmint would eat drywall, and do it loud enough to make this kind of crunching noise. Carpenter ants/termites wouldn't make this much noise, would they? Do squirrels chew on wood/drywall? I know the possum made a nice nest out of some spare insulation we had in the garage, but ... do they eat dry wall? Is it possible this really is a mouse? (If so, no way in heck do I want to meet him/her!!)

    I'm going to turtle it now - go to work (involves headphones, thank goodness), and punt this problem to my beloved dh... who in turn will probably punt it right back at me and tell me to call an exterminator. Do pest exterminators take care of wildlife?

    Given the course of this week, I suspect whatever it is will be joining dh and me in bed (having eaten thru the ceiling) before I can get someone out here. Sigh....

    Bring it on!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Moderator Staff Member

    call animal control. they might be able to find it or at least tell you what it is. jamie hunts down stuff. if he cant get it, there is something here known as critter catchers.
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    All I could think of when I read you post was, "Flowers in the Attic"
    I think I read that book when I was very young... likely too young to be reading it.

    I am dueling it out right now with a family of Raccoons!
    I read online that if I play talk radio at night and then put rags soaked with ammonia around their favorite places or their sleeping/homes, plus taking up all of their food sources this will dissuade them.
    But I do not have them in the house they are---- pooping all over my pool!!!!
    Which is funny, but not when it is going in the pool and kind of messy. Plus they are going in and killing the birds.
    So far 3 nights and it has worked.
    It also said if they are in the house to do the same thing.
    Don't know if this will work with your problem?
    I do know that they were talking about once the Raccoons go out to of the house to do all of this stuff before they snuck back in for the day to sleep.
    Traps might work better? We can't trap them here. :(
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Can't wait to see

    Rats will eat drywall and so will mice. Especially if they've gotten themselves stuck in between a wall space.

    We had a mouse chew through the drywall ceiling in our downstairs dining room once. It was very weird to see, let alone hear.

    Hopefully, whatever it is, it is not stuck and trying to gnaw its way out. Because there's a good chance it will die before it gets out, and then you have an even lovelier problem on your hands (NOT).

    I'd get an old-fashioned wooden rat trap, bait it with a small glob of butter and see if something gets caught in the attic. Can't hurt, and hopefully you'll save the expense of a pest control company.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Call animal control. You don't want to mess with this. MOST wild animals can cause serious damage if they get inside your home. You may even now be getting structural damage that would be expensive to fix and would have to be disclosed to any buyer.

    Toto - don't play around with raccoons. They are "cute" but will eat many things and are NOT always afraid of humans. They carry many many diseases, and some can be shared via feces. In some cases they will even kill cats, esp ones smaller than they are. Get someone knowledgeable to trap them and remove them. They must go MILES and MILES away. If you have more than 1 raccoon then they may work together to create even more danger for you and the kids and pets. They also stink like unholy heck.

    Good luck with your problems.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You probably will have to call a critter gitter to get it. Animal control probably won't do anything unless it is a "dangerous" animal.

    This reminds me of a very funny true story about a rookie cop's experience with a call that came in about at "Wild animal in the attic" called "Squirrel Cop." It will convince you to call the experts.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't know what it is, BUT...animal control may not help you. Right after I bought my house, I realized I had a resident skunk living underneath. It was obvious. Animal control would do nothing but offer to rent me a trap. Getting trap and skunk back to the shelter was my problem. Fish and Game wouldn't help, either. Pest control companies just laughed at me. Meanwhile, I could smell the skunk's journey underneath my house, and he curled up right next to the heater...and stayed.

    Finally, I put a radio in each room, tuned to a different station, and turned 'em up full blast when we left each morning. After about three days, he left.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Witz, that's hillarious!
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I LOVE This American Life! Sometimes it's pretty serious stuff, but usually it is very funny. I'll have to see if I can find the one about the world's funniest answering maching message and post that, too. It's a riot!
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    SLSH -

    Things that will get into the attic ruin drywall and make scratching noises:

    Bats - in colonies (not necessarily chew but urinate and weaken drywall)
    Watch for them to come out at dusk - funky smell in attic - Guano stinks.
    Squirrels * my first guess - in and out - find the hole and block it - A squirrel trap cage can usually be rented from any wildlife refuge center - word of caution - squirrels are prone to heart attacks once caught - and if they do survive? DO NOT pick the cage up without plyers or some sort of hooks on either end and gloves - then take the animal at least 8 miles away for release.
    Rats - you would see droppings around food sources - under sinks along walls - holes in cereal boxes, etc.
    Raccoons - Check chimneys - and fireplace floors for disturbances.
    Mice - about the same damage as rats - btw with either if you have 1 in a month you will have over 13 and 4 weeks later you can have over 150
    Opossums possible but least likely - usually prefer under things not UP on the roof top.

    IF you aren't into wildlife removal - then you need to call someone. They are expensive. If you have a wildlife rehab place close - they may allow you to rent a cage if you can figure out what you have in the attic. A cheap way to figure it out - is baby powder and some seeds or nuts...powder an area with babypowder (to see tracks) and dust lightly...then put the food in a dish - and leave it. Doesn't matter if they take it or eat it - you're going for foot prints. If you don't know what they are - take a picture send it to me.

    If the food is gone and there is NO foot print -but the powder is displaced or blown away- it's a bat...

    Rats - LOVE cheese puffs - Cheetos cheese puffs....raccons and possums love dog food.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm thinking mice. Probably coming in with the season change. As I have the same noises every fall/winter until I get them cleared out again.

    This year I'm proud to say Bruce is finally hunting the darn things. He was giving one a coronary this morning under my desk while I was having my first cup of coffee. Mouse got away, but Bruce is just getting started on this hunting bit. lol