Animal in attic

Page 1 of 2  
So last night I heard an animal in my attic, scratching and clawing vigorously on the wood attic floor.
Not really sure of the best plan of attack here. Don't know what animal it is yet.
A walk around the house with my friend didn't reveal any obvious holes for entry.
I just bought a havahart trap for squirrels etc.
Let's say I set it up near the attic door opening. Do I just check it every day for a catch? Can I hear a catch? Is it in any way dangerous for me once the animal is caught?
How do I plug the hole of entry when I don't know where it is?
Should I just call an exterminator?
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Go up in the attic, turn off all lights, let your eyes get accustomed to the darkness and look around. Racoons or squirrels most likely
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks bob for your help! Yes by the sound of the scratching I'd be leaning towards squirrels or racoons too.
Are there any precautions I need to take (protection from the animals)?
TIA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Get a live trap, about $25 from Harbor Freight, and use dry dog food, with a little peanut butter, for bait. A raccoon will go for it immediately, while a squirrel is more choosy.....
Raccoons are dangerous. Squrrels less so... However, a mouse can make a disproportionate amount of noise and sound like a much bigger animal... If the peanut butter is gone, and the trap is not sprung, it will probably be a mouse.
If you catch a raccoon in the trap, check with your local game laws for disposal. In Texas, you aren't allowed to let the animal free without permission from a game wardern. You can, however, kill it, without permission...... Be careful, tho, since raccoons are carriers of rabies. Squirrels, and mice,not so much...
By the way, raccoon meat is about the tastiest I have ever eaten. Many recipes on the internet......
Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry, I didn't realize that you needed a Facebook account to see the photos. If you know of a good free site to post them and can't see them at Facebook I'll do it! Let me know.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well today this has taken a new twist.
At 10:10 pm again there were some scratching noises, this time in the room at the front of the house, in the corner, in the attic.
BUT, soon after, at 10:25 pm, the noises had moved to the walls in the same corner, right near the floor!!!
In *both walls* at the corner, at the floor. This is the first time I heard the scratching noises in the walls!
Hmmmmm.... mice? I hate this!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's an idea: Get a boa constrictor and turn it loose. It can go anywhere the mouse can go, and will eat the mouse. Then it will crawl away. And snakes don't make that much noise, anyway... So you see, sometimes the solution can be very simple.... and your mother-in-law will never visit you again.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
we had a neighborhood rat problem, orkin and others wanted around 800 bucks per home for a one year contract to rid the area of rats........
mice are easy t catch in a live trap. one most stupid moves i ever made was feeding birds. sunflower seed were pricey. so i bought a 100 pound sack of sunflower seeds:( kept it in the basement.
ended up catching and relocating 68 mice who had found the seeds and raised familys.......
dont leave food sources around...........
harbor freight sells live traps cheap.........the mice were cute but i didnt want them in our home!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My town's Animal Control office lends out free Havahart live traps. If they are out of stock, a local garden center is on contract to rent them for $5 - $10 a week based on size.
Once you catch the animal, Animal Control will come over, take the trap, relocate the critter and return the trap to your house.
I trapped a raccoon that was hanging around my garage and deck.
Seeing the raccoon in my garage was what I call a "God thing". One night I went to get something from the garage freezer and just caught a glimpse of a tail going behind a storage cabinet. When I pulled out the cabinet I found a hole in the cinder block next to the door jamb. As I moved more more stuff I found more deterioration to the block in various spots which led to a fairly lengthy repair project, including replacing a number of blocks and the door itself.
Had I not seen the tail I would have not seen the problems until they were much worse.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 07/21/2012 01:41 AM, Robert wrote:

Had a friend here locally contact ODFW concerning the trapping of nutria underneath his house. They told him a similar set of regulations, in that he couldn't release them, but was free to kill them.
This being the city, and a liberal one at that, he chose instead to barricade their entry point and shoo them away when they were found in the back yard.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you can tol;erate a strong smell in the attic, you might try putting something stinky in the attic, like moth balls, and maybe play a radio loudly also in the attic, to clear them out AFTER you find out how they are getting in. Trapping one or two will not solve the long-term problem of access, more will follow unless you block the access.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I also had an overhanging tree that allowed easy access to my roof,. The racoons started eating thru the shingles next to a vent. I patched the tarpaper and redid the shingles (fortunately I had lots of extras) with lots of roofing cement, and then put junk wires around the roof area to help discourage them, then cut back the overhanging portion of the tree. ( months later, no new invasions). Also had mice around an outside door frame where there was an opening in the edge of the bottom of the trim no bigger than my pinkie, . Made a lot of noise around the door, and then foamed the opening. No smell and no more scritching in the wall so I am a happy camper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 20 Jul 2012 18:25:48 -0700 (PDT), GoogaICQ

While it could be almost anything, if there are no noticable larger sized holes, it's likely a mouse. It's amazing how much noise they can make for their size. I'd start with some mouse traps up there. Then do a careful inspection of the exterior of the house for holes that would allow larger animals. Look on the roof, under eaves, and everywhere. Look particularly where tree branches could allow a critter to get on your roof.
Another thing is to go in the attic and look for poop. Mouse poop is very small, about the size of a small grain of rice (black). Rat poop is much larger about 1/4" x 5/8" shaped like rice. Raccoon poop is about the same size as cat poop, and squirrel is similar but a little smaller. Rabbit poop is small pea sized round droppings, but you wont find rabbits in the attic. Either way, poop is a good way to determine the critter. There is likely a web page with photos of animal poop if you google for it.
Personally, I'd enter the attic with a gun in hand and have all persons leave the house in case you shoot thru the ceiling below. Plaster can be fixed and a few bullet holes is cheaper than an exterminator. Try not to shoot thru the roof, and avoid electrical wires when you shoot.
My bet is, it's a mouse!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Last night I heard a scratching noise on wood, what do you think it is? I think it's a rat. I checked for scratch marks the next morning but found nothing not even a single rat hair.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/1/2013 12:32 PM, Kristie wrote:

More likely tree rats (squirrels) or bats. Gaps over maybe 1/2 inch should be sealed. Won't hurt to put some rat poison in the attic. I do it for mice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank wrote:

She didn't say where she was located. It could have been an Orangutan.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
willshak wrote:

The OP is located in the Dallas TX area.
So yes - it could have been George Monkey Bush.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kristie wrote:

Rat? Really? Not a mouse or squirrel? Where I live there is no rats. Rats are eradicated since '60s. Any how, how could it come into the attic?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Rats, mice and squirrels can run effortlessly up any vertical surface that is only slightly rough.
Heh, I'd be interested to know how rats can be iradicated. I would say impossible.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
harryagain wrote:

Here in Alberta back then decided to get rid of them all as they are pest and disease bearer. All of them wiped out by poison. Government has rat patrol dept. Alwasy watching the Saskatchewan border. If any rat sighting is reported, right away they find and get rid of it. Cost of keeping rat free status is mmulti millsion dollars annually.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.