Rodents (?) in Attic in FL

For several weeks I have heard noises in the ceiling that indicate we have some uninvited guests in the crawl space. I understand that wiring and ductwork can be destroyed and fixing those problems could be very expensive.
I have set traps up there - wire cages with doors that close when triggered and I bait them with peanut butter, mouse attractant and bologna. After severl days and no trapped critters, I am getting concerned that I need to do something else and soon. I have also bought poison, but dead animals stinking up the house is unappealing.
Any other ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Torpeau wrote:

One option is to call the local professional. They will know what is likely in the area and what the most effect approach will be.
It is amazing how much noise even a chameleon or a small bird can make. It would be a good idea to find out exactly what is up there.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bet it's a gator. to determine it's size just count 1 thousand one... 1 thousand 2... up to 5. every 5 seconds between sounds equals one foot. hth Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
longshot wrote:

Could be palmetto bugs too (roaches). Determine size in same manner as above :)
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2007-07-11 07:57:57 -0400, "Joseph Meehan"

Someone suggested a place where he/they are getting in and I will try to seal that off -- hope he is outside when I do this so he isn't trapped up there. The attic gets so hot right now that I wonder if they don't go to a cooler place during the day. Also, they have to leave some time for water -- when I wonder.
I am checking with the county extension service.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had the rat experience roof rats (AKA tree rats, fruit rats or the chamber of commerce term "palmetto squirrel"). You can spot them from the extra long tail. They will get through any hole you can get your finger in. The first thing is to plug up all the holes. Then trap them out. Glue traps work pretty well and I also had luck with a small "live trap". No luck at all with the snap traps (big mouse trap) The other poster is right, they tend to follow walls when they move around. I think it is really a way to avoid predators like hawks and owls. If they are really thick you will actually see the trail. They leave a bit of scent when they lay a trail and that collects dirt. They do sell a one way door that you can use if you identify the entrance they are using but it is likely they will just chew a new hole. I saw one go through a 3/4" pine board in a couple minutes. I also had one eat a hole in a 1/2" hardware cloth trap. He only had to cut 2 of the wires to get out.
Poison is not a good idea. It won't kill them all, they will just stop eating it if they see one die and that one will stink for a month or more. These are rats, not mice. There is a lot of meat to decay. BTDT
BTW they do fine in your hot attic. They will burrow under the insulation and lay next to the ceiling drywall. If it gets too hot they just eat a hole in the AC duct and make a cool spot for the pups. We found a regular air conditioned rat condo up there, built around a hole in a duct. Chances are they are coming into the house down the plumbing stacks. Look for signs in the kitchen and bathroom. Rat shit is the best indicator, little black turds a bit bigger than rice.
Do not screw around with these things. The longer they live there the harder it is tio get rid of every one that knows this is a good spot. Kill them with extreme prejudice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have mice and use traps and poison. The old fashioned mouse trap works best for me. Little animals don't smell much when they die. It's tough to seal all openings but you should do that. Saw an exterminator on TV who set traps along runways where rats may go as apparently these rodents are near blind and follow wall edges etc. He did not even have to bait these traps ans the rats would just run into them. Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, everyone.
Another idea came to me. The attic gets really, really hot this time of year. Locally, 93 officially, but I'll bet the attic hits 120 or 130. I guess they spend their days outside. Any critters have to leave for water and putting a bowl with some some salty water in the attic would make them even thirstier. Probably best to seal their presumed entrance during the hottest part of the day.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
said:

I had a raccoon in overhang for a couple weeks i couldn't get rid of a few summers ago... i am in Indiana , It's typically around 90 during the summer days. he would sleep all day & only roam at night when it was cooler... not sure if your idea is the right one...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Torpeau wrote:

Our attic is about the same, and before I moved here they had had pretty serious infestations in attics. Our condo, at that time, had open trash containers, bad roof, etc. Allegedly they go out at night to forage and don't like to travel on the ground ... tree branch to fence to tree to your house :o) We have trash pick-up 2x week, probably mainly to keep rats down. They also are attracted to dropped fruit, so if one has fruit trees it is usually picked up right away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Torpeau wrote:

Roof rats. Fruit rats. I heard funny noised in our downspout (two-story) a few times, and couldn't imagine what it was. Hubby, as usual, thought I was hearing things. Then, one day, sitting on the patio, I saw a rat scurry across the lawn and jump into the bottom of the downspout and heard him go up the downspout! You don't see many homes around our neighborhood with trees overhanging roofs because that is their favorite highway. Here is a good link to U of FL site; it is searchable and has loads of info: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG218
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.