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Rats/squirrels in the loft


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#1 donk

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:34 am

Got a text message off my ex missus yesterday,(yeah we do still get on :blink: )
Could i go down and have a look in her loft as my son has heard scratching up in the loft above his bedroom.
When i got down there sure enough i found droppings on the insulation,and chewed bits of boxes,bags etc. I also found what looked to be patches of urine,though i could be mistaken about that. The loft insulation is brand new,just got done a few months back,so it was fairly easy to see the droppings etc.
They look like rats droppings to me,but im wondering if they could be squirrel droppings? Thing is ive never seen squirrel droppings so i dont know how they compare to rats in size?
So what do you people think? Rats in the loft? I know theyre adaptable little critters but how are they getting up there?
The walls have cavity insulatin,but im not sure if thats enough to stop them climbing up there?
Anyway ive told her to stop feeding the birds in case the bird seed is attracting the rats,and she is going to ring the local pest control officer.
Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated ;)

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 08:43 am

sqirrel droppings are more rpounder than rats, check around the edges of the building on the ground looking for holes or gaps. place a mk4 fenn in the attic, place peanut butter on the plate, this will catch either

#3 RatSnatcher

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 08:48 am

Donk the majority of domestic rat jobs I have done this year have been living in the cavity, my suggestion is look to see if you can see runs on the insulation and holes going under the insulation, Rat pooh and squirrel pooh are very scimilar....

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#4 donk

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:10 am

Yep,i just checked again,theres runs there,rats then?

#5 RatSnatcher

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:15 am

sqirrel droppings are more rpounder than rats, check around the edges of the building on the ground looking for holes or gaps. place a mk4 fenn in the attic, place peanut butter on the plate, this will catch either


Before you do what has been said above, check to see if there are any signs of bats living in the loft space otherwise you will recieve a hefty fine, then make sure you use a cubby to cover any trap you put in the loft area, this is a legal requirment also :)

A fenn trap will catch either squirrel or rat but first you need to find out what the problem is, if its rat then a fenn trap will be a waste of time on dealing with an infestation :thumbs:

#6 RatSnatcher

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:16 am

I have pm you ;)

#7 farlap

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:02 am

I have pm you http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

we used toi have rats in the roof in our last 2 houses...they make an awful din up there usually at night and do untold damage to wood, witres and anything stored up there. best thing I can suggest is just whack heaps of traps and poison up there.

#8 Rolfe

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:15 am

Hi Donk,

A couple of questions i would be asking are: If the noise is heard continually throughout the night then it is almost certain to be rats or mice. If the noise is heard shortly after dusk......then goes quiet.......then starts again at dawn it is usually squirrels. I find rats in the roof space a common problem nowadays.......and you have been shown a picture of squirrel droppings which are not as uniform or neat as rat droppings tend to be. Squirrels tend to sleep at night and this is usually the best indication as to what is in the roof space. Squirrel.......cage trap it in the roof to be safe......or Kania fitted to a board with tunnel fitted would be my course of action. Rats and Mice........sorry to be boring but good old trays of pelleted bait is my preferred option (Bromadiolone).

Hope this helps a bit...........Regards................Rolfe. ;)

#9 donk

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:25 pm

Excellent,thanks for all the replies,help, advice and pm's lads. Its greatly appreciated :victory:

#10 Garypco

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:34 pm

Excellent,thanks for all the replies,help, advice and pm's lads. Its greatly appreciated http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

cage trap is the most effective for squirrels you can poison....what often happens is they tear stuff up and completely cover over the baiting point.... i once baited on a big board in an open loft and found a pile of cardboard and loft insulation about three foot high where the squirrels had been busy hiding the food(poison)

if theyre def squirrels cage trap them is the best option....once dealt with push crushed chicken wire into any cavities along the roof space and outside into the facia boards and fill with expanding foam shud hopefully deter anymore visiters!!!

#11 shaun sale

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:17 pm

rats go up drain pipes and round your guttering then tru soffets .bin meny atime when doing loft conversions met with ratty on the roof.

#12 trappa

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:24 pm

Could be either, they both are great at getting in houses. Rats can make like a squirrel and climb tree branches and drop on to the roof too!
As for droppings, squirrels can have different size and shape, ive seen squirrel droppings like mouse droppings, so dont look too closely at that.

You will need to sort it fast mate regardless

#13 ianrob

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 06:25 pm

Hi Donk,

A couple of questions i would be asking are: If the noise is heard continually throughout the night then it is almost certain to be rats or mice. If the noise is heard shortly after dusk......then goes quiet.......then starts again at dawn it is usually squirrels. I find rats in the roof space a common problem nowadays.......and you have been shown a picture of squirrel droppings which are not as uniform or neat as rat droppings tend to be. Squirrels tend to sleep at night and this is usually the best indication as to what is in the roof space. Squirrel.......cage trap it in the roof to be safe......or Kania fitted to a board with tunnel fitted would be my course of action. Rats and Mice........sorry to be boring but good old trays of pelleted bait is my preferred option (Bromadiolone).

Hope this helps a bit...........Regards................Rolfe. http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

Hi Rolfe, can joe public buy this Bromadiolone rat poison. Rats in the roof space have been a real pain round here at times. They use the soffit to run the length of the block. The Council guy came the last time but it was after the rats had been there for ages. Is it feasable to leave the area baited permanently?. I've shot them etc, but never got as sophisticated as bait stations.

#14 Rolfe

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 06:36 pm

Hi Donk,

A couple of questions i would be asking are: If the noise is heard continually throughout the night then it is almost certain to be rats or mice. If the noise is heard shortly after dusk......then goes quiet.......then starts again at dawn it is usually squirrels. I find rats in the roof space a common problem nowadays.......and you have been shown a picture of squirrel droppings which are not as uniform or neat as rat droppings tend to be. Squirrels tend to sleep at night and this is usually the best indication as to what is in the roof space. Squirrel.......cage trap it in the roof to be safe......or Kania fitted to a board with tunnel fitted would be my course of action. Rats and Mice........sorry to be boring but good old trays of pelleted bait is my preferred option (Bromadiolone).

Hope this helps a bit...........Regards................Rolfe. http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

Hi Rolfe, can joe public buy this Bromadiolone rat poison. Rats in the roof space have been a real pain round here at times. They use the soffit to run the length of the block. The Council guy came the last time but it was after the rats had been there for ages. Is it feasable to leave the area baited permanently?. I've shot them etc, but never got as sophisticated as bait stations.
Bromadiolone (0.005%) is just the active ingredient........I use Contrac (Trade Name) pellets......Bells Lab produce it.
No persons (unless proof of training is provided,) should be able to buy it from the larger pest control companies...if it is available from smaller outlets i do not know.........there are an awful lot of agricultural suppliers out there. ;)

#15 sminky

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:42 am

In my experience trapping makes a good start if you catch them early enough but you have to put out quite a few. Peanut butter or Nutella are good baits. It's tricky in a loft as the rats tend not to just stay at the edges (where it is recommended you put traps) but will wander over and under insulation. Loads of trap enhancements on this site though to ensure success. I never tried snares, but if you can find runs/holes then they may be a good thing to try.

Best advice is to get an expert in, and they will get some poison down (our rats loved Contrac blocks or Tomcat). It takes a few days, but once you know they are eating it (tie it down with wire if using blocks) then you know they will be gonners. Trouble is I went for Rentokil and they were expensive and did not clear the problem, before that the council but they chucked up a couple of trays of bait and did not clear the problem and 2 local guys until I found a guy who sorted it once and for all.

Rats need water, so make sure no water is available in your loft. If you're connected to others (I was in a semi-detached, nightmare to get sorted iwthout neghbours help) then not much you can do but make sure your loft is as secure as poss). If no water in the loft then ratty will have to get outside at some point. You can get tracking dust and try and see where they are going but again in lofts it's difficult as it'll have worn off by the time they get outside.

Check all around the property really carefully for any holes about the size of 50p (under paving slabs too) and if you can find the exit/entry point then a good (and what became fun) idea is to get a wireless motion detector (£20 or so off ebay) and place the sensor near the hole. If you have an air-rifle then you can wait until the alarm goes off and hopefully shoot the buggers from a handy window.

As said above, you have to get this sorted quick as rats will take hold quickly and rest assured they will try to get back in once you've cleared the infestation try to block any holes and make sure your garden is tidy and has no bird feeders (or if you have then clear away fallen seed). In my case I noticed the b*****ds behind the shed at the bottom of my garden after it was all sorted and used the alarm to take out a few with my rifle, but also put out a bait box (on instructions from a professional) with bait tied into it on wires which took a while before it stopped being taken. His advice was to make a box from wood which weathers quickly and the rats are more comfortable with than the plastic boxes you can buy. Really important to get proper advice first though as you don't want to poison non target animals.

Make sure your water tank (if you have one) is well sealed so they can't get in and drink the water.

Good luck and don't let up until they're gone. As a father there's nothing worse than your child being woken each night by the thumping around of those rats. They sound like they've got clogs on! Drove me almost insane!

Oh and yes cavity is where they like to nest, and no cavity insulation is no barrier to them, just nice nesting material and check around pipes that go in and out of the property to make sure there's no gap (our problems began as neighbour's outside tap was not installed properly and left gaping hole into cavity!)


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