Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Day 2434 - Rats in the ceiling

The trouble with unwanted guests.

We've currently got some visitors staying that arrived uninvited.

They're the kind of visitors that get all active and noisy right when you're wanting to go to bed.

They're the kind of visitors who cause damage to your home.

They're the kind of visitors who disturb the kids and agitate the dogs.

The ones that come and go as they please with very little regard to the rest of the household.

We've got rodents in the ceiling.

It started off as an occasional thumping sound at dawn and dusk.  This convinced us it was a possum.

The noise then started during daylight hours and at all hours of the night.

We called in a possum removal service because we love our furry neighbours and don't want to see them come to any harm.

After spending around $200 on getting the guy out for nurturing possum removal, it turns out there is no evidence of possums in our roof.

There is however plenty of evidence of rats or mice.

At the beginning I was convinced it was a possum.  The footsteps sound heavy and when the animal runs it sounds possumish.

Apparently all things in the roof sound much bigger and louder than they are.

From what I've heard and read, there's a general rule of thumb in identifying the intruder by ear:

  • If it sounds like an elephant, it's a human
  • If it sounds like a human, it's a possum
  • If it sounds like a possum, it's a rat
  • If it sounds like a rat, it's a mouse
  • If it sounds like a mouse, it's a ... smaller mouse

The possum buster dude was also a rodent control dude and spread rat-sack through ceiling. But only after I felt confident that I wasn't going to accidentally kill a possum or that we weren't going to have rotting corpses in our roof.

If a possum was in the roof it would probably eat the rat-sack and die.  But there is no possum hair, droppings, urine or oil which makes him confident there are no possums in the house.

The rat-sack makes the rodents incredibly thirsty so they generally don't die while in the roof, they typically die in storm water drains or by other water sources.

I was also worried about the dogs eating dead rats they've found in the backyard and becoming victims to the same poisonous fate.

He assured me that a dog would need to eat three or four rat-sacked rodents to get sick and if this did happen a vet would simply give them a shot of Vitamin K and all would be good with the world.

As for a guarantee that this method of operation will work, our possum and rodent guru gave us a 6 month warranty on his service which means he will continue to return until our visitors have gone within that 6 month period, and if there is something smelly suggesting death above us, he'll come and remove it.

I was a bit dismayed at having paid $230 for rat-sack (the original $200 plus the rodent control), but I guess the possum peace of mind and warranty clean-up is worth it.

That was a week ago.

I'm afraid to say, instead of things calming down up there, they appear to be ramping up!

Last night the buggers were partying like it's 1999.  One last dance perhaps? I'll be emailing the dude today to see if this is normal or if we've got super rodents who turn rat-sack into party drugs.

The trouble with unwanted guests is, their behaviour is so ... so ... unwanted.

They've gotta go.

What unwanted guests have you had?

Have you ever had rodents in the ceiling?

Did they party before their final farewell? Or did things quieten down quickly?

Did you DIY or get the experts in? 

Update:  The possum/rodent busters advised this morning that it takes up to three weeks for rodents to disappear.  Right now they're all in there having a party with their new party food.  Eek! 

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  1. Not rats, thank goodness, but possums. We accidentally built one into the wall when renovating, cue midnight ripping wall sheets off to let the little bugger out. Now they just live in our tress and visit the deck each night. Once you get used to the noise they don't trouble you so much :)Good luck with your visitors.

    1. I love our possums. They also hang out on our deck. That's why I was so worried about killing them. Thanks for making me feel better about spending the $200+ to know our possum family is not in danger.

  2. We had that in a share house many million years ago - I'd wake up from nightmares where they'd eaten through the roof and were falling on me. I remember it vividly. Get the guy out asap!!!!

    1. I know you got the guy out, I meant that's the only way to deal with it. (only one coffee in, not making sense)

  3. Urgh. We had rats in the roof and walls when I was a kid. Rat sak was ever present! Good luck :(

  4. Have you tried those sonic radio beam things advertised on the TV? I'm not sure exactly what they are, or if they work, but might be worth a try if the problem doesn't get sorted.

  5. I have had this experience many times! We get lots of mice and rats at our current home due to the bush setting. Oh god, and possums, HUGE possums. Not good.

  6. We do have actual possums! We sometimes see them at night! Luckily we have no rats. When the kids were leaving the pet rabbit food open we did have field mice but now we keep the rabbit food securely enclosed the field mice have gone elsewhere to feast!

  7. Yep, we have a rat or something in our roof. Only we rent and our real estate don't give a (insert chosen word here).

  8. I have heard that the rats are really bad at the moment. Hope they move the party to the great rat meadow in the sky shortly!

  9. Oh God!!! I hope they all leave you alone soon. You know what? I've been thinking about your toothbrush post from last week all week. We had a nasty vomiting bug over the weekend and I've been cleaning everything, including where we put our toothbrushes, like a madwoman.

  10. Our winter visitors have returned (a combo of rats and mice!) and I am so over it. Dave set a mouse trap the other night and we had a mouse within a couple of hours. The bigger rats will be an issue though. Dave's usual mode of destruction is to set rat traps about a metre around the manhole, with a bit of rope tied to them and left dangling around the cracks in the manhole so he can drag them out once they've captured their prey. It's a pain in the arse, but I think Dave's concerted efforts are paying off as every year we seem to have less and less. And I'm hopeful that by the time I die we'll have got most of them, lol!

    We once had a mouse hanging out in the house that was so damn full of himself that he used to saunter around the lounge room while we were sitting there watching TV and wouldn't even flinch if we got up to go after him! He got what was coming to him in the end though!

    I hope you get rid of your unwelcome visitors sooner rather than later, they really are annoying, and do sound much bigger than they are!

  11. I feel sorry for mice and use those catch and release traps if I have to- I'm a terrible softie!

  12. Oh I feel for you!! We had a possum in our roof for ages! In our brand new house too I might add. Right near the fire place which back onto our bedroom. So much so I would put the fan on in Autumn so I couldn't hear it shuffling. You're right though. The pestman was up there and said no evidence of a possum but rat and mice poo :( He even took a picture of some wiring the mice had chewed. Little bastards! We've since got a cat and these black bait boxes round the house. So far so good! Hope you get rid of them asap. $200 is a bit outrageous!!

  13. Yes, we've had rats and they've gotten into our air conditioning unit and one fried itself on the motherboard. Cost $600 to replace it. Thankfully we don't have possums.


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