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Hello,

I may have dead rats underneath the woodwork, underneath the walls in the house. What should I do and what product can I use? Will the smell go away? And is the smell of ammonia resemble dead rats ? Your help is greatly appreciated.

If you read through our RAT CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn that the use of a rodenticide in the home will many times lead to an animal dying somewhere inaccessible. But the general rule is anytime you have any kind of animal active in or around your home, there will be an increased risk of something like this happening. Fortunately there are some good products that can remove the smell.

For now read our article. As you’ll learn, removing the animal is always best. But if you’re not able to find it, you’ll have to treat with the NNZ we list in the article. You can spray it out over the area where you suspect the odor is located but if it’s a wall or ceiling void, you may need to use one of the FOAMERS to get good coverage.

Dead Rat Odor Article:  http://www.roof-rat-control.com/rat-control#dead_rat_odor

NNZ:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/sanitizer/liquid/nnz-64-oz

Foamer:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/foamers/solo-2-gal-foamer-w12-inj

Rat Control Article:  http://www.roof-rat-control.com/rat-control

 

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Firefighters say rodents may be the reason a fire broke out Thursday morning in Chico.  The fire was called in by a neighbor around 7:45 AM after they saw smoke and flames coming from the upper level of the home.  The resident told firefighters he heard a scurrying noise in the attic a few hours earlier, around 1:30 in the morning, and then the power went out.   Roof rats, squirrels and mice will commonly chew power lines so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they indirectly caused a short.

The homeowner apparently didn’t realize the danger and just reset the circuit breaker. About 6 hours later the fire broke out. You can read the full the story here:

ATTIC FIRE CAUSED BY RODENTS?

In fact, rodents regularly chew on pipes, wires and just about anything attempting to grind down their teeth. As explained in our ROOF RAT CONTROL article, they do this instinctively. This is just one more reason why roof rats should not be tolerated in or around the home. Be sure to trap out local populations if you find them in or on your house using one of the methods detailed in our article.

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I see the line of rodent zappers you carry but I don’t think I need one this big. After reading your article I’m pretty sure I have mice and not rats in my kitchen. Do you have a scaled down smaller version for mice?

The RAT ZAPPER line will work fine on mice. If you are unsure of just what rodent is active in your home, we always suggest going with the larger size since it will usually work on any animal that can enter. If you are sure mice are active and have a limited area to deploy the device, go with the MOUSE ZAPPER. It will kill any mouse or shrew instantly and has an entrance that makes it pretty much impossible for non target animals to get inside. The following spotlight video goes over all the details you’ll need to know to set one up.

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Is it possible to live trap rats in a tree?

Live traps can be set most anywhere when targeting rats. The most important factor seems to be whether the location is where they are willing to feed. If you suspect you have roof rats or some other rodent active in a tree, chances are high they are finding food on it making live trapping a possibility.

Roof rats will commonly forage on trees which yield nuts such as acorn, pecan and walnut. From these trees they’ll find their way onto rooftops and then inside the structure. If you are seeing activity in trees close to the home, make some live trap sets to help thin the local population. Failure to remove and relocate local activity close to the home will undoubtedly lead to some getting inside. Once inside they’ll be harder to control. This picture shows a good tree set made with one of our a live traps.

Live Trap Tree Set

Good traps to use for this set include our 5x5x16GREEN, LT5518RD and our 3.5X3.5.24REPEATER. All these models can be strapped to branches using plastic cable ties, nails or screws. They can also be anchored with more elaborate mounts like the one pictured above. This is actually a bird feeder mount which serves as a great “ledge” on which to rest a cage trap. Use some PECAN PASTE along with a good quantity of the nuts the host tree yields when baiting. This combination will both enable the rodents to find the trap quickly and give them good reason to enter.

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You just have so many items and reading so I will simply ask a question. I have been having critters of unknown types chewing on my ac hoses under the house. They nest in and around the heating and cooling ducts and vents. I can not crawl under the house but is there something general I could use through a garden sprayer or apply to perimeter of house that wont wash away? Thanks for your help.

I suspect you have some kind of rat though it could be a shrew or vole. Without knowing for sure, making a specific recommendation is tough. That being said, there some things you can do.

First, you could treat the hoses and pipes with some 4-THE-BIRDS LIQUID which would effectively stop the chewing immediately. This product is odorless but something no animal can tolerate. Where applied, they will stay away.

Second, I would set some food out in the area like bird food or pet food (if you have a dog or cat, either of their food would suffice). If this “animal” takes the offering, I would then say to get a live trap to catch the ones living inside your home. Once these are removed, you could then find their access points and seal these holes up to prevent more of this animal from coming into your home. Clearly you have a problem with something entering and my guess is there is some kind of food motivating them to get inside. Trap out what you have now before you start sealing up entry points; once you are sure all the current ones active are removed you can do the closure needed to keep new ones from getting inside.

Please call on our toll free 1.800.877.7290 if you have further questions.

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I see what I think are rat burrows in my crawl space. There are holes I’m seeing in the soil, about 3 inches wide, and trails which seem to be mostly against the foundation wall leading around two sides in the space. It looks like whatever is coming out of the holes is walking around down there and then coming up into the house!! I haven’t seen anything inside but they must be somewhere. What can I do?

What you’re describing does indeed sound like a rat. Norway rats are most likely to burrow or dig tunnels like you’re describing and they typically will forage up into the living area of the home if given the chance. I suggest you leave everything as is and trap them out.

To start trapping, it would be best if you were able to find or discover where they might be feeding. Typically rats will take advantage of bird seed or pet food. If you have either in the home, do a good inspection where you’re keeping it. Chances are your little unwanted friend is visiting this area and that’s where you will want to place out the rat trap. Look for droppings or other signs.

If you are unable to find any such location, I suggest you place some bird seed or pet food down in the crawl space, as close to the burrows as you can, to first make sure they are active. If you find this placement gets taken, set up one of our rat live traps with the same food in it as bait. In theory, you should be able to trap out all that are living in this area within a few days. Once removed, you can then close up all the tunnels by using dirt and a shovel or something to collapse them where visible. After that, inspect them weekly for a month to make sure they don’t reappear. If you don’t see any in a month, inspect the crawl space quarterly for a year to insure new rats don’t arrive. Since some found their way into the home it’s likely others will unless you set up some rat repellent around the outside of the building but don’t do this till you are sure the ones currently active have all been removed. As explained in our rat control article, the scent left by active rats will tend to attract new ones for a long time.

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I’ve been hearing noise in my attic for the past two weeks and finally went up there to see what was happening. I found lots of black droppings all over and think its from a rat. What kind of rat can climb all the way up to my attic?

Most rats are good climbers. Roof rats in particular are very good and it’s most likely this is what you’ve got since they love attics. The best thing to do right now would be to start trapping them out as explained in our roof rat control article.  Just don’t start cleaning the area until you’ve got them removed and know for sure there isn’t any still up there! This way you’ll be able to keep them where they’ve been and in the end, be able to get control that much faster. If you disturb the area, you might end up moving them to some other location in the home that won’t be so easy to access. I suggest you review our online article for more details…