There is an animal in my home that I killed [update]

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  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    From some preliminary research, it does seem like there's plenty of hollow space up there.

    I assume it's getting in and out of that space (to eat and such), so there's bound to be connections somewhere. I would just call pest control at this part, unless you're willing to do something like this to your place:

    Lilnoobs on
  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    You need pest control. You need someone with traps, bait, knowledge and experience.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    i was able to do a valuable diagnostic this morning

    as the noise was going on at the time my alarm went off

    1) The noise was coming from another part of the house, directly above my bed instead of from the AC vent
    2) I heard it moving from left to right across the room
    3) I ran upstairs to see if it was still "above" me. And it wasn't. It was below me
    4) Verified it was not my cat or dogs again

    The culprit is not in the attic or in the vents, but in the floorspace between my master bedroom and upstairs loft. Is there even hollow space up there? Could it even connect to the attic?

    Where or how could i treat/trap this thing, given this knowledge

    Yeah there's space there, but it's partitioned by joists so whatever's in there is chewing holes through your structure most likely (unless there's enough room to navigate through them with electrical or HVAC).

    You'd have to figure out how they're getting there. This is pretty much the work of animal control now.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    animal control as in municipal service

    or animal control as in Terminix but for squirrels?

  • CogCog Registered User regular
    You can certainly call your city hall and see if they provide animal control services. If they don't, they can probably refer you to someone.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    this is surprisingly hard to google for. all i can find is.. this guy

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Since it's private property there's little chance animal control or your local extension will do dick about it. That's not their responsibility. But yeah, I would call a pro now that you've narrowed down where it's living. I'm sure you could do it yourself, but I haven't had to deal with rodents when I couldn't get into the same space they're living in. Seems like it would be difficult to do anything but trap the thing in there by filling up voids. Then it'll die in there possibly causing foul odor, and before it does that it my start chewing on the insulation of wiring when it cannot find any food.

    Djeet on
    bowenEssee
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I agree you'd probably want to call a pro if you can afford it. Even if you managed to catch the current culprit in a trap, there's got to be somewhere that one got in that needs to be found and blocked to prevent future visitors. And yes, take care of it quickly because they can (and will) gnaw on wires and can cause safety issues.

  • NijaNija Registered User regular
    I don't know your area very well, but how about this:
    Animal Control for Tampa, FL
    Animal Trappers - Tampa Bay

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  • KamiroKamiro Registered User regular
    When we got a guy to come in, it was basically like a Terminix for squirrels type place. Initial fee + whatever equipment/traps they used (in my case they bought a trap). Wasn't more than $100 for an inspection + trap that they set up.

    Do you own your house or do you rent? If you rent, this should be taken care of your landlord unless you have a really restricting lease that puts everything in your court.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    i own

    glad to hear its only a few hundred bucks. i was worried about it being $500+

    I haven't called yet because i've just got too much shit on my plate this week

    i'll probably schedule someone to come out next week

  • KamiroKamiro Registered User regular
    Just so you know, this was the cost of a quick inspection around the property, and poking his head in the attic. If the guy has to crawl through several air ducts and do more than just lay a trap or two, it may end up costing more.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    your main concern beyond trapping the bugger, is finding out how he got in so more don't come. that's usually extra to have them plug up the hole. i've found that Terminix/Orkin/Etc can be extremely scummy. I had rats, and they are supposed to check for the point of entry, this consisted of shining his flashlight and shrugging his shoulders. then he charged me like $50 for $10 worth of traps and poison, then when they called to do the follow up and i told him to pound sand, he showed up anyway "treated the perimeter" and charged me $80. i got them to reverse it, but i had to do quite a bit of bitching. i'm never using one of the big places again unless it's for insect infestation, they do pretty well at that i think.

    I'd try and find a local guy, do you know anybody that has Angies list?

    Kamiro
  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    I ran across this post. I think you need to read it. Just be prepared to flee your home afterward.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/119993/social-entropy-awesome-post-in-true-story-by-stale/p1

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    Animal Update

    We stumbled upon the entry point of what we now believe to be a very small rodent. Probably a rat.

    It was entering into the garage and then slipping into the walls through a part of chewed up wall (not drywall, some other material) that they could lift up a little and squeeze into. The hunks of chewed up insulation left by the hole was the clue. In addition to the fact that we cleaned up the insulation and more was back the next day.

    So we waited until high noon (hoping it would have left by then) and then put something very heavy in front of the entry point

    Unfortunately, it's parting gift was to chew a light fixture wire in our laundry room and now the light only works at certain times. Is that a fire hazard? I don't know what to do about it.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah it's a fire hazard. The wire in the wall/ceiling is probably fucked up and probably resting against flammable material.

    Start tearing open drywall. You can do it yourself or call an electrician and a contractor... you'll still probably need the electrician to fix the wire. Don't just wrap it in electrical tape.

    Also you'll want to do this because dollars to donuts the thing was pissing and shitting all over the place and that's going to make some nasty smells someday.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    And oh yeah, don't use that light until its fixed. Get a lamp or something in the meantime. The last thing you want is your house to burn down. I'm not even kidding on how easy that is with broken wire.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Nobodychr1sh4ll3ttb3
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    It's a dual switch so I don't know what configuration is "off" since the light isn't working

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Flipping the breaker, the rodent probably nested right next to the fixture, and I'm assuming your laundry is in the basement where it's okay to start poking holes in drywall.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Flipping the breaker, the rodent probably nested right next to the fixture, and I'm assuming your laundry is in the basement where it's okay to start poking holes in drywall.

    alternatively, turn the switch on and burn the nest out

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    Essee
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    I know which breaker the light is connected to. Unfortunately that breaker controls a lot of stuff including my garage door and my internet of all things. Everything else on the breaker works.

    And it's not in my basement so no there's really no place where I can start bashing out parts of my ceiling. I'm staying home today to monitor it, my plan is to try and remove the fixture somehow and see if I can spot any evident damage.

    This breaker has given me some trouble before, as I mentioned a ton of stuff is on it... including my FiOS box, which is connected to a breaker outlet which frequently shuts itself off. It's possible that it may not be rodent damage. Just other whackiness.

    It's kind of weird for it to be mouse damage, but selectively turn on at some times and not others, without any flickering.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    It may be that the rodent damage is really widespread.

    It's not kind of weird at all.

    Electricity can arc and short some times and work fine other times.

    It's basically magic when uncontrolled.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    EsseeGiggles_Funsworth
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    i need a scientific way to make sure that these light switches are set so that electricity is not flowing to the fixture.

    it's a dual switch like I said, so you can have it so that when one of the switches is "off", that's technically on.

    it was working last night and I didn't think so make a note of what the right positions were

    but if I get the switches off, that should stop the flow of electricity until I can take a serious look at it right?

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    They should be in the inverse position of each other, if it's set up properly.

    Both up or both down means it should be hot. But a multimeter would be a better test of that.

    But that also doesn't mean electricity isn't flowing through those wires, since a threeway needs to have the opposite end live too.

    Your best bet is to throw the breaker and make do until you can repair it.

    A small inconvenience now can save you possibly hundreds of thousands in damage. Like I can't say that enough, is that really worth losing your house over?

    I'm not trying to be a dick, but it's serious business.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    HeirGiggles_Funsworth
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Why not clean the wires up, and throw some electrician's tape on the ends? That way there can be power, and not burn down the house, right?

    E: Obviously do that while the breaker is thrown so you don't kill yourself.

    L Ron Howard on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    well i cannot rip the fixture out of the ceiling today to fix the wiring

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    buy a voltage detector like http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-Voltage-Detector-2200-20/203168523

    You just hold it to the outlet/socket/wire and if it lights up don't touch it.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    None of those address the fact that the problem lies in the walls either!

    You could test a fixture and switch for current, but that doesn't mean there isn't a short that's circumventing it either. Breaker is your best bet.

    By all means do the other things too.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • TraceofToxinTraceofToxin King Nothing Registered User regular
    As someone who worked as an electrician's apprentice for a number of years - If you want this fixed right, it's likely to be expensive. The only proper solution is to begin opening up the walls at the point of entry to find exactly where the rodent had access to, what wiring it could've damaged and where.

    Anything else risks having live wires exposed in your walls, which is a really good way to burn your house down.

    I'll say this again, and I'll remind you that it's not hyperbole, exposed wires in your walls is a good way to burn your house down.

    If this rodent was able to get access to more than one section of your wall, it means there is no longer fire stop compartmentalizing the areas in your walls, meaning a fire will spread VERY quickly.

    Personally, I'd tear open the point of entry, and if there's evidence the rodent had access to more areas, I'd call an electrician before rodent control. Most electricians (Read: That do old style residential work) will be versed in this sort of thing (We dealt with it a number of times) and will be glad to fuck up all your walls to make sure they've found every possible area that could be damaged. It's a lot of work for them.

    They'll also be glad to refer a contractor friend (or themselves) for the patch job, something you could likely do yourself for much cheaper.

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Well I'm not planning on ripping up the walls of my house over what may just be two and a half weeks of rodent occupancy. (and as far as I can tell, just one singular rodent) I have one bad low wattage fixture in my home which may or may not be the result of chewing, and everything adjacent is basically fine.

    Aren't breakers designed to trip in the event of a serious electrical problem? Isn't insulation designed to withstand the heat from a wire? This is not an old house. It's 1995 construction.

    I have an electrician scheduled to do a walkthrough on Thursday to attempt to diagnose the problem.

    Jasconius on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Designed to withstand the heat from resistance in the wire? Absolutely.

    Designed to withstand fire from arcing/shorted wires? Nope. It basically acts as kindling, more or less.

    Plus you have no idea what the bugger brought in to nest with, sticks, leaves, etc.

    Worst case scenario, one day is enough for it to go horribly wrong.

    Breakers trip on an overload or surge. You can start a fire with much less than that on a shorted wire.

    :( sorry

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    My post was with the idea that you had easy access to the wires, and knew the extent of the damage, and could wait til an electrician got there. It doesn't sound like that, so disregard what I typed earlier.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Best case scenario, it could just be a ballast problem or a bad outlet/socket too!

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    So we waited until high noon (hoping it would have left by then) and then put something very heavy in front of the entry point

    If it's a rat it'll be sleeping during the day and staying in it's home.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    I have a picture of the entry point. It's very small. I don't know how big a rat is but the entry point appears to be as small as an inch and a half at its thickest point, and might even be less than that

    It's at the point where the drywall lips over the foundation in the garage. So it's not a straight shot into the wall. It has to to tunnel in, and then up, in a space I figure to be not much more than an inch wide. The drywall at this location is quite thick and inflexible.

    It could have been a mouse rather than a rat.

    Regardless, the sounds it was making were loud and unmistakable, and we haven't heard them since the hole has been sealed.

    Jasconius on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Could've been any rodent outside of racoon I'd think. You might want to double check the width on that, 2-3 inches is all an opossum would need.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    It's small.

    Here is the entry hole, with an old keyfob for size comparison. At it's tallest point, about an inch and a quarter high.
    IdiCciA.jpg

    Here's a flash pic of what's inside. You can see a yellow piece of paper there that I think was attached to some insulation. I found a piece of it on the ground in the garage. I don't know what the red pipes are.
    364jSbR.jpg

    bowen
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Jasc. Dude. Bro.

    Get your shit fixed. I don't want to hear about you burning to death.

    bowenL Ron HowardGiggles_FunsworthCalica
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah shit, I'm not sure I can be much more help, that's definitely some sort of varment, I'd think an opossum could fit in there.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    possom isn't going to fit in that. a rat sure, or squirrel, but possoms are fucking big

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