Rats or mice or something else in the roof!

There’s lots of scrabbling around going on in the ceiling above our bed at night! I’ve removed a few tiles from above (it’s a warm roof/no loft) and put some rat/mouse poison in there but to no avail. Could it be something else that is resistant to my efforts? @robert_moon any thoughts please?

https://www.amazon.fr/Raticide-Souricide-cubes-Pest-Expert/dp/B01J1TX2IM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1475513699&sr=8-13&keywords=souricide+bloc&linkCode=ll1&tag=survfrannetw-21&linkId=52cb0121ecc00c9797dddb768818d1ea

Hi James
It could be a myriad of things; rats, mice, loir, fouine, squirrel, birds or bats (the latter being highly protected and cannot be disturbed). You need to identify what the critter is, the best way is to find some poo -wear cloves- and photograph them. Soft and shiny is fresh, powdery and dull is old stuff. Each animal has different poo!

Identifying the critter will make treatment easier as some animals won’t eat rodent bait, also you could be poisoning non target species.

Another good idea is to get a wildlife camera, stick it in the loft for a few days and see what you get.

They also act at good security cameras if you go away for the weekend (or up to 2 weeks)!

Once you know what it is, we can come up with a cunning plan!

Rob

I will go and take some photos now, be right back!

The space is limited in there as it’s a vaulted ceiling and full of insulation so no room for flying, does that rule out bats? Probably not. Something took some of the poison from last night as you can see. And there are some droppings. What do you reckon?

The tiny droppings look like mouse droppings, the slightly bigger ones could be loir or lérot. I’d find some other way than poison to get rid of them, for two reasons: 1 I’d feel mean and 2 do you want a corpse or corpses stinking your house out from an inaccessible corner? You could make them a grenier-alike house and encourage them to live in it by sticking some hazelnuts and seeds in it. Either against your house or up a tree… I have bats and lérots and loirs and owls in my attics, I’ve given up trying to evict them. The loirs like my bin box (made of old palettes) as they keep their nut stores in it and feast where the cats can’t get them. So my bins are homeless…

@james Good set of photos to show the problem.

We have found that these work very well:

Mouse Traps

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Whatever is is was in full swing last night despite the poison having been taken. Does it take a while to work? @robert_moon

If the bait has been taken, replace the bait asap otherwise they will go elsewhere…although not a bad thing!

Once ingested the poison won’t come into effect for about 4 days. That’s so it doesn’t associate what they have eaten as the cause of their maladie. Also it allows you time to visit the vet in case your pet goat goes into the loft and scoffs the lot. The antidote is Vitamin K1.

The younger rodents are the first to find new food sources, when they die off, the elder ones go in search of food, hence probably heavier footsteps.

What bait are you using, have you ascertained what the critter is yet?

By the way, I can’t seem to attach .pdf files. It would be useful so I can post brochures.

Rob

I’ll renew the poison and get back to you, still no idea what it is.

pdfs maybe better to copy and paste the contents so they can be viewed without downloading, can you send me one and I’ll see what I can do with it please?

Hi James
I can’t copy and paste the .pdf’s or change it’s profile to .JPEG

Before I could send brochures on SF but not now!

Have you managed to find and photo some poo yet?

Rob

@james : how loud is the noise they make ? An almighty din is indicative of a bigger animal, mice generally only tend to make a slight scratching or scrabbling sound. Loir ou lérot (our favorite Alice in Wonderland dormice) can make one hell of a racket, especially if they have found walnuts to play with, or a table tennis ball, as can rats, ferrets, weasels, etc

OK I’ve seen the photos!
That’ll be loir (distinctive tick at the end of the poo).

A new product available on the market is Racumin Foam* perfect for tight spaces, it’s a mousse which sticks to the fur, so when they preen themselves, they ingest the foam, thus poisoning them.

With regard to “awful smell in the loft” that’s old school, when a rodent dies naturally it decomposes with the help of maggots and blood seepage. Modern baits dry out the corpse leaving no or very little odour.

*Racumin Foam is for professional use only, but to quote the ex England football manager, there are ways around it!:sunglasses:

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And there was I thinking that coumarin derivatives were only of limited efficacy on rat-like animals because they can smell it and it puts them off going near the stuff. I’m guessing that the foam also contains some kind of attractant ?

Rodenticides are always changing and millions of £ $ € get spent testing products each year. Ketchup on my broccoli worked a treat when I was in shorts.

Rodents have very poor eyesight and get by on smell and touch, their fur is very sensitive. Placed on a “rat run” they will have little choice of coming into contact with the foam whilst in search of food. They preen about 40% of the time they are awake and in certain circumstances can be more effective than bait.

Racumin Foam is another weapon in our armoury. It is used in difficult to reach places, behind plasterboard for example, where access is difficult. I mentioned it because it is new to the market. Sachets, grain, blocks, traps. Indoors or out. Pets, children and wildlife all need to be considered when attempting to remove a link in the food chain.

One of the best repellents is nicotine, so soaking fag butts in a bucket of water for a week, then spraying where you don’t want rodents is an option.

Access is not particularly difficult for my infestation, is there some alternative that is as effective that a ‘particulier’ can get hold of?

All rodenticides purchased from DIY shops or supermarkets have the same toxicity as professional stuff, it’s the quantities of bait we can use. If your roof pets are eating the bait then continue with it, usually 4 days after ingesting, ‘the population should reduce’.

Shops seem to limit their products to grains and sachets though. I prefer block bait as the rodents use them to reduce their teeth, but the foam is getting good results from early usage.

http://www.belllabs.com/product_details/greece-pest-control-contrac-blox

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Can’t you put ultrasound or something up there to put them off? I really do think poisoning them is GRIM and mean. And loir gris are a protected species throughout Europe, under the Berne convention.

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I’ve tried that, it has no noticeable effect. I can’t see what else I can do, they will overrun the entire roof if I don’t deal with them. I know it’s grim but I need to sleep!

After last night (awake from 3m - 5.15 whilst they all tap danced on my ceiling) I am going in there tonight with a gun :slight_smile: