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Sound like nails being pulled from wood in walls at night

Question
The sound happens night and day (not really mornings) but mostly at night. It started in early summer. When the noise is particularly loud I think I hear squeaking as well but it's hard to say. It sounds like a nail being pulled out of wood that does NOT want to let go. Chewing/grinding sounds too. The sound is in the upper NW corner of my bedroom. I went up in the attic and looked for droppings or any signs or smells of rodent and nothing. There are holes in the screens of the attic vents but nothing much besides undisturbed dust in the corner above the bedroom. No holes on the exterior either that I can see. I am STUMPED. My house was built in 1928 and the walls are lathe & plaster. I'm about ready to pull the walls out to figure out what's going on, insulate that room and just drywall it!

Any ideas would be great!

Answer
Flying squirrels could be the invader that you are hearing. These small, quite cute appearing little creatures can cause the sounds that you are hearing. They can make holes in the screens of the window's framing, and will squeeze through an opening in that framing; if necessary chew to widen the opening. Often, a woodpecker hole becomes an attraction to these flying(really gliding)squirrels. They are able to cling to wooden surfaces and chew to enlarge an opening.

I have found these small squirrels had squeezed through large separations between to joining roof surfaces at the valley where they meet.

Trapping may be the answer here. We exclude these critters by a proprietary method; however, it is not practical to describe our technique since the installation is custom installed, and cannot be easily be built by a layman. The squirrels can be removed via live trapping; however, please contact your State's Forestry Department for special instructions.

Other squirrels can also be your visitors; however, the nocturnal aspect of your description seems to exclude them, since they are active indoors until around 8 PM at the latest, and again active at around 6 in the morning. The fliers are busy at late hours. Their peek activity, coming and going seems to be around 1 AM; in my experience.

I hope to have been helpful.

Best wishes,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

Jennifer


Sounds From My Dryer


Hi and thanks!  I will do my best to describe these sounds...


In a regular pattern, something makes a chirping-water gargling - chirruping - echo type sound followed by a noise like scratching a cheese grater in three quick strokes.  

 This happens in a regular, repeating pattern, usually in the very early morning and it will stop if I get too close to the dryer or tap on the outside.  (Occasionally, it is the scratching sound only for a few times, then the vocal sound comes in)

I first thought it was a bird in the outside vent, or maybe a squirrel.  But, there is no debris in the vent and I have a cover -and nothing exits the vent when we bang on the machine.

I think now that it is coming from under the machine.  Any help would be appreciated.  Break it to me gently if it is anything larger than a mouse. 
(Oh, no droppings, no evidence other than the mating call as I drink my morning coffee)

Thanks, 


Jen

Jen, I'm also puzzled.  If this is happening between 1AM and 5AM, you may have flying squirrels.  They can make a sound like that you describe.

It does not fit the common grey or fox squirrel vocabulary, neither mice.  If there are flying squirrels, they will enlarge an opening that was started by woodpeckers, a knot hole, or a slight separation in wood framing such as fascia board.

Keep me posted==Good luck

Chris


Squirrel Feces

My workplace is infested with squirrels who drop feces everywhere that i could come in contact with or breath in vapors. Is this a health issue that I should be concerned with?          
 
Answer: Squirrel Feces


Dear Chris:


Feces is not as big a concern as urine contamination or parasites such as mites, and fleas.  If fecal matter degrades, endoparasites could be inhaled.  That possibility is remote and only mentioned to cover the broad spectrum of pests that may be encountered.

Wild animals feeding on refuse do ingest bacteria, fungal and, other micro and macro organisms.

I do not enjoy killing animals, and therefore, evict and exclude these target pests from a human habitat.  In other words devise exclusion procedures that eliminate internal access.

If you wish more detail, ask me specific questions and I'll gladly respond.

Regards,
George Manning
Entomologist
American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

Andrew


Squirrels


My house has been empty for 2 months on return it looks like the wood around a lot of my windows has disappeared including the putty line and areas filled there is no debris left behind and someone has told me that squirrels eat away at this is this possible
 

Hello Andrew:

You have experienced a situation whereby a squirrel or more has wandered into the home and not been able to get out by its usual exit.  Panicky, the animal(s) attempted to exit via your windows.  If the squirrel is no longer within the building, it either found an escape route or it died somewhere in the house.

You must discover the location where the squirrels are residing, probably in the attic.  If there is no such presence, then a squirrel may have entered a chimney and could not exit, or may have entered the hvac system and dropped out of the baffle in a basement heating system.

Look for a squirrel carcass, or hole chewed to the exterior at the bottom of a door or window.

Good luck, and sorry for this unfortunate experience.

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

Ted


Squirrels


I have been trapping and relocating squirrels for a decade using peanut butter as bait.  Beginning about a year ago, the squirrels stopped entering the traps and I have only caught one during that time.  Any thoughts on what might have caused the change in interest?

The change in taste preference is an unknown to me.  Possibly, squirrels are seeing their gang of six or seven being shipped off.  Trap shyness may follow some catches.  Possibly, squirrels are returning to their home base, becoming non compas mente in their new location, and upon returning, avoiding trapping.  You could have reduced the population over ten years, and the population dynamics are effecting foraging behavior, and finally, my first answer may be the best one, in that, I don't know.

Sliced apple or pear hanging from the top of the cage behind the trigger could work, if you allow only one  entrance approach (some traps have two way optional setup).


Peanuts hanging from a paper clip opened so that the peanut shell is held by piercing it while the other opened side is hooked to the framing above the trigger and behind that trigger.

Squirrels do not do well when released elsewhere.  They do not survive cold winters alone and don't imprint with strange squirrels that may kill the lone stranger.

If a squirrel has died in a trap, having been left in the cage for more than a day, other squirrels  may avoid the trap.

I found droppings and torn goody bags in my snack drawer the other day.  I got one of the d-con traps that looks like

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

John


Unusual Sounds


George,

I moved into a brand new home in April.  Around October of last year, I started noticing an unusual sound coming from my attic.  I called an exterminator and he put down some poison. He also did a visual inspection of the interior and pointed out a place where there might be an opening a mouse could get through.  That night the sounds were really loud and it sounded like a couple of mice were wrestling.  I checked the attic the next day and notice that some of the poison (he was using green blocks) had been chipped off. I also called the builder and had him install some flashing where the opening was (the opening was where the eaves connected to the roof).  This ended most of the obviously loud noises.  However, for the last 4 months, I have been experiencing a very very faint scrunching (not really scratching) sound along with an equally faint almost rhythmic tapping coming from my Master bedroom ceiling. In fact, I thought it was the ceiling fan for the longest time.  However, I have slept without the fan on for the last few nights, and realized that it is not going away. The sound only occurs in the early morning hours (i.e. 3am - 6am).  It seems to stop once I get up and get ready for work.  I check the poison every few days and it is untouched.  I have also had traps out since October, and they have never been sprung.  The traps are loaded with peanut butter now.  I haven't seen any droppings, or any other signs of damage in any other part of the house.  The only thing that I think might be different is that in a few places in the attic it looks like there are places where some of the insulation has been dug out to get under pipes or down to the 2x4 beams.  But this is only in 3 or 4 places.  I am at my wits end.  There aren't really any of the tell tale scurrying sounds, and the sounds only occur in the early morning hours.  Although the fact that I don't see any damage now, if these sounds are coming from rodents, it will only be a matter of time.  I am most worried because I have PEX tubing for water lines, and it they are penetrated and begin to leak, I will have a real problem on my hands.

Do you have any idea what this could be?  If it (or they) is a mouse, do you have any ideas of how I might trap it?

Hello John:

Thanks for your inquiry.  The combined sounds that you hear may not all be the same animals.

The fact that you hear sounds between 3 and A.M. could be a raccoon coming home from a hard night's work.  I suggest that you have a look at the gutterline of your roof and check the entire roof.  


Raccoons will leave droppings on the roof, usually in the valleys between roof angle junctions.


As to mice, check below the stove burners for a quick look for their presence.  You may see clean areas through the greasy surface below the burners where mice enter.  You will also see droppings there.


The dip in the insulation could be the habitual nesting spot for either raccoons or squirrels.  Squirrels are not up at the hours you are hearing sounds.  Their activity  begins at A.M. and continues until PM on the average; however only periodically since they are almost always outdoors during the day.


I hope this will help you in pursuing the root of these manifestations


American Pest Solutions


Pest Control Chicago

 

climbing raccoons

What's the best 'porcupine wire' or similar product to dissuade raccoons from climbing up the 9' support posts to get onto our deck and thence the bird feeders? (The posts are 5" square, rough wood; our condo association won't let us radically change the material or shape)

Answer 

Place a cone shaped sheet metal ring aroung the posts with a radius of 18 inches. It must be re-enforced so as to prevent bending. Caution is that raccoons can find other ways to reach your deck including scaling your walls or climbing up a downspout. Maybe you should attempt to trap. Let me know if this message makes sense to you.

Regards, George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Pest Control Chicago

Raccoons tearing up my new lawn
 
Question


How can I humanely stop them from tearing up my new grass.  Each day my backyard looks like Beirut! I thought about scattering mothballs...what do you think?  I appreciate any advice you can give me.


Regards


Maureen, Pickering, Ontario,Canada

Answer

Raccoons and opossums will dig up lawns to get grubs. If the area is small and the digging is relatively minor, try treating the area with Dr. T's Whole Control. If the critters persist, if the area is large, or if the digging is intense, you can try trapping. In that case you should follow this up, once the raccoons familiar with the food source have been removed, by treating a large area around the digging site with Shake-Away™ or Critter Ridder® and/or by installing an ultrasonic repellent device or a motion-activated water sprayer.  This is copied from the McGreger Small Animal Control's  Raccoon Control Center.

The use of Ropel repellent may help in small areas.  It will not last for long, and is washed away with rain.  The use of a granular poison such as Talstar EZ Granular Insecticide, will kill the grubs that are attracting possum and, or raccoons and skunks to dig for these lawn pests.

I hope I've been helpful to you Maureen,

Best wishes,
George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

John


Unusual Sounds


George,

I moved into a brand new home in April.  Around October of last year, I started noticing an unusual sound coming from my attic.  I called an exterminator and he put down some poison. He also did a visual inspection of the interior and pointed out a place where there might be an opening a mouse could get through.  That night the sounds were really loud and it sounded like a couple of mice were wrestling.  I checked the attic the next day and notice that some of the poison (he was using green blocks) had been chipped off. I also called the builder and had him install some flashing where the opening was (the opening was where the eaves connected to the roof).  This ended most of the obviously loud noises.  However, for the last 4 months, I have been experiencing a very very faint scrunching (not really scratching) sound along with an equally faint almost rhythmic tapping coming from my Master bedroom ceiling. In fact, I thought it was the ceiling fan for the longest time.  However, I have slept without the fan on for the last few nights, and realized that it is not going away. The sound only occurs in the early morning hours (i.e. 3am - 6am).  It seems to stop once I get up and get ready for work.  I check the poison every few days and it is untouched.  I have also had traps out since October, and they have never been sprung.  The traps are loaded with peanut butter now.  I haven't seen any droppings, or any other signs of damage in any other part of the house.  The only thing that I think might be different is that in a few places in the attic it looks like there are places where some of the insulation has been dug out to get under pipes or down to the 2x4 beams.  But this is only in 3 or 4 places.  I am at my wits end.  There aren't really any of the tell tale scurrying sounds, and the sounds only occur in the early morning hours.  Although the fact that I don't see any damage now, if these sounds are coming from rodents, it will only be a matter of time.  I am most worried because I have PEX tubing for water lines, and it they are penetrated and begin to leak, I will have a real problem on my hands.

Do you have any idea what this could be?  If it (or they) is a mouse, do you have any ideas of how I might trap it?


Hello John:

Thanks for your inquiry.  The combined sounds that you hear may not all be the same animals.

The fact that you hear sounds between 3 and A.M. could be a raccoon coming home from a hard night's work.  I suggest that you have a look at the gutterline of your roof and check the entire roof.  

Raccoons will leave droppings on the roof, usually in the valleys between roof angle junctions.

As to mice, check below the stove burners for a quick look for their presence.  You may see clean areas through the greasy surface below the burners where mice enter.  You will also see droppings there.

The dip in the insulation could be the habitual nesting spot for either raccoons or squirrels.  Squirrels are not up at the hours you are hearing sounds.  Their activity  begins at A.M. and continues until PM on the average; however only periodically since they are almost always outdoors during the day.

I hope this will help you in pursuing the root of these manifestations

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

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