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Animal in Heating Duct
Old 10-24-2007, 01:21 PM   #1
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Animal in Heating Duct

Last night I heard some gnawing noises from the heating register in the floor. (I only run the furnace a few minutes per month to keep it happy (we use the wood stove).)

A trip to the crawlspace showed no evidence of animals, so I'm guessing the mouse is living in the ducts. I put a snap trap into the duct below the register. Any other tips?
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:30 PM   #2
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I put a snap trap into the duct below the register. Any other tips?
Wire the trap to something that won't move when Willard starts dragging it away...

What did the critter have to chew through to get into the duct? By any chance are you in raccoon country? Is there a way to seal up the crawl space or whatever other nook/cranny the critters are getting into? Do you keep pet food out?

We've been rodent-free since we located all the gaps between our siding and our foundation and stuffed aluminum foil up into them. We're also lucky that rodents don't seem to care for bunny food.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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Heh. Last year we suddenly heard a heavy clunking in our furnace -- it was shaking dangerously. We turned the furnace off immediately and called the repair guy. Next day he comes in and removes a (very dead) small squirrel from the blower.

We'd had a cover off one of the grates several months prior, and either one of our cats chased it in or it came in on its own.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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Heh. Last year we suddenly heard a heavy clunking in our furnace -- it was shaking dangerously. We turned the furnace off immediately and called the repair guy. Next day he comes in and removes a (very dead) small squirrel from the blower.
I hope I'm not the only one wondering what manufacturer elected to power their blower with a squirrel on a wheel instead of an electric motor.

The squirrel must've stumbled...
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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Lol! Hrm. American Standard, which to me implies that squirrel-powered furnaces are the standard here in the U.S.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:48 PM   #6
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I hope I'm not the only one wondering what manufacturer elected to power their blower with a squirrel on a wheel instead of an electric motor.

The squirrel must've stumbled...
....sounds more like suicide...or coulda been he wanted to ER
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:11 PM   #7
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We had a couple of squirrels get into our kitchen exhaust fan duct from the roof of the house a few years ago. We ended up letting them escape on their own and running out the back door after we beat on the duct work enough to drive them nuts (sorry for that pun).
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:50 PM   #8
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Wire the trap to something that won't move when Willard starts dragging it away..
i learned that one the hard way. had a roof rat get behind my water heater (which is on side porch--old house). after i wasn't successful in catching with a live trap (was going to relocate him to nearby river), i put a snap trap on top of the water heater which is built into a little closet that sticks out from the side of the house.

so of couse he wound up falling behind the water heater, attached to the trap. so now i had to move the dryer to get to the side of the closet where i had to remove the siding & cut a hole into the wall to get to the back of the heater because i hadn't attached a wire. duh, mine was not the simplest mousetrap.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:56 PM   #9
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Last night I heard some gnawing noises from the heating register in the floor. (I only run the furnace a few minutes per month to keep it happy (we use the wood stove).)

A trip to the crawlspace showed no evidence of animals, so I'm guessing the mouse is living in the ducts. I put a snap trap into the duct below the register. Any other tips?
If you have an older furnace vented through a chimney, it could have fallen in via that route. I've had Starlings and one squirrel do that before I screened the top of the chimney.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:30 PM   #10
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I also had critters in the ductwork at previous home. I found a dead starling when I was replacing an exhaust pipe to the chimney. A short time later the blower unit in the basement stopped working. I called my hvac guy and watched him troubleshoot the problem. (I love to learn about how stuff works.)

Every time the unit would try to ignite the burner, it would stop. The safety mechanism prevents the burner from lighting until it senses airflow from the exhaust blower moving up the exhaust vent. So something was obstructing the air flow. Technician disconnected the vent at the furnace, and as he pulled it away from the furnace a squirrel dropped on his feet. I don't believe I've ever seen anyone jump straight up so far flat footed! The poor guy had to sit down for several minutes to get his heart to slow down. Alas, the squirrel was dead, too much CO in the vent even for a squirrel.

After that, I decided to climb up on the roof and put some hardware cloth over the chimney vent. Never had another problem after that.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:41 PM   #11
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I cannot figure out how he got in there, unless it's through the chimney vent. The crawlspace is well sealed, no droppings down there, just a salamander and lots of spiders.

You dog lovers will like this story: A bird flew down a guy's stove pipe and into his wood stove when it wasn't burning. The guy's dachshund got such a thrill out of it, that now he just sits and stares at the stove all day, hoping for a repeat from the magic bird-producing machine.

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Old 10-24-2007, 03:55 PM   #12
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Old 10-25-2007, 02:15 PM   #13
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:22 PM   #14
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One of those guys is out of uniform. It's got to be either desert or woodland forest BDU, but not both.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:35 PM   #15
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Trombone Al ... how do you like the hearthstone stove. We use the same stove at the lake. Keep it going all weekend and you're opening windows! Too hot. Of course the furnace never fires once the stove is hot. Didn't bother putting the blower unit on our stove.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:58 PM   #16
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Bait your trap with sunflower seeds. If that doesnt work try gummi bears. I've had about 95% immediate success with the shelled sunflower seeds.
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:47 PM   #17
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Trombone Al ... how do you like the hearthstone stove.
It's great. It's a Regency WarmHearth, and I'm sitting in front of it now. We heat our entire 2000 sq ft house with it (the bedroom stays pretty cold, but that's how we like it). It's got a good fan that gets the heat distributed, and I have ceiling and wall fans to (partly) distribute the heat to the rest of the house.

Here's a picture of my trombone warm-up routine:

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:04 PM   #18
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Nothing feels like home when cuddled up next to a warm fire with a Twinkie.

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:26 PM   #19
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We had a racoon in our walls .You could hear him banging on the walls all night .What we finally had to do was open one of the walls and place a racoon cage baited with cat food and peanut butter .We then took the racoon to a field and let him loose.All because somebody (SO ) left the garage door open .
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:36 PM   #20
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A bird flew down a guy's stove pipe and into his wood stove when it wasn't burning.
A few years ago we heard a noise coming from the fireplace in our bedroom (no flames please, we didn't build it and have never used it). Afer a couple of days, I looked up and a pigeon was sitting above the damper. Must have fallen down the chimney. Tried several things to coax it down and out. No luck, tried to reach up and grab it, arm too short. Got DS (longer arms) to try. While he was fumbling up there the bird sat on his hand. He slowly brought it down and out and the damn thing flew away thru an open patio door. Thought we might have to actually burn the fireplace and enjoy not waste squab.
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