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Old 12-05-2013, 09:10 PM   #21
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Ditto. We had flying squirrels here a couple of years ago. Nocturnal, driving us crazy at night running around the attic. After numerous attempts to trap, I read where you could buy some bait at a do-it-yourself pest control place that was irresistible. Listen, it smelled so good, I wanted to have some myself on a Ritz cracker. It was tar black and had a very nutty sweet smell to it. Before I would be gigged for thousands of $$$ I was determined to succeed. So I bought some larger plastic Raptor snap traps and a cage with trip door apparatus. Unfortunately, the snap trap nailed one, but I got the other with the cage and set him/her out miles away. They are extremely cute little varmints for sure. I made sure the tiniest of openings all around the eaves, soffit, gable vents and ridge vents were sealed. Happy to say, no more problems and I kept $$$ in my pocket. We didn't have any damage to speak of as far as ductwork or anything else, so best of luck in your quest to solve the problem. Hope this helps.......
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #22
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You might want to check out a couple of these:

http://drinksmixer.com/drink278.html

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Old 12-06-2013, 09:30 AM   #23
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Over time you will find a way to deal with this problem. We had and continue to have rats, mice and voles appear in our crawl space even after trying to seal everything up. Had multiple inspections performed. Depends a lot on your situation. And yes, we had to have the forced air ventilation replaced a year after moving in.

Many pest guys will size you up and extract their pound of flesh. I try to find people that seem legitimate. Maybe try referrals from neighbors or even Yelp.

Nowadays I set traps and check them once a month. I've kept a log and have caught 20 rodents in the last 3 years. I'd prefer to let them be but you should see what they can do to electrical insulation.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:25 AM   #24
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Critters in the attic?

Better than snakes on a plane ....
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #25
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Coincidentally, just as we were sitting down to dinner tonight, we got a panicked call from our tenant, about mice in the townhouse attic. He'd already called an exterminator, who got on the phone with us and started vividly describing all the horrors the mice were causing and would cause, up to and beyond hantavirus. "You're looking at" $3,000.00 to remove and replace all insulation, seal up holes, repair any damaged wiring, etc. etc.

Amethyst

$3k ! (we need a "thud" emoticom with the little person falling over fainted !)

Exterminator coming on Monday. Since this apparently had been going on for years before I bought the house (thanks for not mentioning that in the disclosures sellers !!! and thanks for not noticing pest and home inspectors !!) I can only imagine what other damage I might have up there and the potential costs.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #26
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$3k ! (we need a "thud" emoticom with the little person falling over fainted !)

Exterminator coming on Monday. Since this apparently had been going on for years before I bought the house (thanks for not mentioning that in the disclosures sellers !!! and thanks for not noticing pest and home inspectors !!) I can only imagine what other damage I might have up there and the potential costs.
I don't know if this will help, but DS is a realator. One of her biggest concerns is sellers not disclosing issues. She's told me horror stories of buyers, rightfully, coming back on seller's, Realtors, home inspectors(they normally have a max clause). It can't hurt to check into your legal rights in your state.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #27
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We had raccoons in our house few years back. Employed a trapper and he got all three of them. If I remember correctly, he charged $125 per coon. They broke in thru the soffitt (must have been rotted wood). Cost to repair around $250. We also cut down and trimmed some trees which were too close to the house. Before discovering the coons, I did note squirrels on the roof. Now, no see.

Probably ran us about $1,000 all together.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:08 PM   #28
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We had rats in the attic last year. The pest company we hired came in several times to set/reset traps and also did a lot of sealing of cracks, etc. in the attic. Their fee included a 6-month guarantee (we could call them to come check if we heard any more noises). No damage that needed repair so I guess we caught it early.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:28 PM   #29
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You might want to check out a couple of these:

Flying Squirrel recipe

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Actually - I saw a cute furry thing scampering across the brick exterior of the house early one morning last week. It was gray and FAST but it looked sort of "flat" and had a short tail. I have to wonder if it was a flying squirrel.

I've read about them (I'm a nature lover) and always wanted to see one ... but not in my attic !
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:39 PM   #30
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I've dealt with several squirrel-attic infestations. Buy a Have-a-Heart and bait it with peanut butter. KEEP THE TRAP OFF THE GROUND ... otherwise you'll trap skunks, racoons, opposums ... been there too. Ideally put the trap in the attic. But I've put them on the roof or porch too with success.

Like other say , relocate the critter more than 5 miles away (otherwise you're letting them go in thier back-yard).

Forget about the urine/feces it'll dry out. if you cant smell it; it's not a problem. Leaving them in the attic is a problem ... they chew thru EVERYTHING.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:57 PM   #31
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He'd already called an exterminator, who got on the phone with us and started vividly describing all the horrors the mice were causing and would cause, up to and beyond hantavirus. "You're looking at" $3,000.00
That's nuts .... Decon ($5 at Home Depot).
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #32
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Exterminator was here. The bright side .... inspection and detection of entry way as FREE. I've been using the same company to spray the perimeter of the house to keeps bugs out for years. I must have missed the email that said they were now rolling rodent work into the monthly fee !

He found the entry point under a roof eave within 10 minutes and said it was actually there from the time of construction 30 years ago ! Considering that there were two citrus trees within jumping distance of the roof we were both surprised that the damage (other than the HVAC insulation) "didn't look too bad". I'll have the HVAC company look at the electrical wiriing closer when they come to replace the ductwork.

The intruders are rats. He set 5 traps and will come back inn 2 days to check them. He also plugged the entry point with wire cloth.

I feel a better and feel ALOT better once I know the extent of damage to the electic wiring.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #33
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Exterminator was here. The bright side .... inspection and detection of entry way as FREE.
The report sounds fairly positive, good news!

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I feel a better and feel ALOT better once I know the extent of damage to the electic wiring.
Maybe no damage to the wires, lets hope. About any repairs: I've seen MANY repairs made by homeowners and "helpers" that were nothing more than using wire nuts to put in replacement wire and leaving the whole thing out in the open (or wrapped with some electrical tape). This does get electricity flowing again, but it's not a safe repair. When conductors are repaired, the splice generally needs to be protected inside a metal or plastic junction box. From the outside you should never see the individual wires or insulation, just the cable sheathing and/or conduit and a real junction box. That means either ripping out the existing wiring back to a junction box or (probably cheaper) installing a new box at the site of the splice. It doesn't take long to put in a box (15 minutes), and it's only about $8 in materials, but cramped up in an attic and working on your belly on itchy insulation, the temptation is to take the quick (and wrong) approach. So, if you aren't going to go up there to inspect the work, it might be good to hire a trustworthy electrician (and it would be okay if they thought you might be going up there to see the repair when it is done.)

Hoping you won't need any electrical work at all!
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #34
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The report sounds fairly positive, good news!


Maybe no damage to the wires, lets hope. About any repairs: I've seen MANY repairs made by homeowners and "helpers" that were nothing more than using wire nuts to put in replacement wire and leaving the whole thing out in the open (or wrapped with some electrical tape). This does get electricity flowing again, but it's not a safe repair. When conductors are repaired, the splice generally needs to be protected inside a metal or plastic junction box. From the outside you should never see the individual wires or insulation, just the cable sheathing and/or conduit and a real junction box. That means either ripping out the existing wiring back to a junction box or (probably cheaper) installing a new box at the site of the splice. It doesn't take long to put in a box (15 minutes), and it's only about $8 in materials, but cramped up in an attic and working on your belly on itchy insulation, the temptation is to take the quick (and wrong) approach. So, if you aren't going to go up there to inspect the work, it might be good to hire a trustworthy electrician (and it would be okay if they thought you might be going up there to see the repair when it is done.)

Hoping you won't need any electrical work at all!
Couldn't agree with you more !

DH is an ex electrician so we definitely know the right way to go. Because of an injury he can't go up into the attic any longer so we'll be hiring a pro if we do need help. I'm going to ask for pictures of both the before and the after !
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #35
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Empty traps today - hooray !

I'm still worried about past electrical damage and am thinking of getting a home warranty in case something should go wrong. Thoughts ?
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:40 PM   #36
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I'm still worried about past electrical damage and am thinking of getting a home warranty in case something should go wrong. Thoughts ?
I wouldn't. If the little guys had chewed through the conductors, you'd probably already know it. If they chewed through the insulation it could be a very long time/never before a problem shows up (and that would be arcing or even possibly a fire).

Did any of the folks who have been up there say there were signs of damage to the electrical system? If not, you'd just be guessing. For the money you'd spend for a home warranty you could get somebody to come inspect for damage to the electrical system, if you are really worried. Hopefully you'll find out more when the ductwork is inspected.

Two other issues:
1) It can be hard to get these home warranty policies to pay off. You can bet they'll fight any attempts to get them to pay for any wire problems you knew about when you bought the policy.

2) If you know where the critters were most active and could identify where they might have chewed on wires, ask your hubby what he thinks about the idea of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) breakers for those particular circuits. He could install them himself and they would reduce the risk of fire from arcs caused for any reason (rat-chewed wires, frayed cords on an appliance or lamp, etc). The price has come down considerably, they are now about $35 each for "plain" ones. You could probably change out a lot of these for the price of a home warranty, and the warranty wouldn't stop your house from burning down. If you did have an AFCI that kept "tripping", you'd have the first clue needed to hunt for the problem.
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:11 PM   #37
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I wouldn't. If the little guys had chewed through the conductors, you'd probably already know it. If they chewed through the insulation it could be a very long time/never before a problem shows up (and that would be arcing or even possibly a fire).

Did any of the folks who have been up there say there were signs of damage to the electrical system? If not, you'd just be guessing. For the money you'd spend for a home warranty you could get somebody to come inspect for damage to the electrical system, if you are really worried. Hopefully you'll find out more when the ductwork is inspected.

Two other issues:
1) It can be hard to get these home warranty policies to pay off. You can bet they'll fight any attempts to get them to pay for any wire problems you knew about when you bought the policy.

2) If you know where the critters were most active and could identify where they might have chewed on wires, ask your hubby what he thinks about the idea of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) breakers for those particular circuits. He could install them himself and they would reduce the risk of fire from arcs caused for any reason (rat-chewed wires, frayed cords on an appliance or lamp, etc). The price has come down considerably, they are now about $35 each for "plain" ones. You could probably change out a lot of these for the price of a home warranty, and the warranty wouldn't stop your house from burning down. If you did have an AFCI that kept "tripping", you'd have the first clue needed to hunt for the problem.
DH said the same thing about "if there were an issue with the wiring we'd know it already".

Thanks so much about the AFCI breaker idea ! I love it !! I just wrote "AFCI breaker" on a post it note and put it on the monitor so that I remember to ask him. It would definitely help me feel better, which means I know he'll do it for me
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