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EmilyS

Is it a mutant rat? Help wanted!!

Hi,I am a new member!! But really need some help with a very strange problem.
We live on a small holding and for a while have been hearing gnawing sounds from inside a stud wall separating kitchen from utility room. Rats!! I hear you all say- we thought it was a mouse at first (that the cats had brought in and then got bored of) but there have NEVER been any droppings anywhere in the house, no food or bags or packets opened. The cat's food is never touched. But when mountains of chewed up insulation appeared from behind the boiler we called Rentokil. They have been coming for 5 weeks but the mouse and rat bait has never been taken, contact dust down for 2 wks (obviously scattered and walked thro') assault courses of snap traps set off or not but no kills, now there is an array of sticky boards all around exit from boiler where we know they or it has been coming and going. Still no droppings. Utility room is kept sealed and doors shut at all times. Whatever it is has now chewed external door and internal door, loud enough to wake us up, but it manages to jump over all the boards. Think it was using cat flap in utility room to get in and out of, that is now sealed up. We now hear it in the floor space between ground and 1st floor. It is now defying gravity by chewing the coving adjacent to window frame, why?? We do not have a rat problem outside, strangely enough. No rat droppings or runs ever seen. Some livestock food is left in bags under cover, we have never seen holes gnawed in them.  
I know there should be loads or them if it is a rat but my gut instinct is that it is just one. We have not seen anything.
Does anyone know what this could be?
Could it be a weasel, ferret or stoat??
Sorry this is so long but don't know what to do!!
Woodsmoke

Hi & welcome to the forum, Emily!  

I'd lay money on it being a squirrel!

Try reopening the cat flap & setting a rabbit trap in the utility room with some fruit as a bait?

Sounds as though the cheeky bugger's driving you round the bend    
MrsWW

I thought squirrel too  
hopefullbry

Or lay a thin layer of baking flour around the area ,hopefully the tracks from this mysterious  animal can be indentified.

Or call in an independant local pestie ask to have luminus tracking powed placed around   ?
Woodsmoke

hopefullbry wrote:
Or lay a thin layer of baking flour around the area ,hopefully the tracks from this mysterious  animal can be indentified.



Sounds as though the cheeky bugger would just start baking    
EmilyS

Thanks for that! Squirrel?
We did wonder but it seems to be very nocturnal, would explain lack of droppings and other signs.
Don't like to be cruel and starve/dehydrate it to death whatever it is.
There is also an absence of an 'ammonia' smell but there is a sickly pungent mousy smell.
Rentokil have used the luminous tracking powder, didn't really tell us anything, tracks over shoe racks, wet weather gear but nothing chewed, just the bottom of doors.
There is a large hole in the bottom of the stud wall behind the boiler - 4inch gap between boiler and wall, that is where it was getting into the wall and the rest of the house. Now seems to be using extraction duct opening in ceiling of toilet (off utility room- ought to draw you plan of house at this rate!) as we are keeping that door shut but it is now eating the bottom of that door and the coving in there - how is it doing that? Getting in and out of a tiny room with no exit except toilet and extraction duct in middle of ceiling!! Jonathon Creek,where are you?
Yes, we are getting a bit ****** off!!
Woodsmoke

Bet you a pound to a pinch of whatever droppings you find it's a squirrel  
EmilyS

I will let you know as soon as there is any proof.
Will try the trap near the cat flap but don't really want to kill it if poss,just encourage it to find another home.
Thank you very much for all your help!!
Woodsmoke

EmilyS wrote:
don't really want to kill it if poss,just encourage it to find another home


If it's a grey squirrel you're legally prohibited from re-releasing it, so there's really no way around it. If you catch it, you have to kill it I'm afraid.

I know they look cute, but they're murderous little buggers to our indigenous reds, & they do nothing but cause damage to homes, forestry plantations & local parks, as well as being just as prolific songbird nest-destroyers as crows & magpies (and cats )
EmilyS

Don't worry, I was just being a bit sentimental!
Will destroy it as soon as we can catch it, just don't like the idea of it getting stuck on the sticky boards.
I do understand the environmental issues!!
Thanks
dtalbot

And if you do have to dispatch it grey squirrel is rather tasty so don't waste it!
Woodsmoke

Sorry, I didn't mean to patronise  

Hate those glue-boards too! Here's hoping you manage to get the wee bugger caught & dealt with sharpish! We had rats in the loft a few months ago, & they drove us demented by waking us at stupid o'clock until I managed to find where they were getting into the house. We've an old stone-built cottage with lathe & plaster walls, & no foundations. The buggers were burrowing under the main course of the outer wall, & climbing up between the wall & lining. Drove us round the twist!  
hopefullbry

If  its a squirrel then its got an entry /exit point ,you will hear them dusk time and early hours of the nite. you need to find the entry point .

I have seen some serious damage done by greys in lofts etc    and when inside they are VERY noisey.

If rento allready put tracking powder down surely they traced it to the exit /entry ponit ?  couldn't they ID the footprints ?.  Check around the guttering sofit/facia boards.

Not sure but i don't think Glue boards are legal for squirrels ?  and i think it would take a lot for a squirrel to be caught on 1 and cause it alot of agony  the board would have to be real secured .

Hasn't the big rento got a decttion cam to set up ? motion cam ?

woodsmoke give it time it will bake a cake with the flour lol
sorry i just reread your first post, & it mentions traking dust,  i was tired when i posted been out early then shooting most the day.

Deffernatly get a motion cam in that room where the door is being chewed

Bry
Darren

cage trap with peanut butter in it and some drops of peanut oil, crikey you've got some money if you can afford rentorob , theres a few of us that are pesties on here and we could probably find someone near you if you have any further probs once you've dealt with this one
donky7

typical squirrel damage to wires in your loft.









nail em outside, as bry says look for the entry point !!!

take a look here .........  http://www.abmpestcontrol.com/page8.html
sod

So glad we don't have squirrels here, rats n mice are bad enough  
MrsWW

sod wrote:
So glad we don't have squirrels here, rats n mice are bad enough  


Do you have problems with possums where you are?  My F-in-L has problems with them in his area - not far from Waipu.
EmilyS

Hi, thanks for all your replies.
Unfortunately I do have an update and think it's prob a nasty rat. It was active this morning in daylight (v.unusual) and I could hear it just the other side of kitchen door, so went down on floor and peered under door (useful little gap)and watched 4 fat brown feet saunter past!! Also, really disgusting, think it has worked out how to get in and out of toilet in utility room, found dirty water all over seat and black water in the bowl    
Rentokil - for the person who was concerned about cost- have quoted us one price to cover the lot but haven't paid them yet and if we sort this out ourselves using agricultural poisons then may have to have a chat with them about ineffectiveness, must say I'm not that impressed!!
A camera would be ideal but can't justify cost to watch a rat!! Did buy an endoscope (husband needed it for something else) but couldn't see anything exciting in the walls, no beady eyes peeping back!!
Will keep you posted but thanks for being so interested!!
Woodsmoke

If you've definately ID'd it as a rat, then I'd get a couple of bait blocks wired near to where you know it's entering & exiting. You can monitor how much bait's being taken that way, & also prevent it taking the bait away & storing it................you'll need to make sure it's away from where any pets can get at it though?

I'd like to bet you'll see it off in a week or so  
lottie

We caught a rat yesterday with a basic cage trap ---we'd had no luck with peanut butter but it couldn't resist the extra mature cheddar---beautiful looking thing--pity we had to shoot it. Good luck with yours.
lilwitedogs

Or a rat trap.  Rats are pretty smelly if they die in or under a building.
hopefullbry

Sounds like you have a sewerage problem there    .  If you ID the culprit no need form motion cam then .  

As been said block bait on wires,  I'd wire it to the toilet seat then then monitor for any takes  (keep seat down to see if hes deffo coming up the u bend lol )  also keep pets children away for the time being.

I have a picture here somewhere of a rat in a toilet i treated,  i'll see if i can find it.  my desktop pc blew the other day so on lappy  (with no pics etc, but got pics on dongle somewhere )
EmilyS

I don't think we have sewerage problem, we are not on the mains but have sealed drains that run straight to cess pit/soak away. All man hole covers are tight and no holes anywhere, so it can't be getting out there.
Will try smelly cheese on sticky boards tonight.
Tomorrow will try industrial poisons and recommended retired chap!!
I feel I am getting slightly obsessed here, not good!!! Need to get out more!!!
EmilyS

Would love to see rat in toilet pic, if you can find it?
hopefullbry

Here you go Em  

I turned up to a rat job i was treating to hear SCREAMING and a young lady running outa of the toilet ,   telling me there;s a rat in the toilet.  I thought she meant a rat in the cubicle, i looked all over gettting ready to swat it.
i never found it and said to the lady "there;s no rat in there ", She replies

"No in the toilet  in the pan"     yes it was drown in the toilet its self  

What a shock for her as she sat down for a pee  
Lorrainelovesplants

Oh my God!!!
That is the stuff of nightmares!!!
Go for a piss in the night and ...........

I too would get a trap, then shoot and dispose of very carefully.
Jonty

Apparently that sort of sight isn't all that unusual at Michael Barrymores's place


I'll get my coat........
bodger

I bet she didn't remember eating that !
sod

Mrs WW no we don't because there is a big killing programme because of TB. As in most of N.Z. Here it has been very successful   and we are now TB free area   Used get the odd one years ago, sorry for hem as they do so much damage and eat all your fruit too
EmilyS

hopefullbry wrote:
Here you go Em  

I turned up to a rat job i was treating to hear SCREAMING and a young lady running outa of the toilet ,   telling me there;s a rat in the toilet.  I thought she meant a rat in the cubicle, i looked all over gettting ready to swat it.
i never found it and said to the lady "there;s no rat in there ", She replies

"No in the toilet  in the pan"     yes it was drown in the toilet its self  

What a shock for her as she sat down for a pee  


What a picture! That is vile!! Sorry not to have replied immediately,been busy making sausages.
Our resident Rattie now seems to have abandoned living in the house,
There has been no activity in the utility room or toilet for 3 days.
We have put down poison blocks along all the ledges under the man hole covers leading to the septic tank after finding a few fresh rat droppings, and they have been eating it. There is no way out for them now, we think (!!)So hopefully that is that.
Now have the joyful task of recovering our toilet and cleaning up the mess.
But I don't think I will ever sit on that toilet in a relaxed manner again without thinking what could be lurking beneath, come to think of it, may never sit there again!!  
hopefullbry

Check before u pee     i said it might be a drainage prob
EmilyS

Huh!! Thanks, can't wait!!
Just would like to have seen one of them!!
We will also be putting bait boxes around farm buildings from now on, just in case.
I realise we prob do have them, just thought cos I couldn't see any signs or evidence that we didn't have a problem, oh well!!
Woodsmoke

The old story goes that even in town you're never further than 10 feet from a rat  

We've had real problems in the past with rats around the hen coop. At one point I was sneaking out with a stick & killing 2 or 3 as they fled! I now wage a perpetual battle on them with bait blocks wired to the coop base boards where the hens (or anything other than rats) can't get to them. Seems to be keeping them under control, thankfully! I even had a nest in my compost bin at one point........raised the lid to add to it once & saw a young rat trying to steal a block! Managed to snaffle him with a trowel  

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