22 June 2010

Pest Control

| MsCheeky
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I have a single story house on a concrete slab in Jerrabomberra with not much in the way of close-by bush. I keep a couple of chickens, which may be relevant, though I’ve had chickens for quite a while in advance of this issue. Guests sleeping at the western end of the house tell me something is scratching around in the ceiling. My friend tells me that he spotted an Antechinus (a native marsupial rodent) in the garage (which is on the eastern end of the house) a few months ago.

So, it may be that I have Antechinus in the ceiling, though that seems a bit unlikely from a brief google. I have seen no indications anywhere in the house of vermin, such as droppings or raids on the pantry.

I’m a bit of a softy, and don’t really want to call in exterminators if not necessary. Therefore, I’m interested in what the RiotAct hivemind has to offer on this. I will apply the final solution if necessary to maintain the integrity of the house, (the heating is in the ceiling), but figure that’s the first thing the pest people will recommend.

And while we’re on the subject, anybody have a recommendation on pest control companies?

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If you’re hearing soft scratching in the ceiling, it’s probably rats or possums.

If you’re hearing soft thumping and moaning coming through the ceiling, it’s Antechinuses


So, it may be that I have Antechinus in the ceiling

No, they’ll be rats.

until you have time to take bin out bush or to your mother-in-laws house etc.


Borrow a cat and put it in the ceiling. That’s what cats are for.

grumpmachine5:39 pm 08 Jul 10

Your chickens are relevant. The feed attracts rodents, as does any half-composted material. Make sure you have a look around the yard – we found a huge mouse nest in our compost..which was right next to the chickens… Not a good look on our part. Fortunately for us the neighbourhood cat AND the chickens (I’m not kidding) polished them off.

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It’ll be rats, not mice. Mice are tiny. Anything bigger than 3cm long is a rat, folks.

Oh, and it seems that when the underclass have rats in their ceiling, they are rats.

Middle-class people like to think they have Antechinus!

Whoops forgot. The cage is great because you can see what you have. If they are not mice then you can relocate them.

Feathergirl is on the right track. No poison needed. You can buy wire mesh box traps with a hole in the top. Place some bread inside. Next morning it will be full of mice. Eventually you will catch them all. If you are squeamish you can take them down to the bus stop and let them go. If not, drop the cage in a bucket of water….empty the cage in plastic bag and bin it.

I found catch and release pointless. My local magpies wised up to what was in the cage. They would follow me and make short work of any I let go. Released in the middle of the yard, not one would make it. Saved the walk to the bus stop.

Being a faux Canberran you probably don’t have a smoker which is why you are experiencing this problem.

georgesgenitals7:33 pm 22 Jun 10

Chuck some talon up there.

They leave in search of water, then they die.

I used to have mice in my ceiling regularly. They didn’t work out how to open the trap door in the laundry and thus did not get into the house as such.
Every four weeks or so I’d have to climb in the ceiling, look for their droppings under the batts and feed them Ratsak throw packs.
I eventually got sick of going up there so I bought a Pest Exit Duo (plugs into 240 v) from Dick Smiths and hung it up in the rafters.
So far after about four months, I’ve heard one mouse up there and he didn’t hang around for longer than a day.

ConanOfCooma said :

Preserve the integrity of the house? In what way is the unknown and unseen audio assailant destroying the integrity of your household?

Integrity can be physical as well as moral. I’m in charge of the latter – can’t blame the intruders for any slippage there! The physical integrity, the ‘soundness’, (definition from the Concise Oxford), that’s the one that could cost me dearly if I let them compromise it. Chewing through expensive heating components – that will make me go ‘eeeek’.

ConanOfCooma10:16 am 22 Jun 10

Preserve the integrity of the house? In what way is the unknown and unseen audio assailant destroying the integrity of your household?

That said, there are more specie of tiny marsupials that could be causing the noise.

We have a large spider that taps on our windows at night. Seriously.

Sounds like mice, we had a similar problem when our house backed onto a reserve. They never went into the pantry or kitchen as it was always kept clean.

Keep the house as clean as possible, don’t leave food out and set either some traps or poison bait and you will get rid of them. Unfortunatley, mice and other vermin don’t react to tree hugging approaches by hippies, actually they enjoy them and make themselves comfortable and fat in your house.

We’ve caught mice at work using a waste paper basket (with high sides), a ruler and a tasty morsel. Balance ruler on desk so end of ruler is hanging over side of desk. Place bin on floor under overhanging ruler. Put tasty morsel on end of ruler overhanging bin. Try to get the overhang just right so any mice getting to morsel will cause ruler (and mouse)to fall into bin. The mice snacks on the morsel until you have time to take bin out bush or to your mother-in-laws house etc.

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