05.01.2003 - This job took place in an office. Rats had been jumping on desks at night, knocking things over, chewing on documents, pooping in fax machines, and things
of that nature. I was called out to address the problem.
The job started with a full inspection of the office building. Sure enough, it has several openings that rats could use to gain access inside. The roof vents did not have proper screens, and there were several gaps where pipes came out of the concrete wall but were not properly sealed around the edges. I saw the brown staining from rat fur indicative of repeated rat use in many of these areas, along with rat droppings.
When I inspected the inside of the building, I saw the droppings and chewing inside the office space. I saw the most droppings inside the drop ceiling, where no cleaning or maintenance was done.
The first thing I did was that I sealed all the openings that led into the building. I put new steel screens on the open vents, and I sealed all the open gaps shut with a special mix of steel and sealant. Next, I set traps all through the office and the drop ceiling.
I returned three times to remove trapped rats, such as the one in the above photo. By the third visit, after a week with no new noise or evidence of rats, I saw that all of the traps were empty, and I knew that the problem was solved permanently.
If you have a problem with rodents such as rats or mice in the ceiling, you need to follow similar steps, or call a professional such as myself to properly take care of the problem for you. Remember, never use poison for a mouse problem.
Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Mice page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.
For more wildlife stories, click my Wildlife Blog or click my below banner to hire a local trapper.
Hearing a rat or mouse in the ceiling is certainly unsettling. The scratching sounds keep you up at night, unsure of what wires they're chewing or how big their nest is, and what sort of belongings of yours they're ruining. The thought of going into the attic for holiday decorations and reaching into a box, only to find a bunch of squirming rats will send shivers down anyone's spine.
If you're experiencing rats or mice in your ceiling, you should start thinking about setting traps and methods for removal. Keep in mind there's never just one.
How to Know If You Have a Rat or Mouse in Your Ceiling
The noise is a dead giveaway for a rat or mouse in your ceiling. Scratching, squealing, and scuffling are all sounds you can hear. You may notice it more at night, which is less settling, but it's also possible to hear them during the day.
Rat or mouse droppings on the floor of your ceiling is a good indication that you have a problem, as well. You'll know it when you see it. They also like to chew cardboard and paper, as well as wires. If boxes have holes or odd marks on them, that's a sign. If the lights start to flicker or go out, it's most likely not a ghost but a rat or mouse chewing through the wiring.
It's best to take care of them before you need to call an expensive electrician, so start looking into trapping and removal.
Traps for Rats or Mice in the Ceiling
Take your pick of available traps in your local hardware store or online. There's not really a trap that doesn't work, but that doesn't mean they're all fail-proof. Of course, cheaper ones might not work as well but don't go wasting your money on top-of-the-line traps, either.
Cages work well for keeping rats and mice alive. The issue is what to do with them afterward. Unfortunately, there's no way to get rid of one while keeping it alive. If you take it out into the woods, it'll come right back into your house. Even if you drive it miles and miles away, it could make its way back or just start a new nest in someone else's home. If you opt for using a cage, then call a professional to have them pick it up and assess the situation.
Mousetraps are common and trustworthy. They snap quickly, killing the rat or mouse in the most humane way possible. You'll have to set multiple traps depending on how many rodents you think there are in your ceiling. Bait them, set them, and check them often. Now the problem is getting rid of them. No one wants to carry a dead rodent around, but we do what must be done. Most people throw them away in the regular garbage, but the proper way is to call animal control.
Removal of a Rat or Mouse in the Ceiling
If you've trapped the little rodents yourself, then you can take the charge in removing them. Hopefully, you do it properly and call animal control to find out the best way to remove rodents in your region. If you throw them away in the outside trash, it could attract other animals and cause a completely different issue for your home.
Animal control is always ready to help, whether you've caught a rodent or not. They can help facilitate the removal of rats or mice in the ceiling by either assigning one of their own employees, recommending traps or poison, or recommending a local exterminator. It doesn't hurt to give them a call.
Exterminators and pest control can be a bit expensive, and that's mostly dependent on how dire your situation is. However, a local exterminator knows the environment, the habits of pests, and what type of rodent you might have in the ceiling. This knowledge may not come cheap, but it guarantees a solution to the problem at hand. The best part of using an exterminator for the removal of rodents is that you don't have to do the gritty work. They set the traps, spread the poison, clean the area, and remove the rodents for you. It's quick and easy (on your part), and the rats or mice in your ceiling are gone in no time.
Get a handle of the situation before an infestation emerges to save you time, money, and stress. There are several ways to get rid of a rat or mouse in the attic and several signs to look out for. As soon as you think there's a rodent up there, start making a move to take care of it.