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-   -   Whats this strange ticking sound in my house? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=557908)

antechinus 03-31-2010 12:24 AM

Whats this strange ticking sound in my house?
 
During the quiet of the night I can often hear a faint tick..tick...tick... sound coming from a specific area in our house. I have been trying to work out what it is but am completely stumped.

Before you get too excited - it is not a clock or a watch or a bomb. Here are some observation:
- the sound is a rapid tick..tick..tick - say that quietly and as quickly as you can - that is what it sounds like
- it was on our dresser, now it is on a desk in our bedroom
- I have heard it for over 6 months, a few times a week
- i have heard other instances of it in other points in the house - none of these sources of the sound move around
- when i disturb something near the origin of the sound it stops for about 30 seconds, then starts up again. This happens when I try to track it down by moving staff around.
- i have not seen anything that could be the source

So I recon it is some tiny critter that doesn't wander around. Can someone put me out of my misery - what is it?

Colibri 03-31-2010 12:34 AM

Probably Death Watch Beetles. They are wood boring beetles that make a tapping sound.


Here's a video of one with the sound.

ralph124c 03-31-2010 12:54 AM

Do You Have Any Enemies?
 
It might be a time bomb!

Duckster 03-31-2010 01:07 AM

A tell-tale heart?

groman 03-31-2010 01:09 AM

Could it be vibrating glass?

The Hamster King 03-31-2010 01:19 AM

"Snape, Snape, Severus Snape ... ."

BigT 03-31-2010 01:29 AM

Isn't this a classic "Need Answer Fast" situation?

jjimm 03-31-2010 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 12286413)
Probably Death Watch Beetles. They are wood boring beetles that make a tapping sound.

Seconded as a suggestion. My grandparents had them in their (15th century) house when I was a kid, mainly in a big beam above the bed where I slept. Or rather, was too scared to sleep. I think it was the name that frightened me more than the ticking.

tr0psn4j 03-31-2010 01:55 AM

Get out of there, it's gonna blow!

Dereknocue67 03-31-2010 03:23 AM

Ticking eh? Could be the crocodile that ate Captain Hook's hand from Peter Pan.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 03-31-2010 04:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by groman (Post 12286464)
Could it be vibrating glass?

Some other kind of vibrating object or device?

Perhaps battery powered?


:D:p

antechinus 03-31-2010 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 12286413)
Probably Death Watch Beetles. They are wood boring beetles that make a tapping sound.


Here's a video of one with the sound.

Ahhaah. Psocids!!! Thank you.

From your wiki link it mentions that psocids also make this sound.

I had seen the psocids, and did at one point think that it could be them, but dismissed the idea since they seem too frail to make such a loud noise. They squash with a light touch of the finger. Maybe we have a few specimens of a more heavy duty variety that makes this noise - otherwise our house would sound like a clock factory.

A quick web search.

Wendell Wagner 03-31-2010 07:12 AM

It's your biological clock. Go ahead and have a baby.

robardin 03-31-2010 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 12286817)
It's your biological clock. Go ahead and have a baby.

They're best with a nice Dijon mustard.

Walloon 04-01-2010 04:07 AM

A novel by John Bellairs.

Mr Mooo 03-20-2012 09:46 PM

The World is full of Secrets
 
Okay, I bet a million dollars if there is a strange clicking sound a feeling of constant surveillance then your in the media or military (or want to be or have been in the past or someone you live with is) I once heard from a governmental source the days of planting bugs in peoples homes are over and have been for a very very long time. today they use a sort of sonar to listen in from a distance, if you go outside at night and walk out to the road while it's very quiet the chirping over my house is loud to me, but others around me could barely hear it. Sometimes I would struggle with it in my mind I was certain it wasn't spiritual and that it was a technology being deployed against me. A new form of torture from a distance, hitting people with invisible rays that make their hearts race with fear & trepidation Awful technologies designed by lunatics with deep dark ops kinds of funding. they'll steal the words from peoples mouths and the sounds they make around their homes (the sound of cutlery being tossed into a drawer makes a nice high hat) package them up as the latest & greatest. while your in the dark wondering why all your words & ideas keep coming right back at cha through your favorite recording artists & movie makers etc (Spy vs Spy kinda stuff uno) you have to pay for your development nothing in this life is free, but it's nice to think it is...I've been were you all are. I know how awful and confusing it is chirping on the kitchen bench top for a few day then in the bedroom & I know it seems like it's ghostly because it's emanating a magnetic field which can make your hair stand on end. (ghostly/supernatural phenomena is more subtle in it's frequency to me) Lol I noticed the chirping technology being used at the hospital the other day tracking everyone who enters with a sonic signature which is taken from your voice (usually but it's not required) you cant get away from it until you leave the grounds. So stress not everyone it's being used for good and for bad reasons, think satellites & super technologies designed to manage people. This is the best answer your ever gonna find on this topic it is a deep dark ops technology being deployed on people all over the world. I truly love people (because I am one for now) and as we all grow live and learn together I think it's important to communicate what strange things that happen in our lives with each other over the net so we actually can find answers to deeply personal things such as this. The other thing that worries me is the use of Xray technologies at airports frequent commuters would have their life spans destroyed think about that and what it means. people carrying drugs & other contraband inside themselves are only small amounts and does not warrant the use of such cellular destroying rays on frequent international fliers. ( who are in their own right an economical & political backbone) weve got big problems coming up did anyone catch the news about the massive alien spaceship tinkering with the sun? incredible footage, it seemed to be injecting something into it they said Amazing. hold it together okay...secret mind link technology is about to jump in leaps & bounds it's gonna be awesome.

running coach 03-20-2012 09:53 PM

Are you familiar with paragraphs? The space bar? Taking a breath?

Wall of loony-text.

kambuckta 03-20-2012 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Mooo (Post 14886364)
Okay, I bet a million dollars if there is a strange clicking sound.....(snip)..secret mind link technology is about to jump in leaps & bounds it's gonna be awesome.

I like this one better than the Death Watch beetle explanation.

Much better. :D

SunSandSuffering 03-21-2012 10:57 AM

Zombie thread I know but my Braun rechargeable toothbrush ticks quietly to itself, most noticeable in the middle of the night. Might explain the dresser / desk / bedroom connection.

Darth Panda 03-21-2012 11:10 AM

I think we've waited long enough. So what was it, bomb, bug, vibrator, toothbrush (try not to confuse those last two), or some kind of mind control device?

John DiFool 03-21-2012 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dereknocue67 (Post 12286610)
Ticking eh? Could be the crocodile that ate Captain Hook's hand from Peter Pan.

I was thinking the ticking heart of his vulture-eyed neighbor.

Dufus 03-21-2012 07:24 PM

The air conditioning duct work in houses can make ticking sounds. In the winter, heated air causes the duct to expand along its length. When the heat cycles off, the duct slowly cools and retracts. Situation is reversed in the summer and it goes kcit, kcit, kcit instead of tick, tick, tick.

VOW 03-21-2012 07:37 PM

I vote for the cooling ductwork, as well, but hey, guys, I LOVED the Death Watch Beetle, and Mr Mooo's conspiracies are a HOOT!

Have you heard about the world being HOLLOW, and we are reflectors of beams from crystals in space? I bet that would cause ticking--excuse me, MYSTERIOUS house-ticking!

When the sound transitions to TICK-TOCK...better move!


~VOW

Darth Panda 03-21-2012 09:35 PM

What has four legs and ticks?

ZenBeam 03-21-2012 09:39 PM

A Panda!

Eliot Ness 03-22-2012 12:42 PM

Some real suggestions:
 
1) Check inside a gas furnace. There is often a transformer there that can make noises. They carry throughout the house via the ductwork.
2) Check the pipes by holding a glass to your ear with the rim against the longest visible pipe. All pipes vibrate and most are hung with metal straps at some point. Again, the sound can carry wherever there are pipes in the walls and floors.
3) Some small transformers make noise. The "ground fault interrupt" box on the cord of my hairdryer will make clicks if I don't unplug it after use.
4) You say "house", but if you lived in an apartment like I do, the ticking can come from the common areas. We recently had a lot of people complain about "rapping" at night. Tracked it down to the common hot water pump with a cracked impeller blade. $200 repair and everyone happy.

Eliot Ness 03-22-2012 12:48 PM

5) In a house with an attic, check up there for something like a twig caught in the vent fan.
6) In a house with steam heat, you have to bleed the radiators from time to time.

Chefguy 03-22-2012 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Mooo (Post 14886364)
Okay, I bet a million dollars if there is a strange clicking sound a feeling of constant surveillance then your in the media or military . . .etc, etc.

Wow. Seldom have I seen such a tight-fitting tinfoil hat. I have to wonder what you were searching for when you stumbled upon this thread.

Eliot Ness 03-22-2012 12:56 PM

7) Bleeding the water heater to remove sludge can help as well. Just open the valve slowly with a hose attached or big bucket ready. And wear gloves, the faucet gets instantly hot.

sco3tt 03-22-2012 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Mooo (Post 14886364)
while your in the dark wondering why all your words & ideas keep coming right back at cha through your favorite recording artists & movie makers etc

I'm having some thoughts right now. I wonder if they'll ever appear in a song.

Why yes, they already have. I guess you're onto something.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 03-22-2012 06:27 PM

Or stuffed sinuses, slowly draining.

Man With a Cat 03-22-2012 08:39 PM

Rick Santorum

Fubaya 03-22-2012 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Mooo (Post 14886364)
weve got big problems coming up did anyone catch the news about the massive alien spaceship tinkering with the sun? incredible footage, it seemed to be injecting something into it they said Amazing. hold it together okay...secret mind link technology is about to jump in leaps & bounds it's gonna be awesome.

Folks, the ticking sound doesn't matter, we have bigger things to worry about now.

Sister Vigilante 03-23-2012 12:45 AM

I had a weird sound recently in my house. Turns out it was the water our exterminator left running when he filled his tank to spray my back yard. You should really try to find it. Our wonderment about the sound cost us a $250 water bill.

Darth Panda 03-23-2012 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante (Post 14893744)
I had a weird sound recently in my house. Turns out it was the water our exterminator left running when he filled his tank to spray my back yard. You should really try to find it. Our wonderment about the sound cost us a $250 water bill.

Yeah, if the OP's water has been running for 2 straight years, that could be pricey.

bonnell777 06-21-2013 10:20 AM

im am experiencing the same thing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by antechinus (Post 12286396)
During the quiet of the night I can often hear a faint tick..tick...tick... sound coming from a specific area in our house. I have been trying to work out what it is but am completely stumped.

Before you get too excited - it is not a clock or a watch or a bomb. Here are some observation:
- the sound is a rapid tick..tick..tick - say that quietly and as quickly as you can - that is what it sounds like
- it was on our dresser, now it is on a desk in our bedroom
- I have heard it for over 6 months, a few times a week
- i have heard other instances of it in other points in the house - none of these sources of the sound move around
- when i disturb something near the origin of the sound it stops for about 30 seconds, then starts up again. This happens when I try to track it down by moving staff around.
- i have not seen anything that could be the source

So I recon it is some tiny critter that doesn't wander around. Can someone put me out of my misery - what is it?


i have been hearing a series of clicking noises in my house for a long time and when i would go to where i would hear the noise there is nothing there that could possibly make the noise it seems to move around the house last night i heard the clicking noise right beside my ear twice and when i looked there was nothing there then i heard it behind me at the bedroom door then again in the bedroom as im from ireland i dont think we have the same insects to explain the noise that was the first time i heard it next to my ear as i was sleeping on the couch it couldnt have been an insect its freaking me out to be honest it has been happening on and off for a long time i took no notice till i heard it last night beside me im been honest no bullshit. as i was lying on the couch i fell asleep i was trying to fight off the sleep but i couldnt i just conked out didnt wake up till late if you like man i can send you my email address let me know...bonnell

KarlGauss 06-21-2013 10:25 AM

In a similar thread, I thought the consensus was that the sound was due to an Annoy-a-tron.

Wendell Wagner 06-21-2013 07:55 PM

bonnell777, I suspect you have tinnitus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus

Doug K. 06-22-2013 01:51 PM

In the winter my house will frequently make a strange whooshing noise that seems to come from a closet, followed by a rushing wind noise that lasts for several minutes. It happens more often the colder it is outside.

Seriously, does anyone else find it funny that this thread has been resurrected twice with incoherent wall of text posts made by people who just registered and only posted once?

AaronX 06-23-2013 11:22 AM

It's the .......... asking to be used.

There was a thread resurrected in the same way, I can't remember which one now.

antechinus 04-12-2014 07:56 AM

For those that stumble across this thread via google, the answer to this mystery is that the clicking sound originated from a psocid.

Chefguy 04-12-2014 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by antechinus (Post 17281502)
For those that stumble across this thread via google, the answer to this mystery is that the clicking sound originated from a psocid.

Killjoy.

bibliophage 04-12-2014 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by antechinus (Post 17281502)
For those that stumble across this thread via google, the answer to this mystery is that the clicking sound originated from a psocid.

Sure. That's just what they want us to think. People, do not be deceived! Antechinus has been "managed" by governmental forces and will now say anything to bury the truth.

TriPolar 04-12-2014 09:40 AM

If it's a ticking sound it's obviously a tick.

Leo Bloom 04-12-2014 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by antechinus (Post 17281502)
For those that stumble across this thread via google, the answer to this mystery is that the clicking sound originated from a psocid.

What prompted this resurrection?

Chefguy 04-12-2014 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo Bloom (Post 17281776)
What prompted this resurrection?

It's a ticking time bomb.

Zeeky61 05-23-2016 02:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonnell777 (Post 16401871)
i have been hearing a series of clicking noises in my house for a long time and when i would go to where i would hear the noise there is nothing there that could possibly make the noise it seems to move around the house last night i heard the clicking noise right beside my ear twice and when i looked there was nothing there then i heard it behind me at the bedroom door then again in the bedroom as im from ireland i dont think we have the same insects to explain the noise that was the first time i heard it next to my ear as i was sleeping on the couch it couldnt have been an insect its freaking me out to be honest it has been happening on and off for a long time i took no notice till i heard it last night beside me im been honest no bullshit. as i was lying on the couch i fell asleep i was trying to fight off the sleep but i couldnt i just conked out didnt wake up till late if you like man i can send you my email address let me know...bonnell

Hi - I realise that these posts are from some years ago - yet I too have heard the soft tick tick tick sound in my home. Way way back in 1982!! It would wake my little 3 year old son during the night and scare him so much that he would race into our bed, wide eyed and shaking. My ex husband and I were renting a house for 18 months (we even asked a priest come and assist us) he was sceptical and although he did not hear it he did splash some holy water about..anyway - We decided to move into another home due to a job change within the same city. My sister moved in to help us with finances..We ALL heard the ticking about a week later. It moved from room to room and when one of us attempted to 'track it down' by stepping into the area of the ticking - the ticking would seem to move to the other side of our body - stop for a time and then start up again. It would stop for about 30 seconds - then start up again. It was just audible to record. We initially thought it may have been a metre behind the wall. But most definitely, the tick tick tick was the same noise level and timing as in the previous house. We started to get used to the ticking as it was not always about. It liked the evenings while we watched TV and usually during the early morning just before light. Well.. it was some years later - 1988 and we were vacationing with friends on a farm. We pitched our tent and that night I was placing my 7 month old (number 3 son) down into his sleeping cot - and what do you know 'tick tick tick' right in my face as I bent to place the lad down onto the cushions. It freaked me out. I left the tent with the child and was most unsettled for the rest of the vacation. I never heard it again. Present day is 2016. I'm into another relationship of 22 years. I did hear sometime ago that my ex husbands sister started to hear the ticking in her home. She lived in another city kilometres away from us. Same description. Soft tick that moved when sort and when left uninterrupted - lasted for periods of 2 /3 minutes at a time. odd. comments?

Ranger Jeff 05-23-2016 03:32 AM

A friend heard a tapping in her garage. She investigated and discovered a field mouse trying to crack open an acorn against an aluminum ladder. She caught the mouse, put it in a terrarium and had a fairly clean and quite pet for a number of years. And the beastie became fairly tame too, I understand.

Channing Idaho Banks 05-23-2016 06:31 AM

Water dripping in a drain pipe can cause ticking sounds inside a wall.

Me_Billy 05-23-2016 09:45 AM

Refrigerator ice maker!


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