There's a critter in the wall. What do I do?

I’ve walked around the outside, and there is no obvious entry point. The room where I can hear the critter sits on a concrete pad, so there’s no crawlspace.

Seems like cutting open the wall will just make the critter retreat elsewhere, necessitating the ripping open of other walls, until my house is a skeleton. I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to have to do, unless I can find a better idea. Short of buying a 100k X-ray machine and irradiating the thing to death, are there any non-wall-intrusive ways to get rid of my new unwanted pet?

How about a net/bag affixed to the wall and then you operate a drill/saw to cut an opening? What could possibly go wrong?

How is that going to stop the critter from retreating into the bowels of my house the minute I start cutting?

My gf occasionally can hear critters in the wall. So far, they’ve always been mice, although from the sound she suspected raccoons. When she hears a critter, I place mouse traps in the attic. When I kill some mice, the scurrying disappears.

What is it, some sort of marmot?

What you need to do is find a similar critter, tie a rope around it, and send it in after it. Either they’ll fight to the death, or start making sweet, sweet critter love, at which point you yank the rope and retrieve them both.

It’s fool proof.

Borrowing somebody’s ferret and sending it into the wall… that’s actually a mighty fine idea. I wonder if there is a professional service that does this sort of thing?

It doesn’t sound marmot sized. I would guess it is rat sized, although I can’t be sure. My imagination may be playing tricks with me. But I also live in the middle of a pacific northwest rainforest, so it could be all kinds of different critters. Usually the owls keep the mice down.

Rope? Nonsense.

A small radio-controlled toy car, fitted with a flashlight, a webcam, and a flamethrower.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s probably a mouse, or a chipmunk, or I shudder to think of it, a roof rat. Blecch

The thing is, gigantic noises can come from these critters, a mouse scratching in your walls? It will sound like a warren of rapidly breeding mutants ready at any moment to gnaw their way through into your bedroom. In actuality it’s just a half starved little mouse panicking in the middle of the night.

Not much you can do, certainly does not call for deconstruction, put out some traps, and make sure you put away any food scraps or pet food.

I’ve had bats and mice in the walls, certainly makes for sleepless nights.

I’ve had a mouse problem this winter. I’m trying an old folk remedy and it seems to be working - peppermint oil. It has a strong aroma and apparently mice have sensitive noses. Put a few drops around the areas you think they’re in and the smell will drive them out

I had a pack rat in my ceiling. I attached/rigged a live trap to a hole in the drywall, and baited it with crackers and peanut butter. Got him in a few hours.

The inside of walls are not just open spaces that run on and on. There are normally pockets separated by wall studs (18 inches apart). If you are hearing the scratching near the floor, it would appear the animal has fallen into one of these pockets from the attic area. He could conceivably crawl back up to the attic and roam on from there. But your idea of cutting a hole in the sheet rock near the floor or baseboard is not necessarily a bad idea. However whatever it is could then make its way into the room…if you are prepared for that.

Call an pest control person.

I had roofrats and possibly squirrels getting into parts of my house including attic and walls a while back.

The entry points are there but not easy to see. A rat or squirrel needs a relatively large opening (say, an inch) to get into. Mice can crawl in through very tiny holes, I’m told 1/4" is all they need.

So get yourself a flashlight and a notepad. Walk around the outside again and really look close, especially at the bottom of the exterior - look up underneath it as well, there may be some little openings behind the siding. If you find any, seal them up - you can fasten hardware cloth (fine metal mesh) over holes with screws, or squirt some expanding foam into the hole, plug the hole with some steel wool and then add a little more foam outside.

Next you’ll need to check your roof. Start by looking up under the eaves - uncovered vents are an obvious entry point, get proper mesh covers for them. Check around all the flashing and gutters. I found some hidden holes where a previous owner did construction poorly. Get up on the roof and walk around (be careful, plenty of people get hurt falling off their roof), make note of any holes and fix them appropriately.

If there are any kind of plants that overhang the roof or provide a ladder for critters, trim them back - county pest control in my area said at least 4 feet from the roof.

Finally, if you’ve got an attic or accessible roof space, go up in there and check it out. Look and listen for holes and seal them up. I had a variety of entry points and fixed them with various combinations of plywood, expanding foam and hardware cloth.

You may wind up trapping a critter or two inside the wall and they will expire and the corpse may smell for a week or two - unless there’s holes in your drywall I think this will be minimal.

I haven’t had a critter since doing this work.

Sounds like my walls are filled with insulation too, and he’s digging around in it. Either that or he’s masturbating.

I’m gonna try that. It occurred to me to try drilling a small hole and spraying in an entire can of wd-40. Maybe I can asphyxiate the little monster.

That’ll be the time that you discover a sparking short in the wiring :smiley:

Killing one critter will fix that one critter. You have to find and seal all the entry points to actually fix the problem.

Anyway, you do NOT want to die in your wall. The smell from one tiny little itty bitty decomposing creature is quite impressive.

I saw this thread, as I just returned from Home Depot where I bought a squirrel trap to catch the critters that I hear in the walls of my house at night. I think they’re squirrels because last year they were in a return-air vent for the central air, and I found three young squirrels there.

I’ll put this trap in the attic above and hope that works. The guy at Home Depot told me that peanut butter works well as bait.

Do. I used cardboard from a 12 pack to sort of fill in any gaps. The hole was in a corner, so I could attach the trap to the wall pointing up.

I’d rather have him die in the wall than live in the wall.
Thanks for all the tips! I’ll post back with my eventual results.

Thanks a lot Charlie!

I’m the first one to suggest the rodenator? Should take care of things toot-sweet. There will be some cleanup afterward, though.

(warning, this is a real site selling a real product that, depending on your perspective, does some stuff that’s either disturbing or downright hilarious. crazyjoe is not responsible for fits of laughter or if you get fired for forwarding this to all your co-workers)