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Monday, August 5, 2013

Why Am I Hearing Scratching In My Walls?

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It is a creepy thing to wake up and hear noises you cannot explain.  I once moved into a house and was awakened by a strange scratching noise in the walls of my bedroom.  I was living in Vancouver Washington and wasn't sure if I should call a pest control company.  I let it go on several more nights and I would start hearing the scratching in the middle of the night and it would always keep me up.  I hated that noise, but I couldn't figure out what to do about it.  Should I smash a whole in the wall and find it?  And, what was it anyway?

Now that I am actually running a pest control company, I am a little more informed as to what that scratching noise and other noises really are.  When people “hear something” at night, I can usually help them determine what they are hearing by asking a few questions.  So, let’s go through it together.  I would assume that if you clicked on this blog, you probably have had this issue in the past or have it now.

What was in my walls?

After looking around, I found out that I had mice in my attic and they were pretty bad.  What I found is that the mouse had fallen down into a wall void in an interior wall in my bedroom and was trying to chew its way out.  I decided to let things run its course and did not open the wall up and the mouse actually ended up dying in my wall.  It stunk for about a week and a half, but it wasn't overpowering, so I think I would rather have it stink for a little while than have to repair a hole in the wall.

Usually if you are hearing a scratching, chewing or scurrying from a rodent, it is in an interior wall void (like what I had).  Most other animals are not going to fit in such a tiny place.  You will probably only hear it at night and the mouse will move around a little bit and not tend to focus on just one area.  It will also stop making noise if it hears you moving around.  However, if the noise is a constant scratching sound and it doesn't stop when you are making noises, it might be the sound of carpenter ants chewing through the wood.

When you hear noises in the attic?
Depending on how loud the noise is, this can be a few different things.  If it is a really loud banging around, it could be a raccoon or an opossum.  If it is a lighter scurrying, it could be a mouse, but they are so light that they are hard to hear in an attic.  Most likely it is a rat or squirrel.  Rats and squirrels make their way into the attic through openings in the eaves of your roof line.  One thing to keep in mind is that they might not be in your attic at all, but could be running along your roof.  A lot of pest control companies go out to customers home just to find that they don’t have a problem at all and nothing is invading their home.  Lastly, if you hear chirping in your attic, you probably have a birds nest, which are common in this space.

When you hear noises in the crawl space?
Most of the time, if you hear noises in your crawl space, you have something large down there.  Raccoons commonly find their way into your crawl space and can do a lot of damage.  Again, rodents can be down there as well, but they are just not usually very noisy.  In fact, you probably would not hear rats or mice, but if your dog is going crazy and barking at the vents, then he is probably hearing them.


If you are hearing any strange noises and aren't sure what to do about it, please call a Portland pest control company that you can trust.  We are available to answer any questions and help you get rid of that creepy noise so that you can get some sleep!

1 comment:

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