Hot Topics: Is a Rat Eating the Insulation?
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Original Post: Is this rats or something else?
I thought I would start a new thread here and include a picture because now I am not sure what I am dealing with. To recap, a couple of weeks ago I got my crawl space cleaned out and they only insulated the ducts with unfaced insulation, secured with twine. In that short period of time, something got back in there and is shredding the insulation off of a section of the duct and creating a huge pile on the ground. Due to the size of it, I am wondering if rats are even capable of doing this or if it could be something else like a squirrel. I do know where it is getting in and out as there is a good-sized gap of about three inches by 12 inches long, part of which I have blocked off now. I shoved some paper in there and when I checked back, it was moved within a day or two. I have five traps set inside now and six outside, along with a bait box. The bait box has a brick on it, yet something managed to move it the other day so I put a bigger brick on it. I also put a cage trap inside for a few days in case it was a squirrel, but thought if it was a squirrel it might be better to put that cage outside, so I just did that. Take a look at the picture and let me know if a rat could have done this much damage in two weeks.
PAbugman Forum Topic Moderator
That's a serious pile of insulation. Rats typically tear up just what they need to enter or exit. This does appear to be larger. I once saw the damage that a ground hog did to fiber duct and this reminds me of that. I suspect that you have a similar sized animal in there, although squirrels do a lot of damage, too.
Does any part of the structure cantilever out overtop of the foundation wall? The groundhog I referenced was coming in over the top of the foundation wall, but underneath the cantilevered part of structure as there was fiber board where plywood should have been.
I know that the bat exclusion people use mesh/rubber/tarp, etc. and hang it along the areas where bats enter/exit for the purpose of acting as a one-way valve or excluder. There may be a solution in that, although we won't know if its gone. I'll continue thinking about this.