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# 249319 6-May-2019 09:18
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We appear to have rats in our ceiling cavity. Our pest guy says this year is terrible for them, he's spending most of his time with similar callouts. They apparently get up there through drain pipes, into guttering, then under the eaves. We're in a suburb but backing onto a small amount of bush, which is where they're likely to come from.

 

We have three drains they might be getting up:

 

  • One that drains a small overhang that comes out beside the house. Rats might be able to get up the pipe onto this small roof then jump the 30 - 40cm from that small root up into the guttering for the main roof (some rats can apparently jump two feet up)
  • A small feeder pipe that drops rain water from the main roof to a smaller roof for a part of the house that's been added on. They can get onto the small roof by jumping from a fence
  • Our storm water does't go into council waste, it goes down a bank. Rats I guess could Macgyver up that pipe about 10m to a sump, along a 10m pipe beside the house, then up a 5m pipe that goes up to the main roof

I'm looking for a decent solution that's hopefully low maintenance:

 

  • The pest guy said screw up something like chicken wire and stuff it up the drain pipes. I tried this with some plastic mesh I had, it washed out fairly quickly. The downside of this is any leaves or such could block the drain, and it probably requires regularly maintenace
  • In the UK you can get products that are basically a spring loaded flap in the drain. Water pushes it open, but rats can't pull it open. This would be ideal if you can get them in NZ.
  • If there's a way to put some kind of a cage or barrier over the gutting where the downpipes meet the gutting that could solve it.

The pipes are largely 80mm PVC. Rats can get through very small openings, even 2cm wide.

 

Any ideas or suggestions for products or techniques?


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  # 2231398 6-May-2019 09:30
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How about something like this:

 

https://www.bunnings.co.nz/hydrowater-ltd-80mm-tank-debris-diverter-leaf-collector_p08913240

 

I’m sue a leaf diverter would work equally well the other way as a ‘rat preventer’.

 

Edit: Maybe I’m totally wrong - looking closer it appears this particular item still has an opening that rats could get into. But maybe something similar.




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  # 2231400 6-May-2019 09:32
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eracode:

How about something like this:


https://www.bunnings.co.nz/hydrowater-ltd-80mm-tank-debris-diverter-leaf-collector_p08913240


I’m sue a leaf diverter would work equally well the other way as a ‘rat preventer’.



That looks like a good option, thanks :) Maybe not that exact model as I think a lot of water would escape with vertical pipes, but the idea is good. I can look at the hardware store on the weekend.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2231417 6-May-2019 09:56
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Do you have any trees near the house? I would say that it is far more likely that the rats climb the tree and jump/drop onto the roof than somehow come up the inside of the downspout.

We had a rat's nest in the attic and it was easy to see which tree they used as the nest was surrounded by seed pods out of the tree.

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  # 2231426 6-May-2019 10:03
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Yep, I'd be looking at ways they may be dropping onto the roof from above. I would have thought if the could climb the inside of a downpipe, what would stop the climbing the outside of it? or the wall?

 

 

 

When we had a rat issue in our bach, cutting back any tree branches that overhung the roof within a couple of meters height fixed the problem.


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  # 2231428 6-May-2019 10:08
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If they are in fact getting up through the downpipe, despite my earlier suggestion I’d be inclined to persevere with the ‘chicken wire’ solution. I’d try and take a more custom/tailored approach. Start with one of these 

 

https://www.bunnings.co.nz/marley-rp80-80mm-end-cap_p00180880

 

and cut a 60 mm disc section out of the cap area to create a flange. Then secure some chicken wire inside the flange to cover the void created in the cap. Fix the cap over the end of the downpipe with one or two self-tapping screws to stop it being forced off by the water. Then you can easily remove the cap periodically to clear out any debris caught behind it.

 

Very cheap solution for a few minutes prep.


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  # 2231456 6-May-2019 10:27
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Marley have a "insect" filter flap for rainwater systems,  it would also be rodent proof 

 

http://www.plumbingplustrade.co.nz/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=insect&product_id=163

 

 


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  # 2231457 6-May-2019 10:28
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How about one of these on the end of the downpipe:

 

https://www.bunnings.co.nz/marley-80dn-vent-cowl_p00336777

 

As above, fix it to the pipe with one or two self-tappers so you can remove it if/when necessary.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2231459 6-May-2019 10:30
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wellygary:

 

Marley have a "insect" filter flap for rainwater systems,  it would also be rodent proof 

 

http://www.plumbingplustrade.co.nz/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=insect&product_id=163

 

 

Now that does look great!




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  # 2231483 6-May-2019 10:56
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We definitely have no trees overhanging. The "rats climb the drain pipe" information was from a very experienced pest control guy, I trust the information he gives me. He apparently has a masters degree in pest control.

 

Vent Cowel was what I originally thought of. I asked a pumping store about them, and I might be able to make it work for the pipe that goes between the upper and lower rooves. It's 80mm pipe but is thicker / wider on the end. Downside is I might have to climb onto the roof occasionally to empty it. I wonder if friction would keep it on when there's a bunch of water going through - could screw it I guess. This seems like the easiest option so far, I'll just take a sample section of pipe into a big well stocked hardware store on the weekend - Mitre Tern doesn't tend to carry the more specialty items.

 

Insect screen could work for the same situation. Might go the cheaper cowel option first to see if it does get blocked.

 

The leaf diverter might work better for the pipe that doesn't have any obvious openings... but I can probably put a bit of wire mesh into the sump fairly easily which would be a LOT easier.

 

Thanks all, some good options and thoughts, much appreciated :)


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  # 2231490 6-May-2019 11:03
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Except that any flap on the end of a pipe would be vulnerable to being flipped up by the lip at the bottom. Any day clever enough to climb the I side of a smooth pipe wouldn't take long to learn that. Some flaps are set inside a pipe section so the edge is protected.

One by video on rats up a drain pipe in fact showed the rat climbing the wall of the building pushing against the outside of the pipe.



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  # 2231503 6-May-2019 11:10
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We have massive eaves, so the macgyver rat would have to climb the outside of the pipe against the weatherboards, then go along the top of it for 0.7m, then get up over the lip. It's probably possible.... but I guess you can't prevent the problem entirely. We'll at least make it much more difficult.


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  # 2231504 6-May-2019 11:11
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Pretty much every night for the last week or so I've heard rats in the roof and walls! Worst it has ever been. Chewing noise can bring you from a deep sleep!

 

Banging the walls gets rid of them and they move on, but clearly not a great solution!

 

What about ultrasonic pest devices? Anyone had success with those?

 

Sounds like they exit near where my internal and external down pipes are, so will try blocking those up / putting netting under the eves etc.

 

Driving me nuts!

 

 

 

 




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  # 2231522 6-May-2019 11:30
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Ultrasonic repellers get mixed reviews. They cost about $120, which isn't much money given what a pest guy will probably cost. Has anyone had luck with them?


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  # 2231524 6-May-2019 11:32
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timmmay:

Ultrasonic repellers get mixed reviews. They cost about $120, which isn't much money given what a pest guy will probably cost. Has anyone had luck with them?



To me they sound like a solution at the top of the cliff. I’d far rather try and stop them getting in in the first place.



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  # 2231529 6-May-2019 11:39
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Rats eat plastic, wood, etc. Given we have rats already in I think getting them out ASAP would be best.

 

We have poison up in the roof, and it went quiet for a while, but I heard them again last night. Apparently poison is 95% effective, but you have to stop more getting in.

 

Fair Go did a segment on Ultrasonic repellers a couple of years ago, apparently the ones they looked at don't work at all.


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