Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (2023)

noise in the walls

ForChris Williamson February 26, 2015.
Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (1)

John Maher: Hello, I'm John Maher. Today I'm here with Tim Chace from Colonial Pest Control. Tim is an entomologist and pest control technician. Today we talk aboutnoise in the walls.

Welcome Tim.

Tim Chace: Good morning Joao.

First steps after hearing noises in the wall

John: Tim, someone calls and says, “I hear a noise in my wall.” What's the first step you take when this happens?

Hour: John, we understand that very much and it's always a mystery. The first thing we do is go in and interview people and ask, 'Where did you hear that? when do you hear it What noises are you hearing?” There are a number of animals that could make noises in the wall. We want to narrow it down to one or two possible suspects, depending on when the noise was made.

Do you hear in the morning? Do you hear in the middle of the night? Do you hear it all the time? Is it a hit? is it a bang Is it a soft crack? Is it a flickering light? Is there some kind of hiss there?

What other things have you noticed in the backyard? Does your pet's food go missing? Does your dog stare at the wall all night? What factors are at play around this mysterious sound? From there we can narrow it down to potential groups of things, whether it's a mammalian plague or some kind of insect plague.

Typical animals that make wall noise

John: Which typical animals could live in the walls of my house and make these noises?

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (2)The steering wheel

Hour: The number one noise generator would be by fardomestic mouse🇧🇷 Rats are usually constantly looking for food and then store their food - usually nuts, acorns, small seeds - in different places so they can find them in winter. Rats are pretty much the number one animal and the rats will make a little tapping noise, almost like banging their teeth on the nut, or maybe a slight shake or rustle.

Sometimes you can hear them actually drop a small acorn. You'll hear that little falling sound, like someone throwing a marble at the ceiling or banging the wall right there. Mice are mostly nocturnal creatures, but you can sometimes even see a mouse darting in and out of their tiny opening. Sometimes you will see this.

You may notice that the dog food is missing from the bowl or the dog isn't eating much, or you may find some half-eaten dog biscuits and mouse poop on the couch. This could be an indication that you have a problem with your mouse.

John: They said they are generally nocturnal. If you hear those little noises, like you said, of acorns rolling around and things like that - you might hear them early in the morning or late at night - it could be a sign that there are mice.

Hour: Yes. Rats are busy all winter. We get a lot of calls about mouse noise and it's pretty easy to tell by that little tapping noise.

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (3)flying squirrels

Then it would be oursflying squirrels🇧🇷 It is a very ubiquitous pest. These little guys can gain access to very small openings.

John: You are a very small kind of squirrel, aren't you?

Hour: Smaller. They, as the name suggests, can fly from a tree all the way up to your house, so you won't typically see flying squirrels, but you can find areas where they poop. Flying squirrels have a latrine in the attic. So they sleep in a clean part of the attic and then run somewhere else. So you can see poop stains on the side of the house.

The sound that flying squirrels make is very distinctive. It feels like a little thing that really rips through the wall and goes from point A to point B. Kind of hard to describe without doing it, but it was described to me as a pancake on fire.

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John: [laughter]

Hour: Or the night circus.

John: [laughter]

Hour: In this particular case, they had over 75 flying squirrels running around the girl's room. It said: "The night circus. The night circus. She must have had a circus going on up there. Again, it's more of a running noise from point A to point B.

Flying squirrels are really active about an hour before sunrise, so they come back from their nightly foraging. They look for nuts and acorns. Then, at dusk, they will wake up from their daytime sleep and gather near the vents. They don't usually leave the house until it's almost dark.

They will run a little and fly straight out of the house into a tree.

Sometimes when you have really tall oak trees on the side of the house, they climb to the top of the oak tree and float back to your house so you never see these little guys. But the noise is quite noticeable.

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (4)The steering wheel

Another sound you might hear in the wall would be a mouse working. Rats are very, very hardworking creatures. He's looking for food. He is looking for nesting sites. He examines his surroundings. Mice, squirrels, rats and most rodents suffer from a disease in which their teeth are constantly growing. To prevent teeth from actually growing into their skulls, all of these rodents have to constantly chew to file their teeth down.

Even when he's not feeding, some of these animals will just sit on top of a stallion and chew on it. You'll find these chew marks on the side of his vents where he sits there and chews the hole, which doesn't necessarily make it any bigger, but he does have to chew. This can be described as incessant scratching, like cha-cha-cha-cha-cha.

Just run and run and run like a little man on the treadmill. Maybe a move from point A to point B so you can hear it. “It moves through the wall. I can hear it.” It will have a route that goes through the wall. You might even get used to it.

I had a wife... she could hear the animal. Not sure what it was at this point. I went upstairs through her room, down to the center wall behind the sofa, and ran errands there for about an hour, then went to sleep. I think it was probably a flying squirrel.

It seems to happen in the morning and would be calm, calm, calm all day. At night she heard this thing crawling along the wall behind her room and then somewhere outside.

It was probably a flying squirrel. Other wild animals like a squirrel can sometimes climb under the front steps. I had one in... I mean Marlborough a few weeks ago. The woman was very upset because she could hear the exact sound of a squirrel singing and scratching right in her wall.

It's like the little chirp you will see in things that are in your stone wall. I said, "Lady, that's a squirrel." You definitely have a squirrel on the wall. Squirrels generally do not prefer to live indoors. They would like to be in the wild, in the woods somewhere in a nice little hole.

John: Right, they're in the little holes under the ground.

Hour: Yes. you prefer it. Sometimes they can get into a structure in their forge and get stuck in the emptiness of the wall or something. I had a wife with a gray squirrel. He must have fallen into the empty wall and there was nothing to pull his claws on. You could just hear this poor thing...

John: I'm trying to get out.

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Hour: …scratch and scratch. That would give you a few feet above the wall. He would fall down there. Eventually he died on the wall. At this point she cut a hole in the wall and pulled it out.

In most cases we do not recommend drilling holes in the wall to investigate this as this noise can come from anywhere within the wall and radiate into the building materials. It's hard to tell it's right there on the wall.

John: Right. The probability that you punch a hole in the wall and find yourself between those two studs in the wall...

Hour: True, very rare. You know, and that building activity might even make you wall-run elsewhere. So that pretty much covers the mice, rats, and the pair of squirrels.

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (5)bats

John: And the bats?

Hour: Bats also make noise. If you stick a bat in the gap in the wall, you might hear a very, very faint scratch. Maybe a few small high pitched squeaks as they communicate, or even a hovering noise as it flies up and down in the wall's emptiness. It's very, very unobtrusive, but sometimes you can hear it. I've heard that on a few occasions.

bugs on the walls

John: And the insects? Do you hear bugs in the wall?

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (6)carpenter ants

Hour: We definitely do. The two most important things we hear about insects, by far the most common, would probably be aNest of carpenter ants🇧🇷 Carpenter ants are pretty cool little guys. You have six legs. Each of its legs has a small foot with four small hooks. You will have about 24 small claws per ant.

If you take a carpenter ant and put it on a piece of white paper in a quiet room while it is climbing around on that paper, you can actually hear a very, very discreet scratching sound from an ant climbing around on the paper. If you have several thousand ants inside the anthill and each of those little hooks is clicking, clicking on the substrate, you can actually hear a sound reminiscent of pouring milk onto rice crackers. It's just very easy...

John: O sound of crackling.

Hour: …crackling noises. I agree. Let's say as long as the TV is on and the dishwasher is running, you probably won't hear much noise. If the house is really quiet, people will hear the noise. You can get straight to the point. Put your ear to it and listen to this rustling sound. If you tap it, it will increase a little.

Hour: This is a great place to dig a hole and kill the ants right away because they're probably right there. In some cases, the ants do not do much damage to the wood. Carpenter ants do not physically eat the wood, but instead make burrows in the wood to store their eggs and larvae. In it, like in a window frame, there is almost a ready-made anthill. The way a pre-engineered window mates with washers and 2×4 bolts.

There are many small openings there and over time, when the ants need more space, they can actually create a kind of gallery in those wooden branches there. That's the sound you hear, it's all these ants rustling around.

I had a really cool case last year. The anthill took up the entire back of the house. It was interesting. They let this house go for a while. When I started spraying some pesticide into the wall on one side of the house, I was able to amplify the rustling of the ants.

By chance I walked into two far apart rooms at the back of the same wall and could hear the ants rustling like crazy where they hadn't been a few minutes ago. I knew the whole empty wall system in this whole wall was just...

John: They moved to the other side of the house.

Hour: It was full but the alarm went off here when I started to squirt and they ran. When I left it literally looked like someone was pouring black oil out of the house. There were so many ants coming out of the structure.

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The owner of the house was very moved to see this.

John: I'm sure.

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (7)Yellow Jacket nests in empty walls

Hour: Another one we hear about as often as we hear about bugs would be a yellow jacket nest in the empty wall structure. The Yellowjacket Queen forms her colony by launching a small ball the size of a golf ball. We've all seen these outside the eaves of the house. You'll see some of these little paper balls.

This is the first nest. If that never grows up, the queen died and never continued her work. If the queen is successful, this small golf ball-like nest forms the regular nest of a yellow jacket nest.

Several hundred wasps can live in this nest. As the nest size increases - let's say they're inside the empty wall structure of a house - Yellowcoats have no problem removing the foil and drywall to slightly increase the nest size inside the empty wall.

This activity can also cause a grating and buzzing noise. Sometimes some people hear a strange noise in the wall and they say, “Ma'am, you have a yellow jacket nest. Look at them going in and out of that window over there.

She says, "Oh, we saw that, but we didn't think that was on the wall." In some cases, this wasp nest will break through the wall and you will wake up and the room will be full of wasps. This is not good.

John: Any other animal species that can make noise in the walls? You mentioned wasps to me. That's the yellow vest - are they a species of wasp?

Hour: That would be the yellow vests. Sometimes a mud wasp when in a window frame and out and about. Let's say he goes into a small hole near the slider and makes his little egg chambers inside the frame. You can hear the little wasp driving around there, scratching a bit and making a little buzz over there. Usually this is not a big problem. You just closed that little hole.

Noise in the Walls - Colonial Pest Control (8)Beetle

There are several species of bugs that really make noise. What particularly comes to mind would be a little beetle they call the Death Clock Beetle. It's not a very common beetle in the Northeast, but this little fellow will even bang its head in the forest corridors to attract a mate.

You will hear a very slight knocking sound. Usually there aren't many so it doesn't do much damage to the structure, but as the name suggests, coffins used to be pre-made and this bug came in.

They would put people on guard to make sure the person in the box was really dead. On several occasions, a faint tapping was heard on the coffin, suggesting the person was not actually dead. It was actually one of the death clock bugs, hence the name. Kind of interesting.

Several other species of bugs can make noises in the wall if you hear them working at the right time. The old house drill is one of them. It's a pretty big beetle.

Speaking of bugs, the longhorn beetles, let's assume you brought in some firewood from outside. I was around piles of logs in someone's house and she said, "Can you hear that?" "Yes, I can do that. It's a bug that eats on wood.” The larvae have really big jaws that open up a little gallery for this thing, it actually feeds on some of the wood material as it grows.

John: If you get the firewood from outside, they actually live in those logs and you don't even know it.

Hour: We have had cases of cockroaches. It's actually an infestation of bugs coming out of the log they brought in from outside. These guys think it's summer now. They complete their development...

John: Right, because it's warmer at home.

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Hour: I agree. They're going to have 400 or 500 of these little orange bugs in their basement window, and I'm going to say, 'Not much to do here. It's just a one-time firewood event. They will not reinfest the house or cause health problems. It just happened.

John: It sounds like there are many different animals that could make noise in your walls and in your house. It's probably a good idea to call someone like Colonial Pest Control and ask the typical question, "I have noise in my wall, what is it?" Then ask someone to come out and take a look.

Other causes of noise in the walls

Hour: Noise can also have mechanical causes. There was sort of... it was like a timer on the woman's water heater. Something would happen and this little cog would start turning for about 12 or 13 minutes. And she was sitting in that chair and all she could hear was that little creak. It's just a coincidence that I'm random...

John: She thought, "Oh, it's an animal."

Hour: It is something.

John: Yes, you figured it out.

Hour: I was in a house where there was an arch wire. She says, "I hear this little popping noise." I said, "That sounds like an electrical problem to me."

John: Wow, you could have saved this person from having their house burn down.

Hour: Absolutely. There was another case recently where they had a mouse problem, but on the outside of the house the actual vinyl was melted. I said, "You know, that looks hot."

Well, the rats chewed up the plug cord around the house, and that plug serves a couple of TVs or something. A great achievement so that the socket was always hot. The mouse is in there because it is nice and warm and because mice always have to chew. A thread looks like a small liana or a root, so he chewed it up.

They almost had a fire like that again. It turns out that rodents are one of the main causes of house fires of unknown origin. Just because of their tendency to chew things up because they have to.

John: if you listenRats or rodents inside the wallsYour home, it's best to take care of it right away.

Hour:call someone🇧🇷 No need to leave a fuss indefinitely. The quicker you solve something, the less likely you are to have any type of adverse event.

John: Good advice. Tim Chace, thank you for speaking to me today.

Hour: Thank you, John.

John: Visit the Colonial Pest Control website for more informationkolonialpest.comor call 1-800-525-8084. This is 1-800-525-8084.


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