Vermin in cavity walls: Sonic Broom

by Mars
vermin in cavity walls - Sonic Broom

Amidst the master bathroom refit and chimney rebuild, we’ve recently had to turn our attention to dealing with vermin in cavity walls.

Our property is an old Victorian farmhouse and we don’t have a huge amount of space between the ground and first floor ceiling. We also have insulated stud walls between the exterior and interior of the property.

These areas are all inaccessible to us (unless we wanted to make holes and incisions in the drywall) and we can often hear mice or rats scuttling above us or in the walls.

This has not bothered us to date because there is no way that they can get into the house itself, and we’ve never found evidence that they have. It’s worth saying that I don’t think we have huge numbers of rodents in our wall and ceiling cavities.

Our perception of these creatures in our cavity spaces has changed recently after a horrific story from one of our nearby neighbours.

They woke up to serious flooding in their house. After getting emergency plumbers out to their house they discovered that rats had gnawed their way through the insulation and plastic pipework which led to incredible flooding in their house. In just one evening, the rats made eight separate holes in the plastic pipework, leading to vast amounts of water flooding their downstairs living area.

Because they had to break into the ceiling they took the drastic measure of poisoning the rats to prevent any immediate and future damage. This incident set off our alarm bells because we very often hear rodents running above us and we needed to take action to avoid incurring any similar damage that befell our neighbours.

Since we don’t have access to the spaces where the rats and mice reside, and we didn’t want to poison them either, we purchased two Sonic Broom ultrasound indoor pest repellers that we hope will do the trick. These devices work by emitting a high frequency ultrasonic sound that’s supposed to irritate pests and discourage them from wanting to stick around the property.

We plugged them into strategic areas in the house following instructions not to obstruct the devices with furniture and having them plugged in 30cms above the ground. According to the documentation provided it takes up to three weeks for the rats and mice to be affected by the ultrasonic sound before they move on. We have monitored the noises and rummaging in our ceilings and walls and see whether they have worked.

First impressions and comments

We have two cats, and their well-being is of paramount importance to us. After plugging in the devices, we watched our cats’ behavior for the first 24 hours and they were completely unphased and did not appear in any way affected.

Naturally, we can’t hear anything either, so we’re unaffected as humans. Not that it should, they also don’t mess with your Wi-Fi.

The design of the Sonic Broom is sleek, and they’re a lot smaller than I thought they would be, so they blend into rooms quite easily.

One important thing to note is that Sonic Broom emits a blue light to show the device is on. The light is quite strong and may affect you if they’re plugged in bedrooms.

All that aside, the key is to drive the rodents from our house and that will be the ultimate success or failure of the product. We’ll keep a log to see how long this will take.

Activity update

Night 1: Definite activity in the ceiling and walls
Night 2: Far less activity than last night
Night 3: A couple of runs across the ceiling. Definitely less than night 2
Night 4, 5, 6 & 7: Same as night 3
Night 8: No sounds or signs of movement
Night 9: One incident of perceived movement
Night 10, 11: No sound or activity it all. Have the rodents gone?Night 12: A little bit of movement tonight. So there’s still something up there.
Night 13: Still the occasional scuttle.
Night 14: It’s all quiet overhead tonight. No movement at all.
Night 15: More activity than we’ve had since week 1. Not good. Night 16: Extremely quiet tonight
Night 17: Quiet in the ceiling

So while the rodents are gone, the vast majority have moved, and hopefully with another week or two of operation we won’t have any left.

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