Noises in the wall (bats?)

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InterestingMoney
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Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by InterestingMoney » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:53 pm

Howdy folks,

Just in time for Halloween, the aural ambiance inside my home has taken a spooky turn. Recently I started hearing a rather strange sound coming from one wall of my house. It's a kind of buzzing or chattering sound. My present thought is that it might be bats. Whatever it is, it doesn't belong there! I hear it only during the daytime, never at night, and it always happens in the same location. Those little buggers are chattering away right now, and it gives me the jibblies.

Want to hear it? Brace yourselves! Here's a 40-second audio clip that I recorded by holding a cheap laptop up against the wall.

Can anyone help identify what ungodly creature is making that sound? At this point, I'm not sure whether I should call an exterminator, animal control, an exorcist, or Ghostbusters.

For what it's worth, this is in San Antonio, TX. Thanks for the help.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by JW-Retired » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:02 pm

Nest of baby birds when mom shows up?
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by scone » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:08 pm

Their name is Legion, for they are many...

Actually, I'm thinking baby mice. The Undead prolly party a little louder.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by InterestingMoney » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:11 pm

Birds. I hadn't thought of that. Doesn't sound so bad, actually. I still wish I knew how/where they got in there. I doubt I need to call anybody if it's just a nest of birds.

Could be mice, too, I suppose. I'll keep my eyes/ears open. Thanks for the replies so far.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by jebmke » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:22 pm

Not very likely to be birds this time of year. Songbirds have finished nesting.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by packet » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:29 pm

Not sure about your part of the world, but if I heard that here... it would be wasps or bees. Sound quality was a bit tough to get through, your laptop vs mine and i'm sitting outside in the breeze enjoying a frosty beverage... :)

Anyway, active only during the day (not bats nor likely mice) plus continuous "buzzing" sound, me thinks flying stingers.

When you hear them being noisy, go outside and look at that part of the house for a while to see if any are flying in/out.

Good Luck!

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:46 pm

Although I hear some birds chirping, I don't think that's it. What's the motor running in the background? The noise is periodic, perhaps there are a few squeaky bearings?

Seasons are changing (at least here, anyway). Did someone turn on a heat pump?

Think this is a challenge? It doesn't hold a candle to Cody's attic noise: Noise in my attic, a link to the video is on page 3 here.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by john94549 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:48 pm

Wasps or bees can easily invade. Even mice or rats can. Aside from deer, who merely invade our back-yard, we've had just about everything. I'd call the exterminator. Let him (or her) listen to the sound. Odds are, they might have heard it before.

Africanized bees (terribly aggressive) have arrived. They are really loud, so that might be a suggestion. One made it into our house a couple of weeks back, made several passes at me, buzzing quite angrily. I have no idea what I might have done to anger the bee. I shut the door to the room and kept it closed for a week. I assume the bee finally died, as no trace of it has been found.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:11 pm

Is it coming from an exterior wall that heats up during the day? If yes, then perhaps hornets or wasps excited by warm of day and when it cools off they are quiet.
Mice usually are active at night and quiet during the day.
Is there an overhang or area where hornets could enter and get into that wall?

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by GoldenFinch » Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:51 pm

We live in an old three-story house and have sparrows that live in a space between the walls of the attic. They have been there since we bought the house almost 20 years ago. We like to watch them fly from our rooftop to our bird feeder. They sound like birds and not like what you have in your wall. We also have had occasional squirrels in our walls and they can make a lot of noise.

I agree with those who are thinking you have bees/wasps. The sound is pretty creepy and I would get it checked out. We had a hornets' nest in our attic once and never heard them, but saw them swarming out of the top of our house. My husband climbed a ladder and sprayed raid in the area and that took care of them.

Good luck and happy Halloween (ugh).

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by goodlifer » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:06 pm

When I read your post, I first thought bees. Hearing your recording, now I think maybe raccoons or squirrels. Among the many houses I have lived in, so far I have had bees, squirrels, raccoons, birds, and bats invading one part of my home or another. You can hear a humming and or scratching sound with bees. Depending on the bird, you can hear singing, scratching, or squawking. I haven't heard anything more than an occasional fluttering noise with bats and would not have even known they were there if I didn't see them hanging on the door frames. Raccoons and squirrels are pretty chatty. I think your recording sounds more like a raccoon, but the raccoons we have had sound like elephants tap dancing in our attic. Might even be opossum. Both raccoon and possum are mainly nocturnal, which might be why you don't hear it at night. They are out and about doing their thing.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by LK2012 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:29 pm

Hmmm ... it very well could be bats. It's a little hard to tell because the audio seems a bit distorted.

Here's some audio of bats chattering that sounds a bit similar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnC_NWM3COA

But it also could be raccoons - check out these ones, that really sound similar to what you recorded:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyDI-6YJGjs

Either way, you probably should contact a wildlife removal expert to check it out. Bats carry the risk of rabies, and raccoons can be extremely destructive!

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:32 pm

Add squirrels to the list of suspects. This is the time of year when they are looking for a warmer place to wait out winter.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by livesoft » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:32 pm

I vote for varmints.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by InterestingMoney » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:04 pm

I appreciate the additional responses. Some further information:

The sound is coming from an outside wall, right outside our dining room. The wall faces south-ish, and does heat up in the early-mid afternoon, which is also when the buzzing/chattering sound is most frequent. I've only been hearing the sound for about the last two weeks, and I don't recall ever hearing it after ~5:00 PM. My initial instinct was that it was bats or some kind of insect.

For the last three evenings I have stood outside that wall at dusk, watching to see if any bats fly out from the house. So far I haven't seen anything, but it's entirely possible that they escaped my watch. I've been out there in the afternoons a couple of times as well, looking for holes or a crack small enough for a bat to slip through, but haven't seen anything noteworthy, nor have I seen any bees/flying insects around that wall.

Other fun facts: the house is only four years old, and it has two stories. The sound emanates from the first floor only, roughly four feet above the floor, as best as I can pinpoint. The wall in question is on the side of the house, and the outside is covered in fiber-cement siding. So the sound is coming from somewhere between the drywall and the siding.

My apologies for the poor quality of the recording, but it got the job done. There's a fair amount of background noise which I tried to eliminate, but between the fans in the laptop itself and the refrigerator (which was about eight feet away), some background noise was inevitable. There's definitely no heat pump. Our house doesn't have one, and it's still 90 degrees here in south Texas. :)

Current time is 6:00 PM, which means whatever in the wall is as quiet as a church mouse (church bat?), and based on past experience, won't pipe up again until 1:00 PM tomorrow. I may just grab a cold beverage, plop a chair on the sidewalk outside my house, and watch the sun set while keeping an eye out for the birds and the bees and the bats. :beer

To be continued. Cheers!

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by packet » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:21 pm

You're supposed to dig.

:beerCheers,
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by GoldenFinch » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:41 pm

packet wrote:You're supposed to dig.

:beerCheers,
packet
Watching this prompted me to do research (Google) so I could forget what I watched. :twisted:

According to Google you might have eastern gray squirrels.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:32 pm

If you're the DIY type you can get a borescope for a few tens of dollars and have a look at the critters, or their nests, through fairly easily patched 1/2 inch holes.

If it's wasps you probably won't need the borescope. They will identify themselves when you drill a hole into the correct stud bay. Keep a piece of duct tape handy.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by mhalley » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:34 pm

Time to take a look. You coul bore a hole and use a borescope.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by saladdin » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:50 pm

21 second mark sounds like a squirrel bark to me but squirrels around here do not constantly chatter, they are a stealth critter. Not sure about baby squirrels. Doesn't sound like bees/hornets which are more a buzz.

Listened again with my eyes closed. Boy, if I hear that bark at 21 seconds in the woods I would be running toward it with my 20 gauge. Sounds like a squirrel bark.
Last edited by saladdin on Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by fatlever » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:52 pm

Mice. My family used to live in an old cottage for a couple of years when I was young and my room walls had lots of these movements and sounds.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by saladdin » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:55 pm

fatlever wrote:Mice. My family used to live in an old cottage for a couple of years when I was young and my room walls had lots of these movements and sounds.
That sound like mice at about 21 second mark? That sounds like a squirrel bark to me.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by InterestingMoney » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:15 pm

I sat outside for a while this evening while enjoying a cold Oktoberfest brew in the fall (late-summer) heat here in San Antonio. Didn't see any bees or bats or birds.

Squirrels are not likely, though I appreciate the suggestion. The subdivision where I live is pretty new, and I cannot ever recall seeing a single squirrel in the four years that I've lived here. I'm not saying it's impossible, just improbable. I have, however, seen many a wasp, and have sprayed multiple nests on the exterior of the house. Never have I heard wasp sounds like this, though. A neighbor down the road had a pretty significant bat infestation a couple years ago, which led me down that suspicious road. Mice are a possibility, though I have never heard a single squeak at night, when I thought they were supposed to be most active. We'll see.

A borescope is a good idea. I may just order one. Or I may just call a pest-control company and send them a recording. Or I may take that aforementioned 20-gauge shotgun to the drywall and see what happens. That sounds like the appropriate Texan thing to do. 8-)

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by wabisabi » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:07 pm

Is anyone getting flashbacks to that other thread on here about mystery sounds?

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by Salmon Maki » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:14 pm

I thought wasps or hornets the way you described it, but the audio is puzzling. I'd probably just have someone come out and take a look.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by fsrph » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:42 pm

I'm not sure what you have in your wall but if it ends up being bees I just when thru this. I'm using the word "bees" generically because what I had was not honey bees but yellowjackets. I noticed several bees hanging out near the flowers on the side of the house. Upon further inspection they were flying in a small crack in the foundation. Apparently they built their home there but I could not see their nest.

So I sprayed two cans of bee killer into the crack. That didn't work and made things worse. The bees went the other way and found their way into the cellar. Just a few at first but I feared the worst. So I did some reading and bought some Sevin dust and placed it where the bees were entering the foundation crack and also where I believe they were entering the cellar. The advantage of the Sevin dust is the bees track it back to the nest and it is very toxic to yellowjackets. To make a long story short, over a course of 10 days, there were hundreds of yellowjackets killed. If you see a few bees in your wall it's likely you have many more.

It also makes a big difference what kind of bees you have. If they're honey bees contact a local beekeeper. Often they will remove them for free. If they are yellowjackets or wasps they will not survive cold weather if it gets cold in your area. If you do have yellowjackets or wasps I'd highly recommend this dust, just read the directions as it is a powerful agent.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by djaneke » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:08 pm

If you are in San Antonio TX, you likely have some local bat experts nearby who would be willing to come look at your situation. I would start by contacting Bat Conservation International (BCI) in Austin TX to try and find someone in your area. If that fails, the local TX Parks and Wildlife may be able to give you some names. Good luck!

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by JeffAL » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:23 pm

I didn't listen to the noise. But a wild life removal person told me if you hear them at night, they're raccoons. If you hear them during the day, they're squirrels. It was raccoons in my attic.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by Info_Hound » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:43 am

We had flying squirrels in the walls of a house that sounded like that. Seems they can easily fit down the end of a roof ridge that did not have an end cap. Builder 'forgot' it.

They are small and quick. We spent endless hours outside looking for the entry point (thinking they were gray squirrels) but didn't find the missing ridge end cap until we actually got up on the roof. We ended up cutting a hole into the dry wall, capturing them and taking them outside after installing the missing end cap. One had become trapped between two interior walls and couldn't get out without help.

They are quiet after dusk because they have left your home and gone outside for the night. They make small noises starting about dawn when they return and settle in for the day. Scraping noises and small bump sounds as they move in the confined space.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by backpacker » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:39 am

Ignore the noise. Stay the course! Oh wait, wrong thread... :wink:

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by mjdaniel » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:36 pm

Just an additional bit in info. I have had bees and rodents in the walls of my house. When there were bees in the wall, there were bees flying around outside. When I had rodents (mice and rats), you heard scratching behind the walls and it was at certain times, but not all of the time. For what its worth.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by Dee Stroir » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:20 pm

I had this issue with bees. In addition to puffing insecticide dust in the hole, I duct taped a shop vac hose near the opening. Not over the opening, but close to it so that bees coming back to the hive would get sucked in as well. Then I put peanut butter between the vac and the entry point. This ensured that any bees coming or going would get sucked up, and the peanut butter encouraged them to get closer to the vacuum. I ran it about 5 hours 2 days in a row and had enough dead bees to fill a gallon bucket.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:56 pm

john94549 wrote:Africanized bees (terribly aggressive) have arrived. They are really loud, so that might be a suggestion. One made it into our house a couple of weeks back, made several passes at me, buzzing quite angrily. I have no idea what I might have done to anger the bee. I shut the door to the room and kept it closed for a week. I assume the bee finally died, as no trace of it has been found.
I think it takes a fairly trained eye to determine the difference between Africanized honey bees and European honey bees. Except for their tendency to become aggressive when disturbed they look almost identical.

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by Dulocracy » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:39 pm

backpacker wrote:Ignore the noise. Stay the course! Oh wait, wrong thread... :wink:
Well played.

Get an animal exclusion guy. If you are in Georgia, PM me, I have a GREAT one. He is not cheap, but he is fantastic! Bats carry bat bugs (similar to bed bugs) and their poop can cause some serious health issues.
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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:00 am

So what was in wall? Any updates? :D

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Re: Noises in the wall (bats?)

Post by dowse » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:08 am

I also thought about flying squirrels. We had them in the attic of our vacation home in the Northeast. It went on for several years before we finally trapped one and found out what it was. Flying squirrels are rarely seen, so they can be quite unexpected. They are relentless, though, when they find a cozy place like your attic to next. We went crazy trying to plug up all of the entry points. Finally, we had a handyman go up on the roof and found that the ridge vent had openings on the end. One end had telltale signs of bits of fur that had scraped off as the critters squeezed in. Plugged up the holes and no problems ever since.

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