remote car for looking inside my air ducts....rats!

Thread Starter

dthx

Joined May 2, 2013
195
Hello everyone!
I haven't been on the site for quite some time....been working a long way away for a while.......anyway...I'm home now and I need your gracious help on another crazy project.
I bought a mobile home that... (I think ...had rats living in the duct work)....it's relatively new but except for the suspected varmits.
Anyway, I want to look in the duct work to see what's in there...........(the outlet vents (removable) are in the floor and the duct work is under the floor and accessible by simply removing the vents.
Anyway...when I turn the air on....I start to wheeze and cough.....I think that the ducts are dirty.
I've changed to a really good HEPA filter and used several.....
Question....
1.)Do any of you know if a remote controlled car will work while in the metal ducts (interference)......?
I can rig it with a camera and a light.
Maybe I can drive it around in the ducts to see if they need a professional cleaning.
2. ) If interference is a prob.....is there a car that any of you know about that has a hard wire attached so that interference won't be a problem.
3.) Any other ideas...??.....taking the underside rubber covering off (covering the bottom of the entire trailer) to access the ducts is a really expensive option.
4.) video "fish tapes" are not long enough....and very pricey.
5.) just thought of a small camera and light taped to the end of a metal fish tape.....??
Any ideas from anyone...?
Thanks
D.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Put a go-pro camera on an appropriately-sized animal (hamster, squirrel, pot-bellied pig, etc...) and let him take a tour. Maybe put a small harness and leash on him before sending on his expedition so you can pull him away from what ever garbage he finds.
 

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
I think the car idea is a good way to loose a car, camera and clog your duct work. You shouldn't have to go in very far before you start seeing rat pills. Fish tape with something fluffy on the end will tell you a lot. Maybe spray something on it to make it slightly sticky.

Also, look for signs where they would have chewed their way into the system. Also, inspect the heater.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I think the car idea is a good way to loose a car, camera and clog your duct work. You shouldn't have to go in very far before you start seeing rat pills. Fish tape with something fluffy on the end will tell you a lot. Maybe spray something on it to make it slightly sticky.

Also, look for signs where they would have chewed their way into the system. Also, inspect the heater.
I agree completely. Single story mobile home (max 12' width) and vent in every 8 to 12 feet. Not a lot to clean and not difficult to reach.

Tape some white paper to the bottom of a ShopVac and stuff the hose into each vent. Look in the ShopVac occasionally to see what is on the white paper.
 

JonnyS

Joined Dec 28, 2015
27
Buy a cheap video "spy pen" off eBay and attach an led or two to it on the end of fencing wire and feed it in. When your done plug in the usb to the pc and grab your video for viewing.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
3,574
Resist the temptation to poison them because they will die anywhere.

Our vessel, prior a campaign to Antarctica was submitted to the standard process of deratting (vacated and poisonous gas spread in all spaces for 48 hours followed by intensive ventilation for another full day).

The surprises came later, when underway, with the dead rats still in the ducts that started to smell. Imagine dismounting pipes with that added bonus! Lucky me: one in my cabin above my head.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,167
Bottom line: It isn't as difficult as you seem to think.

Once upon a time, I spent two weeks in a mobile home full of field mice. I couldn't sleep for the sound of them in the walls! I waged war with sticky traps. After 14 days, all the mice and me were gone. After 15 days, more mice moved in.

Find the entrance points!
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
23,758
To heck with trap and release. Try trap and dispose. Why give someone else the same problem?
View attachment 97888
I once used such a trap to catch a mouse that was living in my desk at work. (He enjoyed the candy I had there as I could tell from the nibbling).
I placed the trap in a drawer and caught him over the weekend.
But he had the last laugh.
I must have trapped him Friday night and it was a warm weekend.
He swelled up and burst open, leaving a very stinky mess in my drawer that I had to clean up Monday morning.
Not a good way to start the week. :rolleyes:
 

nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,675
Is it possible for you to make the environment in the duct that bad so the rats don't want to be there? What if you used hot steam, to hunt them out? Can you place boards with sticky glue in there? Are the duct straight or bent?

If it were me that had the problem, I'd probably filled the duct with snap-traps. I'd tie them together, so if the reat steps on one, it won't drag in farther in, so it's out of reach for you. For bait I'd use peanut butter, or tomatoes. That works for Rattus Norvegicus.

And do what @#12 says - Find the entrance point!
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
It made my flesh crawl thinking that my grandfathers home land was the source of the much hated rat. Then I found a British wives tail to be the problem, not the country.

from Wikipedia....
============================================================
The British novelist Charles Dickens acknowledged the misnomer in his weekly journal, All the Year Round, writing:

"Now there is a mystery about the native country of the best known species of rat, the common brown rat. It is frequently called, in books and otherwise, the 'Norway rat', and it is said to have been imported into this country in a ship-load of timber from Norway. Against this hypothesis stands the fact that when the brown rat had become common in this country, it was unknown in Norway, although there was a small animal like a rat, but really a lemming, which made its home there."[6]
============================================================
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Fun fact:
The rat needs only appx 12mm opening to get in. If it gets the head and ears on the inside, the rest is coming like a blob.
The rat can hold its breath for 3-4 minutes.
The rat can swim constantly for 3 days.

:)
Fun? More like "Facts that will make you squirm, and check your cupboards"
 

RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,268
I once used such a trap to catch a mouse that was living in my desk at work. (He enjoyed the candy I had there as I could tell from the nibbling).
I placed the trap in a drawer and caught him over the weekend.
But he had the last laugh.
I must have trapped him Friday night and it was a warm weekend.
He swelled up and burst open, leaving a very stinky mess in my drawer that I had to clean up Monday morning.
Not a good way to start the week. :rolleyes:
I was once told the story about "good mice". The story was prompted by my asking an engineer why he washed his coffee cup every day...

He had worked at a research facility that imported primates from Asia. They had also imported Asian sized cockroaches! The cockroaches were a problem until one day when a cage of lab mice was dropped and released the mice. The mice controlled the cockroaches. However, the mice started making nests in electronic equipment by chewing the insulation off the wires. The mice were eventually exterminated but the cockroaches came back.

Oh, yeah, why was the engineer so meticulous with the cleanliness of his coffee cup?? One morning he had found a cockroach trapped in his cup. A habit he had not lost.
 
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