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What type of music do animals hate the most?
February 15, 2010 10:33 AM   Subscribe

What type of music do animals hate the most?

I have squirrels camped out in my attic, and I'd like for them to leave. Humane baits traps don't work since my neighbors feed them. I have never operated a firearm, so I won't be shooting them, and as I am recovering from a broken foot, it is impossible right now for me to climb a ladder and get on my roof to seal up where they may be coming in (besides the 2 feet of snow), and I cannot fit through the tiny rectangle that leads up to the attic to do much of anything from the inside.

As a last resort I thought I would try to play music loudly directly above where their noisiest activity is to irritate them and make their home feel less pleasant. So far I've tried the Glee soundtrack, Animal Collective's Animal Crack Box, and Minus the Bear's Highly Refined Pirates. None of those seemed to have worked, so I'm asking here: What can I play to annoy the heck out of animals?
posted by keli to Science & Nature (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I expect it depends on the animal, but metal is the only music my dog will actively protest. I think that cookie monster voice a lot of the singers use scares him.

That being said, I think if your attic is warm and cosy, that probably trumps musical discomforts.
posted by crinklebat at 10:35 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there some sort of high-pitched sound recording online that you could play? Kind of like a dog whistle for squirrels? Not exactly music but may have the desired effect.
posted by amicamentis at 10:42 AM on February 15, 2010


Find music that samples the noises of the squirrel's natural predators.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:42 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there some sort of high-pitched sound recording online that you could play? Kind of like a dog whistle for squirrels? Not exactly music but may have the desired effect.

I have tried the Dog Whistle app for the iPhone with no luck.
posted by keli at 10:48 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've heard anecdotal evidence that ultrasonic devices emit sounds that are almost inaudible to humans but that rodents hate.
posted by Hiker at 10:49 AM on February 15, 2010


Apparently Led Zeppelin and the Stones can ward off crickets. YMMV
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:49 AM on February 15, 2010


Your best bet might be to call in a pro to take care of this - once ensconced, the little freebooters almost always need to be forcibly extracted or shooed out. Also, the longer they stay, the more of their scent will get all over the insulation, virtually guaranteeing that another set of squirrels will try to get in once the place is vacant.

If it were me, I'd call someone ASAP. I don't think music's going to do it. I've seen some sonic pest control devices out there, but my understanding is that they're a bit on the bogus side. YMMV.
posted by jquinby at 10:49 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Music wont phase them. Dog whistlers are training tools, not repellents. Follow some of the advice on this page.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:50 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is good too:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4547471_remove-squirrels-attic.html
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:51 AM on February 15, 2010


I was going to joke that the Owls would be a good choice, but following up on OXFCAF, maybe recordings of cries of predators would probably be more effective than music. Apparently, low frequency sounds might make it unpleasant to nest, but the effect is not directional, and would probably make your "nest" uncomfortable as well.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:51 AM on February 15, 2010


Your best bet might be to call in a pro to take care of this - once ensconced, the little freebooters almost always need to be forcibly extracted or shooed out.

I did call a pro, he brought the humane bait traps which did not work.
posted by keli at 10:54 AM on February 15, 2010


I'd look for a recording (or video) of dogs barking, put it in a loop, and there you go. Here are some, the first of which freaked out my 6-month-old kittens.

You might be able to find some really good-sounding video on YouTube, or in a "Dog Whisperer" episode online somewhere.

Can you check for babies first?
posted by amtho at 10:56 AM on February 15, 2010


Call around a bit and see if there's someone in your area who'll do the one-way-door bit mentioned on this page, as well as offering exclusion services (once they're gone).
posted by jquinby at 11:01 AM on February 15, 2010


According to the quick Google search I did, the critters are most likely a mother and babies, and thus will probably not vacate volunarily for love or money until the wee bastards are able to move around. No mention of music or noises as a repellant, just the usual death-dealing methods, chemicals or trapping. I doubt very much any music will drive them away at this point.

Maybe just crank the tunes up load so you dont hear them and be content that you are influencing a generation of young squirrels musical tastes.
posted by elendil71 at 11:01 AM on February 15, 2010


I got bats out of a wall by putting the radio on classic rock full blast and leaving for the weekend. When I got back, they were gone. YMMV.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:10 AM on February 15, 2010


I quoted your question to a friend sitting right next to me- not really expecting an answer- and he said that squirrels hate... mothballs. Have you tried scattering mothballs all around their place of residence?
posted by aaronbeekay at 11:21 AM on February 15, 2010


I really don't think music is going to do the trick with squirrels. At most (with a sudden blast at loud volume), you might give them a sudden startle that is strong enough to make them dash out. But once they realize it's not threatening, they'll go right back. They consider that their home now, and squirrels are accustomed to urban noise and dwellings. Music will not be a strong enough motivator to vacate for good.
posted by Eicats at 11:27 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please say you'll check for baby squirrels first, or I'll feel horribly guilty about my "best answer" above...
posted by amtho at 11:33 AM on February 15, 2010



Please say you'll check for baby squirrels first, or I'll feel horribly guilty about my "best answer" above...



I already stated in my original post that I cannot enter the attic to see what is going on up there.

I've found lots of predator noises on that site and I'm working on a mix tape for them now.
posted by keli at 11:36 AM on February 15, 2010


I have tried the Dog Whistle app for the iPhone with no luck.

I also tried this and my beagles totally ignored it.
posted by blucevalo at 11:49 AM on February 15, 2010


I would have saved myself a lot of frustration had I known about this strobe light when some tenants were dealing with a red squirrel infestation. Traps and an ultrasonic device had no effect. The little buggers moving out in the spring was my solution. So if you don't want to go up there, hopefully once it warms up, your house mates will move on.
posted by woodjockey at 12:28 PM on February 15, 2010


I once had mice in my ceiling, and a device that claimed to be a sonic pest repeller. I put the device inside of the ceiling area, and the mice moved from over my bedroom to over my kitchen. I guess they could not hear it as well from over there, so I suppose it worked after a fashion.

The downside was that it was indeed a SONIC pest repeller. Not an ultrasonic one that someone had chosen to label improperly. I found it quite repulsive.
posted by yohko at 12:49 PM on February 15, 2010


Humane baits traps don't work since my neighbors feed them.

Huh? If they're nesting in your house and eating elsewhere ... they'll eat in your house, too, provided there's tasty food offered. I recommend peanut butter. Humane traps that cage the animal work quite well. Then you can take the animal and release them into the wild far away from your house.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:53 PM on February 15, 2010



Huh? If they're nesting in your house and eating elsewhere ... they'll eat in your house, too, provided there's tasty food offered. I recommend peanut butter. Humane traps that cage the animal work quite well. Then you can take the animal and release them into the wild far away from your house.


We have baited the humane traps with peanut butter, apples, and corn. They don't bother with it.
posted by keli at 12:57 PM on February 15, 2010


FYI, squirrels make HORRIBLE FREAKY NOISES when they are in a humane trap-cage and they see you approach when you have to climb up into the attic to bring the cage down so you can drive them five miles away to the nearest college campus and let them go. HORRIBLE FREAKY SCARED-SQUIRREL NOISES. (I *know* you can't enter the attic; this was just my experience with attic squirrelies.) If you at all ever have to deal with a live squirrel in a cage, I would suggest you sacrifice an old bathtowel and put it mostly-over the cage so they will not make those freaky scared scary noises (it is not just chittering).

If I remember correctly, my temporary-tenant family of naughty squirrels succumbed to the temptation of delicious granola bars . . . half a granola bar or so, like the Quaker ones with chocolate chips.
posted by oldtimey at 2:48 PM on February 15, 2010


Sorry, I'm not an expert, but what if you used music that made the attic vibrate? Get something that produces horrible distortion, with a lot of bass, and then you attached a speaker directly to the floor (or tossed it up through the attic opening). Maybe you could add foghorn or air horn sounds to it, to really make the rafters rattle.

What about a vacuum cleaner or shop vac that you shoved up there for a while, not for its sucking properties, but for its loud obnoxious noise-making properties?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2010


Weird songs really weird cats out, maybe it can work for you.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 3:31 PM on February 15, 2010


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