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Noisy wall
August 20, 2010 10:20 AM   Subscribe

What are the possible causes of this noise in my wall?

It is occurring in one room, in the outside wall of my house. It doesn't sound like mice to me. My girlfriend describes it as a munching sound, whereas when I first heard it I thought of someone gently releasing a handful of small pebbles.

The noise occurs frequently throughout the day for extended periods and seems to occur from the same spot in the wall always. If I bang on the wall where it seems the noise is coming from there is no effect.

I should mention that the chimney to our wood burning fireplace does come up the outside of this same wall and I am located in the Niagara region of Ontario Canada.

Any ideas what it could be and possible steps to address this?
posted by skinnydipp to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
 
We had a similar "munching" sound in the wall of our house in Seattle. It was wasps building a nest. An exterminator took care of them.
posted by The Tensor at 10:28 AM on August 20, 2010


Might be insects, here's a sound library of insect noises. Scroll down to Section D: Movement and feeding sounds of insects in wood.
posted by jamaro at 10:28 AM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


This one from jamaro's link sounds like pebbles being released. So freaky.
posted by iconomy at 10:32 AM on August 20, 2010


While I was growing up, the squirrels liked to store their acorns in the slats of siding outside my bedroom window. There would be weird scratching noises that seemed to come from nowhere in particular (i.e. the walls, but it wasn't obvious that it was outside or in a specific area) as they crammed the acorns in there, and then a rattling, pebble-dropping noise whenever one of the idiots would try to remove an acorn and cause all the others to fall out (and rattle down the roof).

Check the outside of your home for possible causes before doing anything drastic like tearing open a wall!
posted by phunniemee at 10:42 AM on August 20, 2010


For us, that sound was bats. Actually, it still is; once I confirmed that it was bats, I let them stay. There aren't many of them, and they eat mosquitos around our house, so they're welcome to reside with us.
posted by norm at 11:30 AM on August 20, 2010


We've got a wierd noise in our house. I thought certainly it was some animal gnawing away. Then I realized the sound was coming from the place where the telephone wires attached to the house from the pole. Everytime a breeze sways the wire or a squirrel uses it as a path way, the noise reverberates through our wall as if our house is the sounding board for a giant violin.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:39 AM on August 20, 2010


I'd begin by having a good look at that chimney, including opening the cleanout door and pulling out whatever is there. Something could be living in there, or wind over the chimney could be causing something to rustle.
posted by beagle at 11:57 AM on August 20, 2010


Could be carpenter bees. If there's wood trim or siding in that area , look for entry holes about half an inch in diameter.
posted by jon1270 at 12:48 PM on August 20, 2010


Probably bees or wasps. Put your ear up to the wall where the sound is most obvious. See if you also hear a humming sound.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:38 PM on August 20, 2010


my experience with this exact thing was carpenter bees. Don't do it yourself, hire someone....
posted by HuronBob at 2:43 PM on August 20, 2010


A question, When you are outside can you hear the noise the same as inside?

If so could it be the chimney pipe that is making the noise. This kind of noise can occur inside when copper pipes rub on rafters as they expand and contract as they are heating or cooling. Can be deceptive.

In Niagara as well.
posted by vidarling at 6:14 PM on August 20, 2010


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