06 December 2009


Before I bought the house I had it inspected and although I was not completely happy with the thoroughness of the inspection I didn’t make a fuss about it at the time. The inspector noticed that there had been signs that unidentified critters had been in the attic, although they were not present at the time of the inspection. And thankfully since I have lived in the house there have been no further indications of varmint activity.

Then the other night, about 4 AM I awake to the sound of the cat running around the apartment and bouncing off of walls like Speedy Gonzales after a couple of espressos. It’s an annoying habit the cat has, usually about the time I want to go to bed or take a nap. So I was just going to roll over and go back to sleep when I realize that my cat is curled up next to, ears cocked, wondering what those strange noises are. That was a bad moment.

I spent the rest of the night listening to them make either love or war; it was hard to tell just by the sounds. I gave serious thought to pulling down the attic stairs and going up there to ask them to at least keep it down, but I figured with my luck that they would chase me down the attic stairs, then with squirrels not just in my attic, but in my house, they would chase me and my cat outside and I would be found by the neighbors in the morning standing in my undies looking in my picture windows at a party of squirrels drinking my coffee and flipping channels while chilling on my couch. So I made a strategic decision not to confront them right then and there.

However the next day I went and bought traps from the do it yourself pest control place, took them home and carefully placed them in the attic. Of course I have not heard them up there since and I have not checked the traps. I figure that constantly checking the traps wouldn’t be the best way to actually get the traps to work. These are live traps by the way. I spent the extra money to try to catch them alive and relocate them. A device called Tyrannosaurus Rex was much cheaper and had a much cooler name, but didn’t treat the target quite as gently. I hope the little buggers appreciate my largess.

I was pretty sure that they were coming in my roof, so yesterday with and investment of $20 in a saw and some leather gloves, I set out to cut away the trees and shrubs that were acting as their welcome mat. In talking to a neighbor I found out exactly where they were coming in, between the gutter and the shingles on the back side of the house. The little bastards have probably made quite the hole under there. I need to get up there and check, but am almost afraid to. I want to learn to do all the This Old House stuff myself, but at some undefined later date. I actually kind of wanted to chill out and nest during the holidays.

It’s been a long time since I have put on a pair of leather gloves and spent the afternoon sawing stuff up. That part of the whole thing was extremely satisfying. There is something very satisfying about having a pile of limbs and brush stuff stacked neatly on the curb by the end of the afternoon. Of course there is another large pile in the backyard that I need to saw up and haul around to the front. And as I drifted off to sleep last night it brought a smile to my face thinking the squirrels might wake up the next morning, step out of their hole in my roof to check the weather, and fall and break their necks because their tree is gone.

EDIT: Reading back that sounds a little harsh. I don't actually wish the squirrels any harm. I just wish they wouldn't stay in my attic. I need to get my attic in shape so I can store stuff up there without worrying about it. The good news is that its now Tuesday and I don't think they have been back and none have ended up in the traps in my attic.

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