Bee Removal

bee removal
Bee removal sounds so much simpler than it really is.  Mom and Dad had no idea what they were in for, but it sure made me glad I’m still a kid.  Ten-year-olds don’t have to mess with that kind of stuff.  Yuck!

            We had no idea we had a problem at first.  I was just out in the backyard kicking my soccer ball around one day (I was really throwing rocks over the fence into the neighbor’s fish pond, but don’t tell Mom and Dad that, okay?), and I saw a bee fly right past my head, towards the shed.  I followed it, thinking it was pretty cool.  It landed at the bottom of one of the wood slats and crawled right through a little crack and disappeared. 

            Throughout the whole summer, week after week, I watched bees coming in and out of the shed wall.  I’d keep track of which field they flew off to.  Sometimes, I’d pick some of our other neighbor’s flowers and stick them near the hole, just to see if the bees would land on them.  Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t.  I didn’t tell Mom and Dad.  I just didn’t think they’d be interested.  Guess I should’ve said something.  Oh, well.

            One Saturday, Dad came out and headed out to the shed to grab some weed killer.  I was actually kicking the soccer ball around that day, and I told him he might want to watch out for the bees.  He had no idea what I was talking about, so I showed him.  He sat there with me and watched the hole for a while, and it looked like he was getting more and more worried and kind of mad.  I hoped he was mad at the bees and not me.

            Yep, he was mad at the bees all right, and he got even madder when he called for bee removal and found out there was a whole huge swarm of bees living right there in our backyard.  Dad made me go inside when the bee removal guys showed up, but I could see everything from the back window. 

            They had to pull the wall apart, and I could see Dad gag a little.  Later, he said it was an awful smell, because some bees had died and were just rotting in there.  I guess some mice had crawled in there because of the smell of the wax and honey, and died, so they were rotting, too.  Mom kind of turned white, when Dad talked about that part, and only said she was glad they weren’t in the walls of our house.  That would’ve been nasty!

            They’ve cleaned everything out now, removed all the bees and stuff, and filled the hole back up.  We had to rebuild the shed a little bit.  Dad told me to tell him whenever I see bees crawling into the shed or our house.  Kinda cool that I have an important job now!

Opossum Removal

opossum remival
Jamie was so pissed . . . some animal had crapped on his bedroom floor again, and he was so sick of it that he got his roommates in there for some opossum removal.  He had no idea where the animal was, why it had chosen his room, how it had gotten into the house.  He really didn’t care about any of that. 

            “Dudes, seriously, we gotta find it and get rid of it.  I’m sick of living in a freaking animal toilet.”

            His two roommates and his girlfriend went on a possum hunt right there in his bedroom.  They looked up in the ceiling tiles, they looked under the bed, they looked everywhere until finally there was only one place it could possibly be. 

            “We searched everywhere else, it has to be in the closet,” Jamie said.

            “What if it comes out?” David asked.

            “I’m gonna kick it!” said Matt.

            The three of them walked towards the half-open closet, hunched over, ready to attack anything that would come out at them.

            “There!” Jamie said

            “What?  Where?” David said, jumping back.

            “There’s my shoes, I’ve been looking for them.” 

            “Seriously, dude, you didn’t know your shoes were in your closet?”

            “Shhh, shhh, you’ll scare the thing!”

            “All right, all right.”  And the three of them prepared to slide the closet door all the way open.  Jamie reached for the door.  Matt started jumping from foot to foot.  He wasn’t sure if he was right for a fight or flight, but he was ready for something to come out of that closet.

            Finally, Jamie gathered up his courage for this final stage of opossum removal, and slid the closet door all the way open.  Matt saw it first and danced backwards.  “Aaaaaa.”

            Then, Jamie saw it and full-on screamed like a little girl.  David and Jamie’s girlfriend hadn’t seen it yet, but the screaming had already started and everyone joined in, freaked out.  When the screaming died down, everyone could see the opossum was terrified, cornered, and baring its teeth with a low growl.  It had found a little nest at the back of Jamie’s closet . . . obviously it was an undisturbed nest until now.  Jamie didn’t get in his closet often, apparently.

            Once they found the animal that had been pooping all over Jamie’s bedroom, it quickly became clear they hadn’t thought of how they would go about actually removing the opossum.  They decided to call in a professional, shut the closet door as quickly as they could, and left the bedroom to find the phone, still laughing about how squeamish they’d all just been.

Chipmunk Removal

chipmunk removal         
          Why would you ever want chipmunk removal?  They’re such lovely creaturessss for us pretty snakes.  Aaaaah, they scamper ahead into your yard and take up residence, and all I have to do is wait for them to make the perfect little holes and trails.  I let them make my perfect home, in your home.

            This has been a beautiful year.  The leaves rustled ever so pleasantly under my belly, and it’s been warm enough but not too warm as I sat and waited for the plentiful food to just run across my path. Then, I caught wind of a group of chipmunks and all I had to do was follow the trail into your yard. 

            You didn’t call for chipmunk removal, so I just waited for the chipmunks to matt down your gorgeous grass and make pleasant little trails and burrows.  The chipmunks’ activities attracted mice and rats, sweet little treats for me to eat.  In time, I took over one of their little holes under your stairs, and I’d watch your ankles as you’d walk right in front of me. 

            Course, the only thing I hate about those little chipmunks is they take all the tastiest little birds eggs.  They just get to ‘em first.  Every now and then, though, I’d get lucky and snag one for myself.

            But, what I really love is when they finally make little holes right into your house.  Aaaah, a warm place, a perfect place for me to slither right in and make myself at home.  Once I have that, well, then, I’ll help you out and do the chipmunk removal for you.  They’re just as tasty as those mice and rats they let into your house.  Course, they’re pretty fast, but so am I. 

            I just slither back outside and lie in wait, quietly, behind a branch, fairly well camouflaged.  I watch as the chipmunk helps itself to your bird feeder, snacking and carrying away a mouthful of the seed you put out for the birds.  It scampers back down the tree, thinking only about a return trip to the bird feeder, and trots right in front of me.  SNATCH!  Air?  I only got a mouthful of air?  Those little chipmunks are faster than I expected, doing a backflip right out of my jaws.  That’s all right, I’ll just stay right here in your yard, waiting for the next little morsel to cross my path.

Mouse Removal

mouse removal
I’ve done a lot of mice removal in my job at pest control, and my favorite thing to do is train the new guy!  Most of our house calls end up pretty standard.  We just see the proof that mice have been there.  Tons and tons of mouse droppings.  Looks like little black grains of rice scattered all over, and the stuff can be pretty toxic if it’s not cleaned up right.  Usually, that’s all we see before we set up the traps, but every now and then, I get to see a grown man scream like a little girl.  It’s the best part of my job.

            We pulled up in front of the nice house.  It was this kid’s first day on the job.  We introduced ourselves to the homeowner, and she told us the standard story about spotting mouse droppings under the kitchen sink, right where she keeps the garbage.  She said she knew they had a mouse problem, but she called for mice removal the day she reached in to throw something away and a mouse jumped right over her hand. 

            She told us the story while laughing at herself.  She said she could handle most things like snakes and spiders, and she even likes pet mice.  But, have a wild one leap unexpectedly out of your garbage can and over your hand.  She laughed and admitted she didn’t handle that as well as she thought she would.  I think she said screaming was involved. 

            It was time to have the new kid look under the sink.  He needed to clean up the droppings and set the traps for mice removal, all while keeping an eye out for tiny holes that might be the “front door” for the mice.  He reached in to grab the garbage can and, wouldn’t ya know it, the can had two tiny little occupants that didn’t like being moved.  They jumped out at him, squeaking, and sent the kid tripping over himself backwards, screaming like a little girl.  Just another perk of the job!

            Of course, we caught those two mice for the nice lady, who’d quickly retreated to perch on a chair, cleaned up the droppings, set traps and plugged the hole we found.  I never let the kid live that one down, though!  We teased him about it for years.  I never did bother to tell him about the first time I’d had a mouse jump out at me, but no need to bring up the past, right?

Mole Removal

mole removalWhen 13 year-old Nathan needed to make some extra cash one summer, he thought he could do yard work for the neighbors, having no idea that mole removal would become one of his chores.  He knocked on the doors of his neighbors, explained that he was trying to earn some extra money, and asked if they would hire him to do some work around the house or yard.

            Most of his neighbors were happy to do their own yard work, not really trusting the young boy to keep their lawns looking as good as they liked.  But, the Johnsons took pity on him and said yes.

            He showed up at the Johnson’s one Saturday morning, as previously planned, and they started him off with pulling some weeds from the garden.  That went well, he was paid, and they set up a time for him to come back the following Saturday.

            Mr. Johnson came out to talk with Nathan and give him his weekly yard chore.  As he looked over the yard, Mr. Johnson became more and more agitated, kicking at little mounds of dirt.  Finally, he said, “Nathan, if you are successful at mole removal, I’ll give you $100!”

            Well, needless to say, other types of yardwork at five bucks an hour just seemed pointless.  He had his task in front of him, and he’d figure it out one way or another.

            Nathan searched online for ideas and suggestions.  He tried making noisemakers and sticking them down the holes to drive the moles out.  The moles stayed.  He considered burning them out, as one video implied, but figured Mr. Johnson might not give him the hundred dollars if he caught his lawn on fire, or exploded a gas line, so he ruled that out.  He tried to flush the moles out by flooding the holes with water.  He poured oil down the holes in an effort to “stink them out.”  Nothing worked.

            One Saturday, he was out in the Johnson’s yard with a leaf blower, blowing the leaves into piles, when he passed one of the dreaded mole hills.  He stopped, mind whirring.  Could it possibly work?  Naw.  Well, it might be worth a try.

            Sticking the end of the leaf blower in the hole, he laughed, imagining moles flying out of each hole high in the sky.  Wouldn’t it be great if he could finally earn that promised hundred dollars and stop pulling weeds, sweeping sidewalks, and bagging leaves?

            Unfortunately, real life doesn’t always work the way we think it should.  Nathan earned his five dollars an hour that Saturday, and Mr. Johnson called a professional service for mole removal.

Beaver Removal

beaver removal

            A group of families in Oshawa, Ontario Canada had finally had enough of improper beaver removal.  They had learned that many beavers were being trapped inhumanely in grotesque metal traps that snapped on their legs.  The beavers were left to suffer until they were either freed or died. 

            The group met on a public sidewalk, holding up signs denouncing the use of inhumane methods to control the growing beaver population.  They laid one of the traps on the sidewalk, pressed one of the wires with a shovel, and watched as the crowd jumped back in surprise and shock.  The trap shut fast and quick, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the awful pain and terror a beaver would experience if its leg were caught.

            More humane methods of beaver removal have been developed and are used throughout the world.  But, as one protestor said, “They are using our tax dollars to buy and set these traps.”  Another one added, “Yeah, $3,000 to buy a $20 trap.”

            Admittedly, this type of trap has been illegal for the past four or five years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still being used.  Even if the government wasn’t using it in their current efforts to control the beaver population, individual property owners were setting this type of trap up, and would often not check them regularly, leaving the beaver to suffer.

            Beavers aren’t normally thought of as a pest, but they can be.  A family of beaver can take down about 400 trees a year.  They can alter waterways with their dams, which can result in flooded homes or roads.  Local water supplies can be contaminated when natural waterways are altered by beaver dams. 

            And beaver populations are on the rise.  In some areas, beaver removal has become more and more necessary.

            These Canadian protestors aren’t debating whether or not beaver removal is necessary. They are simply calling for more humane ways of combating the increasing problem.

            First, identify that you have a problem.  Look for felled trees or trees stripped of their bark around the base.  You can look for a burrowed den in the water bank.  Of course, beaver dams are a pretty obvious symptom.

Then, the best course of action is to contact a true professional, who can set traps to capture the large rodent and release them in an area where they can’t cause as much damage.  Beaver repellants are also a good idea, to discourage other beavers from setting up shop on your property.  Proper beaver removal can save your trees, ornamental gardens, and property lines.

Snake Removal

snake removal
           Most guys assume they can do snake removal themselves, but then, most guys don’t assume they’d come toe-to-face with a rattlesnake in their kitchen first thing in the morning.

            Gary woke up late in the morning, after working an extra shift the night before.  Finally, a day off, and he wasn’t going to do anything at all.  Just make some coffee, toast a waffle, and sit in front of the TV for a few hours before maybe getting around to a shower. 

            He grabbed a fairy clean t-shirt out of a pile on the floor, threw on a pair of shorts, and staggered into the kitchen, bare feet slapping on the tile floor.  He got the coffee going and grabbed a waffle out of the freezer, throwing it into the toaster oven.  Then, he saw something move out of the corner of his eye.  “What the . . .?”

            A snake’s head coming around the corner, long body slithering behind it, and then its tail rattled.

            “No freaking way!!!”

            First thing he did was get out of that kitchen.  Then, he got some shoes on, toes still curling from having been so close to a rattlesnake.  Finally, he grabbed a camera and a phone.  Took some pictures of the snake from a safe distance and called a friend to help him with snake removal.  A rattlesnake was just not the kind of thing he wanted to go at by himself.

            The snake curled itself up into a ball on the floor under a counter, rattling its warning sign non-stop.  Gary had run into a bunch of rattlesnakes last summer when hiking with a friend.  They were hiking off a mountain cross-country, not caring much for the marked trail, and started jumping down the slope, leaping from rock to rock.  He jumped on a rock and the sound of ten to twelve snakes rattling stopped him cold.  Right under his feet was a whole nest of ‘em, and they weren’t happy he was standing right above them.  He got off of that rock pretty quick and out of danger, but now one of their kind was curled up in his kitchen, and he just wasn’t okay with that.

            His friend showed up ready for snake removal, grabbing a makeshift snake-catcher out of the back of his truck.  Gary decided the best thing he could do to help was to just video the whole thing, stay out of the way.  Before long, the rattler was caught, stuffed in a garbage can, and in the back of his friend’s truck.  They headed out to release it on that same mountain they’d hiked the summer before. 

            For two weeks after, the first thing Gary did when he woke up in the morning was get some shoes on his feet before going into the kitchen for breakfast.

Armadillo Removal

armadillo removal           
          There I was, minding my own business, sniffing around and jumping after crickets, when this giant, hard mouse comes wandering around my yard, and I find myself in need of some serious armadillo removal.  Course, I know it’s not a hard mouse, but this baby armadillo’s just as much of a pest, and I’m going to protect my yard against this…

            Dang it, why does it have to be so cute?  I mean, I keep swatting and swatting at it, and it just comes wandering back to me, nudging me with its tiny little nose. 

            No!  I’ve got to make sure I do this armadillo removal right!  I mean, if I don’t, it’ll do all kinds of bad things to my yard.  It’ll dig huge holes with its very sharp claws as it searches for bugs to eat, it could burrow under the trees or sidewalk or even make pipes break.  Pipes break and I don’t get my warm naps inside the house by the radiator anymore!  No, this little one’s got to go.  Swat, swat!

            Okay, now he just thinks I’m playing.  He’s going to just waddle away like that, like nothing’s wrong?  Gotcha!  I’ll hold onto your tail until . . . argh!  He got away.  Heehee.  He’s great at playing!  Jump!  Look over here, look!

            Oh, you’re not that great at looking, huh?  Bad eyesight?  But, boy can you sniff things!  And dig!  Look at those giant claws of yours.  And this hard shell.  Jab jab.  You’re too fun.

            But, I have to be careful, right?  I heard my person say you’re the only creature that can transmit leprosy, whatever that is, to humans.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound good.  I do understand the word tapeworm, though, and I know that’s bad – I don’t want to get that from you.

            You wouldn’t give me tapeworm, would you?  You’re too cute!  Gotcher tail!  Gotcher tail!  Now I’m going to pretend I don’t even know you’re there.  Lick, lick, lick.  No, you got me!  Hahaha.  Bump me with your tiny cute little nose, will ya?  Well, take that!  Aw, I just can’t stand it.  The only thing wrong with you is you’re not a cat. 

            As adorable as you are, I think you’ve gotta go.  My person’s going to have to call for armadillo removal since I can’t seem to overcome my need to play with you long enough to get rid of you myself.  I love it, you’re not vicious, you’re sweet, but you do present a few problems we just can’t afford to deal with.  I hope you find your mama again, or at least some really great playmates.  Go, little guy, go!

Squirrel Removal

squirrel removal
Preparing for an important upcoming business meeting is certainly not the time to think about squirrel removal.

I was starting to become the office joke – the woman obsessed with the idea a squirrel was in the ceiling above her office. “Maybe it’s a ghost,” one co-worker offered, snickering. “Are the voices talking to you again?” another one joked.

“Haha, maybe you’re just jealous because you have to work downstairs and I have a nice office with a view?” I countered, lamely.

Truth was, the squirrel was starting to drive me nuts . . . pun intended.

I was one of the first employees in the building every day, and I’d walk up the central flight of stairs to my second floor office. My space didn’t really have that great of a view, and only one very small window, but it was still one of the better offices in the building. I enjoyed tackling my stack of paperwork early, when the phones weren’t ringing and no one was giving me more work to do.

One morning, as I scooped my yogurt into my mouth while looking over a legal document, I heard a very quiet “pit-pat-pit-pat” right above my head. I put the yogurt down, and sat very quietly until I heard it again. “Pit-pat-pit-pat-scrape-scrabble.” Eyebrows raised, I guessed it was probably a squirrel, and I decided to inform the office manager when she arrived.

I let her know. She said she’d look into it. I thought that was the end of it.

The office manager didn’t want to look into it. Her budget was kind of tight, and calling someone to investigate, much less call someone for squirrel removal. Her option was to just pretend it wasn’t happening. After all, no one else was complaining, so maybe it’d just go away on its own.

At first, it was kind of amusing. I would be interrupted from my work with a scrabbling sound coming from above my head. But, as each day wore on, I stopped imagining a cute little creature and started grinding my teeth, thinking it must be doing this on purpose. How had I offended this little squirrel to justify its constant harassment?

My work definitely suffered, as did my office relations. I scowled a lot more at the office manager, who avoided my calls and deleted my emails, unread. I stopped coming in early, and I was one of the first employees to go home each day, just to get that stupid scrabbling out of my head.

When it got to the point where I was considering finding employment elsewhere, I finally hit upon the most genius idea. I convinced my boss I needed a larger space to house all my files, even if it meant giving up my coveted office. The owner’s son inherited my old second-floor office.

It’s likely squirrel removal happened shortly after that, but I really didn’t care. I finally had my peace and quiet back and could focus on my work again.

Woodpecker Removal

woodpecker removal
When will my people finally DO something and call a woodpecker removal service???  As a cat, I own this place.  I know all the best napping spots, the warmest windows to sit in, and exactly how to annoy the dog.  It is most upsetting to hear this constant tap-tap-tapping on the roof, on the walls.  That noise invades my beautiful dreams of chasing bubbles and nibbling cat nip. 

            You cannot imagine how crazy I get, staring out the window at the source of that awful noise.  There it is, a beautiful big bird, a woodpecker, listening to the scrabblings of spiders in the walls and taking out little notches from the house.  I chatter and try to climb the window, but the bird doesn’t even care.  It just goes about its business like I’m not even there.  If only I could get outside and climb that wall!

            It is definitely time to get some woodpecker removal people out here.  Even the stupid dog is starting to go crazy.  Admittedly, it’s fun to watch him jump and bark at the ceiling.  He runs around in circles, ears laid back, yipping and whining.  Sometimes his barks even scare the bird away long enough for me to settle back down and close my eyes for a bit.  But, then, that annoying scrabble as the woodpecker lands on the house again, the tip-tap-tip-tap starts up, and then he goes at it in earnest.  TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP!!  Really, how is a cat supposed to stretch, quietly knead the blankets on the bed, yawn and sleep when this racket is going on? 

            And, I doubt my people have even thought of what could happen next.  Never mind the awful noise, and the smelly bird droppings.  The holes in the house will probably be a pain to fix, but they’d better fix them, because those holes will let in all sorts of other creatures.  Spiders, bugs, squirrels, mice . . . wait a minute!  Hmmm, if some of THOSE get in here, tasty, tasty meals await me!  Ah, the thrill of chasing a mouse from room to room, catching it, letting it go and run through the children’s room with whatever diseases it’s carrying, catching it again, toying with it before I finally chomp down on the delicious little creature . . .

            On second thought, I really hope my people don’t get around to woodpecker removal.  Those holes the woodpecker leaves behind could really work out in my favor!