Vole Problem


Book club this morning was a huge disaster, thanks to the vole problem I have.  We started book club on the first of January, which seemed like a really great idea to all of us.  We chose the books we want to read for the year, and decided who will be hosting which months.  It all seemed to work perfectly, and I’m getting to know some of my neighbors and their friends better than I would have otherwise.  It’s March, and my turn to host.  I made sure to read the book early, I prepared discussion questions in case there was a lapse in conversation, I got my house all clean and made sure we had enough seating for everyone and things for the kids to do, and I even made refreshments that were mentioned in the book.

But, the snow has melted, and it looks like my yard is covered in ugly cracks, just small ditches criss-crossing all over the lawn.  I worked really hard getting the yard nice last year, so I was looking forward to spring and watching the grass and landscaping turn green and lush.  With the strawberry bushes I’d worked on for a couple of years, I literally was hoping to reap the fruits of my labors.

And, then, the snow melted enough to show me all the damage caused by the vole problem.  Just in time for book club.

As people arrived, I made the mistake of apologizing for the state of my lawn, which brought more attention to it.  Before too long, we were all just talking about different lawn care programs and pests, and I found out I wasn’t the only one in the area with a vole problem.  The voles were destroying the looks of lots of lawns, but killing grass roots along their little trails.  Bulbs weren’t growing into flowers, because something had eaten them during the winter.  And, my strawberry bushes were a mess.  Other people had planted young trees last year that were struggling now, because voles had chewed on tender roots.

It was all very helpful, especially to know I wasn’t the only one with a vole problem.  I even got the contact information for a great company that gets rid of voles.  So, I won’t have to waste the nice Spring days by battling voles instead of planting flowers and putting in new landscaping.  Even still, we barely got to talk about the book.  We didn’t even touch the discussion questions I’d worked so hard to prepare, and people ate the refreshments without even noticing how they related to the themes in the book.

I guess it wasn’t a “huge disaster,” really, if you think about it.  We got together, we had fun and laughed about things, and we helped each other out with the vole problem.  But, I don’t think I’m going to be hosting book club for a while, and I’m really okay with that.

Bats in Weber County Utah



It’s no surprise to Weber County, Utah residents that bats live in the area.  They are often to be seen in the night sky, flitting around silently, changing directions quickly as they chase after their meals.  Bats in Weber County do their best to keep the mosquito population down as well as preying on all different kinds of bugs, flying or not.  They’ve even been known to carry off crickets, centipedes and other large bugs.  At most recent counts, Utah has eighteen species of bats, and Weber County bats do their best to keep the county from being overrun with bugs.

Usually bats will roost in places such as caves, mines, rotting logs, but often bats discover warmer, more convenient places in which to roost or even nest.  Breeding season is coming up, for most bat species, and that’s the spring.  They’ll happily roost or breed in attics, chimneys, abandoned buildings, inside building walls, behind shutters, under eaves, and anywhere else that provides a relatively protected environment close to food sources.  You may not even know you have a bat or a colony of bats living inside your home or apartment until one makes its way inside your living room or bedroom or kitchen.

Do Weber County bats carry rabies?  Usually, no, but the chances are high enough that you absolutely should NEVER touch a bat.  If it bites a person or animal, seek medical attention immediately.  Keep your animals up to date on their rabies shots.  People who handle bats may not even realize the bat’s tiny claws have scratched them, so always seek medical attention if you have come into contact with a bat.  And, if you come across an active bat during the day time, it may be sick or diseased.  Keep children and pets away from it.

Discovering a bat or a colony of bats in your house or other buildings will come as a shock.  You may have a very clean house with a well-kept yard, and yet still have a bat problem.  The safest course of action is to contact us to send a professional to your home to remove the bat or bats.  Trying to remove a bat yourself may result in being scratched or bitten by it as it will be terrified and try to get away or defend itself.    Bats are protected under the law, as well, especially a nesting colony of bats, and our professionals know exactly how to handle the situation legally and safely.  A professional will also be able to safely clean the bat droppings from your building and even install materials to prevent bats from returning to your building.

It’s fun and interesting to watch Weber County bats flying around at night, but make sure it’s at a distance.  Up close and personal bat encounters can result in a trip to the emergency room.  And, if you discover one or more bats in your building, contact us to remove the bats and keep you and yours safe.

Dead Rat In Wall

get rid of rats


My apartment smells like sewage, and the maintenance guys for the apartment complex told me it’s probably a dead rat in the wall.  We’ve been having a rat problem outside in our area, which is bad enough, but when the rats get inside the building and then die in the walls, it’s awful.

When I was in high school, a rat died in the wall of my Mom’s house.  It smelled like urine and decay and it was just awful.  It had died inside one of the walls of the downstairs bathroom, and we had to have someone come in and tear up the walls of the bathroom until they found the dead rat and removed it.  So, I know what you’re supposed to do if you have a dead rat inside the wall.

But, the maintenance guys for my apartment complex figured they’d just do something else, something simple.  They came in and re-caulked the top and bottom of the walls and then  left, saying I’d have to just deal with the smell until the rat had decayed enough that it stopped smelling.  Uh, yeah, great idea.  Or not.  Who wants to live with an apartment that smells like sewage and dead rat??  I would think they’d have to check the pipes to see if somehow rats have damaged them, and then go inside the wall to remove the dead rat.  Because, a decomposing rat means that, not only are there nasty smells, but probably lots and lots of bugs, too.

I had a party planned for this weekend, but I’m going to have to cancel it or maybe convince one of my friends to have it at their place.  I can’t even stand to hang out in my front room, which is where the smell is worst, so how can I expect my friends to come over and sit around in that room?

The smell is so bad in that front room that I don’t even relax in there anymore.  I walk inside, holding my breath, go straight to the kitchen to drop my stuff off and get dinner, and then go straight to my bedroom, where I work on the computer and watch TV until it’s time to sleep.  I’m furious the maintenance people won’t do anything about the dead rat in my wall, other than just add a little caulk to “seal out the smell.”  But, I called the property manager, and convinced him to reduce my rent for next month by what it would cost me to get the dead rat removed out of the wall.  That doesn’t help me if there’s a problem with the pipes, but at least it gets the dead rat out of the wall.  One step at a time, I guess.

Raccoons in the Eaves

Raccoon (6)           It’s time to serve an eviction notice to the raccoons in the eaves.  They’re squatters.  They just moved in one day, without signing any contracts, no move-in deposit, no rent for the three months they’ve lived there.  Sure, we have a tree overhanging the roof, but that’s not to say we have an open-door policy.  I’m about ready to get all medieval on their furry, thieving little butts.

Those raccoons climb up the tree, drop down on the roof, and have now ripped all the material, covering the eaves and some of the rain gutters, making themselves at home on top of my home.  They just sit on the rain gutter or the roof, and then climb down into the eaves they’ve accessed by ripping my house apart.  I’ve looked around, and it doesn’t look like they even have the decency to use some sort of raccoon out-house, so where are they going to the bathroom?  Inside the walls of my house!  These are the worst tenants EVER!

So, I’m imagining that, if they’re peeing and crapping in the eaves, and probably also bringing in food, they’re also attracting all kinds of bugs and flies and microscopic yuckies that then make themselves free to live in my home, too.  It’s getting out of control.

Now, they’re violating noise ordinances, because they’ve started to fight.  Have you heard a raccoon fight?  It’s not like some kind of minor domestic dispute from upstairs neighbors.  No, this is a special, growling, screeching, banging noise.  These raccoons in the eaves are destroying my home, they’re probably going to make me sick, and now they’re keeping me up at night and waking me up early in the morning with their noise.  They have GOT to go.

I’ve tried to evict them myself.  I put out traps.  I just caught squirrels.  Squirrels never bothered me, so I feel bad about trapping them.  But, now I’m wondering, if I get rid of the raccoons in the eaves, will squirrels just move in?  Will rats or mice be attracted to whatever food the raccoons have cached away, if any?

So, not only do I need someone to trap them and remove the raccoons from the eaves, but I also want repairs to be done.  Ew, and some kind of clean-up, too.  I think I’d want everything cleaned out and sanitized before we closed it back up again, just so we don’t get a bug problem or mouse problem on top of raccoons in the eaves.  Then, we’d need to put the siding or soffit up again and repair the rain gutters.  And, we’d need to do this before the rainy season, too, because I don’t want major water damage to the house.

So much to worry about and take care of, now I’ve got to evict the raccoons in the eaves.  I definitely never signed up to be a property manager for animal tenants!

Woodpecker Noise

No matter what I do, I just can’t stop the woodpecker noise.  I can’t handle it anymore.  I’m losing sleep, and I can’t afford to do that.  I go to school full-time and I work part-time.  Several times a week, I have a two-hour commute to work.  I’m exhausted and I need help.  Can you get rid of the woodpeckers?

woodpecker removal

I rent this top-floor apartment.  It’s not huge, but it’s what I can afford, and I can’t afford to move.  My landlord said he can’t (or won’t) take care of the woodpeckers, because they haven’t come inside the building, so he doesn’t have to do anything. I’m desperate, which is why I’m contacting you, so you can get rid of the woodpeckers and I won’t have to put up with woodpecker noise anymore while I try to sleep, or do homework, or just relax at home.

There are three or four woodpeckers, and they’re bold suckers.  There’s no sign of rotting wood, and the landlord has checked for termites, so I have no idea why they insist on pecking, pecking, pecking on the roof.  I’ve tried to scare them away, believe me.

I tried just banging on the walls and ramming a broom handle up against the ceiling.  At first it scared them away for a little bit, but they always came back.  Now, they’re used to it, and I guess they figured out that noise won’t hurt them, so they don’t even fly away when I bang on the walls and ceiling.

Then, I tried spraying them with water.  That was about as effective as banging on the walls.  I put out foil and reflective tape, and they just ignored it, like it wasn’t even there.  The most effective thing I did was hang a picture of a big owl out on the deck.  They stayed away for about three months after that, but now they’re back.

Finally, I tried, I really tried, ignoring them.  But, that insistent tap tap tap tap tap woodpecker noise wakes me up early in the morning.  I don’t even bother studying at home anymore, because the noise drives me nuts and I can’t focus on what I’m reading.  I’m worried there are insects crawling around on the inside of the wall that they’re trying to get at.  I’m worried they’re making big holes which will let other animals, like mice, get in.  If they make holes all over the roof, I worry that someday I’ll wake up with rain falling through the ceiling onto my stuff.  I’m sick of worrying.  I’m sick to death of the woodpecker noise.  I’m desperate enough to consider moving, even though I really can’t afford getting out of my lease right now and finding another place.  All I want is the woodpecker noise to stop.  Please come and get rid of the woodpeckers, and maybe I’ll stop going insane inside my own apartment.