Raccoon in Crawlspace

raccoon_snare          There is a raccoon in the crawlspace under my living room floor.  It must have access to it by crawling down under my deck, but I definitely do not want to go under there and inspect it myself.  That’s just not something I would ever do, crawl around on my stomach in some dirty, dark, spider-infested area where I know there’s at least one raccoon, just so I can see if a raccoon has torn a hole into the crawl space under my living room.

I moved in about a month ago, and my neighbor says that raccoon, or a family of raccoons, has been there for as long as she can remember.  It’s probably not the same one, but a descendant of whichever was the first raccoon to get into the crawlspace.  Whatever.  I’m not interested so much in its genealogy.  I just want it gone.  I want the hole patched up.  And, I don’t want it coming back.

The problem is, I haven’t been able to get anyone to come out to my house to get rid of the raccoon in my crawlspace.  I called the police, and, while the female cop who answered the phone was polite enough, I got the feeling they got these kinds of calls all the time and were kind of annoyed.  There is nothing they can do about a raccoon in the crawlspace, and we don’t have any kind of wild animal service in the area.  I even called pest control, but they told me they only take care of bugs or rodents, nothing big like raccoons. So, they’ll come out and treat my house if the raccoon infests my house with mites or lice, or if mice or rats come in through the same hole the raccoon made, but they won’t get rid of the raccoon itself.

Obviously, the previous owner of the house gave up trying to get rid of the raccoon from the crawlspace.  I’ve set out traps, but I’ve only succeeded in trapping another neighbor’s cat.  That was an awkward conversation.

But, I refuse to give up.  Because I can’t stand the idea of a raccoon in the crawlspace, causing damage to my house and attracting more bugs or what not to the space under my living room.  No, I’m not going to become a trapper myself. Fortunately, I heard about this national service.  They have a network of trappers, and they can send someone out to my house to get rid of the raccoon from the crawlspace, clean the area up, and repair any damage the raccoon caused.  Thank goodness there are some people in the world who are willing to brave the dark, spider infested areas under the deck and get rid of raccoons, because I’m certainly not going to do it.  I just need that raccoon in the crawlspace gone.

Idaho Vole Problem

vole4            We moved into a new construction early last fall, and now the spring is here, we are ready to do some landscaping.  We can’t start, though, until we take care of the vole problem here in Idaho.

I’m well aware that the neighborhood we moved into is brand new, and used to be farm land, so we probably moved right into an area where voles already lived.  I can’t imagine that an Idaho farmer would just let voles run rampant over the fields, so these fields must have just been sitting here, unfarmed, waiting to be sold, and the voles moved in.  All the construction activity disturbed whatever nests they had, and they’re probably just running around, trying to find new safe areas to live.  My yard will not be

one of those safe areas, because I refuse to have an Idaho vole problem.

We moved in early enough last fall that we had time to get the lawn seeded.  I wanted to make sure we got a lawn in, that the grass would have time to get some good root system down before the snow started.  Plus, I knew if we didn’t get the lawn in, we would be stuck with weeds when the spring came, and we wanted to make sure we could choke out most of the weeds before they became a real problem.  So, we got the grass in, even though we had to finance that in with our mortgage.

When the snows melted, I was really upset to see that we had a vole problem here in Idaho.  Our beautiful new lawn had long dead spots crossing all over it, and we found a couple of dead voles over by our basement windows.  They had chewed holes in the mesh covering the windows.  All that work that I’d put into getting a lawn in was nearly wasted.  Dead voles, or live Idaho voles, for that matter, will just attract other animals, like raccoons or skunks.  Plus, it is going to cost me a lot to get it fixed.  But I’m going to get it fixed and get rid of those voles.

I don’t want to drop a lot of money on young trees and bushes and flowers if we have an Idaho vole problem.  We need to get rid of the voles first, and repair the damage to the lawn before I’ll put in new landscaping.  They’d just destroy the young roots of any plants we put in.  It’s not like we have a lot of money to spare, but what we have, I’d rather use getting rid of the Idaho vole problem before we spend a penny on anything the voles would destroy.

Pigeons in Church

pigeon_trap4                       The pigeon in the church saved the funeral services.  We were tired of sitting, the pews were hard, the air was stifling, even the best-intentioned of us were visibly fighting off a case of the drowsies.  My friend’s wife, Sarah, had died, and she would have hated her own funeral.  Her youngest child, an honest boy of eleven years old, leaned over to his dad and said, “Mom’s probably laughing at us right now.”  He was right.  She had the kind of sunny personality that laughed at etiquette, and was likely mocking her family and friends struggling to remain attentive throughout the droning sermons at her funeral.

Why on earth do people who speak at a funeral feel the need to repeat the same consoling phrases and stories time after time?  It’s as if they think the longer they talk, the more homage they’re paying to our loved one.  My friend’s wife would have preferred a few hilarious stories about her, a great song or two, and a fabulous party with her coffin in the center of the room.  Maybe she got so tired of what was happening that she sent that pigeon into the church.

In the middle of a diatribe of how “the passing of a loved one is more sad for those of us who remain on earth than it is for our loved ones,” a pigeon dislodged itself from a hiding place somewhere up in the church roof and dive-bombed the podium.  The speaker squeaked and his notes scattered.  The pigeon in the church was soon joined by a few more, who flew over our heads, close enough we could feel the breeze from their filthy wings.  A pigeon dropped a little “bomb” of its own right on the shoulder of a young woman who was a distant relative of the dearly departed.  She had chosen to wear the most revealing, slinkiest little dress I’d ever seen at a funeral, but now it had a white splotch oozing down the shoulder and onto the front.

No one was snoozing now, no one was crying now.  There was chaos.  Some children tried to catch the pigeons in the church.  Fathers waved the birds off and some women tried in vain to maintain some kind of composure and dignity throughout it all.  We were all reminded of how the woman in the casket would have loved the disruption, her full infectious laugh would have rung out loudly.  The speaker was flustered, the pastor was embarrassed to have pigeons in the church, but most of us were grateful the proceedings were cut short and we could move on to enjoying each other’s company, consoling each other’s grief, and remembering how wonderful Sarah was.