Well.. Dam

Living in the country was a downright treat before our beaver problem.  When I was little, my grandparents lived about an hour away from town and had a few acres of land and I absolutely loved it.  There’s nothing like being able to see all of the stars and smell the dew in the morning.  As soon as my husband had the money we bought a little place away from all the hustle and bustle of Ogden.  It’s a beautiful property with 5 acres, a pond, and a little creak that flows off the property, it’s a fairytale.  Until 3 weeks ago.

While enjoying a nice horse-back ride around the pond, we noticed what seemed like a giant walking rock; but with a tail!  We got a little closer and the animal jumped from the bank and disappeared into the water.  Well, it seemed like we had a beaver problem.  Knowing where there was a beaver, a dam usually followed close behind, we trailed around the pond with our eyes peeled. There didn’t seem to be any sort of pile ups anywhere around so we shrugged it off and rode home, thinking maybe it was just a large otter or something like it.

That was our first mistake, our second mistake was just knocking down whatever dams we did find and never calling anyone about the beaver problem.  Now we have a bigger mess.  The beaver had been slowly building up a large dam in front of the culvert that helped the water go underneath our driveway.  Now we have water flooding from the pond over the road and hardly any going through to the creak! Now we have a beaver problem AND a dam problem.  While my husband works on finding out what to do with the dam, I’m trying to solve the beaver problem by calling any wildlife removal companies that will help.


Dead Rats and HVAC’s

Have you ever had the smell of dead rat blown through your house by the air-conditioning?  It’s an eye-opening experience I’ll tell you that much, and stressful; and now that I think about it, it really sucks.  About a month ago while I was cooking dinner, I watched two rats run right across my kitchen floor into my pantry!  I couldn’t believe my eyes but my small Chihuahua chased after them so I knew that he’d seen it too.  Rats? In my apartment? Like there was any chance in the world I would let that go on without intervening.

I set out poison knowing fully well that the animals would likely carry it off to their nest with whatever other scraps it had picked up and probably wouldn’t eat it right away.  At the time that seemed like the best idea in the world! Why would I care about ugly rats dead in their nest?  Well I’ll tell you why; because that mother stinking rats had chewed their way through the tubes in the HVAC and had made a nest in the wall.  Where they (maybe only one) died.  Last week.

Now not only do I have to worry about the fact that there are probably other rats roaming through the walls of my apartment, AND the apartments around mine, but I had to deal with the stench.  And it is putrid.  My landlord is a bum and no matter how many times I’ve complained he just tells me to deal with it.  What a swell guy, right?  Poison is out of the question for the other rats, and I don’t qualify as a trapper, so I’m open for ideas.  Possibly something to stop the scent and maybe a trap for the other rats?  I just can’t live with the terrible smell of dead rat or the idea of them gnawing on my toes as I sleep, any longer.  I’m even thinking about just moving out!

Skunk Bomb

My cousin, threw a smoke bomb, at a skunk.  I always knew that having redneck relatives wasn’t my biggest accomplishment, but this wasn’t just laughable misconduct, but complete family embarrassment!  Not just because of the smoke bomb (heaven knows why he had that) but because he lit his house on fire doing it; and not only that, but tried to tell the firefighters it was a cigarette – that’s right, a cigarette – instead of the truth.  Now understand, Billy is a 19 year old kid that is living with his grandmother and, instead of admitting that he created his own, homemade smoke bomb from sugar and potassium nitrate, tried to cover it up with a lie and one that Meema would have beaten and kicked him out of the house for.

The firefighters found the truth fairly quickly, with or without the convincing lie there was still a shell from the smoke bomb under the house.  As Elvis said, “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”  More than luckily for my grandma (and Bill) the fire was very small.  If someone hadn’t called the police when they saw all the smoke coming out from the house, who knows what would have happened.  After all the emergency vehicles had cleared the scene, my grandma gave Billy the scare of a lifetime.  As I recall she said something to the point of, ‘if something like this happens one more time, you won’t have to pack your things ‘cause I’ll bury them with ya in the woods!’, and ‘boy you’ll wish the skunk had crawled up inta yer drawers the next time you get a bright idea’ (with a lot more cursing and yelling).

Thankfully no one was hurt and the house was intact.  Apparently grandma had the occasional skunk that likes to crawl under the house with her cats and he’s scarred them off with a smoke bomb in the past, but this one was just stronger than the last.  He wasn’t exactly sure how it started a fire but we assume that the dried, old stuffing from some of her cats old toys were to blame.  Either way no skunks have been sighted, we have a fabulous Holiday story (once grandma kicks the bucket), the house is in one – slightly crispy – piece, and Billy has retired from the smoke bomb industry (or so we hope).

Rats in the Barn

A few weeks ago I discovered rats in my barn. I didn’t really mind, it was outside and my cat would catch a few here and there, until I found the nest living under the floorboards and it hit me that there weren’t just a few, but twenty or more.  That wasn’t even the worst part, the worst was the dream I had last night ABOUT the rats in the barn.

I was upstairs cooking dinner, but I didn’t have any pasta for my spaghetti so I made my way to the basement, which somehow became my barn (it was a dream, just go with it).  The second my foot left the last step and hit the floor, I was ambushed by six giant, foaming at the mouth, rats, and they were pissed.  They attacked me and started biting at my ankles and calves, latching their teeth onto any open skin they could see.  Shaking myself free I ran for the only thing I could find, an old, beat up tennis racket.  Turning back to face my opponents I rapidly began whacking them with the net, but all it did was stun them.

I moved to a better attack, by holding the rats down with the racket and stomping their heads in with my boots, I was able to kill them.  I quickly defeated the original six and raised my hands in the air to enjoy my victory, but my celebration was cut off by the thundering sound of millions of rats moving out from behind the walls and from underneath the floors, all towards me.  Turning wildly around I saw him, the 8-foot tall rat king.  He was devilish and cruel, no mercy shown in his red eyes, and they were the last things I saw before I was avalanched by the wave of rodents.

I woke up: it was 1:30 a.m.  Now not only were there rats in the barn, but in my dreams.  I will not let this continue.  Be it with a tennis racket and boots or ten gallons of bleach or a dump truck of rat poison, these tiny little monsters won’t ruin my good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow morning, no matter what the price, I will be getting rid of the rats in my barn.

Rats on a Plane

I was recently reading an article about rats on a plane and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  A plane that was six hours into its flight to London was stopped, turned around, and sent back to Mumbai because a rat was seen on the plane.  Once it finally landed back where it took off from, everyone was escorted off the plane and the cabin was fumigated.  The passengers were delayed and placed on another flight!

I did a little more digging and it turns out that this isn’t exactly a rare thing (it’s uncommon but not rare).  Rats sneak their way onto the plane through catering vehicles and sometimes they’ve been known to stowaway in luggage, too.  Not only do the little rodents pose health hazards for passengers and crew, but also safety hazards for the plane.  Imagine what would happen if one of them got their little hands on any sort of wire in the engine! It’s very well known that rats like to gnaw on chords like that, and if something like that happens New Line Cinema would have a sequel for Snakes on a Plane.

Not only does the plane have to be fumigated after a rodent sighting, but the electrical wires and cables have to be checked, and probably re-checked after that, to ensure that the plane is safe for take-off.  I don’t understand why the news never covers anything like this?  Before you take a flight, check your bags and food for mice, I know I will.  The last place I want to be is stuck with a bunch of rats on a plane, people are bad enough!

Squirrels in the Vents

Have you ever heard the pitter patter of squirrels in the vents?  I sincerely hope that the answer is no because it’s quite unsettling, especially when you live in an older house like I do.  I won’t lie, it crossed my mind that my house could be haunted and I thought about calling Jennifer Love Hewitt to see if she could get the ghost out.  Luckily I realized what it was when I watched a squirrel climb from the siding on my house to the tree that almost brushed up against it.  No ghosts, but definitely rodents and I’m not sure which I would have preferred.

After my squirrel sighting, I began to investigate exactly how he could have gotten in the vents because I definitely hadn’t invited him in.  Walking around my house I found exactly what I didn’t want to, a place where the tiny buggers could climb right in.  Near my bathroom window there’s an exhaust vent that didn’t have a cover on it, and led right to the venting in my bathroom and I’m sure to the rest of the house.  At least I didn’t have a hole to patch but the squirrels in the vents were looking like they were my fault at this point.

Fortunately I don’t think the squirrels were nesting in my house, at least not yet, because after I went to Home Depot and bought myself a cover, I didn’t hear them any longer. WOOHOO.  I’m just glad it was an easy fix and not something I had to call in the big guns for.  My advice though, is this: make sure you cover all holes outside that can lead inside, or you too will have squirrels in your vents.

Cat on the Prowl

I recently discovered what I can only call a cat on the prowl.  I don’t know what it’s looking for but I can tell you that I’m sure glad he’s roosting underneath my neighbor’s house, not mine.  It’s a big, white and yellow tom cat that has been slinking around the neighborhood for about a year, and while my neighbor was gone last summer, he found himself a nice place to sleep.  I noticed him around their property once or twice, I didn’t think too much of it since he usually goes to the crazy cat lady Maurine’s house where he gets free food, I guess I just assumed he was hers; until Carl called.  He asked me if I’d seen anything strange around his house lately, said he could smell a strong odor like urine and thought maybe a cat was around.  I told him about the big tom and then he promptly thanked me, and hung up.

Well I guess that big ole’ cat on the prowl had made himself a nice, warm den underneath their house and he was fond of using the facilities there (if you know what I mean) because that place sure did start to smell real quick and the neighbor’s started complaining just as fast.  The poor guy, his life hasn’t been real easy and I know throwing this on his plate couldn’t have helped, but you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  I saw a van out front just yesterday so I assume he called someone; hell I hope he called someone because it’s startin’ to bother me too!  I only live maybe 20 feet from his place.

I been keeping an eye out for that big pussy cat, I’m thinking that if I see it maybe I can help him out.  I don’t really know how but my son has a little BB gun he left here when he went to his dad’s house, maybe I’ll just scare the thing away.  Either way I’m praying that someone’ll get that thing out of here.  I’ve seen people with squirrel problems and coon problems, but this cat on the prowl is stirring a whole new pot of coffee and I don’t like it.

Woodpeckers in the Attic

I can’t take much more of this.  For two months I’ve shared my home with the woodpeckers in the attic and I’ve just about had my fill.  The only reason they’ve been there this long is that my daughter loves Looney Toons and has become quite fond of the Tweety Bird, and when she overheard her dad and I talking about ‘getting rid’ of them, she had a tantrum.  Now she sits up and listens for them to  peck in the morning, and it’s driving me Looney!  I’m a nurse and since I only recently got out of school, I work from about 4 pm to 4 am (and various times around that), and when I get home and try to get a quick nap in BEFORE Anna wakes up, those birds don’t do me much good.

Not only do they start their morning routine around 5 o’clock, they also like to rustle around and make additions to their nest during the day, the only time I can get any sleep.  Oh, did I mention that the attic is conveniently located right above MY bedroom?  Because it is!  Now for a couple of days I didn’t mind the birds in the attic, then they started to get annoying as they started to peck on various things, and now, I CAN’T STAND THEM.  I love my daughter with all of my heart, but I will die from exhaustion if I don’t get them out of here, and quick.

Truthfully, I don’t know how to get rid of them.  I’d be more likely to perform a successful appendectomy than to remove these woodpeckers on my own, and as wonderful and handy as my husband is, he will only do more harm than good trying to do it.  A few years ago my neighbor had troubles with gophers and called a wonderful trapper, I’m just praying that she still has his card because I’m really losing my mind right now.  It’s not only affecting my sleep and mood, but my job too; it’s not exactly ethical to fall asleep while checking a patient’s temperature now is it?  I’m down to my last straw, and its Wildlife Removal.  If they know what’s good for them they’ll get rid of the woodpeckers in my attic.

Raccoon’s Under the Deck

Well, it was about a year ago when I got the call about a man with raccoons under his deck, it was nothing I hadn’t dealt with before in fact it was common, but the client was not.  He was a big ol’ southern man, and let me tell you he was a big ol’ wimp!  I work with Allstate Animal Control and so it was really one of them who called me about the case.  Since I didn’t have anything more to do, I scheduled a time to come out a few days later with his wife.  Pulling up to the house the first thing I noticed was a big ‘BEWARE OF DOG’ sign hanging on the fence to the backyard.  I couldn’t help but shudder, I’d been attacked by a client’s dog on one of my first jobs and I’ve been wary of them ever since.

Grabbing my bag with my flashlight and other various tools I got out of my van and made my way to the front door.  I knocked and hesitantly waited for the inevitable barking from their dog, but surprisingly none came.  With a small breath of relief I waited for an answer, but instead of a welcome face I got a rough “who is it” and, after introducing myself, what sounded like twenty locks being undone.  The man that opened the door was just as odd as he sounds, about six feet tall with a beard the boys from Duck Dynasty would have been jealous of, this guy was not who I was picturing.  As he led me to the backyard we were joined by his wife, I quietly asked her if they had put the dog away, her answer surprised me.  “Oh we don’t really have a dog, my husband’s afraid of them.”

I brushed all of this off, did my inspection, came back the next day with traps, and again the next week to pick up two raccoons.  As I pulled out the cage from under the deck I was met by the usual hissing and spitting from the coon, but it was coupled with an unexpected scream from the husband!  I turned to watch him run and cower behind some deck furniture, laughing silently to myself I went to retrieve the other trap, this one was closer to the man than the last.  As I pulled it out I got an even weirder response, another scream, the pounding of running feet, and the smash of a grown man passing out and falling on the ground.  I was a little bewildered but the wife told me not to worry and thanked me for my help (I wanted to ask if her wife would be okay but I didn’t know how she’d take it).  Needless to say that was my favorite job with raccoons under a deck by far.