Rodents Inc.

I’ve worked in this building for 8 years and I’ve never had rats in my office until last week. It all started after the garbage trucks took a day off and all of our trash sat outside in a dumpster and rotted until the next Monday, and then the rats came. I first just saw them outside around the big, green metal box that held everything from scraps from lunch and pizza from a previous meeting. With that and all the other food in there, I’m sure it was like thanksgiving for the rodents. And with all of the flowerbeds and planters around the building, they had plenty of choices for living! We were running the rat welfare program!
Well this Monday, after the trucks picked up the garbage (finally), the rats must have had to find a new food supply because they started migrating from the dumpster, to inside of the building. On Tuesday, Caren swears on her mother’s grave that she saw one in the kitchen, I didn’t believe her until one ran under my feet later that day while I was getting a salad. I couldn’t believe it, there were really rats in the office! Sure enough, the next day someone from DPH (department of public health) was in the office informing every one of the situation and doing inspections. They told our boss that he had to have someone come take care of the problem ASAP.
Well it wasn’t an hour later that he was negotiating price and an appointment with a trapping company. I called in sick on Thursday, and the next day we all only had to work a half day so the company could come in and set up traps, or whatever they do. I guess when I go back in on Monday, I’ll see if there are still rat’s in the office, and maybe go on that trip to Wendover I’ve been saying I’m going to take if they’re still there. I’m allergic to cats, dogs, mice, and assumedly rats too so I’m not taking any chances!

Overrun by Rabbits

There are rabbits in my yard. And not just one or two – they’re not even pets – but ten to twenty sneaking in and destroying my yard. I could not believe it when I saw them at first. I’d always been fairly careful to fence in my property and keep all holes covered, but I guess I ignored one very important hole. The one behind the rock fountains in my pond. I finally realized how they’ve been getting in this entire time! Unfortunately its way past the point of just sealing the hole and calling it a day.
What I didn’t realize when I first spotted a bunny hopping around my yard a couple months ago, is that – once pregnant – it’s only about a month before they can have babies, and then they can get pregnant just about right after. Well the rabbit in my yard turned out to be a female, and she’s had two litters by now. There are roughly 16 or so rabbits that come in and out of my yard, and I know it seems crazy that I didn’t notice until now, but as a lawyer I work long hours and have spent many nights on the couch in my office. Obviously I took advantage of this, and so did the fluffy nuisances in my yard.
They’ve started digging holes around my pond, in my (dead) flower beds, and in various places around the fence. I really can’t deal with this right now. I don’t have time to fix-up my entire yard and set up a trap for every one of them, I just need some help. I’m working a huge case right now and a judge won’t take “I have rabbits invading my yard” as an excuse for being late for court. Cost isn’t an issue, but time is. The sooner the better. Please get these rabbits out of my yard!

Skunks Under my House

My husband and I recently found what we believe to be a skunk, living under our house and let me tell you: there is no air freshener strong enough to get the permeating smell of skunk out of anything. Not Febreze, not AirWick, not Glade, not any of them, and I would know. I have tried anything and everything from hanging lavender around the house to completely scrubbing down the carpets and everything else. Nothing is getting the terrible smell this skunk is wafting through our house, out.
About three weeks ago, Mike (my husband) and I were watching a Criminal Minds rerun when we first heard the scratching in the ducts underneath our house. At first we thought it was just a sound from the show, but we kept hearing it ever few nights or so. It wasn’t until the third or fourth time that we heard the sound that we smelt the skunk under the house, I don’t know if something scared him or what but man oh man did it stink. Since then it has sprayed three more times and I’m going out of my mind. I’m almost positive that the nerves in my nose are dying because I can’t seem to smell anything BUT skunk; even when I leave my house! Not only can I smell it everywhere but the people around me can smell it too. They don’t say anything but I see the looks and I can definitely tell that they cover their nose when I’m around.
It’s hard to stay out of your house AND avoid public places. I really can’t do this for much longer. I thought it would only be the one time so I just pushed through it, but after the second stink bomb we set up one of those silver cage traps near where we think it’s getting in. Our house’s foundation is on a key so you can crawl right underneath it and I can see a hole back by where the ducts go under the house. I’m positive that’s where it’s coming in from but I can’t get to it to set a trap or anything. I just need to get this skunk out from under my house!

Bats… in Church?

I could not believe it when I saw the bats on the ceiling in church last week. Our church has your typical high, vaulted ceilings coupled with large beams making a beautiful pattern; perfect for staring at instead of paying attention during mass, am I right? However, when I saw the bats on the ceiling, I wasn’t fighting sleep during a long spiel from the pastor. Instead, I was enjoying an activity with my Girl Scouts troop. We were gathering to plan fundraisers we could do besides the typical sale of Girl Scout Cookies. It actually wasn’t that long after we got there that the first bat was spotted.
Being an older building it has its issues. The occasional leaks and creaks but I couldn’t believe it when our church turned into Dracula’s cave! Two of our Scouts were walking down the aisle when they called out to me, but my hands were full so I simply asked what was wrong instead of going to investigate. They told me a bat fell from the ceiling and was wriggling on the floor. I dropped what I was doing and ran to their side, bats can be dangerous and there are no limits to what parents would do if I let one of their daughters get a bat bite!
Since I’m not an expert in trapping animals I just set a box over the injured bat and started calling around for help. I had to call in a local animal control to take care of the one bat on the floor, but they informed me that there were definitely more bats on the ceiling and asked me to call someone else to take care of those. Well that is not my job! I help Girl Scouts, not vampires! I called the pastor and told him what was happening and I assume he’s the one who called the trappers that came in. They say that the bats are gone, but I’ll definitely be on my toes during mass on Sunday!

Silence of the Chickens

You’d think a six foot fence would keep a raccoon out of your chicken coop, but I guess not. I used to have a nice baker’s dozen of chickens, all raised from hatching until now right in that coop. They were safe there for a long time; until this year. All of a sudden I have the James Bond of raccoons running wild on my property. He is scaling the fence (remember its six feet tall), getting into the coop, killing a chicken, and carrying it back over the fence and dragging it off to someplace who knows where.
I know that chickens are inexpensive, and they hold no real value in a monetary stance, but this is different. I have raised these chickens since they were hatchlings and I’ve kept them fed, warm, and safe from harm and raccoons in their coop. At least they were supposed to be fed, warm, and safe but apparently that didn’t work out. Not to mention that one of the two chickens he has killed was my absolute favorite! She was 4 years old and laying better than ever, but he wasted no time killing her. Between her and the other little yearling he killed, I’m ready to strangle the darn thing!
I ordered a trap two days ago, it should be here on Monday, but I always have a backup plan. I’ll set the trap and I’ll watch for the thing with my .22 on hand, and if that doesn’t work out there are trappers waiting on hold for my call. They’re already planning on picking up whatever I catch, and are willing to come trap him for me if I have any more problems. You’d have to be stupid to think I’d stand by and watch a raccoon get in my chicken coop, kill my favorite chickens, and let them get away with it!

Raining Maggots

My least favorite job involved some sort of dead animal in a chimney, and a crap-ton of maggots. I’ve worked with Allstate Animal Control for a number of years now, and I’ve had a few weird jobs, one that scared me half to death, and then there are the ones you will never forget. This was a job I still see in my nightmares. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen dead animals before – more times than I can count – and it wasn’t my first run in with maggots, but something about the combination and the atmosphere just made it spooky.
It was a gloomy Tuesday afternoon, a storm was rolling in and I remember because we could hear the faint sound of thunder in the distance, but it was our last job for the day (we had inspected the home the day before and were ready to finish up and clean too, if possible). I had just finished lunch when we pulled up to this old, straight out of a Stephen King book, cabin. We grabbed our gear, and headed to the door ready to pull the dead animal out of the chimney and get it over with. After talking with the owners and setting up our stuff, we pulled on our hazmat suits and prepared ourselves for the unavoidable stench of death. As we did that, thunder shook the house and the already dim lights flickered. I gave my buddy John the ‘if it gets too bad outside we’ll have to finish this tomorrow’ nod, and he returned it; and then, we brazened up and started to scrape the chimney.
Not long after I started, I made the mistake of laying down and looking up the chimney to get a better look, to which a torrent of maggots responded, hitting me like a tsunami (one got in my mouth!). This was followed up by another clap of thunder, and the release of the dead animal. In shock from the attack of maggots and trying to spit out whatever dust and bugs were in my mouth, I didn’t think to pull out of the fireplace and avoid, whatever it was dead in the chimney, coming down and landing on me as well. As I took in the stench of rot, decay, and smoke, I let out a scream that Edvard Munch would have been proud of, and every piece of food I ate that day left its place in my stomach, and covered the chimney. To this day, I have bad dreams about that job, but I did learn that when dealing with a dead animal in a chimney, don’t stick your head in the fireplace!

Squirrely Friend

I’m not sure if she’s crazy, but my sister is letting a squirrel live in the house. I guess a few days ago, maybe a week I’m not sure, a squirrel got into her house. She told me it might have come down the chimney but it could be the attic, or even the front door since she leaves it open a lot. I’m not really concerned about how it got in, I’m more concerned by the fact that it hasn’t left; mostly that she hasn’t kicked its butt out yet! I know I probably sound like a whack job being worried about my sister in all of this, but let me explain why I think it’s her fault the little bugger is in there.
1. The squirrel is in her house, but worse, it’s living in her bedroom. Not running amuck in the attic or causing havoc in the basement, but under her bed in her room: with her.
2. It has been in her bed… WITH HER. She called me after she woke up this morning and explained (quite jovially) how she woke up to, “a big fluffy butt in her face”, and she didn’t seem too freaked out by it.
3. She leaves the door open every day when she leaves for work. She says it’s so he can run out, but I’m not convinced she’s trying to make it stay out.
I just need help figuring this out before she ends up on that TV show, My Strange Addiction, as the lady that can’t help but let squirrels live in the house. I love my sister, with all of my heart; but even as a little girl she had a love for wild animals. She used to bring home stray cats and the occasional injured bird, but it got weird when she would rescue mice and even another squirrel once. Back then my dad would sort her out and explain the danger in that, but he’s long gone. And I’m sure he’d be turning over in his grave if he knew she had a squirrel in her house right now. I really need some help, even if someone could just do an inspection. I want to know if that thing is nesting there, or if he’s sneaking in and out. It could make all the difference.

Studio Skunk

I rent a studio in California and I have a problem with skunks in my yard. It all started about a week ago, or I guess by now it would be two weeks, any way that’s beside the point. They’re scratching at the side of my house trying to get under and causing quite the ruckus I’ve lost quite a bit of sleep over it, since they’re coming from my landlord’s backyard under my house, I can’t really do anything about it. They scratch and move things so that they can get under the house, and then they crawl under my kitchen and bathroom and right into my front yard!
At first I thought it was just one, but now I’m almost positive that it’s two. I’m not sure if it’s two adults or if it’s an adult and a baby, I’ve heard some squealing and other strange sounds from them, but then again I don’t know what a skunk sounds like, just what they smell like. Several times since the skunks got into my yard there have been instances where they sprayed under the studio and it started to stink shortly thereafter.
I know how they’re getting into my yard (that’s fenced in by the way), and how they’re getting out. Like I said they crawl under my house from my landlord’s side of the property, then squeeze under the fence to get from my property out. I haven’t come face to face with one yet, I’ve only seen them from inside my house, but I’m afraid of bumping into one when I come home from work at night. I haven’t done anything to get rid of it and I haven’t called any professionals in either, but I’m trying to find someone so when I tell my landlord about the problem, I also have a solution. Really looking for some help getting the skunks in my yard, out of my yard. I’ve heard about a company called Allstate Animal Control, I guess they trap and remove animals, I hope they can help me.