Tag Archives: animal in the wall

Opossum in the Crawlspace

I didn’t even know what an opossum was, and I certainly never knew we might have an opossum in the crawlspace.  I was just dealing with the emotions of sending every single child off to school full-time, having a quiet home to myself.  I vacillated between extreme emotions.  I desperately missed each child, especially my youngest who just started first grade.  I was proud of each of them.  I was relieved and joyous at having several hours all to myself to get my entire to-do list done.  I didn’t feel like doing a single thing on my to-do list.  Then I felt guilt at not taking advantage of every single moment I had to myself.  And, finally, I got back to really missing each child.  I hoped that this emotional cycle would go away after a few days, so I could go back to normal.


I finally decided I’d at least clean the kids’ bathroom and then sit down with a good book.  That seemed like a good compromise for the first day back to school.  That way, I’d get something done, thus alleviating the guilt.  Then, I would enjoy some quiet time to myself by reading a good book, thus taking my mind off of how much I missed the children.  After an hour or so of reading, I’d decide what to do next.


So, it was with this plan that I grabbed the cleaning supplies and headed into the disaster that is known as my children’s bathroom.  I cleaned the toys out of the tub, and floor, and countertops, and started spraying down the place.  That’s when I heard a noise behind the shower wall.


Maybe that noise had always been there, but I never noticed it over the happy/fighting/playing noises of my children.  Maybe it was brand new.  I don’t know.  I just know it scared the bejeebers out of me.  Scritch, scratch, followed by some sort of movement behind the wall.  How long had this been going on?  Have the kids heard it?  Is that why little Lindsey’s been having nightmares lately?


Hesitantly, I tapped on the wall, and the movement-sound stopped abruptly.  I stood still, waiting.  It was like a quiet stand-off.  Before too long, though, that scritch scratch noise started up again.  So much for my boring, guilt-ridden, quiet morning.  I fled the bathroom and called my husband, who suggested we might have an animal, like an opossum in the crawlspace.  I had to look up opossum on the internet so I knew what he was talking about.  An opossum in the crawlspace could mean fleas, ticks, or eventually a dead opossum attracting all sorts of other vermin.


I quickly found the number for Allstate Animal Control and got someone out there right away.  Sure enough, my husband was right.  We had an opossum in the crawlspace.  The guy managed to get it out, though, and the house has gone back to being quiet through the long hours while the children are in school.  I’m enjoying that quiet on a whole new level now, though.



Dead Animal

“There’s a dead animal in the house.”  The thought hit Lindsey right after the smell did.

She’d struggled into the house, grocery bags draped 5 deep on each arm, purse slipping off her shoulder and one shoe threatening to slip off her foot.  With the talent many women possess, she had managed to get the correct key in the lock and shove the stubborn door open without breaking a single egg.  That’s when the smell hit her full in the face.

It was an odor the family had been gradually noticing.  At first, Lindsey made the rounds through the house, making sure no food was rotting in anyone’s bedroom and emptying every garbage can.  Then, her oldest thought it was a backed-up sewer, since the smell seemed stronger in the little hallway that led to the laundry room and half bath.  She’d asked her ex-husband to take a look at it, and he’d reluctantly come over, but he hadn’t found anything wrong with the sewer pipes.  He’d also suggested, rather grumpily, that she call a professional next time she needed help with the house.  That suited her just fine.

Her teenage daughter had brought a friend home, who had no reservations about expressing herself.  “Ew, your house stinks like garbage!”  Her humiliated daughter ended up going to her friend’s house to study.

Lindsey was frustrated.  The mystery stench was getting stronger and stronger as each day passed, and nearly 2 weeks had gone by.  They’d done spring-cleaning early in an effort to locate the odor’s source.  They’d invested in a simple black-light to see if they could find anything on the carpet or tile.  It was incredibly frustrating.  Lindsey considered herself an excellent homemaker, and was proud of keeping her home tidy and clean.  No matter what she did, though, the smell got more and more overpowering.

Nothing makes you more aware of a stench in the house than entering it after being away for the morning on errands.  Lindsey had been more than happy to have another excuse to leave the house, just to get away from the smell, but dreaded returning home.  When the odor hit her as she struggled inside, the thought had finally come to Lindsey that it must be a dead animal in the home.  What if a wild animal crawled inside the wall to die?  A dead animal would explain that awful stench that just wouldn’t go away.

The thought of crawling around the insides of her house and possibly coming face to face with a rotting raccoon, dead squirrels, or whatever wild animal had died in her house turned her stomach.  No, she decided to take her ex’s advice and call a professional to remove the dead animal.