Well, really more like “squirrels and bats, and starlings, oh my!” Yes, unbeknownst to me, I have been housing a small menagerie in my attic. I’d been hearing the pitter patter of little feet running across the ceiling at night but gladly, willingly, and enthusiastically remained in denial. I told myself that it must be a squirrel running on top of the roof. A very energetic, sleep deprived squirrel that had no interest in coming inside.
Then, reality smacked me right between the eyes. A terrible odor hit the upstairs like a tsunami, engulfing everything in its path. My first thought was “what did the dogs get into THIS time?!?!” I surveyed the upstairs, inspecting every corner while covering my face like a bedouin protecting himself in a sand storm. Nothing. I opened all the windows. No problem, the outdoor chilled air would strengthen our lungs. I questioned my son, “did you bring something in?” Dead-end. The smell got stronger. We were knocked over by an olfactory wave. It was time to call in the specialists.
I started with “critter” and went from there in my search. Critter Control, Critter Catcher, Critter Getter–yes, all these exist. I did what any self-respecting consumer would do. I chose the critter specialist with the highest BBB rating. In this day and age, there are standards for everything, even critter getters.
The specialist came and inspected our attic, crawlspace, and home exterior. After a few hours, he reported his findings. Squirrels had gnawed through the apex of my roof, leaving a large hole where starlings were coming in and building their starling condo. They hired the bat as their doorman. Squirrels were creating their own squirrel metropolis. And, let’s not forget the cousins–signs of mice were evident.
But there was no need to despair. Everything could be fixed for a not-so-small tidy sum. As I will be selling the house next spring and am sure that my menagerie would not be a selling point in Zillow, I agreed to the repairs. Holes were plugged, cages were placed, and traps were laid down. All we could do now was wait.
Fast forward a week. No more sounds of critter relay races and no smell. Everything worked then, right? Not sure. So far, nothing has been caught and no new evidence has been found. It seems that the mere threat of a critter getter was enough to drive my attic-guests away.
I had started wondering if these critters could do some major damage to my home when I came across the CyberSquirrel site. Yes, they track squirrel havoc across the globe. While the squirrel is the top offender, the site also tracks bird, snake, raccoon, rat, and marten acts of violence.
I am just glad I was spared. In case you miss this at the post office, see picture above. Approach with caution.