The other day, Spriggan and I were out front on a potty break (for her, not for me), and she just kept staring at the side of the house, periodically barking, and constantly pulling at her leash.
I thought nothing of it, thinking she was responding to the smells of animals that had passed by that way. But then I glanced back and saw a rat perched on a stone.
Yeah, kinda like that, except it looked less like Sisyphus and more like a brown rat. On a stone.
Then it dawned on me that the DEEP, ankle-breaking holes in the yard were not caused by our yearly bunny resident in the backyard and a naughty dachshund in the front but rather by rats. Probably quite a few of them.
I had thought about calling the wildlife removal folks about the raccoons anyway, ’cause one got in a fight with Pixie (Did I mention that on here? Pixie had a few scrapes on her muzzle, but she’s fine, and the raccoon apparently left.), but I thought I’d wait for another sighting. But with the rat problem, I thought I ought to get an estimate.
I set about the task of clearing room to pull down the attic ladder, and when I do, there are mouse droppings all over it.
Turns out, we have squirrels living in our attic, rats living outside, bats which are not currently there but apparently nest in the attic every year, little termite tunnels in the basement… plus the raccoons and maybe mice and the snakes in the yard and the occasional visiting wild turkey or suicidal chicken or cat… basically, we’re less homeowners and more wildlife-preserve-managers. (I could point out here that we live in a suburban environment, not the country.)
Now that we know that, we can get a new estimate!
Luckily (I guess) that price includes live-trapping everything to release it in the woods somewhere (having had pet rats and still having dogs, I just couldn’t see my way to poisoning anything), removal of the nests/droppings/mess, and sealing all the holes and entry points (including the chimney, which has no cap for some reason).
I don’t have a problem with rodents or squirrels, but if they chew through wires or bring disease upon my dogs, it would be a pretty big deal. So, I’m not going all Boudicca on this stuff, like I do with moths.
I used to be fine with moths; they can be pretty, they don’t do any harm, right? Moths are just nighttime butterflies!
Until I bit into a saltine and ate half of a moth caterpillar. This was disgusting to me on several levels, namely that I’m a vegetarian and that EWWWWWW BUG!!!!! and that now I have to throw away a practically-new package of crackers.
So, moths infested our pantry several months ago. I managed to get them out, mostly by throwing away tons of food, and ever since then I’ve been Heidi Mothbane.
They incite in me a fury previously reserved for the likes of “Christian” hypocrites and gay-bashers (not mutually exclusive).
They (the moths, not the other assholes I hate) now live in the dog food cupboard with some spiders who are, in my opinion, not pulling their weight. Whenever I see one out and about, I catch it and feed it to Spriggan. She loves moths. She has yet to catch one entirely of her own accord, but soon we’ll be Heidi Mothbane and her Hound of Caterpillar Crushing.
All this, of course, within a day of my destroying my knee, getting sick, and finding out from the dentist that the little groove I’m feeling on my molar is a little deeper than the other one and I probably out to get it cleaned out and filled just in case there’s some decay, for my peace of mind.
I haven’t gotten the bills for the medical stuff yet, but the tooth is $500 (for the cleaning/X-rays/filling), and with the wildlife removal… my jobs cannot keep up with my maladies.