Sunday, January 6, 2013

Oh, Rats!

Oh, Rats.  And I don't mean that in the figurative sense, as in darnit, dangit, dangnabit, drat, darn, or shucks.  I mean that in the literal sense, as in vermin, rodent, creature with no purpose I can think of on the evolutionary scale.

See Exibit A

Looks, cute, right?  Little furry guy, all nestled in fluffy goodness, cuddly and cozy.  Perhaps.  Just not in my attic.

Apparently our house is infested with these critters, along with numerous squirrels and an opposum for an added measure of fun.  How did I discover this lovely situation?  Long story - but I'll try to keep it short.

Deonne has been battling squirrels at our house for the better part of the past year.  I'm not entirely sure why they decided to attack our home and take up residence in our attic - but they have - and have done everything short of knocking on the front door to invite themselves in.  By that I mean they've ripped through screen mesh in the attic eaves, chewed through the corner of the eaves, and even gone so far as to rip up shingles to chew through the attic boards to get in and hide their acorns and other miscellanous loot.

Probably breeding up there too, I'm sure. 

Oh, we've heard them scurrying around, have had roof damage and leaks from their chewing, and seen insulation snowing down on the lawn where they've poked their way through.  So Deonne has taken up arms (literally - armed with an air gun) and traps to deal with squirrels in the attic.  Along with continuing to seal obvious places of entry - he/I thought the problem was solved.  Sort of.

And then around Christmas - I started smelling something fishy.  Something gross in the master bathroom.  It wasn't totally toxic - it would just come in whiffs here or there at first.  However, as the days passed by - the smell worsened.  Deonne tried his best - climbed around in the attic above, searched high and low, shone a flashlight around - to no avail.  Time marches on - he returns to Virginia - and I'm still left with a stinky bathroom.

Great way to market a house, no?

So somehow Deonne has connections to a 'wildlife' expert (a.k.a. critter removal guy) who comes over with two technicians to assess the situation.  After sticking cameras down the walls of the house from the attic, searching around, and finally poking holes in the bathroom wall - they discover the smell.  I was certain it was one of Deonne's nemesis - a squirrel that had met it's demise and somehow become trapped in the wall.  You can imagine my shock when they came downstairs and asked 'uh - do you have some plastic grocery bags?  We gotta bag up the rat.'

Excuse me - the what?!?

The RAT.


And then the situation become even more appalling - when they went on to explain that there is evidence of NUMEROUS rats residing in our attic.  They suspect they had been there for YEARS - probably there when we moved in but we never knew.  Because the previous owner had a lot of crap in the attic - and we followed suit - packing it full on moving day.  And no - we never poked around in the insulation when we moved in - who does that?  I assumed it was all fine - isn't that what we paid the home inspector for? 

Well now thanks to our adventures with the POD - the attic is clear.  Nothing up there except the upstairs AC unit, insulation, and apparently a whole host of rat crap.  And squirrel crap.  And also opposum crap.


So thankfully it's being taken care of now - and they assured me that we're not getting sick from the piles of rat feces all over the place - it's not in the air system - and unless we were up there playing in it we're fine.

But still.

I'm creeped out beyond measure.  And I totally have the creepy-crawlies.  There's FREAKING RATS right over our heads.




So now they're trapping and killing and removing the rats and miscellaneous vermin - and upon removal will patch up all methods of entry - then take up all insulation from the entire attic - sanitize it all - and put down new insulation.

I wonder how much that's gonna set us back.

I'm sure someday I'll look back on this and laugh and say 'remember that time we had a gazillion rats living in our attic?'  No - wait - I'm not sure I'll ever find this funny.  It's too beyond gross for that.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Kristin, I'm so sorry. We've had adventures with Mice. Which I would prefer over a rat, but still was not enjoyable! We caught no fewer than 15 in our garage. I stopped going in there at night. We bought a "humane" trap and the little light would blink when it caught something...of course I refused to empty it ~ that was Dan's job. But just seeing that blinking light would make me shudder. Hang in there with your rats and cats. This too shall pass...all in time for a new adventure! :)