Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Squirrel Saga – Part Five

My initial thought was I’m tired, I’m hearing things, it’s the birds in the trees, it’s an echo from next store or it’s a malfunctioning instrument in the attic I know nothing about. Sure enough, the noise abated quickly and disappeared. I remembered to convince myself there was nothing to cause concern and re-entered my silent realm. And just when I felt it was safe to stop worrying again close to a week later, all my past inconveniences came back with a vengeance. Scratching and clawing could be heard above my head, over in the corner, in the bedroom and high up near a skylight window. Not just in one location at a time, but in at least one other if not two spots as if an entire family had suddenly moved into the attic suite. And we’re hearing goings on very early in the morning and even after dark which leads me to suspect an invasion of Norway rats (why is Norway not protecting their wildlife and recalling them home to Europe?) who are nocturnal. After searching the web for answers – thousands of pages on squirrels, who would have thought they were so popular – I settled on the theory that a mother and two kits (is that the right appellation?) had chosen the vacant quarters as their new abode. Apparently, dad is not welcome at home due to his habit of killing the kids so mom is more amenable to having some fun in the sack. Anyways, since the clattering started to become almost constant as the family rarely went out together, I had no choice but to inform management of my newest pests. Since I had proven the existence of the squirrels due to my excellent subterfuge in capturing one before, they immediately agreed to attack the infestation with vigour and prompt action. Needless-to-say, the old, failed exterminators were out and a brand new team was contracted for the job. Now, according to their card I was in the capable hands of a pest technician, I took that to mean they had handled a trap before and were experienced in setting it up so that it would actually work. To begin ‘my technician’ suggested locating the cage on the flat roof portion, but over the past few days I had inadvertently discovered the true front entrance. Watching from ground level, I realized the squirrels were gaining entry via a small, rotted out portion of the fascia, next to the concrete block firewall, which could not be seen from the deck as it was hidden by a rain gutter. Once this was pointed out to the technician, he simply hung the trap up in this spot advising me to call if the trap was sprung.
Talk about quick action! Now, it ended up as easy as picking cherries. Set the trap in the morning, have a visitor spring the door in the afternoon, and wait for the techie to drop by in the morning, remove the unwanted tenant and reset the trap. Bang. Bang. Bang. The first two days snagged the kits, which were pretty quiet, and the last bagged momma herself who was in a spitting mood, not at all motherly. Don’t ask because I’m not privy to where these varmints end up once gone with the techie and he didn’t seem interested in discussing their fate. Using a small l-shaped piece of metal flashing affixed with a couple of screws permanently sealed off the entryway. At long last, peace came to my condo unit.
Now about the pileated woodpecker who has decided to punch a hole in the cedar siding next to the window searching for bugs!

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