Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nutty McNutsalot

So, we had a new tenant in the house over the winter, Mr. Nutty McNutsalot. At first we didn't realize Nutty was moving in with us. About a month ago, I had heard noises when I was sitting in the living room. Hubby convinced me it was "the window rattling." Really?? was a windy winter, we have old windows, seemed to make sense. Sort of. Except the noise seemed to be coming from the ceiling and running back in forth from the kitchen to the living room over my head!!!! Those who know me or who read this blog regularly know I am NOT a fan of furry wildlife, especially in my house. So when I heard "the windows rattling" more often I got nervous. I called Mr. Tim, the professional exterminator that I signed us up with last year when it was suspected a mouse was in my house. Back then, poor Mr. Tim came over to find me standing on my kitchen chair with my kids and bags packed up to move out until the Beast was caught. He tried to reason with me that one suspected mouse in a basement doesn't require me to move out, but clearly he was not thinking straight!

Anyway, after 2 weeks of windows rattling I decided to have Mr. Tim take a look in the attic. And wouldn't ya know it, the windows left behind a poop trail after they rattled. Hubby was still skeptical. But, Mr. Tim assured us a squirrel had in fact moved in and liked our attic so much he decided to build a nest and stay a while. Fantastic.

Now, Mr. Tim tried telling me that the squirrel was NOT going to dig holes through the ceiling and come into the house. He was just going to build a nest and play with the exposed wiring in our attic, but since we have working smoke detectors that shouldn't be a problem. Oh great, that's better.

Needless to say I started sleeping with a light on. Not a small nightlight either, a nice bright lamp. Hubby wasn't too happy about that or about the $350 estimate Mr. Tim gave us for removing the squirrel. Apparently "nuisance wildlife" is not covered on our service plan as they require special techniques to remove and "dispose"of.

So Hubby decided he would move Nutty out himself. I told him he had 1 week and then I was calling Mr Tim back. I figured even a super squirrel couldn't dig his way through my ceiling in one week, but I wasn't chancing any longer than that!!!

And so the meeting of the minds began. It was Nutty versus Hubby.

First, Hubby "foamed" the hole outside where the squirrel was coming in.
One point for Hubby. Two days passed and Nutty was not heard from!! WOO HOOO
BUT, Mr. Tim had suggested getting a screen and some metal to reinforce the hole, apparently Nutty likes to chew foam so the metal would keep him out. Hubby kept meaning to get to the hardware store, but didn't. He underestimated Nutty. After 48 hours he was back!! And running over my bedroom while I tried to sleep. Not helpful!!

Hubby stepped up the endeavors. One night on the way home from work he stopped to get screening and metal and all kinds of supplies and worked on patching the hole.
He forgot to get a drill though and therefore couldn't;t finish the job, but thought it would be "good enough" until he could a drill. 24 hours later-Nutty was back!!!

So- Hubby got tougher. He got a drill, put more foam and a screen and who knows what else and filled in the entrance to Nutty't apartment. Woo Hoo!!! Progress!!

The only problem....Nutty was inside the attic. So yeah, now Nutty was trapped in the attic with no way of escaping through the bullet proof screen Hubby had installed.

Hubby got traps.

After a couple days of being stuck in the attic my cousin, Sammi worried that Nutty would starve. But, I assured her. Nutty was well fed. He ate every bit of the bait that Hubby left in the traps for him. Without ever setting off the trap. Nice!

We were beginning to get attached to Nutty. Proud of him in fact for being so darn smart. We surely had the smartest squirrel EVER. Not only could he eat through foam, build nests and run marathons, he could tip over traps with over once getting caught. After 2 days the only thing Hubby caught in the traps was his own hand. Twice.

Now to be outdone by a squirrel, Hubby persisted. And patience payed off!! I heard Nutty one afternoon. And then I didn't. When Hubby came home that night he went into the attic with a flashlight and a garbage bag ready to do battle.

Let's just say that Hubby was the victor!!!! WOO HOO!!!! I have never been prouder. He was so brave!!! He battled that ferocious, furry genius and won!!

I had to be given as few details on the battle as possible because I needed to be able to return to sleeping with the lights off for all of our sanity. But, I was extremely impressed with Hubby's wit and skills when it came to capturing wildlife. And though I may have been a doubter in the beginning and might have even made fun of some of his tactics, I have to say Hubby was right! It was so much more satisfying to have Nutty out of the house for way less than $350. Extermination is a lucrative business.

Mr. McNutsalot you made our winter interesting. But, I am glad to see you gone. And may all of your friends be warned!!

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