Creepy Crawlers

Reading about my friend Heidi’s recent cockroach problem got me thinking about our own tales of pest woes.  It first began when we moved into our house a few years ago and realized that we had an attic full of squirrels.  They weren’t too hard to get out – a guy came and put traps on top of the roof and every other day or so we’d see one sitting in his jail cell, waiting to be removed.

But lately, we seem to be suffering from a new nuisance – mosquitoes.  I’ve never noticed them before, probably because I don’t spend a lot of time in the great outdoors (and proud of it, I might add), so they are generally not an issue.

But I draw the line at having to swat them in my own home.  I’m declaring war!  Why, just the other day, a mosquito had the audacity to land on my baby’s head.  Were we trekking through the fields on a hike, you ask?  No.  We were sitting in the back seat of our car.  I quickly swatted at the vile creature and saved my little one from an itchy red welt.  I didn’t kill it, unfortunately, but I’m sure I scared it.

And just this morning another one went for my arm as I was changing Henry’s diaper in the nursery, of all places.  Needless to say, that little bugger wasn’t so lucky and I took great pleasure in sending it to the swampland of the great beyond.

Speaking of the great beyond… I think enough time has passed that I can now tell you about the other pest problem that we had a few months ago.  Our first clue that we had an unwanted guest was the rather large droppings that we found in our basement garage (which is used only for storage).  The next indication of a problem was an actual rat sighting made by my startled husband as he opened the garage door one night.  We immediately called the pest control people to take care of the problem.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy.

It took several days of waiting for the creature to eat the poison that was laid out for him.  Finally, we began to smell something that wasn’t quite right and we knew that the deed had been done.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that we didn’t know where the rat had died so we had to clean out the entire garage and wipe everything down with disinfectant in the process.

There we were in the late fall weather, rain coming down, – me fully pregnant btw – with a yard full of stuff, trying to scrub our garage floor.  We found the little sucker though – he had died in his “crib” in the very back corner of the garage.   And you know what?  I didn’t feel sorry for him at all.  Not one little bit.  I did, however, feel sorry for us.  But at least the problem was taken care of and we were rat free.

Until the other night.  The CPA and I were watching TV in our basement when we heard a thumping noise.  Turning down the volume we looked for the source only to realize that it was coming behind our wall, or our ceiling, we can’t tell which.  So now we have to bring out the pest guys.  Again.  While we haven’t seen droppings in the garage, we’re still worried that they’re making it into the walls somehow.

Creepy, I know.  And annoying too. Not to mention expensive!  And just plain creepy.  (I felt that was worth repeating.)  You’d think we lived out on a farm with all of the pest problems we’ve had.  We were told that rats and such are quite normal for cities because they are attracted to all of the trash.  Great.  That’s something they don’t mention on the community web page when you’re checking out places to live.

Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of creepy crawlers.  In fact – I’m all for just packing up and moving out and letting them have the place.  And I’d do it too, if we hadn’t put so much work into our home.  So we’ll stay, and we’ll fight, and we will be victorious!  Rats, mosquitoes, and squirrels be damned!

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Kristina P. - September 13, 2010 - 8:03 pm

Thumping? What in the world could that possibly be?
.-= Kristina P.´s last blog ..Labor Pains =-.

singlemormonchick - September 13, 2010 - 8:57 pm

i hate dealing with the vermin-especially when i am trying to go to sleep and i hear them scratching their way up the inside of my bedroom wall! drives me insane. i hope you get it all worked out really fast and without having to overhaul your garage. yuck.

Jodiw - September 13, 2010 - 10:48 pm

My parents have struggled with squirrels in their house – ack! We’ve had mice in our garage, and cleaning those droppings made me ill…they get EVERYWHERE! Our newest discovery is the bag-a-bug bags. Best invention ever! Worth every penny to keep pesty flies and mosquitoes at bay. :)
.-= Jodiw´s last blog ..Love This Little Old Lady! =-.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is - September 14, 2010 - 3:16 am

OH man… I have a terrible fear of bugs and rodents… ugh!
.-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Caramelized Autumn Fruit Stuffing Cups =-.

Märtha - September 14, 2010 - 4:19 am

That really is creepy!

Where we used to live, we had bats under the roof that weren’t that disgusting but they were noisy! But here in Germany you aren’t allowed to kill them so when they were away in winter we had to close their little entrance into the roof…

admin - September 14, 2010 - 4:29 am

I hear you Jessica, I HATE them! Hearing something crawl around in our walls freaks me out – I’m always afraid they’ll get through somehow! Oh – and I should have mentioned the crickets. We get those big brown crickets in the basement sometimes and they are just the most vile things ever!

Martha – I have to say that bats scare me like no other flying creature! I can’t imagine trying to kill one (seems really gross) so it’s a good thing you have other methods of getting rid of them!

Janet - September 14, 2010 - 4:51 am

I’m probably going to get slammed for saying this but…really, bats are our friends. I have a good friend (not a bat) who is a bat rescuer. I’ve had the opportunity to help feed orphaned babies and injured adults. Yes, I was pretty creeped out at first. But, they are very beneficial, eat tons of mosquitos and other pest insects. They have the softest finest fur. If you see a bat on the ground, don’t pick it up. Place a towel or other cloth over it and call a bat rescue person. They will handle the animal humanely with rehabilitation or euthanasia if necessary.

Sara - September 14, 2010 - 7:15 am

Oh man, this has been an awful summer for mosquitoes. Hopefully it will get cold soon enough and kill all those darned things! That’s awful about the rat in your garage. At least you caught it! I am terrified of finding critters in our place. We live in a 200+ year old building that is three apartments, and the people upstairs are NOT clean people. One day last summerI was sitting on our back porch and saw a giant rat go right up the steps to their porch. We’re in the city too, so I guess that’s not all that uncommon. But EWWWW!
.-= Sara´s last blog ..Chocolate pretzel tart =-.

April - September 14, 2010 - 7:21 am

I just wrote a very painful check to the pest control company for their accomplishment of the amazing feat of….nothing. We found one mouse in our basement. Knowing from experience that where there’s one, there are usually more, we called the big guys in and they found exactly squat. While that’s comforting (they also found no droppings or other indications that any of the critters had been visiting on the sly), I am still trying to digest the fact that I just paid a company a ridiculous amount of money for doing not much. OTOH, the same company dealt very quickly and handily with a more significant mouse problem in our previous home, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. I don’t care if they stay outside, but I hate the thought of them in inside spaces, largely because I am fearful of animals that move so quickly. If they were slow and lumbering, honestly, I’d probably be fine to pick them up myself and carry them outside!

admin - September 14, 2010 - 7:25 am

Janet – that’s really interesting, actually. I’ve never thought of bats that way. You’re probably right though – I’m sure they do a lot of good. I just hope they do that good outside and not in my house. :)

Sara – ewww is right! That’s frustrating when you try to keep your place clean and the neighbors don’t and you have to worry about rats too!

April – I totally understand because I thought the same thing! The pest guys just came out, set some traps, put down some poison, and went on their merry way. We had to do the removal and the clean up and everything else. And that was after the rat ate the poison which we weren’t sure it was going to do! It was quite frustrating actually which is why I’m hesitant to call them about the noise in our wall. But what choice do we have?

Mom of 5 - September 14, 2010 - 8:42 am

It’s a constant battle for all home owners….they (the vermin) just don’t like living outside and think all our nice homes have room for them..what are they thinking???? We’ve have many experiences just as you have, and you might remember a few of them yourself were you to think back to our home of your youth. Many a time did you girls come running when you saw bugs, spiders and the occasional small rat (while your brothers laughed). Then we always called the professionals but now we take care of things ourselves or at least he COP does. If I see one bug or a spider I gently remind him to spray again. I WILL NOT share my home with anyone or anything other than my family (two legged human variety). Good hunting and hope you have a great professional to call to rid your home of all unwanted pests. I’m with you girl…your home is YOUR castle and it’s to be safe from all things large and small……

Nicole - September 14, 2010 - 8:52 am

We had a swarm of bees exterminated that decided to take up residence over the front porch. We were lucky, we’ve had two families in the neighborhood remove them and their honey from inside their walls!!! Good luck with the thumping!
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..A POEM – BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTER P =-.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - September 14, 2010 - 11:01 am

I just actually shuddered. Ugh! I think you have to move Tabitha!
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..Thank You =-.

the domestic fringe - September 14, 2010 - 4:59 pm

Ugh! I hate pests. We’ve had a few mice come in. We got them, but I always wonder, are there more? We had one die in the basement (unfinished & scary) and the smell was terrible. At first we weren’t sure what it was.

Hope you fix your mosquito problem. They are bad here too, especially as the sun goes down.

-Fringegirl
.-= the domestic fringe´s last blog ..Parenting 2010 Style =-.

tracy - September 14, 2010 - 7:09 pm

agreed, that is creepy! i hate all of the above mentioned creatures. and seriously, you’re having issues again? i feel for you!!

John von Cannon - September 17, 2010 - 2:55 am

We have two nuisances here on the farm–occasionally small ants inside the house–solution–no food crumbs or food source, and our quarterly termite inspection company provides a perimeter spray of the house. The other nuisance you asks? Can you spell ARMADILO? Don’t get me started–LOL!

Isabelle - September 18, 2010 - 3:57 am

Well, I am surprised that after “professional” poisoning you could smell the dead rat. We had this problem in the attic of our previous very old house in Germany because the rats relocated from the neighbours to us after they did some work in their attic ;-) )) The poison the pest control distributed in boxes put an end to it without us having to go dig for the dead bodies, because the poison supposedly dried out all liquids in the animals and therefore no smell, no bacterias etc. being spread. As they were living in the space between upper floor and attic, we would have never been able to go and dig for the dead bodies. So I am surprised you had to do that; how would that work, if they are living and dying in your walls ?!?!? Check for details when inquiring and get moving, because rats love to multiply ….. *yakk*

admin - September 18, 2010 - 6:41 am

update: we’re having the pest guys come on Monday. We haven’t heard the noises for several days so we’re hoping that they’re not setting up shop inside our walls. Isabelle – your comment has me particularly worried! :) Hopefully it won’t be as big of an issue as I’m thinking it may be!

Heidi - September 19, 2010 - 6:06 am

I grew up in the country. I’ve camped (as you know) in almost every state in the union. And I must confess: It wasn’t until I moved to the South that I began battling bugs and critters in this godforsaken swampland. At least when the weather gets cold, you can assume that most of these friggers will die. Here, in Florida, they party in the winter –– snowbirds and tourists … more people to torture.

My neighbor has been seeing snakes. Dear Jesus. I hope they stay in her yard.

PS. The roach problem has not been resolved. I’m calling in reinforcements Monday.

admin - September 20, 2010 - 9:04 am

So… I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats to hear the verdict. Well, the pest guys just left and yes, we have a rat in the walls/garage. Apparently there are droppings and there’s a place under the porch where they’re getting in. Arrgghhh! I was serious when I said that I’d rather just move. Needless to say, they’re coming back out tomorrow to set traps, seal the porch, and do some other things. Now the CPA and I have to schedule a day to clean out the garage and hose everything down. Again. :(

Tasneem R - September 21, 2010 - 12:42 am

Ok that’s sad . My house was pest free until yesterday when I discovered a rat in one of my rooms. Now I’ve to be extra alert with that creature because rats eats and spoils almost everything that comes their way.
Here’s a free test ,thought you would like to take -
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mitzie - September 28, 2010 - 6:27 am

Tabitha, I just wanted to let you know that you might want to investigate this Tasneem R person who keeps posting about taking a free test at 3smartcubes.com. The tests are not free. To get the results you have to buy a premium membership. Both the poster and the 3smartcubes site use none standard English which is often a tip off to a phishing/scam/spam site. I would never trust my credit card info to that site even though they say the server is secure.

Mosquito Spray for Outdoors - November 30, 2010 - 6:48 am

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