The Diary of a Nouveau Soccer Mom: Army Tales: Critters, Round 3

Friday, July 12, 2013

Army Tales: Critters, Round 3

We've just passed the two year mark since the husband re-enlisted in the Army.

Aside from retraining, we've had a very atypical Army experience, in that he is mostly home.  (I'm not complaining, mind you, just surprised).  In June, he finally headed out for about a 4 week training exercise, not in Colorado, and the kids and I got set for a few weeks of just us.

However, in my world, my husband going away for a few weeks equals an invitation for critters to invade my home.  We had crawdads, lizards and carcasses in Texas. And now we also have Colorado critters.

Jumbo squirrel in my backyard

The husband left on a Thursday.  On Friday morning, I woke up to what can only be described as the sound of a roller derby match being played directly above my bed.  Dante-dog was also woken up by the roller derby and immediately starts yipping and lunging at the walls.  This definitely can not be good.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that, with a one story home, the only way for something to be above my head is for that something to be in my attic crawlspace.  And the only thing that can likely get into my attic crawlspace is one of the multitude of portly squirrels that live in my backyard. I debate setting up a ladder to see what might be going on, but realize with my luck, I'm more likely to be attacked by a darn squirrel than figuring out a solution.

At this point, the only solution is calling the maintenance office.  I call and explain the whole story about roller derby squirrels and the dog trying to go through the wall to get them.  They insist that the squirrels can not be in the walls (I do not think Dante Dog is wrong) but they'll send someone out.

The nice gentleman brings me two squirrel traps and sets them up in my attic.  He also informs me that there is a huge gap in my attic that should have been screened in, so that's where my critters are coming from.  However, the gap can't be fixed for a few days, so I need to listen for the traps and if there is a ruckus, call him and he'll come remove the trapped critter.  With the heat, they need to be freed quickly or they will expire and cause an odor.  Oh good, trapped, smelly, potentially dead squirrels, just what I always wanted.  He then heads out to the backyard and notes that we also need a dryer vent cover, because, if the squirrels are expelled from the attic, they may decide the dryer vent is a possibility and he's had squirrels in both the dryer and in people's basements before.

At this point, I am now longing for the days of lizards and crawdads in Texas.  Faith points out that she is not a fan of the squirrels to begin with because they stare at her and make her uncomfortable. Dante still wants to eat them (assuming he can catch them).

Day 2, the gentleman from housing returns to check the traps, no squirrels.

Day 3, the gentleman from housing returns to check the traps again, no squirrels.

Day 4, the gentleman from housing returns to check the traps yet again, still no squirrels.  I begin to question my own sanity as I know I heard squirrels.

Day 5, a different gentleman from housing comes and repairs the attic access point, also notes no squirrels.  He also adds a screened cap on my dryer vent so we can be squirrel free in the basement.  The original gentleman comes back, removes the squirrel traps and promises that he will return if I hear more squirrels.

At this point, I am done with critters.  I suppose I should be thankful we didn't go to Alaska (where the husband's original orders were going to send us).  We probably would have had a moose in the kitchen and a polar bear in the garage.  A friend posted on Facebook about how all the bad stuff happens when the husbands are gone--appliances breaking, houses leaking, cars needing repair.  I think "home turns into a nature preserve" should be added to that list.

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