Get Rid Of Unwelcome Varmints
When we were kids we would watch with amazement as hundreds of thousands of bats would exit from the attic of the abandoned canary across the street from our home. Once the brightness of day time had turned completely to darkness the swarm would begin. There were so many that it seemed to take them hours to get out of that attic. Our parents told us that they carried disease and that we should stay inside out of harms way. Well, you know children. We were out there every night filled with both fear and curiosity. Fortunately, we never got close enough to them to find out what danger existed. Later, the canary was torn down, the bats disappeared and part of our childhood became a memory. We didn’t know it then, but the bats flourished because of the enormous mosquito population that existed in the marsh just on the other side of the river. As young adults we were to discover that the bat population disappeared – not because the canary had been demolished – but because the county had implemented a mosquito abatement program in the marshes. Their food disappeared and so did they. Isn’t nature amazing.
Living near the river, we also had significant rat and mouse populations. The battle with them never seemed to end. Picture young teenagers learning to set a mouse trap before learning to drive. We didn’t have to deal with racoons and squirrels until we were adults. Our Aunt Helen and Uncle Mike had a cabin in the mountains. You could always count on meeting a hungry racoon – paws spread and begging for a free meal. Have you ever looked closely at a racoon’s teeth and claws. Cute, but vicious and deadly. Call a pest control company as soon you see signs of pest infestations at home.
All our lives we have also enjoyed living close to squirrels, skunks, foxes and other varmints that flourish in the foothills south of us. The populations we far more substantial back when, but they still exist today.
Being so close to these animals for so many years has taught us they have a place in our lives. And we truly respect that notion. However, we have also learned that their presence in our homes endangers our children, our food supply and yep, those fun to watch critters can be a super nuisance as well.
It is important to know that certain animals carry diseases such as rabies that can be extremely dangerous to both you and your family. Others multiply by as much as 700 percent in a year and can multiply to the point where they transcend from nuisance to danger. Other pests are noisy and although they may not multiply very rapidly they can be a noisy nuisance.
Bats are definitely nocturnal and love to leave their lair at night to find food. Watch where they leave from and screen the area off before they return. Absolutely do not go into the attic. Your attempt to scare them away could result in needless injury to you and them.
We have never felt very good about mice. Once nested in your walls they will search and destroy food, documents and clothing in less time than it takes to say “they’re here”. Once you discover a mouse problem – get a cat and call an exterminator. How do you know they are there? If you notice black droppings about an eighth of an inch in length chances are it isn’t wild rice. Don’t waste time with environmentally safe, animal friendly methods of control. These rodents will eat through electrical wiring and expose you and your family to a deadly house fire. A mouse can enter your home through a hole three-eighths of an inch in diameter. They also get in through gaps between the foundation and exterior siding. Also, do your best to eliminate potential mouse meals. Clean all surfaces and insure that every single scrap of food is wiped up. Heavy duty plastic or metal food containers will deter hungry rodents who would otherwise knaw right through a cardboard box. Remember, spring traps and poisons are dangerous to children and require special management.
We absolutely love squirrels, but they can keep you up all night long scratching and taping on your ceiling. Evicting the cute little things first requires discovering their entry-exit point. Block gaps between shingles, repair torn vents and patch even the smallest hole. Next, hinge a vent screen at the top with a couple of nails creating a swinging door that swings out only. Place a tray of food outside the trap door. The squirrels will be able to get out but won’t be able to return. If you like the squirrels in your area place food in trees. How about a squirrel house?!?
Somehow we all have to live together in harmony – except for rats and mice. We can do without them. And, good luck relocating your unwanted tenants.