Saturday, June 23, 2018
Squirrels in the Attic
Another issue the house had was squirrels. One of the neighbors called it Squirrel Manor, and they were right. You could see them popping in and out of vents, downspouts, under the eaves. Wherever they wanted to.
One by one, the openings were blocked up, and the squirrels had to look for new housing.
Guess where some of them moved?
We have an ornamental drop ceiling in the bedroom that I considered ripping out when we moved in, but it was in good condition and it was pretty, not that metal grid office drop ceiling, so we let it be. I'm regretting that now, because while the critters apparently entered through the attic, there must be a breach in the original plaster ceiling (isn't there always, in the case of drop ceilings?), and they decided it was much more snug and comfortable in the 3" space between the plaster and the fiberglass drop.
And the sound of their little claws on that drop ceiling . . . makes me crazy. Like, can't sleep in the bedroom underneath them crazy.
Animal control found a few small openings in the stucco (squirrels only need a 1.5" opening) and packed them with sharp metal mesh. I found 2 more narrow openings in the attic crawlspace which were hidden behind the roof edge/gutter on the outside, and Mario stapled multiple layers of metal screening over them.
But they're still up there, and obviously there has to be another exit because it's been days since we did the work in the attic, and the sounds are not the sounds of frantic-to-escape, hungry, thirsty squirrels. It's a squirrel party, all the time.
A different company is coming out this week. The tech is planning to remove a small section of the drop ceiling (which I no longer have any attachment to whatsoever, surprisingly), and then he'll be able to diagnose the situation better. He said that the amount of noise we're getting at night doesn't say squirrels to him, unless they're flying squirrels. He thinks it could just be mice, and the small space they're in is magnifying the noise.
Much as I don't like the idea of mice, I can handle mice. They're nowhere else in the house, I've seen no droppings or mess, no food packets have been ripped into in the cabinets, and the cats aren't bothered in the least. Mice can be trapped in a variety of ways, plus they don't like peppermint oil, which I have in abundance from the time we had mice in the mudroom off the old house.
Either way, mice or squirrels or Rocky the Flying Squirrel, I will prevail.
I just won't sleep much in the meantime.