Friday, May 8, 2009

Only at my house

Only at my house could we have some of the crazy problems inadvertently caused by Hurricane Ike. As some friends noticed when they visited us we have had trouble with a family of raccoons who made their home in between the floors/walls of our house after the hurricane. It was VERY annoying because being nocturnal creatures they made all kinds of thumping sounds and talked to each other in the night when we were trying to sleep. We borrowed a trap from a neighbor and caught two or three I think but there were definitely still more. Just a couple of weeks ago the sounds in the bathroom began to sound like babies to me and I thought oh joy they are really here for the long haul now.

When our friend came out and fixed our roof for us he also showed the boys how to seal off a place in the garage where we thought they might be going and coming. While we were happy to have it done we suspected that we had just sealed in some of the raccoons. The ones under the bathroom floor made a lot of racket for about two days before that stopped. Then a couple of days ago the smell began. At first I could only smell it when I first came home from somewhere, it would be one little whiff and then it was gone. A little later I could smell it fairly well if I stood in a certain spot in the school room which is directly under the bathroom. Today the smell was BAD. I had been afraid it would get like this and hated to think about how long we'd live with it like that.

We decided the worst smell was in the hallway/bathroom upstairs and in the big boys' room. Mom decided someone should at least investigate the attic to see if any of them were up there because we could remove those. If they were in between the walls and floors though like we suspected that wasn't going to be a fixable situation. Josh apparently volunteered to check it out and went upstairs. A minute later he yelled down to us. "I FOUND ONE!" He had opened the door to the attic and it fell out onto the floor. I was really surprised because I thought for sure we'd been in the attic fairly recently but I guess not. It was a little baby like we'd thought and while I didn't dare look when Dad removed it Mom saw it and I thought she was going to cry. "It's so cute! How HORRIBLE!" she said with a distraught look on her face. "It's just like the baby mice we caught in the trailer..." This was exactly why I didn't want to look because I was already feeling guilty for trapping baby raccoons until they starved/thirsted to death. I kept telling myself that I have nothing against raccoons whatsoever, even the big ones are usually cute (except for the massive dog-sized ones that have been seen in our backyard but I'm fairly certain can't be the ones that lived in the house because there's no way they squeezed their humongous bodies into our walls). But they do NOT belong in my house. Sealing it up so they can't get in had to be done and there was no way to be sure none got stuck inside before we did that.

I waited a good long time after they removed it to go back upstairs again. The scent has GREATLY improved but we can still smell it in the boys' room and a bit in my room. I'm sure there are more as after a quick Google check we discovered typical raccoon litters are 3-5. I'm hoping though that the others are buried in the walls still and won't be as horribly can hope right?


Candace said...

Ugh...poor raccoon. Reminds me of the cat that died in our van and we didn't find it till a week later. That is a horrendous smell!