Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Well, That was Certainly One for the Books!

         Last fall, my grandson started working with me with the intent of taking over my Pest Control Business ( ) OK, that's the commercial for this blog post. Anyway, we were out doing jobs on Monday and just finishing up when I got a call from the caretaker at a local Senior Housing project where I have done work in the past (Usually trapping and removing the raccoons with their young getting into the dumpsters in the May/June time frame! Anyway, I told the guy we'd be there shortly. Seems one of the residents had a bird in her wall and the caretaker couldn't figure out how it got into it. We arrive and go to the unit. Sure enough, coming from the wall at the head of her bed was a "chirp", "chirp", "chirp" sound. The exact sound a bird would make! The woman said she'd been hearing it on and off since early last winter, so the bird would have to be able to get in and out or it would have been dead long ago! Stepped outside to check the roof line looking for any hole where the bird might get in and didn't really see much. There was one spot, but that was a long shot. Didn't hear any chirping either. Went back inside. There was the sound again! Went into the adjoining unit and heard nothing. Now, if a bird was in the wall, wouldn't you think you'd hear it from both sides of the wall?
            Went back into the offending unit and started looking around. My grandson got down on his knees (I have trouble doing that any more), and put his head under the little table that was being used as a night stand. He said the noise was pretty loud under there, so could it be a cricket under the dresser that was right next to the night stand? Pulled out the dresser. Nothing! Pulled out the drawers. Still nothing! So I decided to pull out the drawer in the night stand and the sound got a lot louder. All three of us almost simultaneously saw the problem and said "hearing aids". The woman had put her hearing aids in a little bowl in the drawer without turning them off, and the noise was the hearing aids getting feedback from each other. Problem solved! So even though we deal with "critters", it isn't always "critters" causing the problem!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Just Trying to Get a Good Night's (Day's) Sleep!

       Last Thursday I got a call from a woman who told me she had a possum in her garage. I informed her I wouldn't be able to make it to her house until the next day. She was fine with that. I told her she might try leaving a trail of dog or cat food out the open garage door and then go shut the door when she went to bed. The possum should have left by then for it's evening foraging. She called me back later, and said she chickened out and didn't want to go into the garage.
       When I showed up the next morning, I found two garage doors with a regular door next to them with passage into the garage and stairs up to the house. I went in through the regular door and checked under the stairs and there was the possum looking at me. "Piece of cake" I thought, and went to get my heavy gloves and hoop pole. I came back in, went under the stairs, and the possum is gone! So I start the search. Looking everywhere. I came to the guys workbench and pulled out a box of rags that had been rounded out in the center and rags plied up around that center area for a nice little bed. Not many possums have that kind of 5 star hotel to sleep in.
       I continued the search, and couldn't find him anywhere. I was about to give up when I saw him under a dresser that was in the garage. I poked around under there to get him to move, because I couldn't get him with the hoop pole under there. Finally, he moved and disappeared again! Now where the hell was he? I went back to the workbench, and saw the tail sticking out of the box of rags. He got tired of my BS and went back to bed! I grabbed his tail, pulled the box out a little and got him behind the head with my other hand and carried him out the door. Of course, the husband had to take the obligatory photo of me holding him before I let him go. The photo must have been good because he (the possum) had his mouth open, looking all vicious! He was a little undersized so I assumed he was one that had been born last spring, and hadn't quite reached full adult size yet. I let him go at the side of the garage and he ran around the corner of the house and through the lattice work surrounding their deck. Told them he would be fine under there. Wouldn't cause any problem..

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Woodstove Noises

        Got a call from a customer who was hearing noises in his wood stove. Now in the past I have taken gray, and flying squirrels, bats, and birds out of wood stoves. So I figured it had to be one of them. So I hop in my truck, and drive over to his house. Get there, and open the stove door a crack and don't see anything. Close it back up and hear a noise in the stove pipe coming off the back of the stove. Bang on the pipe a little, and open the door a crack again. There it is clinging to the back of the stove (see picture). Reach in slowly and carefully and grab it. Pull it out of the stove and walk out onto the deck to release it, figuring I'm done with this job, and let it go. It flies away with no problem. Just then I hear the wife say "I hear another one". Sure enough, there's another one in there! Open the door, and this time there's one hanging on the inside of the door, So I repeat the process, and this one flies away OK. Think that was the end of it? Nope! There was a THIRD one in there.  All three released with no problem. Chimney swifts build mud nests on the inside surfaces of chimneys. My guess is that this nest broke off the chimney and fell down into the wood stove pipe near the stove just as they were fledging (leaving the nets for good) and they couldn't get back up the chimney. These were probably just fledged. and got stuck in the stove. It had a happy ending for all concerned. Chimney swifts are declining in general over most of their range.

          Here is a link to CT DEEP's web page about them. 
CT DEEP/Chimney swifts

Swift on inside of wood stove

Swift in hand, outside, ready to be released.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back hurts?

 A couple of weeks ago, I did a flying squirrel job in Bethlehem. I set up a one way door trap at the obvious entry point (hole chewed in the soffit of the roof). The guy called me the next morning to inform me that I had 4 or 5 in the trap (It actually turned out to be 7). Flying squirrels are nocturnal, so they are always caught overnight. Drove up there, swapped out the trap, and brought them home to release in my back yard. I let them go by opening the trap, and putting it against a tree trunk and they run out and up the tree. Well, 6 of them left and scampered up the tree, but the seventh one came out and just sat there, so my wife decided to see how close she could get. I guess it's back hurt and decided to stick around and see if someone would give it a back rub!

This is what the little guy looked like

Flying squirrel back rub!

 P.S. That's our yellow lab, "Moo" barking in the background. Jealous, I guess!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Biggest? and Stangest?

              I've done many Bald Faced hornet nests this summer, but these two are really up there on the "WOW!" scale. The first is probably one of the biggest I have ever seen. I put my foot next to it and to the right of my foot is my ball point pen! This thing was huge and was about 8' up in a crab apple tree. I killed it with the spray can on the end of my bee pole (which can telescope out to about 25'), and managed to get it out of the tree in one piece. I use a pole trimmer to cut the branches it's attached to, but it usually falls and breaks apart when it hits the ground. I managed to guide this one through the branches and get my hand on it, so it came down in one piece. The woman decided to keep it for a souvenir. I told her to put it in a plastic garbage bag and put it in her garage until all the larvae and pupae, decomposed and dried up. I have one hanging in my Bay window that I killed years ago, and it's still in perfect shape, and almost as big.


 This next one is really strange. Apparently they didn't have much faith in their engineering department. They built this one inside a street light (privately owned), near a customers house, so they would have some extra protection from the weather. Normally these nests can hold up to anything up to and including a Category 2 hurricane. I didn't kill this one because I had been called to the house for a yellow jacket nest in the wall and one of the woman's kids showed me this one. It was so high up it wouldn't bother anyone. So I let it be, they have their place in the environment and are beneficial as long as they don't bother people. I told her kids not to throw rocks at it!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Can an ugly reptile be cute?

        I think they can, especially when you see this! I went to a mouse/carpenter ant job the other day, and after I finished, I was standing in the customer's driveway talking to him, when we saw this on his driveway.
        A little background here. He has a pond out in back of his house, and he tells me that every June, a big female snapping turtle comes up on his lawn and tears it all up digging a hole to lay her eggs.       
        Well, the summer is almost over, and I guess the eggs have hatched, because this is what was in his driveway. That's a quarter next to it for a size comparison. That's how big a newly hatched snapping turtle is, and I guess we have all seen what they grow up to be. Those 40 pound, 18" long monsters you never want to deal with! A few minutes later, the customer found another one a few feet away on his lawn. When I left he was headed for the pond to release the little guys!