This afternoon, a pest control company phoned me.
You see, I seem to have acquired a squirrel in my attic. I wasn’t sure, but for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been hearing intermittent scritchy-scratchy noises in the ceiling in one corner of my bedroom. I’ve heard them outside when I’ve been relaxing on my back deck. I had my suspicions, but despite lots of gazing up at the roofline and soffits of my house, I never saw anything. I thought that I should probably contact my strata council anyway, but I hadn’t yet done so.
But yesterday evening, my next door neighbours (you know, the guy that clips his toenails outside in his back yard!) were outside barbecuing (again! These people practically barbecue their breakfast!) and heard that scritchy-scratchy noise. They looked up at my house and spotted a squirrel. It disappeared and they also spotted a hole that it had chewed through the wood to get into my attic. At about that point, I went outside to see what was going on, and although I couldn’t see even the hole from within my yard, they assured me that it was definitely there and that it was definitely a squirrel. I went back inside and composed an email to my strata council to the effect of “Get that squirrel out of my attic and clean up/ repair any mess it’s made!”
Hence today’s phone call from a pest control company. They are coming over on Friday morning to scope out the situation and determine their course of action. According to their website, they usually put a one-way door at the place where the squirrel usually goes in and out. The squirrel can then exit, but not re-enter. They (the company, not the squirrels!) come back a week later to remove the door, to look for other entrances, and to check for structural damage to the building. They will also, for an additional cost, clean up and repair said damage.
That’s the part that concerns me. I mean, I don’t really know how long that squirrel has been up there. DD and I have heard little noises off and on for a few years (though never as much as I have heard recently), so for all I know, there is a huge and well-established colony of squirrels living above my bedroom ceiling. Who knows when that ceiling is going to come crashing down, squirrel nests and all? Maybe the electrical lines are close to being chewed to pieces and I’m about to lose my electricity. Perhaps next time it rains, it will be raining indoors too, due to enthusiastic squirrel chewing on the underside of the roof. I just don’t know what to expect – nor do I know if I will have to pay for that type of cleanup and repair. I sort-of think that I won’t, that because it may be more of a structural issue, it would be the strata’s responsibility, but I’m not entirely sure.
And another concern I have is if cleanup and repair are necessary, what would be the logistics? I am going back to work quite soon, and I live alone, so how is this supposed to happen? Most of my friends work too, and I don’t know my neighbours well enough to give any of them a key to let tradespeople into the house. I’ve always had DD home to do that kind of thing, but she’s at university all day now – plus, she doesn’t live here any more anyway. I might be able to ask my mom, but she’s not very comfortable with stairs, and my house has ‘em. Am I going to have to actually miss work for this?!? That just seems ridiculous! How do working people DO this?!?
Oh well, cross that bridge when I come to it. The pest control people haven’t even come by yet, so I shouldn’t speculate on what may or may not happen.
… effing squirrel!