Wow is all I can say. This weekend has been one thing after another with rodents and pests. And no – I am not talking about Zack or the dogs (ok – bad joke – but at times they can all be pains in the rumpus!). As I wrote in my last post, Friday saw the removal of a hive of bees from around my chimney. This weekend saw the removal of a group of squirrels from the crawl space above my garage. Yes that is right - squirrels – several of them! I normally love squirrels. I think they are cute, I think they are funny. But I draw the line when they think that they can take up residency in my house! Though my garage is attached to my house, it is really a separate part. It sits on its own slab and there is no living space above the garage. Above the garage is a fairly substantial attic/crawlspace. Throughout this past winter I would hear the sound of squirrels in the attic above the garage. Each time I climbed in there to check it out I would not see them. So there really wasn’t anything I could do about it. What really got me going this time and got me fired up and determined to keep them out was the fact that one of them died up there. Let’s just say that it wasn’t pleasant! It was a big ass dead squirrel and he smelled the place up! I first noticed the smell on Friday when I was getting paint out of the garage for Shane to do touch up work from the bee removal. I was thinking it wasn’t anything much. I thought at first it was probably just a mouse from the rat poison that I have to keep mice from getting in the house. However, I quickly realized that it wasn’t a mouse as it stunk too much. A mouse wasn’t going to fill the whole garage up with the stink. After a bit of investigation I realized that the only place it could be coming from was the crawl space/attic. On Saturday morning I crawled up there and began looking around. I was wearing a mask to prevent me from breathing in anything in case whatever it was had died from Hantavirus. Dealing with Hantavirus is always a concern in this part of the country. Due to the types of mice around here you always have to take precautions in any kind of enclose space like an attic or a shed. On Saturday I wasn’t really into it. I went up into the attic but I honestly didn’t look too hard as I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with it. Then I nearly had a heart attack when a squirrel practically ran right on top of me. So after about 3 minutes of looking I decided I was done. Today was a totally different day – I was determined to get this thing out of there and to prevent any other squirrels from getting in. Early in the morning I took Zack and Cole swimming at the Lone Tree Rec Center. When I came home I was bound and determined to make it happen. I quickly suited up in long pants, long shirt, hat, gloves and a mask. (I borrowed the mask from my brother – it is the kind that is used by painters when they are applying really nasty stuff like stain, etc.) I got the ladder repositioned under the entrance to attic and I crawled on up. This time I was looking much more closely and I found Mr. Big Ass Dead Squirrel within 2 – 3 minutes of getting up there. Agh… He was big and he was really dead! With the warm weather of Friday he had swelled up to about twice his normal size. It was pretty gross After I found him I went back down and got a bunch of plastic bags, bleach and a small shovel. I scooped him up on the shovel and got him bagged up as quickly as I could as I felt bad for Mr. Squirrel and I just didn’t want to have to keep looking at him. Thankfully there wasn’t any insulation where he had bit the dust so I put a bunch of bleach all over the place to clean things up. After that I unceremoniously took him down the ladder and put him in the garbage. I am just so glad that is done! After I got that cleaned up, I began the process of find out where the squirrels are getting in the attic. There are several vents near the end of the garage and they appear to be the likely culprits. I have some of them sealed already but it is going to take a bit of work to get them all sealed off properly. I will get it done through as I don’t want to have to deal with another Mr. Big Ass Dead Squirrel again. But for now I think I have safely evicted my family of squirrels that were living there. I think I scared the crap out of them by being up there so much. As I mentioned above, Zack, Cole and I went to the Lone Tree Rec Center for a very long time this morning. We had a lot of fun. We swam, we went down the slide and we hung out in the hot tub. I think both of the kids had a great time and they will be exhausted tonight. I also did something I haven’t done in a very long time – I made some bread. I didn’t make it the old fashion way, I used the bread machine. We now have some freshly baked bread for breakfast tomorrow! The rest of the day was also good. All-in-all a pretty good weekend! We hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks and peace to all! - J.