Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Home Invasion, Casa Style

Greetings from Casa de Crazy!

Things have been, well, crazy around here.

We've had some friends pass through the veil (it hurt, we're mourning, and I'll get into it some other time when their losses - unrelated to each other - are not quite so raw).  I've been getting ready for my annual journeys into the wild north of southern Illinois and then later to Ohio.  I've been wrestling with my psyche.  I've been wrestling with my partnership with Someone.

And now?  I'm wrestling (figuratively, thank goodness) with the local wildlife.

Last evening I was talking with Someone down in the Quiet Room (serving as his quarters for the moment, and that's something else to be discussed another time) when I heard...a noise.  A sort of scritching, scratching, scrabbling noise.  It was in the wall behind the door.  Oh, no, I thought, the ants are in the wall!  Carpenter ants, they come around every now and then, and I have to have them dealt with because they will eat my house frame right out from under me.

I wandered upstairs to the back door and popped out to see if I could see them on the outer wall.  Nope, no ants.  I did see some of these:

"Howdy, neighbor!"
They were tiny, not even the length of my rather short pinky fingernail, and they didn't seem to give a fig about the fact that I hadn't invited them to nest in my siding.  I asked them politely to leave.

"What do you mean, you're evicting me?  But...but..."
They ignored me.  Rude.  I asked them again, with a touch more firmness, and they kept ignoring me.  A third attempt at a stern talking to led to the same result - yellow jackets ignored me and kept on with nesting in my siding.


I warned them that I was calling a bee remover and came back inside.  I found a bee person...well, a general wildlife person...who is local and asked him if he could come by, and he said he could make it in the morning.  I was hoping he could just remove the little darlings, but it turns out that yellow jackets aren't pollinators, get rather sting-y when someone tries to move then, and would require some serious removal or walls for that kind of thing.  If they were honeybees, I'd go the extra mile, but yellow jackets are just pissed off, aggressive stingers with wings.  Wildlife guy (Jason) suggested simply offing them, and after a silent request for forgiveness from the tiny-death-fliers-of-doom, I agreed.  They and their nest in the wall are now no more,

"I shall have my revenge!"

Meanwhile, Jason noticed something else near the Casa.  Very near.  Another house guest I hadn't invited to the party.  He saw this:

And this:

And on the other side of the house, this:

 I told him I'd been seeing that and thought it was from Rodents of Unusual Size scampering about but thinking better of coming in whet the garage cats tried to make their acquaintance.

He told me that the dropping are, in fact, from attic dwelling bats

 (aka Brown Bats).

"Yo, 'ssup?"

I believe I replied with something pithy like "Er..."

Seems the wee darlings have found their way into our attic space and have been happily living rent free up there for quite a while.  Years.  They're beneficial creatures to have around, but not so much actually INSIDE the house.  They're fastidious abut personal cleanliness but not so notorious for keeping their floor clean, and the urine and feces they leave lying about can be a health hazard.  As the Evil Genius has asthma, and I do, too...and as my attic space isn't a toilet...and as I don't care to contract any of the other diseases that bats can carry and share with their host families...I must have them removed.  Not killed, just...evicted.  And then the entire attic may need to be gutted and recombobulated.  Because of course.

I don't even want to talk about the carpenter ants...especially because, despite their name, they never build me any furniture or a new garden shed or anything like that!

Y'all, I love nature.  I strive to live with her, not in opposition to her.  I strive to be a warden to the land I occupy and to help the living things that share it with me.  But...enough is enough.  I don't bother them in their nests or burrows or whatever, and I'd appreciate the same consideration.  I don't want to have to declare war on the local critters, creepies, and crawlies, but I feel pushed to defend my home with vigor and feelings of guilt.

I'm all for "live and let live" whenever possible, but right now it's just not possible.

Look out, home invaders, it's on, now!