Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Creepy January Story: Or, Pest Removal- Another Great Reason to Love The Internet

Good news: the Note That Beat Up Your Grandma And Stole Her Purse is officially vanquished. While I very much doubt that it is going to any great lengths to convince my editorial board that I am the sparkling, witty, Editor-in-Chief candidate I not that secretly hope to be, it is, at least, done. Which is good, because there is a bottle of wine with my name on it just waiting for me in the kitchen.

What with the passing of the Note That Pees On Public Property, Especially Orphanages, and the minuscule break in NoTown's outrageous cold spell, the campus is starting to look a little less like the innermost circle of Dante's hell and a little more like the frigid, dreary, potato-chip filled place that I've come to know and love. Roommate and I have resolved to warm things up tonight with cocoa, Kahlua, marshmallows, and a fire.

Well, probably a fire.


Which brings me to.....The Critter From Above.

....You see, earlier this year, Sofa the Cat started displaying a creepy amount of attention to the fireplace. Sofa paying borderline-psychotic attention to any thing is not particularly notable in our household (see: preternatural obsession with my scarves, weird fixation about the herb pot, incessant need to sit under the garbage disposal). However, scratching and squeaking noises emanating from the chimney? That will get our attention, post haste.

At first, Roommate and I cooed and flitted about the apartment, convinced there were charming little baby doves/robins/owls/other members of Cinderella's feathered animal posse. Clearly, they were trapped up there, all cold and alone. We determined that we had to do something, so Roommate readied the windows, and I opened the grate, thinking that I would check the flue and see if I couldn't dislodge our adorable, vulnerable new pseudo-roommate.

Of course, at this precise moment I thought what you, dear reader, are silently screaming: "Bats, you fool!" I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before, but as soon as the word left my lips, the grate was slammed shut, and Roommate and I were both safely huddled behind the couch, swearing on our lives that those horrible things were never, ever, going to be allowed entry into our home, so help us God. Call me a speciest, but cute bewildered little birdy? Ok. Flying rabid rat-thing? No no no no no.

I wish I could tell you that a tremendous flurry of vampire bats came careening out of the hearth (and Internet, you know the only reason that they didn't is because we shut the grate, and Sofa was keeping them at bay), but sadly, nothing quite so exciting happened. Roommate and I reconnoitered behind our couch fortress while we planned our next move. Ultimately, we decided that we would barricade the bats/evil things/terrifying flying monkeys in with a cardboard box, and call maintenance in the morning. I was all for solving the problem ourselves, by lighting a fire and smoking the buggers out, but Roommate pointed out that (a) that required one of us sticking our head in the chimney, and (b) risked the spectre of a flock of flaming bat-things careening around the interior of the apartment.

Forced to wait until morning at the earliest to get rid of our uninvited visitors, Roommate and I sat on the couch and watched Sofa watch the fireplace. Because I am very helpful and pro-active, I googled things like "how to get rid of bats" and "what to do when your house is taken over by vampire flying monkeys." In my search, I learned some very disturbing things about our infestation:

1. In case you were wondering, no, you can't buy bat repellent.

2. But you can get an exciting disease called Histoplasmosis, a fungal infection in the lungs which develops as a result of inhaling bat droppings. And disgusting things. 

3. And more importantly: "Bat removal is not a simple task. The proper way to get rid of them is to exclude the colony - seal off 100% of possible secondary entry points on the home and remove all of the bats from the building safely. It is often very challenging, and it must be done just the right way. An amateur attempt could result in disaster - dead, rotting bats, and bats swarming throughout the walls and the home."

I also discovered this terrific website: Professional Wildlife Removal, and promptly why it had taken so long for this wonderful resource to become a part of my life. Seriously, you should click through and join the fun, because there are all sorts of amazing highlights. For example, each possible beast has a link in the sidebar, complete with a corresponding icon- are you infested with Armadillos? Click on the adorable little armadillo icon, and learn what to do (fun fact: armadillos, while cute and hilarious in concept, are nasty and frightening in person). Once you click through, you can see a picture of what exactly is causing your problem. Not sure if you've got beavers or canines? Check against the mug shots!

My favorite, though, is the link that says "Dead." Because, friends, if you've got an infestation of dead, you've got a serious problem. Indicators include, but are not limited to:
"(1)Terrible odor inside home, (2) Terrible odor outside home, (3) Presence of swarms of flies, and (4) Stains on ceiling or wall." If you're still not certain, don't worry: "Dead" also has a mug shot.

And that's why I love the Internet.


And in case you were wondering: the maintenance guys came, set a fire, and smoked the buggers out. And all was right in the world, until yesterday, when a resounding, clanging, scrambling noise started emanating from the chimney. I'm going to consult the website- I can only hope it's not an infestation of "Other"


(In)Sanity Gal said...

Oh my god. I sort of want to click the link. And I'm terrified at the same time.

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson