Thursday, 12 November 2009

Don't laugh.........

This is not in the least bit funny.

We have squirrels in our soffits.

They appear to have moved in lock stock and barrel and from the racket they're making I'm fairly sure they're assembling flat pack furniture.

Initially, a week or so ago, the noises were quite quiet and tentative, so we thought there were mice in the attic.

Subsequently we revised our opinion and upgraded the status of the rodent threat level to that of rat.

However, even a very large, possibly obese rat wearing hobnail boots wouldn't make as much noise as the squirrels running through the soffits. If we stand in the garden we can actually see the little buggers scampering along the guttering then disappearing into the soffit at the corner of the roof.

Whenever one of them jauntily re-emerges onto the gutter, it sits and waves at us.

We think they are able to squeeze through the hole for the water tank overflow pipe and get into the loft. However as there is thick insulation up there, we shouldn't be able to hear the clatter of their paws and claws so clearly.

Squirrels in the loft is a much worse scenario than squirrels in the soffits as they can cause major damage. Aside from my boxes of precious books in the loft, there are also various runs of electric cables and I worry in case a foolhardy squirrel might take it into its head to chew through one. The thought of instant crispy-fried squirrel is bad enough, but the prospect of a fire starting up there is terrifying.

Unfortunately we can't get up to the part of the roof where they're getting in. It's going to need someone to clamber up onto the single storey sloping kitchen roof, then somehow get a ladder up to the roofline. Hopefully, blocking off the hole into the soffit will stop them but we can't find anyone willing (or foolish enough) to do it.

Small Dog has been worse than useless.

Because she can't actually see the squirrels, her hunting instincts seem to be subdued.
She can hear them though, and sits bolt upright and trembling on the bed when they start cavorting through the soffits, (usually round about dawn, aka stupid o'clock) and occasionally emits a low, rumbling growl. However, our efforts to encourage her to break into full-blown staccato barking fall on deaf ears and she remains resolutely (and uncharacteristically) silent.

I've mooted the idea of putting Small Dog up in the loft and letting her have a sniff around. However she abruptly declined. I suspect this is because, being a literary sort of dog, she is keen to avoid the potential fate of Tom Kitten, who was made into a Roly Poly Pudding.

I have assured her that Samuel Whiskers isn't in the loft but she is unconvinced.

I have tried to encourage her instead to take on the 'hero' role of John Joiner, who was undoubtedly a terrier (albeit with his own tool bag).

However, she claims that she is not keen on the notion of hand tools, and equipping her with her stated tool of choice (chainsaw) is only likely to end in mayhem.

So we are between a rock and a hard place. With a scurry of squirrels cavorting through our soffits without so much as a 'by your leave'.

It's going to be a long day........


Anonymous said...

Yuk - you got problems - big problems. If they get into the loft they burrow under the insulation and nest there.

What might work is one of those plugs that is supposed to deter rats and mice and other rodents. If you have a plug point in the loft or an extension cable going up there then get one of these plugs. We have them in the basement and have never seen hide nor hair of mouse - nor any trace - since we put them in.

Might work.

You can get the plugs in Homebase or any of the DIY places. They aren't that expensive and might get rid of them once and for all.

If you got someone to seal the soffit you might have one or two still trapped in there and while they probably smell bad enough alive, dead is much, much worse.


Anonymous said...

By the way - a smoke alarm or two in the loft is a cheap way of ensuring that if anything does happen you can hopefully catch it before it gets desperate.

We have them up there just in case.


Sandra Morris said...

We don't have any plug points in the loft, and running an extension lead up there would mean having to leave the hatch open, leaving open the possibility of letting them into the house!

Mind you at least Small Dog would be unable to ignore them then, although the resulting carnage would be unpleasant to say the least.

We're hoping PP's daughter's boyfriend, who is a scaffolder by trade, will pop over at the weekend and do something to block off the hole where they're getting in.

I'd already thought of the implications of incarcerating one or more of them inside the soffit/loft.


Debie Lyons said...

Sandra do not confront them in any way shape or form. A cornered squirrel is a nasty beast and if its family are around they will join in too. They must be looking for somewhere cosy to bed down for the winter. Heres to holes getting blocked up before they can get comfy.

Debie xxx

Deep Squeaker said...

I KNOW this wasn't funny. I KNOW that. But the combination of visual images of Albert Wesker and the squirrel from the Griswold's Family Christmas is just too strong.

However, make sure the little buggers are properly sealed out asap. And Little Dog For A Pet needs to toughen up. She is a York-SHIRE-terrier and needs to stop being a soft Southern noncey big girl's blouse. Let her have at them with a chainsaw.