What a day!

Raccoons, squirrels, ants, spiders, and a duck: it was an interesting day in pest control.

Not much went as planned today. It was raining, so that meant no spraying, which sucks because I REALLY want to get everyone that has signed up for mosquito & tick management DONE their first treatment, already, not to mention a lengthening list of those waiting for spider sprays.

But we do have jobs that we can do even when it rains, so all is not lost. Off we went to our latest raccoon family. Momma and her babies were in a basement, almost directly below the living room couch – and they were very loud and very unwelcome. We’d visited once before and had a look for momma’s access point. Very frustrating! We are good at figuring out where things as little as teeny, tiny ants are getting into a house. And mice, rats, squirrels and bats. And all of those are generally way more subtle than raccoons!

Figured she had to be going in under the stoop somewhere – but couldn’t see it. And since the cottage was meant to be empty for the weekend, we thought we’d let her know she wasn’t wanted, and give her time to move. No dice. She was not the least bit interested in going anywhere.

In fact, when we got there this morning, she was off-camera – so I thought maybe…. yeah, no. she was just in a different section than the babies. And camera. Dang! Removing babies from a section of basement that you can’t actually get to is challenging enough. Doing it when Momma’s right there? Uh, no! That’s not even a little bit fun.

basement alex crawled into to retrieve the baby raccoons

Poor Alex! First he got to remove very long screws that didn’t want to be removed to take boards off the stoop so that we could see where she’d been going in and out. Then he got to pester Momma until she left. And after all that, he got to crawl through a dirt floor on his belly, under several feet of floorboards until he got close enough to extract the babies. He pulled them out and handed them to me; I put them into a soft-sided and padded tool bag. We thought we had them all at four – but fishing around in the bottom of a dirt hole filled with leaves resulted in a little wee squeak. After some careful listening and a bunch more ~fun~ he was able to get it out and put it in with its significantly bigger and more lively brothers and sisters.

pile of baby raccoons

So…. the hole she was using is blocked and we left them in their cozy bag under a wheelbarrow where Momma could easily get them – right outside her backup home, actually. She had a hole ready to go under a nearby shed. A little too close to the cottage, really, but the owner is willing to have them there until they’re ready to go off on their own.

So, next up was red squirrels in the soffits in Midland. Finding their access point was much easier – the homeowner knew where it was, already. Alex went up on the roof and blocked that, which apparently the one remaining squirrel didn’t care for. It went to the other end of the house and could be heard above the patio. We left an opening there it could leave by – hopefully it will do that before too long.

And then we were off to Port Severn to deal with the ants. Already treated them with bait, owner saw the bloom that we look for, so it was time to go back and dust (diatomaceous earth – great stuff! We use it after carpenter ant treatment to make sure that other ants won’t just move into the newly vacated habitat.)

Anyway, walking around looking for ants, lady beetles, anything else ….. we joke about this particular place that someday we’re going to open up the attic and find a tiger. He’s had mice, ants, wasps, flying squirrels, bats …… ! So. We joke.

Still no tigers. Maybe up in the attic; I didn’t look. I was too busy removing the duck from his living room! Yes, we went for ants and found a duck. A mess of feathers and soot all around the fireplace – and a stressed out heavy breathing duck in the fireplace. It’s breathing sounded horrible – worse than mine, even, and at first, when I tried to open the screen and get it out of there, it was about as cooperative as Momma Raccoon – but eventually it got out, flew to a corner of the living room, and I was able to cover it with a towel, untangle the cords it got itself wrapped in, and take it outside.

Merganser duck

It seemed quite happy to be free – flew to the lake and paddled around for awhile, then took off to – hopefully – stay away from chimneys!

That’s a new one for us – no tigers (yet) but the duck was pretty cool!

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