Like all homeowners, we've encountered a few pest problems. Fruit flies. Ants. We have a few mice though I'm happy to say Piper stopped bringing mice up to our bedroom at 2am and has settled for leaving them in the middle of the basement floor for us to find.
If you remember, or if you clicked on, the story about Piper bring the mouse to our bedroom, you will notice that I said denial is a powerful thing. Three years later, we're still rocking the denial.
I'd been hearing noises for awhile. But again, like the first story, Lee didn't. Part of that is I work from home so I'm basically here all the time. I have a good sense of normal nosies and what is NOT normal. Then one evening Lee, the cat, and I all heard the noises at the same time. They stopped after a few minutes and we returned to the Land of Denial. It's a cozy place.
One day I was working in the office when the cat and I both heard a noise above our heads.
When I went outside I didn't see anything on the roof. That didn't mean the noise hadn't come from the attic, but it didn't mean it did either.
That evening Lee and I were sitting on the couch when we heard a noise and Piper bolted to attention. It was a loud noise that sounded like something scraping on metal. That was not good. Not good at all. We went out on the deck and didn't see anything. We tried standing on the benches and still nothing. Then I got smart and realized I needed to go to the back of the yard so I could see the whole roof.
We had company.
Lee tried to get it off our roof by spraying it with the hose. The raccoon didn't like that very much and ran off ... to the front of the house. I followed and was horrified to watch it crawl inside our house. But it seems it really didn't want to be in our attic at that moment and a few minutes later it poked its head back out.
It eventually wandered off and Lee went up and shoved an old pair of jeans in the hole. We knew it wouldn't keep it out, but at least we'd be able to see if it came back because it would have to move the jeans. We called a wildlife rescue company, who never did call us back.
Two nights later, it came back. Oh yes, it did.
Because nothing ever happens at normal hours, we were awakened at 1:30am. It sounded like something was tearing our attic apart. Lee went outside to look at the roof while I stayed inside where I heard something worse than banging—I heard cooing. Cooing was BAD. Cooing meant that there was more than one raccoon and that some of them were young.
While Lee was outside I banged on the wall and ceiling and played loud music. It seems the raccoons didn't appreciate it because after about 10 minutes Lee told me he could see eyes so out I went.
We watched the raccoon come out of the roof. Lee was thrilled! "It's out!" Then I informed him it wasn't alone. "What?!?!" I pointed out there were more sets of eyes. Lee stood stunned while another raccoon came out. And then another. Our attic was like a clown car for raccoons. We didn't have one raccoon. We had little family.
I called a different wildlife removal company the next morning. They were super busy and wouldn't be able to us until after our vacation. We just had to live with our new squatters for a bit. They were pretty quiet all week, though we had random sightings and indications they where there. I can't say we slept very well and jumped at anything that went boo in the night. We were looking forward to our week away because at least it should be quiet. As we pulled out of the driveway at 5am, they were sitting on the roof, waving goodbye. I think it was at that moment we officially because #TeamCyrilSneer.
A couple of weeks after our vacation they were evicted for good. Our roof was repaired. Our house has, we hope, been raccoon-proofed. It only cost us half as much as the windows the squirrels ate earlier in the summer.
We had just finally settled into a new raccoon-free routine. We could sleep! We stopped jumping at every random noise.
Then we got up early one morning to go to the dentist and looked out the back window to see our friends were visiting.
I watched Mamma raccoon waddle around under the tree and then climb it, completely ignoring how I told her to scram. Closer inspection of the tree showed she was not alone.
Fine, raccoon family. Raid the apple tree. Just stay the heck out of my house.