Friday, October 31, 2008

War of the Chipmunks

Let me start off by saying that I like chipmunks. Of all God's little furry rodent creatures, they are the cutest. Having said that disclaimer, for all their cuteness, I don't want them living under my house. They're messy. They pull down the heating duct insulation to make beds. They sit on my water heater and poop. A lot. They tear up anything I try to store in the crawlspace.

So they had to go. Unfortunately, all my crawlspace vents look like this:
They're not the super high-techy ones with the bi-metal springs and self-closing louvers. They're 40 years old and I have to close them myself by pulling on the handle in the center; and, more importantly, all the screen wire has rusted and fallen out. So when these are open in the summer, it's a little chipmunk doorway. And, in the case of the vent where the cable TV and DSL wires enter, it's a doorway all year long because the cables obstruct the closure of the flap inside the vent. Even when the flap can close, it doesn't lock in place or anything so they have been able to push it open.

This is the year when I decided that the chipmunks have to spend their winter vacation somewhere else. They're highly adaptable little creatures who have made good use of the proximity of humans and their houses, but for untold eons they have gotten along just fine without access to the underside of a brick rancher. This year they're going to have to resurrect some of that native chipmunk-smarts and make a burrow or something. I know that they'll be fine. And I'll still have duct insulation.

After a trip to the Ace Hardware, I took my roll of hardware cloth (not cloth at all, but a heavy screen with 1/4" openings - but so apropos for a quilter!) and a roll of wire, and started attaching new screens on the outside of the vents. Especially the one that won't close all the way.
So listen little critters, the Calico Quilter Super-8 motel is closed for business!


Paula, the quilter said...

O, this is such a funny post. Thank you.

G'G'ma said...

Oh, my, know those critters well!! We have so many all over our yard and under the deck and shed. The past few weeks I've noticed a big cat laying in wait near a hole in the ground.Don't know if it has caught anything. Since it is not our cat it doesn't feel the need to leave a gift at our back door!

momtofatdogs said...

Ha ha ha
you go gurl!
I am ashamed to admit that I had a terrible problem with squirrels. they were tearing up my ROOF !!! (at my house in Alabama) Well, I tried all sorts of anti-squirrel remedies. Nothing worked. I finally had to revert to luring them to a feeder that. After they started coming to the feeder I put a rat trap inthere. I caught (& killed) 8 of them. After that, i could hear them in the trees & see them in my neighbors yard, but they stopped coming to my house. I KNOW, I KNOW, it was awful. but I HAD to do something. They are horrible little things when they learn to tear stuff up !!