Thursday, April 30, 2009

Invasion of the little furry striped things

Remember these guys? The ones that lived under my house and chewed up my phone wires and wrecked havoc?

I managed to close up the rusted-out foundation vents with hardware cloth, and assumed that after they were denied access to the "Chipmunk Hilton", they would go somewhere else to make their little burrows and live their little furry lives.

Au contraire.

They aren't living under my house anymore, but they sure didn't leave and there seem to be more of them than ever! The cat and I have been watching the patio for the last 30 minutes and have seen at least a dozen of them, zipping around, digging in the flower pots, climbing the nandinas, poking around in the mulch border under the azaleas, scavenging the yard for dropped birdseed.

Were there always this many, and they spent most of the time in the crawlspace so they weren't seen? Or have they come outside, blinked, said "This isn't so bad" and proceeded to make new burrows and invite all their friends? Either way, the colony definitely has expanded.

This is all because I like to feed the birds. There's not a critter in critter-dom that's going to turn down a sunflower seed. I have fought these little vermin for years. I had to buy metal cans to store the birdseed and tie the lids on with bungee cords because they raided the stash. I have a two door resin cabinet that sits on the patio next to the chimney. It holds my gardening tools and supplies and was also my storage for birdseed, until they chewed a hole in the door! (Luckily, it's a hollow core door and they only chewed the outside surface. I would hate to have to put Bondo patches on the patio accessories because the little varmints can't keep their teeth to themselves.)

Yesterday I went out to the patio to water the flats of unplanted annuals and heard a "scritch scritch scritch" which seemed to come from the bottom of the cabinet. My first thought was that I had accidentally trapped one inside when I got the watering can. I even opened the doors and poked around inside with a bamboo stake, among the bags of fertilizer and tools, to make sure. Nobody ran out. The cabinet sits on a couple of scraps of 2x4 to keep it off the concrete. I decided they're under there in that little gap. Oh, great, now they're trying to chew out the bottom of the cabinet too.

I wonder if I could rent the little rat dogs next door to scare them off?


momtofatdogs said...

Rent them? Heck they'd probably enjoy the fun!


The Calico Cat said...

They are probably not afraid of the dogs...

Tanya said...

Your garden is looking wonderful!! I ought to go plant some more... I'd even welcome the varmints if they were that cute! (They could live in the forest and visit me occasionallY?)