Tuesday, November 25, 2014

dead things

Did I mention I have another dead critter in the wall of my house exactly where the last one died? Probably another rat. I heard gnawing in the wee hours in the wall behind the stove several weeks ago. It was directly above the access to beneath the house (we're on pier and beam) that I had opened up about 4 years ago so the plumbers could do some repairs on the kitchen sink plumbing. I had replaced the wire mesh but when I looked it had been pushed enough to allow entrance.

Have I mentioned how much I hate rats in the walls? The old house in the city had them and in the winter they would wake me up gnawing in the walls by my head in the bed. I hate killing things. I don't kill things with a few exceptions...copperheads if they are near the house, rats if they are in the house, wasps if they are building a nest in my areas of activity otherwise I leave them alone.

So I put one of the poison baits (which I really hate, it seems so cowardly but how else to get rid of a rat in the wall?) through the hole in the wire mesh and tried to close up the hole and forgot about it. Until last week. The odor is fading now and I suppose I should be glad the weather is cooler. Even so, why, why do they always want to die in my walls!

Speaking of dead things, there was a dead red shouldered hawk on the roadside a couple of streets down from ours. I saw it when we were heading in to the city Saturday. I sure hope it's not our local hawk, the one who comes to visit to get water and a bath.

We got back late and it was rainy so Sunday morning I jumped in the truck with leather gloves in hand to check it out, hoping it hadn't been run over, which it had. I threw the water logged thing in the truck anyway for closer inspection at home. I couldn't tell if the skull was damaged but it's lower beak was a bit broken. I wonder if it was intent on some prey and blasted into the side of a moving vehicle. I can't imagine how else it would come to be dead on the side of the road.

Anyway, I got the long handled nippers and cut it's head off which is now buried in a fire ant bed. It will make a nice addition to my bird skull collection if it's not too damaged. I also took one wing that I have no idea what I am going to do with (the other was too damaged) and the feet with talons, also buried in a fire ant bed. Don't ask me why.  



  1. It's nice to know fire ants serve a purpose.

  2. we go through dead mice in the walls. their gnawing and scratching drives me nuts. i put poison in one wall i can access and more under the furnace through the return air vent areas. then we deal with the stink, but it's better than finding mouse excrement in the pantry!

  3. We are living parallel lives with parallel thoughts and parallel problems.
    Lord, woman.

  4. You certainly bring recycling to a whole 'nother level with that hawk.

    My daughter and family are coming for Thanksgiving and as usual, I will house them in the basement. One side of it is finished into a living room and bedroom with full bath. (Sounds fancy, but the ceiling's unfinished and the walls are panelling.) Anyway, I'm always hoping they won't hear the mice that move in every winter.
    Well, this year I've worked up a new trap arrangement involving sticky traps and pecans. Apparently pecans are a key element because in just the past week and a half we've caught EIGHT. Now I wonder how many are really down there.

  5. You gave me a good laugh. Around my livestock I have to keep catz so not to get ratz, especially around the chickens. That problem may soon slow since the Queen of Hearts is coming over today and tomorrow and it's "Off with their heads!"

  6. So "Bones" and "CSI" are your favorite TV shows? I have the cutest little gray mouse in my basement bedroom that I am trying to catch without success.

  7. We've had critters in the walls as well. I also did a blog post on it once. One critter peed in the attic area above where I was typing one night. It sounded like a big critter. I never figured out what it was.

  8. Living in the woods, we had quite a mouse problem for years. In one fit of remodeling and insulating half way ago we had every hole sealed tight. And, it kept them out. About a year.

  9. I hope the smell is completely gone by now.

    I live in New York--city of rats! Every know and again we get one (or three) stuck under the elevator or the garbage chute, and my goodness it's disgusting. That stench sticks around for days.

  10. Ugh. I hope it clears up quickly. I had a bit of a chuckle when one moment you express how you dislike killing things and the next moment you're lopping a dead hawk's head off. ;) I do know why. And I do get it. I just don't think I could do that. I was squeamish about pulling a tail feather from a dead blue jay. too citified? :)


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