what i learned today

we don't have squirrels in our roof. we have raccoons. sigh. But I learned that raccoons hate the smell of ammonia and, unlike squirrels, don't really care for the presence of people near their nests. So if you make it be known that you're there and you don't want them there, the 'coons will probably leave. that being said, the little devils are smart. I put four layers of steel mesh over their hole in my roof. They didn't attempt to chew threw the mesh. Instead, they picked out the staples from the staple gun, peeled up the screen, and had a nice screened-in porch for themselves. Great. So, I got a couple gallons of ammonia, cleaned some windows, shined some floors, and then dumped the waste ammonia into that hole some 28 feet in the air. It was kind of scary, carrying the stuff up there so high in the air. In my mind, I began to pour the stuff down the hold and the raccoons, now really pissed off, leap upon my face, gouging out my eyeballs and causing me to fall backwards to my paralysis or death. Thankfully they weren't there at the time. Hopefully they won't come back, because I had to return the ladder. I also learned that I like Neutral Milk Hotel and that Muse is better than I first thought. Also, The Social Constrution of 'What'? is a good book. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but if you're interested in the whole concept of "social constructionism" then it gives a really detailed but still fun exploration of the problem. I should put an excerpt of it up here so you know what the heck I'm talking about.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good to see that you have not lost your imagination. My mind would have imagined the same except that they would tear my flesh off my face and I would look like the fly before falling. Somewhere, strongbad, trogdor and teen girl squad are smiling at us.

I hope that you have a better week and look forward to having fewer "tenants"


4/10/2005 5:45 AM  
Blogger John McCollum said...


And I always thought you had bats in your belfry. Raccoons in your roof, whatever you want to call it. Same idea.

Anyway, we had a similar problem at the house in which up I grew (gotta get those prepositions away from the end, right?).

There was a family of raccoons who had taken up residence under our shingles. Unfortunately, we had just re-roofed the house, and couldn't afford to keep repairing the damage. After exhausting all of the humane options, my father decided to take direct action.

Only, he didn't tell me first. Picture me, Pak's age, asleep in bed at 3am. I awake hazily to see the hulking silhouette of my father in my bedroom doorway, rifle in hand. He walks in to my room and whispers something that I mistakenly remember as "Shut up and no one gets hurt." Or something like that.

He approaches my bed, opens my window, and BLAMMO.

"Go back to sleep, son."

Yeah, right.

Well, that took care of the mamma raccoon, and the babies presumably died of malnourshment shortly thereafter.

The roof was fine.

I'm not sure I am yet.

4/11/2005 7:40 AM  
Blogger John McCollum said...

BTW, I grew up in central Columbus, not somewhere in the country. Which makes the whole thing a hell of a lot more reckless.

4/11/2005 7:41 AM  
Blogger Seth said...

Your Dad is offical Old School, John.

Erik, I would love an passage from the book you mentioned.

Good luck with the 'squatters.'

4/11/2005 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they probably just got through mating, or are in the process of doing so now.

unfortunatly, this means that you need to be even more tenacious then they are.. especially at night.

trust me, those cute little bastards won't leave unless you send them a clear signal.

the best advice i can give you is to get yourselves a dawg. the barky type.


4/11/2005 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, and if a dog is impractical, piss on some rags and throw them into the area they are residing in.

amazing what you learn living in indiana...

4/11/2005 10:24 PM  

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