Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You cannot chase this sucker with a broom

About a month or so ago, I was in the boys' room getting them dressed and I happened to look out one of their windows.  They have three windows that all face north on the back of the house.  Their room is situated on top of our kitchen/back porch, so the open directly onto a roof.

Anyways, I glanced out the window and this is what I saw:


Now, it was March and we'd had a good windy storm with some hail a few nights earlier, but hail cannot rip through shingles and felt all the way through to the decking.  And this roof is new; we just had it completely re-done about a year and half ago, so it's certainly not wear-and-tear.

Well, actually, it is tear.  Something tore into our roof.  Something with hands. Look more closely:

You can actually see where some THING ripped the shingles off the roof. Something that wants to live in there.  It couldn't have been a bird because the damage is too much.  Unless it was an eagle, but eagles don't really like densely populated suburbs like ours.  What could it be?  What could it be? The more I thought about it, I recalled that two nights prior, the dog had been going ape shit and begging to go outside.  We did not let her as we assumed that there was some suburban wildlife out there and we didn't want her to tangle with anything.

Nelson and I discussed the identity of our vandal and we figured it could be one of three things.

1) A possum
2) A smallish, agile hobo
2) A raccoon

We see possums.  My dog kills them on occasion, (this is a funny post, you should read it) and they do have hands.  But,  we really did not think a possum was big enough to cause this kind of damage.  We've never seen one larger than an average house cat.  Also, don't they like to hang upside down in trees?

We don't actually see hobos, but we do live just a few blocks from the CSX train tracks, and is one of the busiest lines on the east coast. I think.  There are a lot of trains.  We have those train watcher guys with cameras there every day.  And there is a train enthusiast club here in my little town and they set up this huge model train at the farmer's market.  It's like The Station Agent over here.  Have you seen that movie? I loved that movie.

Anyways, hobos.  We've never actually seen one, but with the train tracks are close.  It would have to be a nimble one and a smallish one to shimmy up our gutter.  But aren't hobos usually drunk?  And what would he do with his hobo sack while shimmying? I don't know, this seems pretty unlikely and also, creepy.  We stopped talking about it.

That leaves us with the likely culprit: a raccoon.  A big, ugly nasty, hunchbacked, skulking raccoon.  God, I hate those things.  Particularly the ones that live out here in densely populated areas.  They get huge from eating garbage and have no fear of humans.  NO FEAR!  They hiss and have claws and are just so disgusting and mangy looking.  Oh, and they have fangs.  Check it:

So, we've got this guys, trying to live in our roof.  Causing hundreds of dollars in damage.  Clearly, something has to be done about this.  I was tasked with figured out what that something would be.

To be continued...


Michele said...

Be very careful. Those sucker are mean. Can't wait to hear how you got rid of them.

Aliceson said...

I sure hope you have some old hockey equipment in the basement for this task. I think a helmet and long stick could come in handy... Along with a rabies shot. Good luck!

Advanced Pest Management said...

Pick up a cage trap at Home Depot/Lowe's. Use marshmallows in and around the trap, Raccoons love them.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit - it looks as if he tried to chew through the gutter, too.

I got no advice, but I'll be very interested in how you get rid of him. The worst we have to deal with is moles and rabbits eating our gardens.


Susanica said...

Hi Jenni. Such a saga. To be continued. You big tease! Oh, and you know that hobo is short for "homeward bound" right?

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oy, I've seen how nasty those raccoons can be. And deceptive. Have you ever seen Over the Hedge?

Captain Dumbass said...

Just shoot the bastard. Justifiable homicide.

Jennifer said...

That is crazy how one animal can cause so much damage!! Be careful!! Please don't keep us waiting too long with part two!!

Andrea said...

Oh my! I hope he's operating alone, as a whole posse of them would be even more terrifying!! I guess I should be happy (or at least not freaking out) about the return of the dive bombing barn swallows here! Good luck!

Keely said...

Lucky YOU. Gah.

(Ha! My wv is "sucker". Really.)

gretchen said...

Did you consider...rat? Just a thought.

Where I grew up in Texas, we had lots of raccoons, and they usually minded their own business. Unless you had something they really wanted. Like garbage. Raccoons really like garbage. They used to always get into our garbage cans and make a terrible racket at night. Nasty critters.

gretchen said...

Okay, I love that you got a comment from Advanced Pest Management.

Patty O. said...

Ooooh, I'm dying to know what you come up with. We had a giant raccoon living under our deck who was horrible. It came out even during the day and wasn't scared of people at all. WE finally demolished the deck to and evicted the raccoon.