Opossum in the Attic!

Quite some years ago, before I stapled a wad of steel wool in the hole gnawed in the corner of the garage door, the scrabble of little feet in the attic meant it was time to re-bait the mouse traps. Then, one night, we heard the scrabble of big feet in the attic…

This is the point where the horror film audience starts chanting “Don’t open the door! Don’t open the door!“, but, to our credit, we did not don our skimpiest underwear before venturing into the attic. We didn’t encounter any zombies, either, but we did find this chap:

Opossum in attic

Opossum in attic

This is about as far north as opossums get; their ears suffer frostbite over the winters and get all raggedy, hence the pink teddy bear aspect. These are not, however, cute and cuddly critters.

The house has a full hip roof with a four-foot soffit over the patio, which must be the best place for a ‘possum to hang out:

Opossum in attic soffit

Opossum in attic soffit

Some quick searches with the usual keywords suggested leaving the lights on and playing loud music, so we deployed several shoplights and a radio turned up all the way. It took two or three days, but eventually Mary spotted the critter on its way out of the garage… and now we don’t leave the garage door open any longer than needed.

FWIW, the path from the garage to the attic requires climbing those shelves, scaling three feet of vertical plasterboard wall, then crawling through a (now securely closed) vent hatch.

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  1. #1 by Jason Doege on 2011-08-20 - 13:04

    We had a raccoon come through a loose soffit vent earlier this year and set up residence in our attic. We called a professional critter-ridder who’s best idea was to sprinkle something that smelled like the pee of a big, male raccoon everywhere in our attic, possibly big-male-raccoon-pee. He said wait a couple of days and then seal up the vents. A couple of days later, after the vents were sealed, we figured out the raccoon was still. I closed up all the soffit vents in the house and opened up one over our patio that was impossible to get back into. It was only 30 minutes later the raccoon investigated the hole and spent the next 30 minutes trying to get enough nerve to make the 10 ft. drop. It finally did and I then commenced hoping it was not a female who left babies behind.

    Next time, I’ll save myself the couple hundred dollars for the “pro” and just use my brain.

    One of the things that surprised me, given how cheap it could be, the pro had no way to look into the remote areas of the attic aside from crawling around. How expensive could a webcam on a stick be? Where the raccoon was hanging out was relatively inaccessible and not view-able, but a webcam on a stick wold have made it easy to see if we were dealing with babies or not.

    Oh yeah, the only effect the big-male-raccoon-pee smelling chemical had was to make our entire house smell like big-male-raccoon-pee for a couple of days. It either dissipated or we got used to it and our visitors are too polite to say anything.

    • #2 by Ed on 2011-08-20 - 13:39

      spent the next 30 minutes trying to get enough nerve to make the 10 ft. drop.

      We’ve watched a groundhog, not normally thought of an arboreal critter, clamber straight up one side of a six-foot chain link fence and down the other side. Critters can do what needs to be done… you must simply make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.

      our visitors are too polite to say anything.

      I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, but there never really seemed to be a good time… [grin]