There’s something in the attic and we don’t know what it is.

There’s something in the attic and we don’t know what it is.

Yep.  I hear it before I fall asleep.  So do my cats.  They look to the ceiling and rant about the noise.  It wakes me in the morning with its footsteps and scrapes.  Sometimes scurrying and sometimes clunking or clicking.  My husband initially slept through it, but since I’ve added elbowing to the noise, he can no longer ignore it.  I think the little beastie(s) leaves in the morning and then comes back “home” in the evening.    We’ve been trying to identify this wild squatter, but our guesses are so far inconclusive.

Our house has little circular vents from our attic (I think) to the outside.  They are covered in a wire mesh, but inspection by binoculars (two story house) confirmed that the mesh has been torn and pushed aside in a few of the holes.  As I type this, that 80s song by Men At Work, “Who Can It Be Now,” creeps into my head…like that creature creeping into my house.  And I can’t get it out.  Either one so far.  So, who can it be now?

At first I thought it was a mouse, but it really sounds too big for that.  Much more substantial unless the mouse has been to the garage to lift weights and bulk up.  No evidence of that so far.  So something bigger I think…or at least not quite mouse-like.  While Mickey Mouse isn’t ruled out for certain, it’s low on the list of suspects.

A quick internet search suggested a raccoon since they are nocturnal.  Those holes are small though.  Maybe two and a half to three inches in diameter is all.  Raccoons are bigger than an average cat I think and our cats are definitely too big to squeeze their house-cat sized bodies through those little holes.  It does sound big enough to be a raccoon though or maybe it’s just the attic’s acoustics?

I can’t remember hearing it in the winter so maybe it wasn’t here yet or just hibernating?  If hibernating and most likely nocturnal, that may suggest bats.  And bats have been known to reside in attics.  Fun fact: hibernacula is the word for places where bats hibernate.  It sounds a bit like Dracula.  Anyway, little brown bats hibernate and are located in our neck of the woods.  Now that spring has (mostly) arrived, and bugs have returned (I may have just scratched a mosquito bite), they might have just woken up.  Since we bought our house in November when they were most likely sleeping, this could make sense.  They would also be able to squeeze into very small spaces.  Good thing I like bats. They kind of scare me, but I like them.

My husband seems to think that birds have moved into our attic.  That is a possibility too.  Birds could definitely fit through those holes and I did think I heard little chirps the other day, but it was morning and there are lots of birds in the yard that can be heard anyway.  So many birds.

So have we gone into the attic to see what it could be?  Nope.  No way.  I’m not going up there.  So…who do we call?  Not Ghost Busters.  Maybe an exterminator, but I really don’t want any bats or birds getting hurt.  I’ve heard for bats, if you wait for them to leave and then close the holes, they just can’t get back in.  However, you need to be sure no babies have been left behind.  That’s just cruel.

A rat maybe?  Bigger than a mouse, it could be a rat.  I saw one in the yard today,  running toward the bird seed spilled from the feeder and scaring the birds.  I’m about 50/50 on whether I’d like an exterminator to take care of that.  Such cute faces.  Such gross tails.  I really hope it’s bats or birds.  I’m still not going into the attic though.  Someone else needs to seal up those air vent holes.  Not me.

One last thought.  ROUSes.  You just never know.  Perhaps one of those.  Still…small hole to fit though, but hey, a fairytale is a fairytale.  I’m hoping I’ll get an, “As you wish,” when I ask my husband to go up into the attic.  On the other hand, if the attic is opened, the ROUS could get into the main house and then where would we be?  Infiltrated with house cats as our only defense.  Best to leave it to the professionals.

So, what’s up there?  The mystery remains…

7 thoughts on “There’s something in the attic and we don’t know what it is.

  1. tonytomeo

    Oh my! A colleague sent me into his attic to evict ‘a’ pigeon. He saw ‘it’ go into the terracotta vent outside. I went up unable to see where I was going, and when I turned on the flashlight, I saw a huge HERD of pigeons, just staring at me like ‘the Birds’! There was no way they would all go out that vent. Obviously, they took turns coming and going. I came down and told him that because I was leaving too early in the morning, that he would need to go up there during the day and block the vent while they were all gone. He also needed to clean up the accumulation of poop. Well, of course, he did nothing. While working at his desk early one morning, a few square feet of plaster and poop came crashing down onto the dog sleeping on the floor in his office, who yelped and ran off. Several of the herd of pigeons came with or right behind the plaster and poop, and immediately tried to find a way out. The first window they saw was the one over his desk! They all few at him as he frantically tried to duck. They hit the window, broke their necks, and fell dead and twitching onto his desk as he ran downstairs and out the front door with the dog. He called me from the sidewalk and refused to go back in to clean up the mess. I was four hundred miles away. There was nothing I cold do but laugh.

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      1. tonytomeo

        Oh, that is not so important. I was there in January (I go there on January 18 every year.). I think the ceiling fell in autumn when the weather was getting damp, or as damp as it gets in Los Angeles. What is more important is that it took several years for the poop to get that heavy. There is no way the pigeons could have made that much poop in a short time. Also, it was many pigeons, not just one like he had guessed earlier.

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