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The one that I claimed had a gas grill underneath it?

Well, the snow is gone and now I'm scared to remove the grill cover.

The cover goes over the grill and down to the deck itself. Normally, I can just barely make out the edge heat'n'fire-resistant mat under the grill itself.

I just noticed I can see one of the wheels compliments of a hole gnawed through the cover by some critter or other.

I suspect something larger than mice since mice would have had little problem ducking under the edge of the cover itself. Maybe the three feet of snow on the deck rather hindered that, but I have this feeling that the critter(s) moved into the protected space well before there was even a foot of snow piled up.

The hole is roughly 8 inches wide by 6 inches tall. Maybe that raccoon that took to climbing my back door and scaring the bejeezus out of me by staring me in the eye...from eye level...when I turned on one of the deck lights to investigate the noise? The one who showed every sign of wanting to move into the Zeppelin Hangar itself several months back?

Yes, I know. Anyone who chooses to live in the woods needs to be prepared or at least able to deal with whatever is or was under the grill cover. I'm Geri Sullivan, Girl Homeowner, after all. If nothing else, I can always get a fanzine article out of the adventure. Or an LJ post, at least.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
jcbemis
Mar. 29th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
raccoon trap? pesky critters animal elimination service?
gerisullivan
Mar. 29th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
Good point! I forgot that I have a HavAHeart catch'n'release trap in the garage. I even think I know where it is!

It won't help if there's dead beasties in there, but baiting it and setting it out on the deck for a week or two before I remove the grill cover will reduce the chances of a Close Encounter with something I'd rather not meet when I do take the the cover off.

Thank you!
maruad
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
What about your four legged friend who used to go for walks with you? Wouldn't he/she indicate if there was something wrong by showing unusual behaviour? I don't know much about dogs in rural settings nor dog/racoon relationships so it may be a bad idea but it seems cheaper than trapping.
gerisullivan
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Milo is back home in Cambridge, 70+ miles away. Amusingly enough, Marc Abrahams saw my post and sent email suggesting that Milo UpTheHill* might be able to assist me in investigating what's under the cover....

*Milo UpTheHill is the neighbor's Jack Russell Terrier of the same name. Marc & Robin's Milo loves to visit Milo UpTheHill whenever he's here.
maruad
Mar. 29th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
Well there you go! Great minds and all that.
cogitationitis
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
Before taking the cover off, grab a broom and bang on the cover a few times to scare anything that's in there. Then go inside for about 10 minutes, come out, repeat. Retreat again for a bit.

The first noise will scare the animal (if in there); the second noise will roust it.

Also, when you remove the cover, wear leather gloves. I found them invaluable when I used to free the chipmunks from the bird netting over our strawberries. (Though the little ingrate only attempted to bite me once.) It's unlikely that anything will actually attack rather than retreat, but it's a good precaution.

Finally, before starting the grill, check all the lines. Rodents have been known to chew on wires & hosing.
gerisullivan
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Wise advice all around. Thank you!
coffeeem
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Eeeep! Time to meet the new neighbors, huh?
gerisullivan
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
Icon love!

I'm rather hoping the new neighbors have moved along to the woods now that most of the snow has melted. Except for the new neighbors who are clearly nesting in the insulated space up above the loft over the garage. I need a ladder to meet and try to evict them.
smofbabe
Mar. 29th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know. Anyone who chooses to live in the woods needs to be prepared or at least able to deal with whatever is or was under the grill cover. I'm Geri Sullivan, Girl Homeowner, after all. If nothing else, I can always get a fanzine article out of the adventure. Or an LJ post, at least.

Or rabies... I second the notion of making loud noises and thumping from a safe distance. And of checking the wires/plugs/etc. - my brother just had to repair several hundred dollars worth of damage to his car due to the type of plastic insulation used for his engine wiring, which is apparently an irresistible snack to rats.

Good luck!
tanac
Mar. 30th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
I can't believe I'm the first person to request that you webcam the experience :) :) (I know. Not helpful. But entertaining! And you live to entertain.)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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