Tuesday, February 18, 2014

9 Hours and Nothing to Show for It But a Clean Garage

Note: We have 4 garage bays. We had two extra bays built because we don't have a basement to store our stuff.
In my last post, I pointed out that I obviously have a rodent visitor in my garage.
It's my own fault.  
I have been too lazy to cover the bins that hold my deer corn and chicken scratch.

My primary reason for cleaning the garage is that I'm getting chicks soon and their brooder will be in the garage.
Having chicks and more food available would just be further enticement for rats to come in.
Plus, the garage was a wreck.

In addition to our inability to put things back where we got them, 
we also suffer from the "put it in the garage, we'll take care of it later"  and the  "leave the garage doors open all day because one of us might leave or come home" maladies.

Our garage bays are shaped like an "L"--two on one side and two on the other.
The wind loves to whip around in the center of the space and bring in all sorts of debris.
Primarily lots of dust and leaves.

 I began cleaning closest to the two grain bins.

 As you can clearly see, my rat has been very busy for a very long time.

I swept, shopvac'd, and blew (leaf blower) every crack and crevice. 

 I looked in every single box, bin, and bag.
 I was certain that at some point I'd find the nest of the offender and kick him or her out.

 I did, however, come across this beauty at about my 2 hour mark of cleaning.
 If you know me at all, you know that I love tarantulas.
I was glad to pick him up and relocate him.  

I will need to "bug bomb" the space as I also located a bazillion spiders that seem to only make webs to catch leaves.  I also saw more than my fair share of silverfish.

Bug bombs also kill tarantulas, so out he went.

As the day progressed, I found more and more caches of corn.

The biggest one held nearly four cups of corn (I measured).  This rat was saving up for a rainy day or an apocalypse or a rattie zombie invasion.

At one point, I thought I'd finally located the mother ship--on the ceiling!  Well, not literally the ceiling, but darn close.
I was brushing cobwebs off where the walls meet the ceiling an happened to glance at the garage door opener.
The photo is blurry, but it's clear that something is nesting up there.

I even recognized the nesting material.
It was bark from large cedar pieces we had propped up against a wall ("put it in the garage, we'll take care of it later").

 Alas, it was just a birds nest.  
A wren had been hard at work when I wasn't looking ("leave the garage doors open all day because one of us might leave or come home").

So, for 9 hours of work, all I have is a clean garage.  No rats or rat's nests.
I guess I'm relieved because I don't know what I'd have done with a rat's nest.

Before I buy chicks, I'll set out several snap traps to catch any new rodent visitors.
Oh, and I'll probably start putting the lids on the grain bins,
and we'll start putting things back where they came from,
and we'll quit putting stuff out there to take care of another time,
and we'll start putting the garage doors down,
and pigs will fly,
and hell will freeze over.
A girl can at least dream of keeping a clean garage, can't she?


  1. Well, at least when hell freezes over you'll have your stash of corn to eat during the apocalypse. Your tarantula friend may have scared the rat away. I'm not really spooked of spiders but I wouldn't want to come upon that big hairy guy in the dark.

    1. I don't think my tarantula was big enough to scare any rodents away. Plus, he was in hibernative state. Very slow and not afraid of me.

  2. Your tarantula friend is very pretty. Glad you didn't come across the rat. Hopefully with snap traps you can get him. Of maybe just cutting off his food supply he will voluntarily leave. Never stop dreaming though, because one of these days a dream may come true.

    1. I'm hoping a one-two punch of removing the food source and snap traps will deal with it. Cleaning was to make sure I didn't have a nest of babies somewhere in the garage and kill a parent with a snap trap.

  3. You are a wonderful friend of so many creatures...some I really don't want to know. I relocate furry caterpillars so I do understand the desire.