I was just over at my friend Angie's blog
and was reminded of something I had not gotten around to blogging about. You see, Angie has chickens and ducks. Nice to live like that, with animals around. I spent a lot of summer vacations with both sets of grandparents when I was growing up, and they all had animals. Between them and their neighbors I was exposed to chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and cows as a child. As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my grandmothers raised small animals "for table," mostly chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. That seems to me a more healthful and natural was to expose a child to the world than through malls and super-highways, the suburban world where I raised my son.
What Angie wrote that inspired me, though, was a particular aspect of raising animals out loose in ones yard. Angie recently discovered
that her ducks have been laying eggs under her house. Since this does not appeal to her she's decided to block off her crawl space so egg-laying can be done in more accessible areas. Bless her! She's a gal after my own heart.
You all know (or should by now!) that I do termite inspections. Yes, this old gal crawls around under houses for a living. It's ususally "just part of the job," though sometimes it's especially interesting or fun. It's nice when you crawl out and present the homeowner with an old, cracked teacup you found. Even moreso when she bursts out crying and explains that it's the last remnant of her grandmother's china. Sometimes it's downright unpleasant. An early employer used to have me carry a pocket recorder and note my findings audibly while I inspected. I've still got a cassett around here somewhere that goes something like this: "The crawl space is dry and well-ventilated. (click) There are subterranean termite tubes extending up the foundation wall beneath the master bathroom. (click) There's drywood termite damage to the rim joist and droppings on the sill beneath OH #%@%*&! I just stuck my hand inside a dead cat!"
Through laughing yet? I've crawled around dead dogs and cats and through chicken, duck and goose poop. I've accidentally cornered skunks, possums, racoons and other critters. I've been cornered myself by territorial geese and dogs. There are actually people in this world who dispose of dog poops by raking or hosing them under their houses. I don't know how they live with the smell, but will testify that they do it!
I'm here today to voice my humble plea. If you live in a house with raised foundations, please, please, please fence around your crawl space. It doesn't really matter how you do it, whether with garden lattice, chicken wire or fancy carpentry.** Could you do that for me? And for the entire pest control industry? And for the telephone repair crew, the plumber, the electrician and the cable guy? We all hate crawling around in animal muck and over the remains of the neighbor's missing cat. We thank you!
Oh, good, you're done already! Did you read Ang.'s Chicken Coop
Yet? Well, good again; you're on a roll! Now go see what else she's been up to at A Bit of This and That.
You can thank me for it later!
**I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that you should NOT create any contact between earth and wood while accomplishing this task. To do so would create a nice little bridge for termites to use to enter your house.
Labels: animals, homes, humor, work