The most unholy stink began permeating our half bath about two weeks ago.
I thought maybe it was garbage gone wrong or worse, a toilet gone wrong.
Cody figured out it was bird nests in the vent which, ew.
It was a sort of rotten farm smell, only today it got worse.
Cody is really good at a lot of things, but getting things done around the house isn’t really one of them. (I’ve always said it’s a good thing he’s an attorney so we can pay someone else to do the things he can’t/won’t. He’ll argue with me on this sometimes, but after today? There will be no arguing.) I climbed a ladder to see if I could get the nest out of the vent myself. When a bird came flying out at my face that plan quickly changed.
I called several local pest control agencies only to be hung up on as soon as I said ‘birds.’ Apparently birds and their diseases are not something any old pest agency will tackle, add in the fact that certain birds (sparrows included, which, what?) are protected by Indiana state law and a pest control agency could lose their license if they kill or injure one.
Two guys came with flashlights and nerves of steel to chase out the birds and get rid of the nests.
Y’all? It was nasty. (And apparently if birds fall under the subcategory of ‘nuisance’ they can be handled in any way deemed necessary. Had you smelled my downstairs you would have been all “Nuisance? Try NASTY.”)
The good news? The nests are gone and my house no longer smells of a rotten barnyard. (There were two dead birds along with three nests in the vent. THERE WERE FLEAS IN THERE TOO.)
Bad news? Apparently there was still one bird alive in the vent and it found some Houdini way of getting out of the vent and INTO MY WALL. Every once in awhile it (they?) will flap and skitter about in the wall causing the cats to lose their minds. Sometimes it (they?) even let out primal bird screams which is terribly disconcerting and the stuff nightmares are made of. No one realized the bird was even in there until the vent was sealed up and everything seemed back to normal.
So now our options are this:
A) Let the bird(s) live out its life in a wall and hope it ends quickly and painlessly. Upside? Free. Downside? Guilt and possible odor.
B) Cut out a section of wall where we *think* the bird is, which means it (they) would fly into our house and 1. Fleas 2. Bird diseases 3. Hole in the wall.
Our attic was full of dead birds when we moved in, I think cleaned out at least eight last winter.
We also had carpenter ants when we moved in.
In the midst of everything today I heard a knock at my back window. A man, totally unrelated to birdpocalypse said, “Ma’am? I’m going to need you to close your screen door and stay inside. This long grass back here is a snake hazard and I’m going to be mowing it down, I’d hate for one of them to get into your home as they escape.”
Which leads me to option C.
C) Cut out a little hole in the wall, release dislocated snakes into the wall and see what happens.
Homeowners, heed my advice: BIRD AND RODENT VENT COVERS.
Best money you’ll spend this year.