House Guests


Our #houseinthewoods has been an adventure from the start and Ben and I have learned a lot of life lessons. Lets take you down memory lane to some of our first house guests, the possums.


The day we closed on the house, we found a dead possum in the basement. (We actually had the previous owners pay for that cleanup as we found it in a walk through before closing). The owners assured us that must have been a fluke and that maybe a door was left open by accident. Bull Sh#@*T! Well, we believed them. its the woods, right? It can happen? The animal gets cleaned up and we closed on the house. Here’s a fun fact. Dead animals attract maggots, which then turn into flies. Our basement became infested with maggots after that - and we had to go through the whole life cycle of the damn things. We set up traps, vaccuumed them up and scrubbed. Finally Ben’s dad had the idea to do a DIY insect poison bomb. (didn’t know they existed until then). That did the trick! Our little "Lord of the Flies" scene finally went away.


Unfortunately, a horrible animal smell that had come over the house with that possum never went away. We started fearing that there could be more animals in the house somewhere. We tried everything to get the smell to go away, but could not. Even worse, we started seeing some signs up life in the basement - dried leaves and animal fur were showing up in our utility room where the ceiling in the basement opens up. Lady, our dog, started going crazy and would bark at the floor. Then, one day, Ben actually saw a possum. Oh boy, GAME ON! We tried live trapping it ourselves, but to no avail. We had to do it - call animal control. My animal guy came out the next day and found the point of entry. The animals were getting in through an opening to the house under the deck. You just can’t make this stuff up! So, $850 later, his guys close off the deck and set up live traps. The first night we caught 5 possums!!!!! That is pretty unnerving to wake up to those things, but we were relieved the deed was done! Finally we have our house back, for now...


So the animals are gone, but the smell just doesn’t go away. I tried everything, baking soda, vinegar, diffusing essential oils, deodorizing things I bought from the store. I finally called a company to release a gas in the basement to try to take the smell away. It helped a lot for a while but it eventually came back. I still do things to help cover it up, but we still smell it to this day.


Thankfully during our current kitchen remodel we had to open up a lot of ceiling and walls that has revealed a lot of animal remnants, which of course were cleaned up and discarded. That is helping ...and we will have our animal smell guy come back to do a repeat treatment of his chlorine dioxide gas to see if it helps having the scat cleaned up and the ceilings open. I will let you know how it goes!


So, LIFE LESSON #1: IF YOU FIND AN ANIMAL ON YOUR LAST WALK THROUGH BEFORE CLOSING ON A HOUSE, MAKE THE OWNERS PAY FOR A FULL HOUSE ASSESSMENT FROM ANIMAL CONTROL BEFORE YOU CLOSE - NOT JUST THE CLEAN UP!


The kitchen remodel continues. We are still demo-ing and fixing some structure problems. This week the plan is to put in a horizontal support beam in the kitchen ceiling, move a door and a window, and to start re-routing the plumbing. I’ll post pics on instagram.


Do you have any crazy animal stories? I would love to hear them!



*Animal Control: A.M.S Inc. - Cory McClung is the owner. Thumbs up. He is friendly, professional and he did his job!

*Smell guy: Funkhouser Restoration. Not sure yet on my rating. They are a nice family owned company, but the first treatment didn’t work, which they warned it might not. They are coming back this week for a complimentary treatment. I’ll keep you posted!





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