:> :Looks like Bezerkeley city council is opposed to trapping:
:> : http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/animalservices/Trapping%20of%20Wildlife.html
:> :You may want to talk to animal control anyways. See what they
:> I just called them and this is what I was told:
:> 1. They won't go into my attic or crawl space.
:I may of missed one of the posts that had the animal ID'd, but I get
:calls on all the animals listed below except for skunks getting into
:attics quite often. Was at one Thursday where the possum was climbing
:the wooden fence, jumping about a foot to the gutter of a detached
:garage, getting into that attic where a breezeway attached to the garage
:then following the inside of the breezeway into the house. Most of the
:activity heard is between the first floor ceiling and second floor, but
:there is possum crap in the attic above the second floor so it is making
:access there also.
:> 2. I can block off the entrance suitably, but leave it open until 11:00
:> PM. Then close and lock it. He tells me that any animal living under the
:> house then, be it a racoon, possum, feral cat or even a skunk (it's
:> obviously not a skunk), would be "out foraging."
:> Problem solved. I asked him how I would know for sure the animal wasn't
:> still under the house, and he just wanted me to take his word for it
:> that it wouldn't be at 11:00 at night. I asked him if I would hear
:> something if otherwise, and he said yes. He was sounding in a hurry to
:> end the conversation. Anyway, I guess this is the thing to do.
:That time frame is just a general rule, for example, Mr possum comes
:from under a house just after dark and only has to waddle next door 30
:feet away to the neighbor's patio who keeps a full bowl of food out for
:fido or the area stray cats....possum gets a quick full tummy, is able
:to look around a bit and then get back home before 9:00 ...gets to hang
:around the home a few hours with time to play the video games, watch the
:tube a bit then waddle out again in the early morning for another snack
:and hunt down a possible future Mrs possum....mother nature will make a
:liar of you every time. If you have an obvious opening that you can get
:to, place a few pieces of masking tape across the opening, don't close
:it totally with the tape. Any animal activity will tear the tape away.
Um, yes, I'm concerned. Last night I went ahead with the Animal Services
representative's suggestion, but I altered it somewhat. My thinking was
that last night was the shortest day of the year. In fact, Winter began
just 1/2 hour before that guy recommended shutting the access. That's
about 6 hours after dusk! I figure that since the day was the ultimate
short day, I should shut the access/exit a couple of hours earlier than
typical. So, around 9:15 PM, I did the deed, jamming a piece of plywood
into the opening, the same piece that had come loose. I intend to make
an actual door there, hinged, with a latch to insure security in the
future, but in the meantime, the playwood should suffice so long as it
doesn't fall off again. Of course, it's possible an animal precipitated
the plywood coming off in the first place, I wouldn't know.
In fact, the guy just behind my house has a couple of dogs and may well
leave food out there for them that an animal can readily eat. That might
mean the animal(s) would get back under my house less than an hour after
From the footprints I was seeing in the sifted dirt I leveled at the
access/exit point, my best guess is a feral cat. It's possibly a racoon,
but I didn't see the telltale claw marks racoons leave. Still, in that
dirt, I can't be sure. That's why I wanted to put mud down and paper, to
get accurate footprints, but I never got to that stage.
After I closed things up last night I started thinking and I had doubts.
Thing it, last night happened to be not only the shortest night of the
year, but it was definitely the coldest so far. At 9:15 PM it was 40
degrees out there. I'm wondering if the animal would stay under the
house in the unusually cold conditions, or else, as you suggest, if it
had an easy time of finding food for some reason, it may have ducked
under the house for comfort and security. Therefore, the
representative's assurances that the animal would be outside aren't
giving me confidence an animal (maybe more than one!) isn't trapped
under the house. Worst case scenario I figure is I start smelling
rotting corpses and I have to go under there with a flashlight and
plastic bags find the corpse(s) and bag up the rotten meat. Ugh!
I'm hoping that if there's live animal(s) under the house now it/they
will make a commotion rather than just die.