What do you do when animal control says they can’t help you? Who do you call when the shelter won’t come pick them up?
You call Venus Pest Company!
Recently we received a call from a panicked business owner in Downtown Bryan who told us they had been hearing a cat meowing in their wall all day. He called animal control, but they wouldn’t help because the cat was inside the building. He then called the local animal shelter and they told him they couldn’t help him either.
His landlord recommended he call a pest control company, and directed him to another popular pest control company in the area. What did they tell him? By his account, they laughed at him a bit and said they could not help. The next call was to Venus Pest Company and while we were apprehensive at first, we just could not leave a cat stuck in someone’s wall to starve. Plus, this presented a new challenge and appealed to our adventurous side so we decided to go check out the situation.
When we arrived, we were shown the area where the noise was coming from. Want to hear the best part? The only way to access that area was through a small, we’ll say 18 inch by 18 inch hole. Oh, and it’s about 20 feet off the ground too! When we climbed up a ladder to get our first look, we could tell immediately that it was more than one cat, but luckily they were in the attic, not in the wall.
After going back outside to check the roof to see how they were getting in to the attic, we found some large open vent shafts. We weren’t sure at first if these were the actual entry points because we couldn’t see down inside them. At that moment, one of the cats actually jumped out of the vent and scared us so badly we nearly fell off the roof! Now it became a question of how to keep the cats from getting through these vents, and how to catch the ones that are in there and get them out?
At this point, it became a rodent job on steroids. The three components of a successful rodent control program (and now feral cat control program) are:
Since Dr. Scott is second cousin to Andre the Giant (not really for those who don’t know him), it was not really an option for him to squeeze into the attic. Climbing through the tiny hole into the attic and maneuvering around the small space without falling through the ceiling was not an easy task. You can see my shoes sticking out of the hole in this picture. I was able, however, to block off the access points underneath the vents using hardware cloth (screen) and securing it so the cats could not disturb it. One of the cats had jumped out again, but I knew there was at least one other cat still in there. Ever been trapped in a dark attic, hardly able to move, knowing a feral cat is somewhere close to you and you have no idea what it’s thinking? It’s like an episode of fear factor!
Of course we can’t use any kind of poison bait to solve this type of problem. Using some dog food the owner had and a bowl of water, we set up a scenario we thought would work.
We set up a live animal trap that we usually use for squirrels or other small animals using the dog food as bait. Like other animals and rodents, theory holds that if they are trapped and only have one food source, chances are they are going to eventually have a go at it.
Well, we caught the cat the very next day and are so thankful that the animal shelter agreed to take the cat when we delivered it over there. Sorry we didn’t have our camera when we caught the kitty or I would have posted it here.
Situations like this are why I love working for Venus Pest Company. When everybody else turned them away, or laughed at them, we were able to solve their problem and make some new friends (and clients) in the process. It’s amazing what you discover when you’re able to say “Yes, we can help!”