Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We've got a varmint in our house...

I was working out this morning and heard a weird sound... then I heard it again and again - so I slowly began walking around with my ear sticking out trying to ID the location. I quickly realized it was coming from the laundry room in the basement, and more specifically, from the pipe that is on top of the water heater.

Here's what I heard:
(This video is for listening purposes... the visual is bad because I didn't turn the light on the tried to fix the footage afterward.)

There seems to be something furious and furry stuck in the pipe. What do you think? A chipmunk? Mouse? Squirrel? He seemed to be getting madder and madder as time went by, but I didn't know what to do, so I went out for a walk with my friend Emily and her daughter Madelyn.

About an hour later I came home and took Emily downstairs to let her listen to the little buddy... but we heard nothing. Not a peep, squeak, scratch, or thump. So I reached out my hand and knocked on the pipe... still nothing.

Emily looked at me like I was crazy, so I showed her the video - then she said "Maybe he got out" which led me down the following thought path:
  • The varmint is loose, scurrying around my house and is probably going to jump on my face tonight while I'm sleeping.
  • The varmint fell into the water heater and is polluting tomorrow's shower time. Perhaps we need a "boil water" ordinance.
  • The varmint is dead in the pipe - and the pipe is pretty warm, so he's probably going to be stinking up my house really soon.
  • The varmint is not alone - he has a family with 106 baby varmints and they're probably in the walls throughout our house.
What should I do about this sitch"eww"ation?


I heard our varmint in the pipe again! Hooray! He's not loose in the house... however, I heard something running in the ceiling while I was in Ruby's room this afternoon. YIKES!! We've got an infestation!!

_____________another update________________

When Ryan got home from work I told him all about my adventures with the varmint and how it is probably going to jump on our faces tonight. His response, "Hunny, this isn't Christmas Vacation."

All I have to say is, 'Won't he feel just like Chevy Chase when a squirrel jumps on his face tonight!'

...and now I am going to try to go to sleep.


John Keim said...

haha, i love the theories Amber! However I believe the noise itself stems from your water heater, not some furry little varmint.

Water heaters make some CRAZY noises sometimes, plus it'd be quite the feat for a furry creature to have found it's way into a closed system i.e. your plumbing

Can't wait to see you guys soon!

amberWIRE said...

John! NO!! You have to hear it! I'll get this video uploaded and then you'll see!

katie holt said...

hysterical! i can just see you prowling around your house trying to find where these sounds are. so funny! put on some camo, it's time to hunt!

speaking of camo, just told the story about the cruising the strip... in the brick... with all the hunting gear. score!

Kerri said...

I love you amber. Are you home alone too much? To think about actually video taping the sound for all to hear and then posting on your blog? MMMmmm would I have that much time to do that? Lilly must have been asleep.

he he. I'm with you on your thinking process. I would have been on the two way having Dusty listen and then freaking out about what I should do as well. Keep us posted.

Kerri said...

By the way...who is Lilly? I have no idea where that came from. Sorry Ruby. I do know your name. he he

Michelle said...

My very favorite part about this post is that you collected evidence. Video evidence.

This is why I love you Amber :)

PS- I hope nothing walks on your face tonight. blajdklfj (that was me shivering, with the heebyjeebies)

Deanna said...

Ooh, we had problems with "ground squirrels" in our last house... same kind of sounds that made me CRAZY! Good luck!!!

jason simnick said...

This happens a lot in plumbing. You would not believe the amount of squirrels we've pulled out of sewer lines because they crawled down the vent stack and couldn't get back out. It sounds like some critter went into wherever the vent pipe for the water heater leaves the house and can't get out. It sounds like it could be a bat or a squirrel, but I am not an expert on animal sounds stuck in pipes. I only deal with them after they're dead.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a varmit trapped in the exhaust pipe of your water heater. Have Ryan suit up in his armor and disconnect the exhaust pipe and see what happens. Please video tape for us to watch.

Val Q

amberWIRE said...

Ker, you are hilarious!

Katie, cruising 20 with you brings back so many memories... and makes me want to eat taco bell. Strange.

Jason, should I just wait for him to die? How long will that be? Do you think it will smell? Is a plumber who I should call?

Val, of course I will video tape any future happenings... Maybe Ryan can get some protective gear from the hospital.

Aaron Beeson said...

Everything about this post is awesome. I wish I could be there to help you sort this mess out : ) What a great adventure. Thanks for the video- After viewing that I would make the following assumptions:
1. It's definitely a critter. The fact that it paused in it's scratching and scurrying around when you tapped on the pipe is evidence enough for me.
2. You should follow the pipes and see where the go to. See if any of them lead to the outside of the house and reveal any openings you may way to seal off once you get Dale out of there...
3. Please please please get more footage of all of these shenanigans : )

Anonymous said...

You probably have a squirrel stuck in the hot water heater vent. It goes all the way up to the roof and the squirrel probably fell in from there. The same thing happened to us. Of course we didn't find out until MUCH later, when the house smelled to high heaven. We ended up needing to replace our vent by coincidence, and the repairman found a half-petrified squirrel. I hope that the critter makes it out alive--perhaps call pest control? Good luck.

April Gann said...

My opinion on the matter--everyone seems to think it is a squirrel, but that is the EXACT noise that a chipmunk was making under my floor.

My advice on the matter- jump from couch to couch until you catch him. He probably won't jump on your face, but he might run across your feet. Ick.

My help on the matter- call me anytime and I will come stand by your side armed with a broom. I had to call a neighbor for help with my infestation. I can be the strong one for you.

:) Great post!