by Linda Okazaki

Have you ever seen the 1997 movie with Nathan Lane called Mousehunt? I’ve got a similar scenario with chipmunks. No, not the cute Alvin, Theodore and Simon singing variety. These are the annoying, chomping on the rafters, piddling through the drywall and keeping me up at night variety. This morning I decided that enough was enough. Pulled out the ladder, climbed up into the crawlspace. Yep, plenty of mouse and chipmunk skat to scare off an amateur. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a crawlspace so tiny not even an elf could enter. Now, those of you who know me surely understand these implications. I am elf-sized. I should be able to squeeze through the smallest of spaces. Not happening. No other attic access? Why didn’t I realize this when we bought the place? So what’s a girl to do? Break down the walls, aka Nathan Lane? Not yet. Call the exterminator? Already tried that. The fellow who showed up was huge and there was no way he could even get through the crawl space door, let alone get to the spot where Alvin and his family are living and rapidly reproducing. Bait? A possibility, but the thought of the stench of an entire family of dead rodents makes me hesitate, though not for long. I think what I will do is throw some peanut butter laced bait into the spaces too small for me to crawl through, set some traps in the areas I can reach, and wait for the snow to melt so that I can put wire and steel wool around any areas the critters might be using for access. I am open to suggestions. This is one family tree I’d like to extinguish.