Starlings are disgusting. Of all the birds in this world I think I like starlings the least. On the weekend Daryle noticed a pair of them flying into our attic through the torn mesh covering a soffit vent hole. This means war!! Well, repairs to the mesh covering the holes anyway.
Being the handy guy he is, he made some nice stainless steel mesh screens tidily hemmed at the edges.
Installing them is no simple task though. After dinner he sets up the ladder and climbs into the attic. Being very careful to avoid the many nails poking through the roofing plywood and gingerly manoeuvring through the joists, he picks his way over to the tightest, most cramped part of the attic, where of course the soffit vent holes are located. It is so tight that he can’t clearly see where the holes are, he can really only reach with his arms and hands, feeling for the holes.
Vent holes located, the next step is to remove the old torn mesh. Daryle asks me to pass him our floor scraper. We own a floor scraper? I had completely forgotten we have one, let alone what it looks like, but Daryle wants it for scraping off the old mesh from the vent holes. It’s downstairs, near the hot water tank. Sure dear. As I enter the laundry room I see three nice little yellow plastic scrapers. It must be one of these. I call out “is it yellow?” Wrong, apparently it is metal and attached to a pole. Hmmm, ohhhh, you mean right here by the hot water tank. Sheepishly I pass the scraper up into the attic. Sometimes I wonder why he asks me to help him – I’m really not much help at all.
In addition to the cramped space, nails and general uncomfortableness of the attic he discovers of a few hibernating wasps. Yes, being in the attic CAN get worse. He squishes them and begins brushing them out through the soffit holes. But one isn’t quite dead and manages to sting him. Ouch!!! Damned wasp – SQUISH!!
Determined to carry on and get this onerous chore over with, he now needs to attach the new screens over the holes. As he can’t actually see where the holes are, he asks that I go shine a flashlight up through the holes from outside. I knock on Esme’s door downstairs. “Can I borrow your flashlight? I need to shine it through the soffit holes.” So, there we are, my sister and I, standing outside in the darkness, giggling like teenagers, shining lights (3 in total) up towards the soffit. What a sight we are! I can see the neighbours looking over – I wonder what they think we’re doing.
The entertaining light show is repeated while Daryle fastens the mesh over the second set of holes at the back of the house. Arms tired, feet cold, and the giddiness long gone, we are relieved when our part of the task is complete. I head upstairs to give him a hand getting his tools out of the attic. Hold on a minute, he wants me to shine the flashlight up through the soffit holes at the very front of the house, by the front door. When neighbours drive by, I don’t wave, I just quickly try to turn the flashlight off.
At 8:30pm Daryle heads down from the attic; exhausted, hot, stung, dusty, clothes torn and back scraped from the nails coming through the roof. He informs me that he’ll resume fixing the last set of holes tomorrow night.
Things to look forward to.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the starlings, it would seem that they didn’t like our attic for nesting. There was no evidence of a nest anywhere.