Stand Off with a "Vicious Creature"

Home Inspector with Miller Home Inspection WA HI Inspector Lic. #209

With steely eyes, an attack posture, and fangs that look like they could inflict some serious pain....My heart was racing as I looked around for my possible routes of escape. I was at a disadvantage standing on a steep townhome roof three stories above the ground........

Well with this picture I am sure you just won't believe how viscious he was.

This little furry guy was not real happy about my presence on the roof. Seems this was his territory....and he is just not use to seeing a human up on the roof.


 Turns out that the builder failed to install the blocking between the rafter tails, which makes a nice home for the squirells. he wasn't that vicious....but I would call it a creature.

Public Service Announcement; ....Get you soffits checked by a professional home inspector, or you too could have squirrels living the high life in your attic




Comments (32)

Joseph Lang
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Home Inspector, Southern California

Bob, I would say unqualified contractors can do the most damage.

Nov 05, 2007 01:54 PM
Harold Miller
Miller Home Inspection - Camano Island, WA
Certified Professional Home Inspector
Brilliant...standing on an aluminum ladder, in the water, with a power tool.......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzap!
Nov 05, 2007 03:08 PM
Jamie Schaefer
Jamie Schaefer, Professional Home Inspector Inc. - Rockville Centre, NY
The Right Home Inspection at The Right Price

Having spent 12 years as a "Nuisance Wildlife Trapper" I have experienced that kind of ANGRY squirrel first hand. I have had a mother squirrel actually chase me down my 40 foot ladder. Talk about scared? You all know how precarious it is standing on that 40 foot ladder to begin with, but then to be chased down by a vicious wild animal, with tools and tool belt. OMG, it was all I could do to keep myself from ending up splattered on the ground. I have a respect for squirrels, raccoons and other wildlife that many people will never have.

One day soon i will dig out some of my pictures from those days.  I have so many examples of home damage caused by animals. 

Everybody please be careful, and if you see an animal in or around a structure, give him plenty of room!

Nov 09, 2007 12:34 AM
Joseph Lang
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Home Inspector, Southern California
Jamie, great story and good advice.
Nov 09, 2007 02:07 AM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA
Sorry Bob, I missed your question for a couple of days.   Actually, I think bats can do significant damage.  Squirells get to rough housing in the insulation and it is not a pretty sight.  If I can find the photo, Ill post it. 
Nov 09, 2007 02:15 AM
Kenneth Miller
Jordan Hill Home Services, LLC - Berkley, MI
The worst damage I have ever seen caused by an animal was a racoon that had gotten into my uncle's attic when I was a kid.  Not only did it do some serious damage, we had a hell of a time getting him out of there.  Because he was in the home, and we are talking 25 years ago, as well as being on a farm, the local "dog catcher" wouldn't do anything.  We finally had to kill it to get rid of it.  (21) .22 caliber slugs, (2) 12ga shells with #2 shot, and a .38 caliber slug to kill it.  There was scat and urine all over the attic, rotting garbage it had brought up to eat and shiny junk that I guess it decided to hoard.
Nov 09, 2007 12:41 PM
Harold Miller
Miller Home Inspection - Camano Island, WA
Certified Professional Home Inspector

Ooh that reminds me....a few months ago I crawled under a house where a racoon had died. At first I arrived at the home and the agent was standing outside. The buyer had not arrived yet, and she explained to me that something must have died under the home. She could not find anything inside the vacant home.

I walked in to the house and oh my god.....I knew that if I was going to inspect the home. We were going to have to ventilate with every window. Then I started the inspection on the exterior. After about 45 minutes it was bearable to enter the home.

I naturally saved the crawl space for last.....fortunately I wear a respirator, that does a pretty good job of sealing out the odors. I found the critter, identified where it was at, completed the inspection, and told the buyer that removal was well beyond the scope of the inspection. I was glad they did not even ask....I don't think I could have done so without losing my cookies, and everything else. ....yes, that is my weakness. ..............Like superman and cryptonite.  Ughhhh!

Nov 09, 2007 02:57 PM
Joseph Lang
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Home Inspector, Southern California
Kenneth, there must have been a lot of holes to patch in the ceiling afterwards ;-)
Nov 10, 2007 08:41 AM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX
Now guys, you wouldn't let a little bat or squirrel frighten you. Would you? the big bad Inspector. I walked up to a house one time and the termite inspector warned me of a snake under the house. What would you do in this situation? Open for comments.....
Nov 10, 2007 11:27 AM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA
Carl, Thank the termite guy. Have him tell you where it is at.  Hopefully its out of the way.  Usually they will stay away from you.  Just in case, carry a club. (a nine iron works)
Nov 10, 2007 10:11 PM
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Nice picture, Carl. I'm surprised that the squirrel would stay still enough for you to take its picture.
Nov 11, 2007 02:07 PM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX
Joseph: Great picture with the ladder in the water. This should be in the study material indicating the Do's and Do Not when an inspector is going through his training.
Nov 12, 2007 09:05 AM
Shocking! Would a plastic ladder be better? A portable air horn scares most critters off! Good tip about bird blocks.
Nov 26, 2007 01:36 PM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Here's a attic bird's nest for y'all.

Kentucky Home Inspectors attic bird nest!




Dec 02, 2007 06:16 AM
Erol Kartal
Schaumburg, IL

God created attics for homeless critters...  :-)

Home Inspector Chicago Suburbs

Apr 29, 2008 02:44 PM
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference
Recently I ran up on a family of bats.  They were located on the outside of the home and I told the buyer that she could either let them stay and not have insects or call someone to get rid of the bats.  If my wife could've figured out how to bring them home.  She would have, she hates insects worse!  Great Pictures!
May 01, 2008 12:53 AM
John Mattoon
Mold Check Professionals, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA
Man oh Man, That is one scary looking squirrel.
May 02, 2008 11:43 AM
Andy Laughlin - Bellingham, WA
Nice Pics!!! 

You should take a look at my blog "The Future Of Real Estate" Let me know if you have any questions. Thank You!!

May 06, 2008 06:07 PM
Tony Stiles
The BrickKicker Inspection Services - Omaha, NE

I was chased through an attic by some kind of furry animal.  I didn't stop to take a picture. I just slid down my ladder head first.  Safety first right?

Aug 04, 2008 11:53 PM
Randy King
Prokore Inspections - Mankato, MN
Home. Enclosure. Code.

Great picture Harold, I always love hearing and seeing other inspectors encounters. Good post!

Mar 23, 2009 08:48 AM