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I don’t think I’ve mentioned anything about our next-door neighbor, Craig. His house was pretty badly damaged by the flood, and he does not plan to return to New Orleans. He’s not sure what he’s going to do with the house, which is only a few feet from ours. He retrieved some belongings in December and went back to Texas.

So the house is just sitting there, full of mold and who knows what else.

The real problem for us is the huge grapevine bramble in back of the house, which covers his shed and comes right up to the edge of our (second story) deck. It’s dead from the flood, and it looks like a giant bird’s nest. Indeed, a flock of sparrows has taken up residence there. As a result, the vines and our deck are bespeckled with bird droppings.

Rat's Nest

That was bad enough, but last night I noticed an inordinate amount of rustling in the bramble. It was a rat climbing around on the vines. The longer I looked, the more rats I saw.

Those grapevines have got to go.

My first impulse was to buy a chainsaw and some serious pruning shears and take it out myself. I think I could do it. But upon further reflection, I’m more inclined to hire someone to do it. It’s going to be a tough, dirty, nasty, exhausting job. And it’s not even on my property.

I talked with Craig on the phone this morning, and he said he’d be willing to share the cost with me as long as it’s not exorbitant. He also advised me to get a structural engineer to look at our house. He’s convinced a lot of these flooded homes will have structural problems in the years ahead because of sitting in brackish water for an extended period.

So many worries…

Published inNeighborsOur House


  1. Yikes. Rats gotta go. Period. Hang in there.

  2. Any objections to using a poison first as a short-term solution? You could use something like Fastrac that works fast on mice and rats, but won’t be harmful to dogs or humans. You’d still want to get someone in there to clear out the vines later, though.

  3. Two weeks and $300 later:


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