Prime Real Estate for Cottontail the Bunny (Reading, PA)

These guys are rare visitors or itinerants in our Montreal neighbourhoods. They do successfully live and breed here but there is not much ‘space ‘ here in our residential ‘flora’ for these ‘fauna’. So they are occasionally seen but not that common.

I was recently in PA this summer. It’s lovely country. There’s no rabbit that wouldn’t just love it.

This is a re-blog. Should you wish to leave a comment please click through to the original blog and do it there for the writer who’s work this is.

Prime Real Estate for Cottontail the Bunny (Reading, PA)

bunny welcomeYesterday morning, my wife, Tina, screamed with excitement, “Come see this!”  As I approached our kitchen window, I saw a bunny digging a nest.  Tina, the animal lover, was mesmerized by this bunny and I think she felt honored it chose a spot right outside the kitchen window to make a nest.  I realized I might have waited a few days too long to mow the grass!


Thinking about it, I realized it was quite a piece of prime real estate for “Cottontail” the Bunny (yes, my wife already named her).  In addition to the long grass, we’ve got a few prolific raspberry bushes nearby along with my wife’s unsuccessful garden.  I say “unsuccessful” because I observed my wife pull 1 strawberry and 2 tomatoes from that garden this entire year.  Ask the well-fed birds, squirrels and bunnies in our neighborhood, however, and they would consider her garden quite successful.  

plush bunny

I must admit it was interesting to see this bunny at work, but it presented a few concerns.  First of all, how am I supposed to mow the lawn and how close to this nest can I get?  My wife has banned me from going within several feet of Cottontail’s home.  I would never hear the end of it if a baby bunny turned up injured from the lawnmower or worse!  This patch of yard should look interesting a month from now.

home sweet home



Tina started to joke (but I think she’s serious) about putting a mini flower pot and a “Home Sweet Home” sign right outside the nest.  I assured her the bunnies would be happier without these extras.


As a home inspector around Reading, PA, I’m usually looking for other rodents- not bunnies!  I’ll inspect a home looking for signs of mice or squirrels that can actually do damage to a property.  I can’t say I know too much about bunnies, so I decided to do some research. 

I found out what we have is an Eastern Cottontail. prime real estate for bunny

I found a great website called Our Backyard Wildlife and learned some neat facts about the Eastern Cottontail bunnies and their nests.  They breed from March to September.  The mom-to-be will dig a shallow depression in the earth and line it with grass, dried leaves, and fur from her body. She then hides the nest under a layer of grass and dried leaves.  I know if my wife hadn’t seen this bunny digging her nest, we would not have known it was even there! 

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a photo of the nest before the bunny covered it up as Tina didn’t want to startled her by opening the window.  This picture below shows how difficult it is to see a nest.  It’s located right in the middle-right of the photo.

hidden bunny nest

One more thing I should say about these nests.  If you find a nest or baby bunnies, leave them alone.  The mom will only visit them for about 5 minutes a day to nurse.  She leaves the nest for the rest of the day to keep predators from finding the nest and she does stay closeby.   If you aren’t sure if the babies are orphaned or not, you can put an “x” over the nest with 2 pieces of string and if the “x” is disturbed by the next day, you’ll know mom most likely came by for a visit.  If the bunnies are orphaned, you can check out this website at  to learn about what to do with them.

In the meantime, Cottontail is going to enjoy her prime real estate!


arti home inspections


David Artigliere, with ARTI Home Inspections LLC,  is a Home Inspector in Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading & surrounding Eastern PA. 

He offers home inspections 7 days a week.  Call us at (610) 220-1907.



Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

YUCK Cockroaches!!!!

In the Montreal area cockroaches are relatively rarely encountered in residential inspections. They can be more common in some types of commercial buildings though, and to say they are rarely encountered does not mean that they are not found.

For those who have to deal with the problem they will appreciate the eradication, control and abatement measures listed towards the end of this article.

This article is written and presented by a colleague (Brian Halliday), fellow InterNACHI member and associate here on AR (Active Rain). Please leave your comments directly on his blog. Thank you.

Cockroaches are one of the most commonly encountered household pests. Homeowners and inspectors can learn about ways to eliminate these insects and the conditions that encourage their infestation.


Cockroaches have a broad, flattened body and a relatively small head that covers their mandibles and other mouthparts. They have six legs, large ocelli (simple eyes), and a pair of long, flexible antennae. Although winged, they are not adept fliers. The best-known varieties are the American cockroach (1.2 inches long), the German and Asian cockroaches (0.59 inches long), the Oriental cockroach (0.98 inches long), and the brown-banded cockroach (0.55 inches long).

Facts and Figures

The world’s heaviest cockroach is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, which can weigh more than 30 grams and reach 3½ inches in length.

While cockroaches could withstand six to 15 times as much radiation exposure as humans, the popular belief that they will “inherit the Earth” in the wake of nuclear war is largely undeserved; other insects, such as fruit flies, have even better resistance against radiation than cockroaches.

Some species of cockroaches can survive for months without food and subsist on nothing but the glue on the back of a postage stamp, and even their own feces. Experiments have revealed that they can go without air for 45 minutes and recover after being submerged under water for half an hour.

Cockroaches are prolific breeders and can produce several thousand offspring in a year, once they become established in a home. They are normally introduced on clothing, shopping bags and furniture, and they can also simply wander in from the outdoors.

Cockroaches are known to spread diseases such as salmonella, food poisoning and dysentery, primarily through contact with their feces and defensive secretions. They also transport dangerous microbes, a particular problem in hospitals. Their skin, which is discarded through periodic molting, can become airborne and trigger severe asthmatic reactions in prone individuals. Incredibly, cockroaches have even been found to be second only to house dust as the worst allergen affecting people, according to the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. Besides these physical ailments, cockroaches emit an unpleasant odor during swarming and mating, and they can keep a building’s occupants awake at night with their incessant hissing and, in the case of some cockroach species, chirping.

InterNACHI inspectors should not be surprised to find evidence of cockroaches in messy buildings, as the insects thrive in dirty environments.

No buildings are completely immune to cockroach infestation, however, as they will be attracted to even the smallest amounts of food deposits. They prefer to feed on decaying grease, sugar and other organic matter, as well as inanimate, starchy food sources such as glue, wallpaper and even book bindings. Pepper-like specs in kitchen cupboards are an indication of cockroach infestation, as is the observation of adult cockroaches or their egg sacs in hard-to-reach locations, such as cracks and crevices in kitchen cabinets, drains, and behind dishwashers and refrigerators. The entire kitchen area should be inspected, especially under sinks, in cabinet hinge areas, drawers, refrigeration gaskets, dishwashers, stoves and other cooking appliances. Also check crawlspaces, bathrooms and other dark, moist areas where food sources may be present.

Tips that inspectors can pass on to homeowners:

Place boric acid in areas of cockroach activity. Boric acid can maintain an infestation once under control, but pyrethrin should be used first and the whole structure bug-bombed.

Pyrethrin should be used first, and after the population is under control place boric acid wherever needed.

Place bait stations containing hydramethylnon or fipronil in areas of termite activity. At night, homeowners can sneak into the kitchen and turn on the lights. If cockroaches scurry for cover, observe where they run and position traps accordingly.

Keep all food in sealed containers, use trash cans that have tight-fitting lids, and do not leave pet food out overnight.

Clean the kitchen regularly, and wipe moisture from the kitchen sink before going to bed at night.

Vacuum frequently.

Repair dripping taps and leaky pipes, broken roof tiles, and any other condition that might allow moisture to enter areas where cockroaches can establish harborage.

Seal off all entry points into the house, such as cracks around baseboards, pipes, windows, cabinets, doors and crevices in bathrooms with copper mesh or steel wool and caulk or putty.

Keep lights on at night. Although it will consume additional electricity, cockroaches will avoid lit areas. For the same reason, restaurant owners sometimes leave lights on around dumpsters.

If cockroach infestation persists, contact a qualified exterminator.

In summary, cockroaches are hardy, disease-carrying household pests that can be controlled by maintaining a clean home and eliminating sources of moisture intrusion. As we all don’t want to admit that they are there……They Are! Hopefully these helpful tips will keep them outside only.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

Safety tip: Do you have ICE on your cell phone? You should…

This is a simple, no cost idea that could help in an emergency. I found this through a re-blog but I’m re-bogging it again so Montreal area cell phone users and real-estate professionals can benefit from this safety tip.

Safety Tip:   Do you have ICE on your cell phone? You should…

ICE on your cell phone -- not your cell phone on ice

This is not the same as having your phone on ice. ICE is an acronym for In Case of Emergency.

This idea has been around for a number of years, yet not everyone is adapting.

The reason for ICE on your phone is to help emergency first responders if you are unable to talk in a situation. Without this information first responders are unable to communicate with persons that may need to know about your status. Your phone is frozen like it’s on ice.

In today’s world, almost everyone has a cell phone with them at all times. If you are unable to communicate in an accident, a first responder can look in your phone, find the ICE contact and call that person to alert them to what is happening. It’s to your advantage to have this contact information in your phone.

Think of it like car insurance. You always have it. You hope you never need it. But when the time comes to use it, you’re glad you’ve got it.

Putting ICE on your cell phone is simple. Go to your contacts list. Create a new contact. Put the letters ICE as the first name with a hyphen and the name of the person to contact. Then add their phone number.

Maybe you want to have multiple contacts. Your spouse. Your Children. Your parents. You could have more than one and simply enter them as ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 and so on.Go ahead and take a minute. Add ICE to your cell phone today.

An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post