Homeownership is something totally new to us – and it’s an adventure at that! One of our biggest adventures has been having a house with egress windows and thus, window wells. For those unfamiliar, when you have a basement, in order to have a bedroom down there you have to have a special kind of window that someone can actually get out of the room from in case of a fire or other emergency. In our house, these are big holes dug next to the house, lined with a metal trim and completed with a ladder for easy exiting.


Typically, you would install a special cover that can be opened from the inside to keep debris and critters out of these wells. But, our house doesn’t have them and these covers are quite expensive when your wells are as big as ours are.

Because ours are not covered, they are a desirable location for critters to hide out or get stuck. And let me tell you, we’ve had our fair share of critter removing and rescuing since moving in.

We get the occasional frog or toad. These guys are not a big deal. The frogs can climb out on their own, the toads get stuck – but they eat the bugs and seem to enjoy hiding out in the shade and damp that the well provides. My husband does hop in to take them out though, because we’d rather free a live one than deal with a dead one.


On the 4th of July we noticed a little head sticking out from the edge of the well, under the metal wall. We had no idea what it was for a long time. But, after a few days he popped out a little further and we discovered it was a Tiger Salamander. He wasn’t going to cause us any major problems, but he was burrowing under the wall, which could cause some foundational issues so we knew we had to get him out. About a week later, long after I had gone to bed my husband wakes me up with excitement in his voice. “Hurry,” he says, “the salamander is out of the hole and get this – there are two of them”! So I hop out of bed, in the middle of the night to run outside to help. Using a net and a bin my husband scooped up Sal (yes, we named him) and his buddy and dropped them off down the street near the pond. (Sorry for the bad quality photos, it was late at night and I was tired).

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Finally, a critter free window well! Or so we thought! The very next day, I went into the basement for some reason or another and I heard a THUD against the window. It scared me! I jumped out of my skin and inched my way over to see what it was. As  I looked out, I saw a furry something or other hiding under the leaves. I called my husband, laughing to tell him a little furry critter took over Sal’s home. As soon as he answered the phone, I screamed. Because there in front of me, in the window well popped up the ears of a baby bunny! I hadn’t noticed him before! So, now instead of 2 salamanders, we had a bunny and an unknown furry something living down there!

My oldest son helped me out as we used the nets to rescue the bunny and what turned out to be a vole.



The bunny was so scared after his rescue, he just hung out by us for several minutes – in my opinion, this called for a bunny & me selfie!

After all of this insanity, we cleaned the wells and added several inches of new rock. We haven’t had any new friends since – but I’m sure they’re coming. And, we’re saving up to get some covers to avoid this nonsense in the future!

If you’re up for a laugh, check out this video of me trying to get the little vole out of the well! Turn your sound on to hear my narration 😉

Have a great day!
Nibbles Skribbles

PS: I am having a CT cal now through August 1 – click here to learn more and apply!