Sunday, February 13, 2005

Squirrels

This site got me thinking about squirrels.

Some years back we lived in an old ranch style house in Lakewood. We didn’t know until after we sold the house to somebody else that the previous owner had blown gray matter all over the place, but that’s a different story and will wait for a different time.

About the second year we were there I started hearing noises in the attic. Investigation revealed that there was a squirrel living up there. I fixed the hole in the fascia board he had chewed and figured that’s the end of it.

No way. That sucker was back in the next day. Somebody said try moth balls. Son of a bitch tossed the moth balls out the hole and into the back yard. I waited with a pellet gun for him to come out. No luck.

I waited in the attic with a flashlight and a pellet gun. No luck.

It got worse. At three in the morning, he and all his friends would chase each other around the attic above my bedroom. Then, they would start scratching the insulation off of the sheetrock. Scritch, scritch, scritch. For hours. While I’m supposed to be sleeping.

Providence has a way of interfering. I got a call from a client in Kansas City. He had a couple of extra dollars to spend and thought of me. I like that in a person. But it made me curious. What do you do?

“I’m a trapper,” he said.

My smart ass answer was, “well, maybe you can tell me how to trap squirrels in my attic.”

“My specialty,” he rejoined.

He explained to me that he is an urban wildlife expert. He tells me what kind of trap to get, where to put it and what to bait it with. He further explains that I should not do my repairs to the fascia until I go two weeks without catching a squirrel.

I follow the instructions to the letter, catch 13 squirrels over a two week period, go two dry weeks with no squirrels and replace the board with the hole in it. I’m one happy camper. I decide to call my buddy in KC and thank him for the perfect advice.

“What’d you do with the squirrels?” he asked.

I told him how I didn’t have the inclination to kill them, so I took them to a park in Little Rock where I figured they would have lots of friends. Plus, I assumed that if they could get across the river, up the ridge, over two freeways, numerous city streets and back to my house, the deserved to live in my attic.

“Oh no.” was all he could say.

“Why, what’s wrong,” I asked.

“Well,” he said with a sigh, “You have to kill ‘em. Once they learn how to chew into somebody’s attic you can’t keep them out. And, once you’ve trapped ‘em, you’ll never trap them again. You’ve caused somebody a real problem.”

So, if you live in the Quapaw Quarter Historic District and you have a problem with squirrels in your historic house, please, please know that I am truly sorry. Really, I am.

6 comments:

Stoney said...

Dang, I wish I could write like that. Good tale!

Tulip said...

I suppose that feeding the squirrels is out of the question..... :) My sister and her husband feed them all the time. Also my brother inlaw used to have a pet squirrel. :)

BillyBudd said...

My last house I had a Rock Squirrel living under the back patio. It was a brick patio and he kept digging under it like Irish Coal Miner. It collapsed once and I filled it in with rocks and bricks and the little SOB dug it up again. So I waited......Daisy Powerline with a scope, a piece of cheese and a cold beer. Like the Jackal I waited......The furry little dirt devil showed up grabbed the cheese and stopped, and with a strange premonition of death, looked straight at me. I shot the little fucker right between the eyes! I saw his little family move out later that afternoon. I love the smell of dead squirrel in the morning, it smells like.........Victory!

Nixon Casablanca said...

I just wish those damned rodents would eat the SQUIRREL food I put out for THEM, and leave my bird feeders alone!

Last time I tried, one took off into the woods with the squirrel cabob, and the others tag-teamed my feeder, drug it off it's hook, and chewed the sucker open to get the seed, and chased off every bird that came by.

I'd like to get a feeder on a greased, electrified pole.

triticale said...

Not a whole lot of meat on them, but good eating. Just stay away from the heads. You had enough of them there that the fishing fly supply company would have bought the furs.

Anonymous said...

Could you email me how the urban wildlife expert said to trap the squirrel? It would come in handy. Matt