Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Trouble With Squirrels

We used to live in a house with bedrooms on the 3rd floor.  The kids rooms were up there (we slept on the 2nd floor) and our daughter kept complaining about noises in the middle of the night that woke her up.  'You're imagining things' we said, 'Go back to sleep'.

Except one day, when we started cleaning out her closet (which really, really needed it),  I pulled out a shoe and was surprised to hear something rattle inside.  I turned the shoe over and a shower of acorns fell to the floor.  The next shoe....the same thing.  And several shoes after that.  

We had squirrels.  And while they never made a mess in the house, they made us crazy.  We tried sealing up the hole - they chewed right back in.  We put up wire mesh....they chewed right back in.  We trimmed all the tree branches away from the house - they tight roped across the power lines.  Finally, we put out Hav-a-heart traps and moved them to a new location.

Now, you might point out that we had a cat and two dogs.  Didn't they notice anything?  Nope!  Heavy sleepers.  They were oblivious to the varmints!

I had hoped my squirrel days were behind me.  But last week, I got a call from our plumber (who always works late), that he heard a squirrel scratching under the eaves, above the bathtub.  He ripped open a section of trim along the eaves to let him out.  But the next morning, I found this hole in the brand new fascia trim.  Sigh....we have a squirrel problem once again.

So....out comes the Havaheart trap.  We loaded it with peanut butter and left it overnight.

And look what we trapped the very first night!!!  A big, mostly white, skunk!  The guys were oddly excited about releasing it.  They couldn't wait to let it out.  They took turns using long pieces of wood to pop the trap open (while I cowered in the background, taking photos - Mike suggested I should have video taped it and set the video to the Dukes of Hazard soundtrack).  But the skunk wouldn't budge!  It took some gentle prodding (staying clear of its backside), but it finally wandered off.  And thankfully, no one was sprayed.  But I hope he doesn't develop a recurring taste for peanut butter!
How many grown men does it take to spring a skunk?

Stay tuned for updates of our next catch - I'll be posting photos on Facebook!

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  1. Better than rats, Lauren. We thought we had squirrels when we moved into a semi-abandoned house, but they were RATS! Took awhile to catch them all. That hole looks like a smaller version of the woodpecker hole in my freshly painted siding.

    P.S. I've read that you should cover the sides of the cage with a blanket so the skunk doesn't get so scared.

  2. Oh no, I've heard rats are really hard to get rid of!

    Thanks for the blanket tip for the skunk, but the funny thing is, he was so docile! Maybe it was the tummy full of peanut butter, but he was very laid back! Amazing! I'm just grateful the guys were willing to spring him loose. Because I wasn't ready to do it :-)


  3. We live in the middle of the country, so when our Haveaheart trap caught a skunk, we researched the proper procedure. Yes, cover the trap with a blanket--because skunks are nocturnal. Then prop it open and let the skunk make his own way out. (Not feasible in the middle of a worksite, but we were able to do that.) They are very funny animals to watch--from a distance--because they waddle.


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