Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's a Bit Squirrelly Around Here

Cardinals Rally Squirrel
I am surrounded by squirrels. And unfortunately I don't mean the two legged kind, or the cute one that adorns my St. Louis Cardinals shirt. I have been hearing noises above my office for awhile. Because it goes on during the day and not at night, I figured that it was not mice. Plus I can see the squirrels scampering outside my office window. It is very annoying and distracting as I am trying to write. I have just started hearing them make a different noise, which made me wonder what squirrels sound like when they are trying to expand their families. So on Monday Jim called a couple of different pest control companies for a bid.

The first Squirrel Buster came to the house at 11:00 yesterday morning. After walking around the house and looking at the pitch of our roof, he respectfully declined the job. Oh dear! I could practically hear the squirrels high-fiving each other at the news. The second guy had given Jim his pricing over the phone, so Jim just called him back and asked him to come on over. I was not optomistic when he showed up. But he walked around the house, listened to what I had to say, and said he would set up a trap right away. He explained that last season was the largest explosion of wild critters that he had seen, and this year was shaping up to be a banner year as well. The trap companies cannot even keep up with the demand. He added that while regular pest control was falling through the floor, furry pest control was through the roof - lterally. Har, har. The extreme cold this winter has encouraged the four legged pests to seek warmer quarters. In our case, they are living in the area above the small, open porch we added to the second floor back in 2003.
squirrel trap

Knowing nothing about how this process works, I listened with interest as he explained that he would find the point of entry, and then attach a trap to the outside of the house over the hole. The trap is baited with peanut butter, and when the animal goes in the trap door closes. He comes back frequently to check the trap, but we can also call him if we see or hear one in the trap. After he is convinced there are no more squirrels in the space, he permanently seals the hole. My question is what happens if the squirrels were not in there when he placed the cage? I guess we shall see. What he does with the squirrels once he catches them, I do not know. I decided to take a don't ask, don't tell approach. I don't really care as long as they are no longer living in their Wolterman condominium. I do know that if they are relocated, they must be taken at least five (preferable ten!) miles from where they were caught. Otherwise they will come back.

After the Squirrel Buster left, I took Kirby for a walk. Our little deal at the end of each walk is once we get close to the house I let him off his leash in our front yard. He runs around like crazy and thinks he is hot stuff, and then we go into the fenced in back yard. When I took him off the leash yesterday, he chased after a squirrel. He always chases them, but never catches them. Except this time. He actually caught the squirrel! It seemed a little gimpy, so perhaps it had injured its leg. Regardless, there was Kirby, shaking the thing back and forth in his mouth. I was yelling at him in vain, telling him to drop it, when he shook it one too many times and it went flying. It managed to limp its way up the tree, thankfully. New name for the dog - the Kirbinator!

As of today, there are no squirrels in the trap. Kirby-1, Squirrel Buster-0. The guy said it may take awhile, but he thinks the warmer temperatures will draw the squirrels outside. Guess I better keep my eye on the Kirbinator.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Funny! Now Kirby really thinks he's big stuff!

Don't make me tell you about the time Clyde had a dead possum head in his mouth....