The squirrels aren’t gone … yet. But they will be.
I tried to be nice. I bought a live trap. Hav-A-Hart. It doesn’t work. The damn squirrels keep knocking it over. So then I got smart and put a five pound weight on top of the trap so they couldn’t knock it over. That didn’t work. All that happened is that I thought something in the house had fallen when I heard the five pound weight hit the floor. I ran back upstairs and the trap was knocked over and all the bait was gone again. Then I got a 10 pound weight and put that on top of the trap. There is no way that a two pound squirrel is going to knock over 10 pound weight. Little did I know that Arnold Schwarzensquirrel was living in my attic. They still managed to knock the damn trap over. Okay. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
So during my next day off when I was woken up at six o’clock by the sound of squirrels gnawing holes in my rafters, I went back to Home Depot. I looked around and asked the salesman what you would use for a squirrel problem. He showed me some nasty smelling animal repellent that he said would do the trick. Active ingredients include “putrescent whole egg solids,” “dried blood” (even though the bottle contained a liquid) and garlic. I sprayed a little bit of it outside. It smelled rancid. That will do the trick. So I went back home, pulled off the piece of sheetrock separating our closet from the attic, and sprayed the repellent around the attic. It stunk like hell. Then I sealed backup the hole in the wall and hoped for the best.
When my wife gets home, she walked upstairs and screamed. I ran upstairs.
“What is that smell?”
“Did you kill one of the squirrels? You better not have killed one of the squirrels. It smells like something died.”
I went into the closet and the smell from the attic had wafted into our closet. Now our whole closet stunk like a massacre scene at an Italian restaurant.
I opened up the hole in the wall and went back into the attic. The smell was overwhelming. Then I noticed something: A beam of light shining against the insulation. The little bastards had chewed a hole in the roof. I went outside and climbed up on the roof using a ladder. The squirrels had bent back a piece of the flashing and had chewed a little hole through one of the shingles. Then they had chewed a hole through the roof and into our attic.
So back to Home Depot I go to get more building supplies. I got some chicken wire so they couldn’t chew another hole through the patch I was going to make. I also got some new flashing, new shingle that kind of matched our old shingles, and some “great stuff” to seal up the whole. An end to the problem was in sight.
I patched up the hole in the roof with the “great stuff,” put some chicken wire down over the hole so they could not chew another hole there, and replaced the flashing and the shingles. Not perfect, but it worked. And it will keep the damn squirrels out. Finally.
But oh no, these are resourceful squirrels.
I wake up the next morning planning on finishing up an article for the blog before I went to work. More gnawing on the walls. I threw on a T-shirt and ran outside to look at the roof. The patch was still in place. I ran back inside, went into the closet, and opened up the hole in the wall. The stench was overwhelming again. I used a flashlight to look around. There were two squirrels running around in there, seemingly oblivious to the smell. They looked at me and then ran through another little hole that they had made in the insulation.
The sales guy at Home Depot is a liar and my attic was officially a squirrel Habitrail.
This means war.
I went back outside with my pellet gun. I was going to use my Ruger .22, but then I figured that if I missed, I would be shooting holes in my own roof. Elmer Fudd, I’m not. I waited around for a half hour. I could hear them running inside of the eaves of the roof, but none of them peeked out their heads so I could blast them.
Dammit am I getting pissed off.
So I got into my truck, brought the dogs for a ride, and went back to Home Depot. I looked up at the roof and there is a squirrel sitting on the top of the roof watching me. That little pecker is probably giving the “all clear” sign to all of his buddies to come in and have a squirrel party in my roof while I’m gone. For all I know, the damn outdoor department salesperson at Home Depot is probably in on the whole thing, too. He gets a kickback for every pest product sold and then gives the squirrels a bag of bird seed for every customer that they drive crazy. Wait till I see that guy.
Once inside Home Depot, I know right where to go. This is it. I am giggling through the aisles as I look for anything that will kill rodents. That’s right. The humane trapping bit is all over. Extra large glue pads. The squirrels walk on them and their feet get stuck so they can’t get away. Wwwwuuuuuuhahaha. Oh, and extra large rat traps. You put bait in the middle of the trap and set it, then if the squirrel touches the bait, big jaws snap down on its neck. Nighty night, twinkletoes. MmmmmwwwuuAAAAAhahahaha. And I also got a half dozen rolls of flypaper that I can stick up in these holes just to mess up their game. Now where is that sales guy? I was going to chatter at him like a squirrel, but I couldn’t find him.
I bring everything up to the counter and the lady behind the counter says “Hmmmm looks like somebody has a pest problem.”
Actually it’s just my kids misbehaving and they just don’t seem to respond to my beatings any more. No, I didn’t really say that. But that is the first thing that ran through my mind.
“Yup. Got a few squirrels in my attic.”
“Well have you tried the live traps?”
Holy shit, it’s a squirrel conspiracy. The squirrels are paying kickbacks to everybody in this damn store.
“Yes I did. The squirrels kept knocking it over.”
“Maybe you weren’t setting it up right.”
You want a rat trap shoved up your piehole lady? Just ring up the sale. Maybe I’ll give them your address so they can chew holes in your walls and do laps around your attic when you are trying to sleep. And then you can “try the live traps” with them.
Then a guy behind me in line chimes in.
“Nothing that a .22 wouldn’t fix.”
Yeah, Wyatt Earp? You wanna go, pal? I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you bring that sticking-in-other-people’s-business nose of yours over to my house and see if you can hit these little peckers with your fancy little Red Ryder shoot-your-eye-out pop gun. Moron. Shut up.
Thirty bucks later I get back in the car and both of the dogs are sitting in the back seat looking at me. I start to giggle as we drive away. I hear whispering. I look in the rear view mirror and one of the dogs is whispering in the other dog’s ear. When they see me look at them in the mirror, they stop talking and look straight ahead again. I swear to God if either of you are in on this you’re going to get fed cat food for the rest of your life. Cat food and squirrel innards. Maybe some bird seed for dessert. That’s it. Nothing else. And I’ll make you live up in the attic, too. With that stench.
I get back home and then I hear scratching in the gutters. There is a whole damn family tree of these things in my house. I pull up the ladder again and look at the gutter. They pushed out the leaf guard that I had in the gutter and were climbing up the inside of the gutter to get on the roof of my house. I look around the corner of the house and there is a dove who made a nest at the edge of the gutter. OK, sister, you can stay. If you come into my house or if you say anything to those damn squirrels, just remember: I know where you live. Come and peck on my office window when the squirrels are around and I might just give you some bird seed.
I went to the end of the gutter on the other side of the house and the squirrels had bent back the flashing over the eaves and had chewed a small hole into the house. That opening is a perfect place for one of the rat traps. I put the other rat trap and the glue pads in the attic.
Now I have to go to work.
And people wonder why I giggle to myself for no apparent reason.