Damn Squirrels--a correction

hobbs67January 19, 2005

I posted awhile back in response to questions regarding mice in the attic and rustling sounds at night. Seems the wildlife protection people told me that if you hear rusting at night, its mice as squirrels are not nocturnal. Well, a family of big fat squirrels that chewed through the fascia and into the floor between levels tells me, confidentially between housemates, that this information was wrong.

The fun part is now we have squirrels in the attic and mice in the basement. 16 mice down now have to start dealing with the damn squirrels, really big rats with tails -- any tips.


--a bit squirrelly

--has strange things running around in the attic

etc, etc

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buy a cat.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 8:08PM
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Rat bait trays with peanut butter mixed into the bait will entice the squirrels.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 9:03PM
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see if you can establish a time when the tree rats are outside, then get some wire mesh, refered to as "hardware cloth", and cover the access. Be generous with the mesh and secure it firmly to good solid wood. Mount a trap baited with peanut butter outside near the old entrance. Attach a temporary shelf to the side of your house if necessary to place the trap. Squirrels are very territorial and WILL come back and WILL do their damnedest to get back into your house.

How are they getting on your house? If you have branches that overhang or come close to the structure you need to cut them back.

Don't be fooled if the weather warms up and they move outside, the family that established residence WILL come back again next year. They can do a lot of damage (much more than any field mice). So I strongly urge you to get rid of them as soon as possible.

If I sound like a man on a mission it's because I bought a house where they had squirrels in the attic for a long time. I spent over $2k cutting overgrown trees, had to completely clean and vacuum the attic and replace all the insulation (the squirrels removed whatever was there and stuffed into the soffits for nests) and I replaced all the fasica boards and some adjacent soffits, I still need to get some wiring replaced where they had started to gnaw on it.

I'll add that if you catch any and dispose of them yourself make sure they are either relocated a long way from your property or euthanasia is a great separator.

I wish you luck and you have my sympathy.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 9:45PM
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steamed with potatoes, carrots and onions!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 1:06PM
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Big old spring loaded rat traps. Take'em out!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 1:42PM
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If you can get to the space where they are a reag soaked in amonia. the smell will drive them out. Then plug up the entrance hole. Hopefully the area is isolated from the house so you don't get the smel as well.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 4:15PM
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Michelle Downs

Do not feed them rat poison or you will have horrible smells where they used to live!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 7:56AM
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Progress update --
I have been going with the deranged sniper technique, its been somewhat effective so far. The access point is right outside a third floor window so after baiting with some peanut butter I wait by the window with a pellet rifle chanting to myself "one shot, one kill -- one shot, one kill", four squirrels have been whacked with my newly acquired pellet rifle -- I am thinking about painting little squirrel silhuettes on it. There a still a few more in there -- tricky little buggers.

Before anyone hollers at me, my neighborhood is filled with oak trees and therefore overrun with squirrels. If I put traps anywhere I would have to trap 20-30 squirrels just to even make dent and I don't want a squirrel bleeding to death from rat poison in my ceiling. A pellet shot to the head has been quick and final.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 9:54AM
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further update -- on the mouse front the number is up to 18 with the 18 being the "magic" number -- Magic being the mouse that fell from the ceiling onto my face as I was working in the basement. Good times.

All right who wants to come visit me--

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 9:57AM
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Oh, you make our problems sound minimal. Though we did have an opposum chew through our floorboards (pier and beam foundation) who decided it was too cold outside. Poor guy, once we closed everything up and he couldn't get in, I had a very sad opposum sitting outside staring at our house.

If I killed the squirrels, I think my husband would divorce me. We've used large live traps. But the key is to block where they're coming in. Much harder for mice, but works with squirrels.

And yeah, they're not nocturnal, but if they're living in there, then you'll hear them at night as well. We had them in the walls - knocking their pecan nuts fromour big pecan tree against the wall.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 10:21AM
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Ok, the magic mouse was a little bit much, even for me.

and I don't want a squirrel bleeding to death from rat poison in my ceiling.

We have not had that problem with warfarin-based anticoagulants - they get thirsty and go out in search of water and expire. However, the anticoagulant can take many doses, so you have fed 'em up to support this litter before they shuffle off.

Hardware cloth will work after the current batch is gone. But by then they have told their relatives, and they show up the next month. We found this out.

Yeah, I'd also suggest the potatoes and carrots, but no telling if your neighbors have been using rat poison.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 12:05PM
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I'm not trying to be a smart a** here, but those squirrels didn't make that hole over night.....how could you have not noticed what they were doing up there all that time?

My house it trimmed in cedar. The damn woodpeckers loved to bore holes in the facia on one side of the house. Unfortunately, it's illegal to kill woodpeckers. Upon further investigation, i found that wood bees had burrowed holes in there and laid larvae...that's what the woodpeckers were after.

So, i got up there and sprayed full amonia in the holes and the bugs came falling out. Now, i had to find a way to stop the wood bees. I discovered that spraying penetrating oil on the wood and letting it soak in kept them away. I then repainted the wood after i filled all the holes the wood peckers had chisled in there (luckily it's rough sawn cedar). So far, it's been 3 years and no wood peckers nor wood bees.

Point is, you have to find a way to discourage squirrels from wanting to enter the house....periodic maintenance is required.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 12:20PM
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Some people might find this thread to be cruel--but I bet they've never been infested with squirrels. I hate the little rats. We have 12 pecan trees on our small city lot and they sit up in the trees chattering at me and pelting me with pecans. I've told my husband every year that all I want for Christmas is a red-ryder bb gun--I still haven't gotten one. I did a victory dance when I saw a dead one laying on my brick patio--he must have fallen out of the tree. Nasty little buggers. Good luck with your hunting.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 12:20PM
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mga1x -- stop being smarta$$. Just kidding. We have only been in the house a couple of months and I was initially mislead by the widlife people as to the problem.

I agree with you also on the underlying problem point. In this case, the gutters in the area appear to be in poor shape, likely resulting in rotted wood behind them and the access point for the squirrells. That will have to wait till the spring though.

dktrahan -- Red rider bbgun with a compass in the stock. You'll shoot your eye out. LOL So far i have restrained myself from banging away at the squirrels in the surrounding trees, but its been certainly tempting. We suspect that the previous owners may have been feeding the squirrels as they get really close to my 3 and 16 month old. Also my neigbors had squirrels eat up all of the insulation on the wiring in their ceiling creating a serious fire hazard so the motivation to go Bill Murray in Caddyshack is certainly there.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 12:48PM
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After all the squirells are gone you will need to go into your attic and clean up. If they were stock piling acorns then the smell of the nuts will attrack other squirells.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 1:52PM
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Here's a time tested tip by myself and other RVers. Cut up steel wool and mix the shreads with foam-in-a-can. You know that nasty stuff that hardly never rubs off? As you slowly spray foam into cracks and crevices, mix in some steel wool - I use a stick or wear a disposable glove. Works every time - mice, chipmunks have never chewed through, and really don't even nibble off much. Can't say for tree rats. GL! Bill.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 8:09PM
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Did you identify how they get onto your house in the first place? I'm told (and given the number of squirrels and trees around my area I can see) that squirrels are relatively lazy critters that seek easy access i.e. direct climbing up a tree or other "ladder" to get to thier nests. Watch and see how they get to the openeing on your house and block the path. In my case the previous owners let too many trees grow close to the house and overhang the roof. I cut them back or took them down altogether. Sounds like you're having fun honing your sniper skills. Good work and continued success in your battle against the invaders.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 8:40PM
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This is one of the funniest threads I have ever read.
My wife used to get peed off when I shot them, so I used a live trap. Once caught, I put the trap into a green plastic garbage bag, stuck a short piece of central vaccuum hose into it, and put the other end on the exhaust pipe of the truck. This works better if the truck has just been started and the exhaust pipe hasn't had a chance to get red hot yet.
Works well and is a non-messy way to exterminate them.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 9:04PM
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When I bought my present home, I heard rustling sounds along one wall of the house. It turned out that squirrels were nesting in a gap between the aluminum clad shed roof over an enlosed patio an the overhang of the house room.

After cleaning out the leaves, old garbage bags, and two mummified squirrels, I sealed off the gap with hardware cloth. After that, they haven't returned. However they do strip my almond tree of every nut. I tried a live trap but they just ignored it. Next up: some of those black cylindrical rat traps. Baited with almond butter.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 10:10PM
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"I've told my husband every year that all I want for Christmas is a red-ryder bb gun--"
"You'll shoot your eye out Ralphie" LOL 24 straight hours of that damn movie on Christmas

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 10:40PM
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It's great that you seem to be keeping a good attitude about your plagues. Your updates are hilarious.

I am sympathetic. We used to rent the second floor of an old house and had raccoons in the walls - talk about a racket. The landlord didn't want to spend any more than necessary, but he eventually had someone come out to trap them. He didn't catch anything but squirrels, so at some point he decided to poison them - bad idea. It seemed great at first, but in time there were other plagues - crawling larva and flying insects that apparently had enjoyed the carcasses while they lasted. They liked to come out of the recessed lighting in the kitchen. There's not much meat on a squirrel, but I bet a bunch of dead squirrels would lead to the same sort of ugliness.

Hang in there - one shot, one kill

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 8:57AM
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Exact same problem here with squirrels.

Firtst tried installing aluminum flashing over the hole behind gutter. They ate through it.

Next tried galvanized flashing - they ate around it.

Finally went with the pellett gun and saw some success - 4 kills to my name (1 more and I'm an ace!).

Still kept coming back so decided had to eliminate all access to house. Went to Sunbelt and rented 30' cherry picker and cut back all of the branches. Next got a Critter Guard to prevent them coming over the aerial power lines.

Has seemed, for the most part to have done the trick. Occassionally I'll see one on the gutter looking longingly at the newly plugged hole. I have no darn idea how he gets up there. I blew my chance for the 5th kill the other day and scared him off (winds got me)....but I'm ready for the next time. They're definitely NOT getting back into the attic. Bottomline: They WILL keep trying to come back no matter how hard you humanely try to keep them out.

BTW, they did some serious damage in my attic. Had to replace a lot of insulation, but the big issue was their attempt to chew through old wiring. Had knob and tube up there and they could have easily started a fire. Have since re-wired everything.

Good luck, we're all counting on you.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 12:51PM
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"Good luck, we're all counting on you."

Thanks, each time I am upstairs waiting at the window with my pellet gun for what seems like hours after i have put out some peanut butter bait or the after the little SOB's have stolen the bait after I can't get a clean shot of them, and i'm feeling kind of blue -- I think of the boys (and girls) back at the garden web and know I just can't let 'em down.

Niff, the race is on to become the first pellet gun squirel ace of the Garden Web Home Repair forum. The world waits with baited breath. (bad pun intended).

On a serious note, the insulation thing scares me. We have Knob and tube as well, but the only access would be ripping down ceiling or tearing up floors.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 4:08PM
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sheesh...those poor little animals...everyone is out to kill them.

(sorry....i just had to be the first to say it) :-)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 6:26PM
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mga1x - not to worry, I was serious when I said my DH would divorce me if I killed his squirrels, not that I'd want to. I couldn't show him this thread, he'd have a heart attack

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 9:57PM
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CJRA: LOL...you women.....i have a lady friend in minnesota who enjoys killing the squirrels in her yard.

must be the new age female.....releasing some aggressions. :-)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 11:42PM
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"On a serious note, the insulation thing scares me. We have Knob and tube as well, but the only access would be ripping down ceiling or tearing up floors."

If they were in this space, you owe it to yourself to check it for damage. Perhaps a small access hole and a mirror will be sufficient.

If you get up there to place bait put a trap up there too. Then you can "shoot fish in a barrel."
anyone for side bets on the next kill: niff or hobbs67?

keep up the good work.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 9:21AM
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I got five on Hobbs.

Slogan: Making the lives of squirrels nasty, brutish and short.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 2:34PM
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Son of a ..., I don't where all the little buggers are coming from, ,my tally from just coming out of the hole in the soffit is now 7 and as I was leaving the house this morning a really big motha squirrel was sitting up there just waiting for me to come home and resume our danse macabre. Seriously, its just taunting me .... I have problems.

I had a response but its been drowned out im my mind by the theme song, He's roli polie olie, he's small and smart and round. and in the land ... anyone with little kids can relate I'm sure.

Is that 9 total, you da man. Baron Von Richtoffen of the squirrel world. If just 5, then I rule.

I wish I had a slogan.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 3:59PM
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Nah, my squirrel score is zero. My wager was 5 on you, which it appears I won. You rule!

That is your slogan! "Nasty, brutish and short" is a reference to The Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher, your namesake.

I love RPO. They wouldn't have a squirrel problem, Housey would fix it or they would just pull them out with magnets or something. Maybe Uncle Giz would get involved.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 4:11PM
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LOL, even though I misunterstood. I was looking at the slogan trying to remember where it was from, but couldn't think of it -- I'm slow from waking before dawn continue with my state of war with squirrels. Hobbs is also just a nom de guerre borrowed from fantasy baseball -- Roy Hobbs. I wouldn't want any weirdos getting my real name, the insane "squirrel pellet gun guy" says self righteosly.

Woo hoo, I rule. Now I'm off to invent a desquirrelerator.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 5:59PM
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Build a platform and put some traps up there, get them while your not hoe, too. Can you tell when they are all out? If so, the cover up that hole (and any other escape routes that they made).

good luck

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 10:50PM
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I have a relative that is similarly plagued with squirrels. After he catches one in a live trap he gives it a "swimming lesson" by submerging the trap into an old cooler filled with water. He has yet to find a squirrel that passes his swimming test.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 3:09PM
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you should live catch and release them far away from your house.

it's not the squirrels fault, they are just doing what comes naturally.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 4:04PM
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Well if you live in the country and you are allowed by law to shoot the furry guys, get a clean shot, and use this recipe: (Note: Good for grey or fox, NOT red squirrel)

1. Soak cleaned squirrel in cold salt water.
2. Rinse.
3. Brown in butter on hot fry pan.
4. Place in casserole dish.
5. Cover with cream of mushroom soup. Add salt & pepper.
6. Cook til tender in 300 deg oven.

The same recipe holds true for rabbit, although squirrel is much better (although similar in taste). Invite one of your snooty neighbors or inlaws over for (chicken) dinner and wait till after they finish to tell them what they ate.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 4:31PM
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ha ha ha ha ha ...good one!!

Reminds me of when we made sauce with deer meat. When we were done eating, i told everyone what they ate.....sheesh...they acted like i poisoned them!!

It was a while before people accepted dinner invitations again.....lol

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 8:43PM
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Happened to drop by this forum, and am laughing my butt off.Your threads are more fun than some on GW. We have a squirrel that keeps hogging up our birdfeeders. My DH smacked his butt w/ a few thoughtfully placed BB pellets, but I had to put a halt to it, like previous poster says, it's not the squirrel's fault. But it was fun to watch. (And that doesn't make me a bad person).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 12:53PM
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i like mine stewed over greens! yum!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 12:34PM
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still stuck on 4. not willing to let my guard down yet but am caustiously optimistic.....although it is a sour taste indeed to have missed #5!!!

would a squirrel not technically "on my house" constitute a valid kill?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 7:15PM
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Here's 24 more recipes for squirrel, in case you have a lot of squirrels to work with!

Here is a link that might be useful: 24 Squirrel Recipes

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 8:02PM
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Brings back fond childhood memories of squirrel hunting with my dad. You can probably design a wire cone screen and attach it to the house so that they can get out but not back in kinda like a minnow trap you know. Your local wildlife officer or the local chapter of the boy scouts or explorers would probably be glad to help with your problem.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 8:27PM
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Too funny!!
To think I almost skipped this thread!

Squirrels and GRAVY is that where we are headed?
Hello Tenn Lady,
We need your red eye gravy recipe!

Around here school is out for the first
day of squirrel season. Could I send some
crack shot rug rats your way?

I lived in shotgun house in N.O.
by the Miss. river. Wharf rats..
I moved, easiest solution.
Thank God it was a rental.

Looking forward to reading of the
winner war against rodents!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 9:49PM
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Once, many years ago, we had major raccoon problems. It sounded like St. Bernards running around the small attic spaces in our Cape Cod house. We used the Hav-a heart traps that were provided by the municipality, but they kept coming back. Like most Cape Cods, there is a storage area over the garage that can be accessed through a door in one of the bedrooms. One day, my then-husband was working in that room and he heard some sounds. He opened the door, and there were three raccoons sitting there looking at him. He almost had a heart attack. We put more Hav-a-Hearts in there and trapped them, one two three. A student took them out and shot them--but the darnedest thing--I had dreams of a fur jacket--they were so comfortable in our warm house that their fur wasn't plush enough!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 9:04PM
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All you have done is weed out the inferior bloodlines, leaving the remaining squirrels smarter, more aggressive, and more intelligent.

Taunting you?

He's not taunting you. He's drawing you out. No telling why. Could be reinforcements waiting for you to expose a flank. Could be a diversion. It's just no telling.

It's pretty clear the big squirrel is a better general than you, but there is no reason to let this get your goat, make you feel inadequate, that you simply aren't capable of defending your home and family like other species can.


It's time to decide whether you're going to run with the big dogs or stay on the porch.

Search "M-203".

Good luck and good hunting.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 12:00AM
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I am having a similar problem as you described with a new home, squirrels crawling in the gutter, chewing through the facia into the attic. Chase em out, patch the holes with hardware cloth, and they chew a new hole elsewhere along the facia. I cut down the only tree that overhung my house, they must be climbing up my gutter downspouts or side of the house. They just keep comin back so I've been thinking about your solution too.

What kind of pellet gun did you get (model?), from where, and is your house not near any neighbors?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 11:42PM
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Tree rats can actually climb anything but the smoothest brick wall. I watched them climb at my [arents house, chew through aluminum and galvanized flashing, and go around the hardware cloth. They have not been seen climbing smooth siding.
I use subsonic .22 rimfore in a relatively long barreled scope sighted rifle.
I still cannot bring myself to eat trash fed city squirrels. Watch out for the scent glands when skinning or all the meat is ruined.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:30AM
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LMHO, you guys have made me crack up! you have my sympathy, I've had them all, moles in the yard, squirrels ruining the corners of sising and downspouts to get to the feeders, coons that tear up and dig into the plants, mice that invade in hordes, ground hogs digging under the pole barn, male dogs, that hike on and kill $$ shrubs, cats that spray on every available spots, including my storm doorsand car tires, Gheesh! that STINKS!!

I use to be dead aim shot, over the years too many ppl have moved out to the country, bullet travels too far so I have tried the poison for the sm stuff, gonna get a shot gun for the big stuff...
You guys think I could get something with a pellet gun? what kind? pump or gas? rifle or pistol?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:00PM
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We used to use the pump rifle kind of pellet gun. Just be careful. We pumped it up too many times and the pellet shot clean through the fence picket. I can shoot more accurately with the rifle kind than the pistol but you'll have to try it out to see which you are better with. I'm dead accurate with a .22 pistol but not a pellet gun pistol. The pellet gun will definitely kill 'em.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 12:53PM
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I live in a residential neighborhood with neighbors who may think me crazy if I were firing a .22 out my window, so I went with a pump pellet air rifle, it was about $30-40 dollars but for the purpose it is kind of underpowered. I compensate by baiting with peanut butter to get them really close and then shooting them in the head -- sounding a little strange even to me, but you don't want to just wound them and allow them to crawl into your house and die.

The air rifle will not travel as far and is not as loud as a .22, but it still is a dangerous weapon -- just a reminder.
Or you can take Jeffers advice and get an M-203, its a grenade launcher that attaches to the bottom of an M-16 assault rifle. Even if it doesn't work, things will go boom -- always a good thing.

Now for the update -- I'm still stuck on 7 squirrels and around 16 mice. Looks like the mice have been subdued for the time being and the squirrels had been ok until I heard the familiar pitter patter of the dirty little buggers in my bed room ceiling last week. I have been back at my post but ran into some difficulties:

1st -- My preferred perch is in my third floor window above the hole where they squirrels come out. The roof there and directly below is sloped and is directly above the entrance to the front porch so when shot, the squirrels roll off the third floor, onto the second before plopping onto the ground in front of the house. So in my best Keanu Reeves voice -- you've got your squirrel nemesis sitting on the gutter calmly sunning itself unaware that you are grabbing the pellet rifle, but at the same time the neighbors 4 year old daughter is on the way over with her teenage babysitter to play with my daughter -- If you shoot, her path may lead her to have a twitching squirrel drop gruesomely in front of her or even worse on her, What do you do, What do you do?

I swear the squirrel gave me the finger as it turned and went back in my house.

#2 -- Same squirrel, at least in my mind, sitting on my front porch eating part of the garbage that it ate through part of the garbage can to get through and scatter across the front lawn. Run and grab the pellet gun, only to find that teh squirrel moved just a few feet so that it was sitting eating directly in front of the passenger side of my car at window level. From about 20 feet way, if I hit the squirrel I was fine, but if i missed I would definately hit my car. What WOULD YOU DO?

Now to add to the freakin wild kingdom that is my yard, I have a fox that is the size of a medium sized dog living in my backyard -- last weekend, I had to chase it out of the yard because it was taking my sons toys and throwing them up in the air with its mouth and then pouncing on them. broad daylight and the fox is just hanging out playing with a rubber ducky. As I walked back into the house, the fox is just sitting watching me from a few yards over and to add to teh general unreality of teh situation, I looked up above me and there is a hawk/falcon type bird of prey just lazily floating along the length of the yard. I feel like i live in the land of the lost or something, today when I get home there are gong to be sleestacks in the driveway. If I lived in the country, it might not seem strange, but I live in a busy suburb.

freaky --

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 4:28PM
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PS.. forgot to mention that the deer had chewed the top third of the fir trees I put in front yard 3 yrs ago,

I called my DD and told her she needs to check on me more often down here, "Why"? she says...I told her there are now two Vultures parked on a limb out front looking in my LR door...if they start circling, she better come running, she was LHBO..
Tonight I look out the DR door and the coon raises up and looks at me over the edge of the porch, I swear he was smiling! And me with No gun!

So, I should get a Pump, Rifle?...I'm thinkin Wal-Mart?
Hope you get #5..hehe,

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 1:21AM
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I've had good luck keeping the mice under control with steel wool and D-Con. They don't re-chew their access holes when I stuff them full of steel wool, and the D-Con gets the ones already inside the crawl or attic. Poison's a bad idea inside the house, unless you don't mind the smell as the carcasses decompose. Cats and/or traps take care of any so bold as to enter my living spaces.

Serve the target, car or no car. That's what insurance is for. Otherwise you create a safe zone that the enemy will exploit to the fullest.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 8:53AM
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"Serve the target".


    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 10:02AM
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Almost skipped this thread, but glad I didn't. Very entertaining stuff. The recipies were particulary amusing. The reference to A Christmas Story is now stuck in my head. I do think you're putting way too much effort into the extermination. All you need is a few big, ugly barn cats. I've lived in several areas where neighbors all around me had various rodent problems. None ever ventured into my yard. Having cats is like having a force field around your house. Once the cats drag all the chemical free dead carcasses out of your attic, you can give 'em to the folks on the compost forum. They'd love to have them.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 1:22PM
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What brand of pellet rifle and where do you buy one? When you do take a shot, is it pretty quiet or more like a firecracker bang?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 4:34PM
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You just have to out stubborn them. I had trouble with them here too. In Mass. you are not allowed to relocate, poision or starve the little darlings.

You can however, trap them and give them fishing lessons. Eventually you will run out of squirrels.

They also avoid the place for a month or so after each one I catch.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 6:43PM
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ANOTHER reason not to move to the People's Republic of MASS!!! JK

I may be back in business. My neighbor said he saw one climbing up my downspout the other day.

Mixed emotions here: on the one hand I've got squirrels on my d%$n house again. On the other, I've got potential for good material for this thread.

hobbs- I almost soiled myself laughing so hard at your recent problems! Never had a squirrel give me the finger, but I SWEAR one did the Randy Moss "mooning" routine to me.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 6:26PM
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Hobbs -- my next door neighbor has the same approach as you to squirrel control. I wouldn't mind so much, except that my cat like to pick up the corpses and deposit them on my porch. The first time she did it, I was impressed -- those suckers are hard to catch -- but after a few more I started noticing the pellet gun wounds.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 12:16PM
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Crableg -- There are good web resources about the type of guns needed, just search for air rifle hunting or something like that. They detail the air gun strength needed to whack particlaur critters -- I say that because racoons are big and the air rifle I have would likely be not enough to do anything but wound a coon. I think the measure is Feet Per Second, and the rifles list the FPS right on the box. My method is based on my neighborhood having hundreds of squirrels and me knowing where they were coming in and out --

I got mine at a sporting goods store

riff -- consider this the internet equivalent of a white glove to the cheek -- you are officially challenged to a squirrel duel ---- or a thumb war if that was too melodramatic.

Oh and I forgot to add to my wild kingdom that is my yard, looked out my side door the other day and there was a big fat possum building a nest in my neighbors garage. It was curling leaves in its tail and carrying them into his garage. It was very interesting. That has been the upside to my widlife park, my 3 year old daughter has been really enjoying seeing the fox and the possum, laughs when the squirrels sit outside the glass doors and stare into the house (no exaggeration they sit on their back legs and look at you through the door) and used to ask me every morning  You get any mousies Daddy, and say Yea Daddy when I did. We have not discussed the fate of the squirrels yet and IÂm hoping that she is not one day talking to her therapist about that.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 2:04PM
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Sorry if I bring in yet another species - I'm entrenched in a bitter fight with a groundhog in our garage. It decided to make it's hole close to where I store the front porch screens. I usually throw in all kind of junk and debris and close the hole, only to find a couple of days later a huge pile of dirt on the screens and the hole open. It is also biting holes in some plastic sand bags, and it ate the primer bulb of my lawnmower!!!

Last October I got a trap and caught an opossum while the groundhog went on hibernation. Two weeks ago it came out:
the season is open.

What worries me is if I would really catch the guy in the trap - apparently it is not legal to give him a ride. I have only two options: release it on my property.

(The other option I do not have, the Mrs. would not tolerate anything that harms the %#$@^%).

I'm looking for a way to make the guy pack and move out of my garage. There are plenty of garages in my neighborhood.
Any suggestion?


    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 5:51PM
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Hobbs, thanks for the info, I had no idea they came in different powers, my hubby a pump pistol that I tried once, I thought the pumping was a pitb, I'm going to try to find something this weekend.

Barney, you say "not legal to take em for a ride?" uh... how would anyone know? I take drives out in the country all the time, I get rid of meat scraps, bones fat, etc. haha,

Since I have been doing that I do have Fewer strays visiting here, I figure the coyotes, foxes and near by dogs take care of it, it's gone the next day..

We have had 3 times had to deal with rabid coons, the Sheriff said just shoot it and bury it, and report it taken care of, Nice man....being in the country, we pretty much have to take care of this stuff ourself...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 4:41AM
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We had some bad squirrel problems, they caused a lot of damage, chewed big holes in the wood. They are active day and night. Killing them won't do much, since other squirrels will follow the scent and take up the newly vacant nest. The only way to deal with them is to find their entry holes, and block them. When you do so, you put in a one-way door so they are not trapped and die in your attic.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 5:31PM
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Seeing how it is genetically impossible for me to back down from a challenge, consider it GAME ON! I will NOT be taunted a second time.

I can hear it now: Her- "Honey, why didn't you get the dining room finished today?" Me- "SHHHHHHH!!!, I'm busy"

I however have to admit that I feel like I'm at serious disadvantage - all you need is Marlin Perkins and your nature preserve will be complete.

Spot me a couple?


    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 6:41PM
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Speaking of other species, I've got a raccoon stealing gold fish from the recently defrosted fish pond. I never would've guess it if I hadn't come home late and almost stumbled across him.

Fortunately we just sold the house so early May he becomes someone else's joy or headache. ( depending on the new owner's point of view )

So how's the squirrel situation in Texas? I expect they will be more liberal about what I can do about them down there than up here.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 9:05PM
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For those of you not wanting to use a "full strength" .22, try a cb cap which is an underpowered .22 short. Plus, they don't make nearly the noise of a regular .22, but have enoungh power to dispatch a squirrel easily. They should be available any ammo selling store.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 2:47PM
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Well one can buy a HAVE-A-HART squirrel size trap. Set it with peanutbutter smeared on freshly cut apples. Get the two door type AND KEEP ONE SIDE CLOSED - put the food in the far end so it has to go IN to get to the food. ELSE, their tail will allow the tripped door not to fully shut and they will back out!

Also, this way you can use the same trap for other smaller things////

We then used to take them to a forest a few miles away in the trunk tof the car - the trap being palced on a garbage bag --- they tend to pee during the car ride!!! And then open the door and they will run away! :-)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 5:17PM
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A couple years ago, we had FLYING squirrels in our attic. I'd hear them at night, doing acrobatics. Flying squirrels are nocturnal, so it was impossible to find them in daytime. But, before I knew what they were, I thought there was a rat up there, so I set a snap-trap w/peanut butter. That's when I found out what it actually was; apparently they're not as smart or suspicious as rats, it went for the trap right away. I felt terrible about it. And btw, flying squirrels are much "cuter" than gray squirrels, they're much smaller, w/huge (nocturnal) eyes. We used the hav-a-hart trap to catch the other one (they hadn't had time to start a family yet). The survivor was relocated, and then we screened the attic vents more effectively.

We've also had foxes in our backyard, although none have been seen playing soccer, etc. We've had voles, too. I had a red-shouldered hawk sitting on my fence a couple weeks ago eating a mourning dove. I think the predators are a good thing (as long as they run off when the kids go outside...), b/c they'll help take care of the rodents.

If you've only been in the house a couple months, it seems like you could take this problem up with the previous owner and maybe the home inspector, if they misrepresented the problem, they maybe be at least partly liable for the solution. I don't know what county you live in, but if they're in your area, you might want to call Adcock; they're supposed to be the best at trapping rodents of all types and then keeping them out.

I wish you luck. I gotta tell you, you say you live in a busy suburb, and if I were one of your neighbors, I'd be really worried that one of your pellets could go astray and injure something other than a squirrel.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 5:52PM
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I just havahart 7 of them allready in my attic.Flying squarrels that is.There prob still about 5 of them up there.I did release the ones I caught to.They are endangered species in Pa.I think they all live in my attic.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 5:34PM
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Go ahead. Make my day!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 8:35PM
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Gun types.

When I was a kid I got a Daisy pneumatic rifle. Killed lots of squirrels and chipmunks with 10 pumps of that. It used BBs and pellets, .177. I used it so much it broke. I could even shoot "on the wing" without aiming, and hit my target. That thing was sighted so well, I loved it.

Now I got a breakable pellet gun (pellets only). 1000fps, the thing cracks louder than a .22LR. So I can't use it in the 'burbs. But it packs a wallop. I haven't had time to sight it well right now, I'm looking for a free places to shoot.

They also have .177 powder rim-fire bullets now. I haven't really seen them in the stores but I read about them. Maybe that might be something you can use. Use a homemade silencer maybe so you don't scare the neighbors.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 1:38PM
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We resorted to hiring somone to get rid of the squirrels in our house. He live trapped them, but does kill them after. He said it is a cruel death to drop them off. That they do not share territory and will head home only to starve to death on the way.

He used traps both outside the house and inside the attic. The ones outside were by their access. After taking out 9 squirrels he covered the holes with sheet metal. We have a 3 month guarentee so if the critters come back so does he.

We do not have the option of either a pellet or BB gun we live in a city that does not allow it. The fine would be much more than hiring someone to do the work.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:56AM
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I just dumped out my rain barrel for spring cleaning. Usualy, I dump it out and roll it out back and set it upside down under the pine tree in the fall, but this past fall we were lazy and we had an early freeze, so the rainbarrel stayed out front. I just used gutter elbows to go around it. So I figure now that the ice in it had thawed, I would get it up and running again. Some water had spent the winter in there, so I figured I would dump it out and clean it. I turned it over and let the water gush out and was just reaching around to pull out the gutter elbow that had fallen inside when I was stopped by the sight of a mouse. It's eyes were open and unblinking and it's four legs were grasping one of the 2 inch "spokes" that give stability to the open top of the 75 gallon rainbarrel! He was not moving. I figured he was terrorized. But he was holding on tight, so I figured he was alive. DH wouldn't come close, but asked if the mouse was breathing. I could not see any chest movement. So we went away and came back a few minutes later. He was still there. So I got a stick and nudged him and he was hard - and not moving. DH was right, rigor mortis had set in. But this guy looked remarkably well-preserved. Pretty little brown and white house mouse, not like the gray field mice my dogs would catch when we were kids. So I had DH get me two grocery bags and I double-bagged him. When I dumped out the rest of the water, I got another dead mouse, but this one looked the worse for wear.

So what is it with mice in my rain barrel? All I can figure is they found some leftover bait in one of those Orkin traps from a few years back, went outside, and climbed the rainbarrel to get to water. But why no decay? This guy looked like a real, live mouse.

So now the rainbarrel is sitting in the middle of the front lawn with 75 gallons of tap water in it, along with 2 gallons of bleach. Yuck! Dead mouse water!

My three dogs learned to work together last year and scored three squirrels, a bunch of birds and a 'possum. DH heard the 'possum snarling in the dark and called for me. I go out there and manage to call off the good dog, Megan. She went to DH at the back door and left ME as the third person triangulating on the critter. Of course, since I wasn't barking and had no snapping teeth at his level, Mr. 'Possum went for me. That set Casey Jones (the Dalmatian/Hound mix) into defending me and he bit the 'possum on the back of the neck. It fell down dead and I was able to call off the two boy dogs. As I came around the corner of the garage with the shovel, I heard DH giving Casey a lecture. I stopped to tell him that Casey had done just as he should - protected me from an attack - and went to move the critter from the back yard. Well, you folks more familiar with these critters will know that by now the 'possum was shaking his head and ambling toward the kitty-corner yard where he probably lives.

Woud you believe I live in a 60 year-old suburb 9 miles from the Detroit city line? We never had this number of critters around when I was growing up in farm country in the 60s and 70s. Did DDT do them in back then and their populations recovered, or did ground hogs and 'possum and such move in from other areas when I lived out of state?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:24PM
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lol...blasted squirrels!

Haven't had any in my attic, but as we were doing our recent reno I had some damaged drywall near the front door from what I suspected was a leak in the roof above. Removed the drywall and lo and behold, there was a dessicated black squirrel carcass in between two studs with his skeletal hands and teeth sunk into a live 12/2 AL wire!

Replaced the wiring, tossed the squirrel carcass and sealed the outer hole he had got in from.

Also had a raccoon using my roof as a lavatory. Little ba$tards. I figured he was gaining access to my roof from a cedar growing beside the house. Chopped the cedar and no more footsteps and racoon dung on the roof.

As for pellet guns, I call mine the "Suburban Equalizer". It's a Ruko .22 pellet rifle, spring loaded. My brother took it apart and beefed up the spring so this rifle actually kicks when I shoot it. Cures all sorts of suburban "dilmenas".

Swift, silent, semi-deadly. ;-) ;-)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 2:02PM
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ChrisInCanada, I think those critters are tangling with the wrong person if they are tangling with you!

As I read your post I think of CaddyShack and the gophers!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 11:08PM
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Has anybody tried the 'Squirrel Evictor' strobe light? It is a strobe light to install in your attic that is supposed to make the squirrels uncomfortable and make them leave. Based on my previous experiences with ultrasonic devices, mothballs, etc I wouldn't expect it to work, but any feedback would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 12:14PM
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"Squirrel Evictor" I like that. I used my own Evictor on one of the little bastards a couple of years ago. One of the babies running thru the eves in my family room actually got down into the room. I'm not sure what was more fun, watching my wife do her best Edwin Moses imitation or hitting the squirrel with a hammer. Messy but effective.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 11:43AM
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Ok, an update from the OP, now known by the nieghbors as the crazy squirrel guy.

It appears now just 6 months after we moved into our lovely dream house, that the house must sit within some sort of nuisance pest vortex, perhaps a ancient indian pest burial ground with a strange force drawing all of the nastiest nuisance animals to our property intent on driving me insane.

The mice issue was first and detailed about after about 15-20 of them in traps they are gone. Though they were pooping in our lazy susan, all in all they went pretty quickly. Next came the squirrels, at this point I am the Col Kurtz of squirrel killing, I am weary of it and just waiting for someone to put me out of my misery. Then the possum living in my neighbors garage right outside our side door. Then the fox living in our backyard and eating my sons toys. Then there is the falcon or hawk that lives in a nearby tree. Still haven't determined what is living on the second floor of the barn behind our house and pooping all over the 2nd floor, no stairs just a ladder up there. I actually liked the fox and the falcon, it had a certain disney type ring to it.

Now with spring upon us we have the trifecta -- big black ants ranging all over the house, roaches in the kitchen and the bathroom and a coyote, yes thats right in suburban Maryland a coyote in the backyard. I am just at a loss. The local paper had a article on the coyote featuring a warning from a local naturalist saying don't leave babies unattended or small toddlers and then going to say, its great to be able to observe nature blah, blah, blah. Ugh -- Just venting I guess, though I may be able to talk my wife into some serious firearms based on the coyote issue -- "but honey, coyotes are fast , we need a howitzer to get him if he runs too far away"


    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 4:45PM
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Love this site:


Great thread!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 12:22AM
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Good to see this comical thread resurrected!

Since the last post, I now have one squirrel waiting to join us for dinner. He is waiting for his pal mr. chew-up-my-garden-rabbit.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 4:20PM
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hobbs, where in MD do you live? There was an article in Bethesda magazine about the return of coyotes. There are apparently warning signs in Rock Creek Park, and a gardener at McCrillis Gardens told me the coyotes keep the rabbits in check (so a good thing, right?).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:40PM
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I'm in Catonsville. Evidently the coyotes are being seen all over the state.

Cayotes may keep the rabbits in check, but they also eat the native animals and cats and dogs. The Dept of Natural resources said you should also not allow small children out alone in the area. All in all, I'll take the rabbits.

Regarding the squirrel infestation, I finally got a ladder long enough to look at the fascia area where the squirrels were living in my house. I brought a strip of tin with me to cover the hole. The area is shielded by gutter, so you really can't see it from the ground -- the entire fascia for a 6 foot length is gone leaving just the exposed ends of the joists, whether from the squirrels or a gutter problem, I don't know. I have quite a job ahed of me, copper gutters will make it difficult to get at.

I really dislike squirrels.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 10:24AM
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Squirrel AND Rabbit pieces browned in a hot frying pan.
Placed in covered dish with cream of mushroom soup.
Baked at 300 deg until tender (3 hrs).
Dinner tonight!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 9:23AM
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LOL!!!!!!!! But if you brown first, then simmer in fry pan, it gets tender quicker!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:21PM
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I would rather watch the animals in the yard than shoot them, but once they take the destructive route, it is difficult to do much else. My feeder is positioned very high so it is very difficult for a squirrel to access. Yet, a few figure the proper jumping route and once they do, I can chase them off with a broom all I want and the only effect is that they become bolder. I have a rabbit fence around the garden yet still a few go under or jump over. Once they do, it's difficult to keep them out and boy can they do a lot of damage in a night or two! I am going to try a deer/rabbit garlic/egg spray around the perimeter as it seems another rabbit got in and chopped off many of the beans. We can legally shoot problem animals that are not protected here so when I do, I at least try to make the best of it and get a dinner out of it. Back when I was a child, small game hunting wasn't just a sport in our household - it provided a good bit of food to help in feeding the family so I know what to do with these critters.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 6:00AM
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"Coyotes may keep the rabbits in check, but they also eat the native animals and cats and dogs. The Dept of Natural resources said you should also not allow small children out alone in the area. All in all, I'll take the rabbits."

Coyotes like to stay away from people; they're shy. If they see people in a backyard, they'll likely stay away. If there's a stray cat or a small stray dog wandering around, well they're more likely to get hit by a car or to be attacked by a rabid raccoon (or fox) than a coyote, simply b/c there are fewer coyotes around. As far as small kids, well I assume they'd be adult-supervised, not actually alone, right? I think coyotes are more likely to raid the trash cans at night, and eat some unwanted rats and mice, than they are to do anything else. The biggest culprits in eating native wildlife are stray cats, by the way. They've put something like 20% of the native birds in the state of Wisconsin on the endangered list. Coyotes are a native predator, at least; they've just been gone from the area for awhile; and they don't eat birds.

All I'm saying is, I think people freak out about nature invading their territory and see it as a threat when any threat is much-exaggerated. And, as it happens, we've taken all their territory and they've got no place to go, so we should probably learn to co-exist. (I'd like it if they'd reduce the local rodent population, which is booming.)

Now, I don't include home-invading squirrels in the same category; I share your frustration with the squirrels. There's a rodent control co. around here that will put box traps on all the "exits" around your house, and when they think the property is 'vacant' they seal the fascia for you. It sounds like you have a big job; you might want to call them rather than trying to do it all yourself (the one I'm thinking of is Adcock). Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 9:24AM
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I found this site....


He talks about experiments done with "squirrel relocation".

This guy has a picture of a house with the "one way door" over the hole the squirrels were using for access.


Check out the damage done to the house in one day.

Lately, I have been hearing something in the wall. Thought it was racoons on the roof, but now think it's squirrels in the wall. They make these weird sounds at night.... very vocal and annoying. Our house has sections of flat foam roof and sections of mansard roofing. The critters seem to be in a section of flat roof. Sometimes I hear them chewing on what sounds like metal.

We live in a two story house and I need to get a new ladder before I can check to see if the darn buggers are getting into the roof via the second story.

It's nice to know I'm not alone in my misery! ;) Great thread!!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 10:42PM
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I have a whole family of squirrels living under my cottage, the nest is under the bathroom floor. I can hear the babies squeal and the mother, I assume, purr to quiet them down. They are noisy day and night. They've pulled off skirting boards and made 3 entrance/exits on 3 sides of the cottage. They got into the sunroom and caused thousands of dollars damage to the wood casings, baseboards, insulation, ceiling, etc. They try to get into the main part of the cottage every night at the same time - odd! Can I put a pie plate of Warfarin under the cottage to entice the adults? Will they come out to die, looking for water? I can't get at the babies without ripping up all the skirting. I assume they will starve to death if the parents die. I know this sounds awful and I never kill anything, but they have to go. Will this plan of attack work? Help!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 3:44PM
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