If you follow me on Twitter (because you totally should) you may have noticed a number of Tweets regarding the infiltration of my humble abode, by tiny
Not tiny, actually.
I guess they are considered mid-sized in the rodent community (smaller than a raccoon, but bigger than a chipmunk).
They are known commonly as the Gray Squirrel.
They are indigenous to the Eastern United States (where I reside).
They look like this…
And, I hate them.
Despite the fact that they run madly around my neighborhood causing miniature nuisances (tearing open my trash bags, destroying plants, eating the faces off of my jack-o-lanterns, and leaving piles of poo on my deck railings for me to unknowingly put my hand into), I didn’t have any real beef with them until recently.
When the little monsters chewed a fist sized hole into the side of my not-bothering-anybody home. and entered my attic to make themselves comfy in my insulation, they kicked it up a notch and officially invited me to hate them.
I hate that they wake me up each morning with their annoying grunting-barking-moaning squirrel sex (Dumb Dad says that’s not what they’re doing, but I say that it so clearly is exactly what they’ are doing because they want to rub my face in their existence and determination to procreate).
I hate that their scratchy little nails can be heard at all hours of the night as they run-skip-hoppity jump across my ceiling.
I hate that my bedroom is all drafty and cold now that they ate an opening to the great outdoors in the side of my home.
I hate that they’ve destroyed nearly 50% of my attic insulation.
And, I hate that they have cost us upwards of $350 to have them “taken care of” by a professional.
I sincerely hope this never happens to any of you.
But, if it does, this might help:
Dumb Mom’s Guide to Annihilating the Bushy Tailed Enemy and Living to Tell About It
1. Get fed up. It’s the yeah-we’re-getting-our-freak-on-in-your-attic sounds that put me over the edge. And the thought that, in a few short months, they would have their itty-bitty insulation-destroying-babies up there too. Something had to be done. I’m good with taking out grown-up squirrels, but killing the babies seems wrong-ish.
2. Arm yourself. Tennis racket, check! Gardening gloves, check! Pretty-much-full-bottle of Windex (for burning their eyes out should they attack), check! If you’re misfortunate enough to be blind as a bat, like myself, you are probably safe to enter Rabies Central with only your prescription eyeglasses to protect your corneas from their talon-like claws, but if not, you may want to don some
swimming goggles for protection.
3. Obtain similarly dressed back-up. Dumb Dad worked for me.
4. Make noise. Knock on the ceiling. Give out a war cry. Whatever feels right. But, the hope is that it works like the three jingle rule in college, and it gives the little buggers a chance to take cover or run out the back. This is a recon mission with the goal of evidence retrieval. Unless you’re crazy, you’re not looking for a
paw fist fight. That’s for the professionals.
5. Go investigate. I find it most useful to let back-up actually take the lead on this one. Some people just seem like they’re better equipped to handle rabies. Personally, I think I’d make a horrible rabies victim, so I let Dumb Dad enter the
torture chamber attic first. You know, just in case.
6. See for yourself. Once the scene has been secured, you should probably take a look for yourself. I’m the brains of the operation so, while I don’t really need to partake in the dangerous portions of the mission, it’s really important that I survey the area for evidence. The less detail oriented member of my recon team is really not equipped for gathering scat and what not.
7. Put the little punks on notice. Now that you’ve officially determined they actually are inhabiting your speezot, go ahead and yell, “I’M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA!” all top-of-your-lungs like. It’s only fair to let them know that you’re coming for them. Gives them a chance to move out if they’re smart. Please note: the squirrels that infiltrated my attic are NOT smart.
8. Do some research. Not a lot, but just enough to realize that you won’t be handling this issue on your own. Unless collecting mangy, dead, flea infested, squirrel carcasses is your thing, you probably want to outsource this one.
9. Be nice to the pro. Smile pretty, say nice words, don’t gag when you spot his truck bed full of dead animals, or his squirrel tail rearview mirror decoration. I always thought dudes into taxidermy where creepy and weird. Now I know that they totally are, but I really don’t care. I’m just happy they bring out their “humane squirrel traps”* and come back to retrieve them in a week or so, leaving me almost entirely out of the process (aside from the $350 check I had to write).
10. Perfect your evil laugh. Seriously, I’m all for animal rights and I don’t mess with squirrels or any other wildlife in it’s own habitat, but these mofos went too far. And, after spending the
$350 $465 ( or more if I have to pay for replacement traps in the event that they didn’t get all of the effers up there now they didn’t get all the effers and I had to pay for the relaying of the traps) on the trapper and who-knows-how-much-more on the insulation repair, I think I deserve a little evil laugh session. And a cocktail.
From Dumb Mom in the trenches, peace out.
*Don’t get all huffy with me. I contacted a “humane trapping” service that had a cute little story about removing a mom and babies to a nearby tree. Only, guess what? When creepy-small-rodent-trapping-dude showed up, he brought out his metal
killing machines traps and said, they’re “humane” because it kills them instantly (which he demoed for us) instead of poisoning them and letting them die in pain slowly. I mean, I’m completely fine with it, but still, I didn’t set out to be all crazy-attic-rodent-torture-chamber-chick or anything. Just sorta worked out that way. These squirrels better recognize.