Animal lovers beware as this might not suit ya. This is my story of a struggle with a neighborhood squirrel.
Right before Thanksgiving a squirrel moved into my attic. I heard the noise but in my mind I suppose that I thought that a bird was beating against the house. What could have I been thinking?
One night as I lay on the sofa after Thanksgiving, sick as a dog with the flu, I heard this noise in my attic. I lay still and listened. It was like a scratching sound. Then I hear little feet scurrying above in the ceiling. Dang, that is not a bird. I do believe that a rat is in my attic. It bothered me but there wasn’t anything that I could do since I was sick. I lay either in my bed or on the sofa for about a week listening to something having a party in the attic. All that was needed was music. Thank goodness that there wasn’t any.
Monday, I decided that I had to figure out what was going on. I got a ladder and went to the front and put it up next to the front door. There seemed to be a hole in the eve right below the roof. I climbed up and found a hole that had been eaten away. I knew then that it wasn’t a rat but a squirrel. I had seen that sign before now. What to do?
I went to my storage building and found some pieces of wood to do a temporary mending job. What a mess. It looked like what we see in photos of a hillbilly house. I nailed the board one way and then another was nailed at an angle on top of that one. I had to do it that way because of a gable. I stepped down from my patch job and felt proud but ashamed at the same time. I was pleased that the squirrel couldn’t get back in but I was also hoping that my neighbors wouldn’t be looking at my eves. I mean the boards didn’t even have paint on them.
Oh well, I wasn’t going to have to be concerned about that too long as the squirrel was back. I woke the next morning to the tune of the squirrel’s chatter of teeth drilling away on the boards. What? I was insulted. How could he think that he could get back in after the job that I had done. I am a person and he is only a squirrel…..a rat with a fluffy tail. I wasn’t going to put up with it. No sir-ree.
I went out and looked up to see that his teeth had already made a good job of whittling away at the replacement boards. What to do? I went into the kitchen and took down some shortening and powdered hot pepper. I mixed the two together and smeared it on the boards. That should do it. I went about my business.
The next morning I woke to the sound of you guessed it…..the chatter of a squirrel’s teeth drilling away on my house. This was getting personal. I walked out to see the damage that had been done. It was still OK but if he kept it up, I would have to replace those boards. I started looking for a piece of sheet metal. Standing there I could visualize the squirrel eating through the metal like it was frosting on a cake. Bingo…..that gave me a thought.
I opened the refrigerator door and took out a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce. I took the bottle with me and sprinkled it on the roof and the boards as I noticed that the squirrel had eaten some of the roofing too.
Later that day, I heard a thump on the front porch and went to look. It was that squirrel looking at me dead in the eyes. He didn’t run off. He just sat there looking at me the same as to say, “Look what you have done to me? I don’t have a home. You have all of my food and now you are trying to set my mouth on fire.” Then he ran off, jumped up on the fence, ran across it, jumped down on the ground, back up on another fence and up a tree. He sat on a limb for a minute and then he was gone. I thought, well, he is gone for good. Surely, he will not be crazy enough to try again.
However, for two days now, I have been up and down that ladder putting more hot sauce on the shingles and boards. As I was standing in a neighbor’s yard talking, I looked at my house and this squirrel was squatted on the tallest peak of my house like a gargoyle there to scare away evil spirits.
It never occurred to me that he had stored food there until a friend suggested it to me. Food? Of course, squirrels live in trees but once they store their food in a tree, that is home. My attic now was home because of his stored away winter food supply. I wish that I could just say, “Here squirrel, come get these tasty nuts that I am putting out for you but I am afraid that he will not be interested in what I can give him. He is only interested in what he worked so hard to get and put away for a rainy day. I wish that he had all the nuts that make pecan trees in my shrubs each year. Or the Magnolia seeds that sprout into small trees that he hid there.
What to do? I think that next thing that I should do is trap him in a cage and take him to another part of the state. I would turn him loose somewhere close by but I do not think that he will forget where I live for one minute. Maybe I will be moved or dead and gone before he finds his way back from across the state.
Now, to find a trap in case he comes back and the neighborhood boys find out about him and make target practice of him.