Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Critter Control

Christmas 034 If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that we've been having an ongoing battle with the neighborhood squirrels, who like to make their way into our attic and keep us up at night.

We've tried hiring professionals to catch them and carry them off to another zip code.  They've put traps on the roof, traps on the deck, and traps in the attic, but in the past four or five years, they've only managed to catch one squirrel.  And he died anyway, because it was on Christmas day, and by the time they were able to come carry him off, he had succumbed to nature.

12048483201-lsLast March LBeau decided to get serious about the squirrels and ordered some "real" traps from F&T Fur Harvesters.  Designed for capturing mink and muskrats, LBeau thought they would be perfect for catching squirrels.  They came in no time, but for months they sat in a box in the basement, and I was about to chalk them up to another one of those purchases that never gets used.

This fall, however, LBeau got out one of the traps and set it in a flower pot on the deck.  He placed it close to the spot right outside our bedroom where I have on numerous occasions watched a squirrel take a flying leap from the deck, scurry up the brick beside the den window, scramble onto the light fixture, and leap onto the roof, all in the span of about five seconds.

A few days later, the trap was sprung, but we failed to catch a thing.  Then one day LBeau came home from work and found the trap missing.  After a quick search of the area below the deck, we found it in a flower bed.  Something had obviously been caught but had managed to free itself.  In fact, a closer look at the trap revealed a tiny toe caught between its jaws.  At this point we decided we should probably nail the chain that's attached to the trap to the deck.

At 2:30 this morning, I was awakened by a commotion outside our bedroom.  At first I thought it was probably a squirrel running around in the gutter, but I soon decided that the trap had finally captured its prey.  Although I had to relocate to another bed to get back to sleep, I was comforted knowing we were about to be rid of the squirrel.

Not so fast.  It seems that what we had really captured was a rather large raccoon.

critters 001

When I went outside to take his picture before LBeau turned him loose, he took a flying leap, pulled the chain loose from the deck, and headed down the steps into the early morning darkness.  Fortunately, the chain caught on the deck railing, and LBeau was able to set him free.

In the meantime, during his captivity he decided that my garden hose had something to do with his predicament, and he proceeded to chew it in half.

critters 003

So we're back to square one with the squirrel.  If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.


Joyce said...

Oh wow...these animals are crazy! I'm thinking sniper rifle : )

and any animal rights people reading...Relax...I'm kidding. Sort of.

susan said...

While I love watching squirrels, my good friend who has them in her attic calls them "rats with tails"! They can be very destructive! Be careful--I've heard lots of racoons carry rabies and they are really mean when cornered! Good luck!

Malvie said...

When I lived in Arkansas, I had a (brand new) chain link fence around my back yard.

The squirrels chewed (chewed) the GALVANIZED STEEL POST CAP off. First, the tooth marks appeared, then grooves, then deep gashes. One day, I found the post cap (that which was left of it, anyway) on the ground, in pieces.

Rats with furry tails. Not cute.

Baumbastic said...

Wow, those raccoons are mean (and strong) critters! I'm glad that no one got hurt.

Just Breathe said...

I haven't got a clue. They use to have some sticky stuff years ago when we lived in Chicago. Poor raccoon!

Lou Cinda said...

SHUT UP! Girl you are going to have to sit out there under cover of darkness and shoot the little hummers!! Squirrel Stew! (Is there such a thing?)

This is hilarious!

Lou Cinda :)

texasdaisey said...

get yourself a cat

Lou Cinda said...

Kathy: I am tall, 5'10" but when they asked me my height I said 7'1"
If I could distribute better, and be taller, I think I would actually be UNDERweight! Wouldn't that be fun???

Have a great day and hope your squirrels saw what happened to the racoon and vamoosed!

Lou Cinda :)

Susie Jefferson said...

Thanks so much for your message of sympathy, it was very much appreciated. I haven't been able to face replying till today. Bless you!

And all being well, depending on your schedule (and jet lag) I hope to meet up for a quick coffee when you hit the UK.

Big hugs, Susie

Sares said...

This gave me the biggest giggle! Your poor hose, it was just an innocent victim. It sounds like the score is about squirrels 5, humans 0! Good luck with the hunt!

susan said...

I posted some squirrels for you today :)

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

OhMyGoodness Kathy, that's horrible! If it's not one critter, it's another! I guess LBeau slept through all of the commotion of the trapped racoon. When our son was in college, he worked for an environmentalist, who ended up doing some odd jobs. They had to take a metal roof off a cabin to release thousands of bats that had been trapped in there! Hope you don't have to remove the roof! Good luck! laurie

nanny said...

Can you believe how smart these creatures are? I have an ongoing battle with them over the sunflower seeds. I don't mind feeding them BUT they won't quit! They have to eat it ALL!

xinex said...

OMG!I can;t believe that trap caught a raccoon and I can't believe the raccoon chewed up your hose to get even, lol. I am not bothered by the squirrels in the yard but I am bothered by some kind of wild creature getting into the attic, don't know how they get there....Christine

Anonymous said...

Call Elmer Fudd

Larry A.