Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Squirrels acceptable in wild, unacceptable at home

February 12, 2009

The atmosphere at our house these days is positively squirrelly, and I don’t mean in a metaphorical way. Squirrels are trying to take over this dwelling for their own, and we humans seem to be powerless to do anything about it.

Our faithless cat Shadow, who is 25 pounds of feline destruction, is trying to point us in the right direction, but somehow we seem to be unable to pick up on his cues. Almost every evening as we gather about the warm glow of our television set, a series of mysterious sounds comes down from the ceiling about our fireplace on the western wall of our home.

Of course, the actual site is hidden from our view. We only can hear sounds, but the occasional presence of grey squirrels flitting about the area makes us extremely suspicious that squirrels are to blame.

Let me make it clear that I don’t have anything against squirrels. They are perfectly acceptable wild creatures in my book, but only as long as they don’t eat my house. I enjoy watching them and seeing their antics. They are ideal substitutes for house pets because they take care of themselves outside and I’m not responsible for feeding, walking or other caretaking.

I called a wildlife trapping service, and for a ridiculously huge sum of money they brought out and set up a humane trap designed to capture the squirrel so that it can be relocated.

It’s been several days now, and the only creature trapped was a hopping mad blue jay. We didn’t want to eat him, either. We released him and assume he has learned not to visit humane squirrel traps.

It seems, as our population grows, we are coming into closer contact with wildlife. The rapid increase in confrontations between coyotes and pets in Johnson County is causing fear among suburban dwellers. Deer are rapidly becoming pests, posing hazards for traffic and gobbling up grass and plants on the edges of our cities.

I think there should be studies on how we are impacted by wildlife and what we can do to give them their space. In the meantime, I have to figure out how to protect my home from a squirrel invasion.

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