See Squirrels Scram
Squirrels are always thinking of ways to multitask their two daily objectives: finding nuts while driving us nuts. If you have ever watched Princess Bushytail swivel her hind feet to grasp a tree trunk while stretching her body toward your hanging birdfeeder, then you are as aware as I am of her ability to simultaneously be a nuisance and a thief.
It is not that we are against squirrels being allowed to eat. But we do not have to accept Mr. Treerat spending his entire life mooching off our land whiles he stresses us out. And what if there is a Mrs. Treerat? What if she wants to settle down in our yard and start a family? The following are my top 11 recommendations to help us all solve the world’s most annoying type of pest control problem.
GET A CAT
A popular method for any type of pest control is to take advantage of the fact that all pests attract predators. While Sylvester is not likely to ever actually catch one of Rocky’s cousins, he will spend hours chasing them. If we are lucky, we can train Tom to forget about Jerry. We just need to tell Tom to go outside and chase Miss Wannabe Chipmunk until she becomes so irritated that she packs her nuts and takes a permanent vacation somewhere beyond our property line.
SPREAD CAT LITTER
If you are allergic to felines or your feline is too closely related to Garfield to chase anything, you could ask neighbors for their used cat litter. If they actually let you have it instead of slamming the door and recommending you seek professional help, spread the litter around your yard. Then cross your fingers and make a wish that the smell of a predator’s waste will keep Sandy Cheeks away.
RECYCLE COFFEE GROUNDS
Based on Twitchy’s movements, it would be reasonable to think he has a serious coffee addiction. But it turns out the opposite is closer to the truth. We can collect our used coffee grounds and spread them around the perimeter of our house and property. The smell acts as an irritant. After we spend months embedding the coffee grounds in our soil, the stink might become too much for Twitchy to tolerate.
The world’s most indecisive street-crossers do not care for spicy tastes and smells. We could go buy a specialized repellant spray or we could concoct our own spicy solution. Try mixing a bottle of any pepper-based hot sauce with a gallon of water and spray the solution around trees and birdfeeders. Or, just sprinkle cayenne powder at those same places.
INSTALL PVC PIPE
Jumpy has a tough time accepting that we did not buy the birdfeeders for his recreation. But if he wants a thrill, we shall give him a thrill he will never see coming. For hanging birdfeeders, thread the string that holds the feeder through PVC pipe. For standing feeders, wrap the pole with PVC pipe. By doing so, we booby trap the common paths for Jumpy to get to our feeders by making them too slippery for his comfortable passage.
APPLY PETROLEUM JELLY
Another tactic to help reserve our birdfeed for actual birds is to rub petroleum jelly around the entryways and edges of our birdfeeders. This will make it much more difficult for Mr. Littlefingers to grasp. We can just sit on the porch and laugh as we watch the entire Littlefingers family continue to slip as they keep failing to invade our feeders.
BUY SQUIRREL-RESISTANT FEEDERS
If pipes and jelly do not work, we can take a break and go shopping. What we hope to find is a feeder contraption that somebody else already invented to fool squirrels into falling. They usually include a mechanism that makes the feeder spin when a squirrel puts its weight on it. Even if it does not work, it will be therapeutic to discover that so many others have suffered like us for hours trying to invent ways to solve our shared problem.
SCATTER FOOD ELSEWHERE
Creating a decoy is also an option for pest control. When it comes to eating, squirrels are pigs. We can scatter easy-to-find treats around designated areas in our yard where we do not mind squirrels visiting. The goal here is for the squirrels to get their fill somewhere other than our birdfeeders or flower gardens.
The slickness of a metal sheet can prevent Spaz from being able to climb over it. If we cut sheeting that is a few feet tall and erect it around the base of a tree, Spaz may just spaz with confusion because of our successful blocking of his entryway to the birds’ favorite hangout.
When furry little dudes find a home inside our home, the pest control becomes much more serious. Get ahead of the problem by taking measures to ensure they never get in where they definitely do not belong. They usually enter from an opening around the attic. They travel there by leaping from the branch of a tree. If you have a tree with branches that hang over or near your house, consider trimming them back far enough to prevent the critters from successfully leaping on your roof.
IMPLEMENT PSYCHOLOGICAL TACTICS
If nothing else works and we are desperate, we can attempt to diminish the morale of Nibbles. Just start talking to Nibbles. Tell him we are fed up with his destruction of our property and ask him to leave. Demand an apology. Try telepathy. Place your forefingers on your temples and see if you can control his spastic thoughts. Wave to the neighbors who are on their phones with police as they peer out their windows at us.
Remember, we are not alone. We are not the first to go nuts from this problem. Although Adam and Eve never mentioned him by name in Genesis, NutterButter was probably being a nuisance in the Garden of Eden. I choose to believe that a squirrel is to blame for distracting Adam when he was deciding whether to eat the apple.
Someone has to finally say that enough is enough. While it may not end in our lifetime, let’s go ahead and pop open a bottle of petroleum jelly to commemorate our fight to stop future generations of squirrels from giving headaches to our grandchildren.