A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Squirrel by any other name.....

My brother called me from Chicago this morning - very frustrated. Wanted to know if I had any "tricks up my sleeve" for getting rid of squirrels. No, I don't. Wish I did! Let me go on record as saying I HATE squirrels. They have rabies, make that awful noise, and dig up everything. No value whatsoever.

But back to my brother. Apparently he bought 200 bulbs and, since he lives in Chicago where they have real winters, he decided to plant them this morning while the weather was good. Bought some tool where he could dig the hole and plant the bulb while standing up (he's definitely the smart one in the family). After 2 1/2 hours of planting he looked back at the start of the row and discovered squirrels UN-planting several bulbs.

Tony couldn't believe their audacity! He said, "I mean, it's like, Hello!! - Homeowner here watching you!!" But did they care, nope. Just kept on digging. As he ran over to them, they ran up a tree with a "try to get me now" look on their faces. Supposedly cayenne pepper is a good deterrent so Tony has emptied every bottle of the stuff that they have. "We have no damn pepper left in our kitchen because of those furry rats!" he bellowed. Plus the rain washes it off and you have to re-sprinkle. "What do other people do? Just plant a bunch of bulbs and hope a few of them stay in the ground and actually bloom??"

Apparently a co-worker of Tony's was all upset the other morning because she had hit a squirrel in the road and felt bad. Tony offered her money if she would drive through his neighborhood for a few days!

I lived in a second floor apartment about 10 years ago that had a little front balcony. So I decided to put some flower pots on the railing. That was my first experience with squirrels. I would be sitting in my living room and those little vermin would be digging up the flowers while occassionally casting a glance my way and laughing. I tried everything. Red pepper was the first. I'm sensitive to pepper so the whole time I was protecting my plants I was having a sneezing frenzy that would literally make me jump off the ground. Then I tried some orange spray that was "guaranteed". All that did was make the planter boxes very sticky, but didn't seem to bother the squirrels. Finally I resorted to putting that black stuff you use to prevent weeds in the boxes around the flowers and holding it in place with 6" nails driven into the dirt. That worked for a short time. Then I moved and now live in a fairly squirrel-free zone. Our only issues in the back yard are snails (which I hate almost as much as squirrels - especially after they gnawed their way through many of my heirloom tomatoes!) and the occasional cat that uses our mulch as a litter box.

Sadly, I had no wisdom to impart to my baby brother about his problems. So we had a few ranting moments about the lack of value in squirrels, then said goodbye.


Baby Bro said...

Loved this blog. Thanks for sharing this with the world. Maybe we can ban together to make squirrels extinct. By the way, I used the repellent I told you I bought. It has dried blood, "putrescent egg solids", and other noxious ingredients. While spraying it down, I nearly vomited in my mouth from the smell. Hope it keeps the evil bulb-chompers at bay. Will keep you posted.

Jenni said...

Wasn't Tony the one who had squirrels fall through his ceiling, scaring his small children and causing a considerable ruckus?

Luz said...

I have two huge pecan trees in my backyard and freaking squirrels are having a feast in my backyard! Except that of late, after they bury their treasure or rather my treasure in my backyard....I go and dig them up! Yeah, I can just hear them yelling, "you bit--", but ask me if I care!

namaste said...

"HELLO! homeowner here watching you!"


aawww! i know they're useless vermin, but i've always kind of had a soft spot for squirrels.