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Another critter story

Monday, July 15, 2019

Howard has shared a number of “critter” stories on this blog.  I have been working with him for over 20 years and I think his bad luck has rubbed off on me.

In early April, I was outside thinking it was a great time to start the spring clean-up of my yard.  I was on the north side of my house and noticed the very active squirrels running through the tree tops.  As I was admiring their agility, one made it to the roof of my house and popped into the soffit.  As I looked closer I could see where it had chewed through the wood and had probably made itself a very nice home for the winter.  I ran into the house to tell my husband Jeff that we had squirrels in our attic.  Jeff doesn’t take anything I say very seriously especially when it will require some strenuous activity on his part so he shrugged and looked at me.  I had done my part to report the problem so I let it go…

A couple of weeks later I woke up around 3AM and in my half-awake state, I realized that Jeff wasn’t in bed.  I assumed he had gotten up to go to the bathroom so I started to roll over to go back to sleep.  It was then I realized that he was out of bed hitting the ceiling of our bedroom with a pillow.  The scratching of the squirrels had wakened him and he was trying in vain to scare them off.  It was then the war on the squirrels began in earnest.

He spent the next couple of days observing them and trying to scare them off with a pellet gun as well as researching squirrel behavior and how to get rid of them.  This involved the purchase of a trap and several trips to the attic to see if he could see where they were.  He didn’t see any squirrels in the attic so he decided he needed to seal the hole in the soffit.  Jeff is pretty handy so it only took him a couple of hours to squirrel proof the soffit and we slept much better that night.

The next day the squirrels were running around outside our house and behaving very strangely.  They seemed frantic and were scratching at the soffit to get back in.  The trusty pellet gun was brought out again to no avail.  He took a break in the afternoon to watch Jeopardy in our bedroom and a squirrel actually climbed the window on the sliding glass door to our deck to try to reach the soffit.  I came home from work around 4PM and was checking my email in our kitchen when I heard an awful noise which seemed to be coming from our laundry room.  I called Jeff and he carefully opened the door but there was nothing there.  We then determined that the noise was coming from the ceiling above the powder room next door. We guessed that the frantic scratching to get back into the soffit was partially successful since the squirrel had gained access to our house but fell down between the walls.  Neither of us knew what to do next so I left for my yoga class.  All was quiet when I returned home.

The following morning, I was up early having coffee and decided I was going to go to our basement rec room to work on my computer.  I turned on the light at the top of the stairs and as my thankfully slippered foot hit the first stair I realized that there was a squirrel on it.  I screamed and ran down the rest of the way and turned on the rest of the lights. Jeff came to my rescue.  He closed the door at the top of the stairs and went to find something to catch the squirrel.  The poor thing was terrified of us and just sat immobile on the first step.  Jeff came back in a few minutes (which seemed like hours to me) with a fireplace poker and a bucket.  He told me I might want to get up on the couch or something and tried to catch the squirrel.  Those things are FAST! It made a few laps around the basement and got into a corner where we couldn’t get it.  After another trip to the attic to get the trap and set it in the basement, I was ready to call it a day on the squirrel war so I left for work.  Within a few hours, the squirrel was in the trap and I was a happy camper.

We have since trapped 5 more squirrels – OUTSIDE the house and the scratching in the attic has ceased.  I think Jeff might pay more attention to me when I bring things to his attention!

Happy Trapping

Christy A. McCown