Updated: Feb 26
The Last Words I Wanted to Hear- “You have squirrels”
It started with a passing conversation with my wife the other day. It revolved around her observation of how active the squirrels were. She had heard them above our upstairs bedrooms. We quickly wrote this off as being playful on our roof. A few days later, it became more and more apparent the sounds were coming from within our attic.
You could hear scurrying feet racing about with the occasional scratching noises. I knew it was an issue when I woke up around 5 AM, and they were seriously active and celebrating the early morning hours. We needed to act fast as the last thing I wanted was for these little guys to start procreating.
I immediately jumped at the idea of finding live traps. I knew we had more than one as a large wooded area surrounded us with very mature trees. You should see the number of leaves we rake up in a given Fall season! The goal was to remove the squirrels in the least harmful way possible.
My next trip was to the nearest Lowes, as I had verified they had traps in stock. My choice was limited, but they had the Havahart traps (pictured above) ready to go. I knew steel mesh, plating, and silicone would also be needed. I figured if I found all of the squirrels and could clean up their mess, I would have to seal up the entry point. It is here I will have to close up the said entry using these additional raw materials. I knew using wood would be a futile effort given squirrels can easily chew through this.
As I raced home, my wife called me to tell me she had a Critter Control expert coming out next week. My immediate thought was, “I got this,” and we can’t wait. We agreed I would assess the situation and decide later if we still needed the experts.
After feeling comfortable with the traps, I baited it with small pieces of bagels coated with extra crunchy peanut butter. I say comfortable because the instructions are always written so poorly. Either the trap was too sensitive, or it would not close at all. With a bit of tinkering, they were ready to go.
I entered the attic, flashlight in hand. I was able to traverse the attic perimeter and locate hangouts, which seemed to correspond with various black walnut markers. I took the black walnuts as an indication these were squirrels and no other pest. I could not, for the life of me, locate the exact points of entry. The areas, or hangouts, were adorned with excrement and torn paper.
The amount of blown-in insulation made the whole experience extremely difficult. My large frame always has the worst time maneuvering to stay on the wood boards. My “I got this” attitude had been replaced with, “perhaps I need to leave this to the experts.” I ended up placing two baited traps in the attic, which I will check later today. I may be able to remove the squirrels, but I will yield to the experts in clean-up and locating the entry points.
They mentioned they could only temporarily block the entry. I assured my wife, if they find the entrance, “I got this.” Famous last words!