Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I love comments...(Another guest post)

 I have often said that blog "comments" are often much more entertaining than the original post.

This morning, Dapper Dan from the Cumberland Post (an excellent writer, and a very funny guy) left a comment about the squirrel infestation here at Andy's Place.  I'm posting it without his permission, but ya' know...anything y'all send me is fair game.  Enjoy

Andy, I'm late to the conversation about squirrels and you've already been forced to take a certain approach. But, I will share my squirrel story with you. 

My wife and I had a run in with tree rats about eight years ago. There's a walnut tree in our backyard that attracts them and over approximately twenty years the population had grown to about the size of the Metroplex Dallas/Ft.Worth area. The dirty little tree rats were everywhere, waving their furry tails around and seeming to say "kiss this sucker." 

And as another poster noted, they are territorial. It was their place and we were the interlopers. With that large a population we observed all kinds of squirrely personalities, one particularly weird little rat, probably a "truther" like Willie, had obviously smoked too much thistle weed and seemed to have forgotten how to use his claws to climb a tree. He would back off about five or six feet from the trunk and run at the tree as fast as he could, leaping at the last minute to ram into the tree with his neck and head. Since our social life is limited as redneck Tennesseeans, we watched him do this for several weeks for entertainment. One day he was gone, probably joined Rosie O'Donnell's staff. But back to the rest of the rats. 

They were crawling all over our house now, waking us up in the morning with their scampering, scratching, gnawing, etc. We could have tolerated that, but one morning when I went outside to check and see if it was just the squirrels on the roof and not some drunken off season Santa, I noticed that the corners of the dormer were chewed off. The squirrels were eating our House. 

As in your case, the Mrs. declared war and appointed me General. We tried all the traps and other stuff you tried and then some (including large plastic owls and bags of mothballs hung around outside). As academics, we even tried forming a committee with the squirrels to talk about our issues. But they wouldn't participate in the negotiations. Nothing worked. 

Finally, we decided to use violence. Our anti-gun policy be damned. They were after all destroying our house. We went down to the Walmart and bought a New England Arms 20 guage single shot shotgun. (You could still buy guns and some Walmarts then.) My son came to visit and gave me some training, especially how to correct for the gun shooting slightly high. My neighbor who's very proficient with guns, joined the campaign. We waged total war. 

To cut this thing off so I won't write into next week, we won. We didn't completely eliminate the squirrels but the population was considerably reduced (disposal details will be supplied only to those with UASA--United Anti Squirrel Army--credentials). We repaired the dormer and got on with our lives.

There are still plenty of squirrels but they seem friendlier these days. But what's bothering me now is chipmunks. I've heard they can burrow under your foundation and weaken your whole house. I've got my eye on them with their pretty brown fur and their cute little black stripes and they're looking back at me with their big lovable Alvin eyes. But I've already got blood on my hands and one day they're gonna push me over the edge.


  1. I guess I need to get out more. I wouldn't know a "Truther" from a "Birther". What I do know is that contrary to what people say, squirrles will ad did eat the asphalt shingles on my roof. I had to spend way over a thousand dollars to repair the damage to the ridge beam. I quit feeding them bird seeds and fed them lead. Need to get that .22 out and work over this year's crew. MUD

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  3. Some of our Walmarts still carry guns.

    I'm glad I don't have to worry about squirrels at my pad. All the trees are too far away.

    Mice and moles on the other hand :(

    Don't y'all eat squirrels down there, or are you too far north of I-10 for that?

  4. MUD, if only I of the downsides of living in town.

    Cullen, Nyuk! Man, you are right. Those Coonasses will eat literally ANYTHING, and tell ya' how good it is.

    I ate 'em when I was a kid, but not in about 40 years or so.

    Ya' know, they say that if you find the mole "hole," and stuff it with human hair that they will eat it and die. Don't know if that's true or not, but my neighbor says that's how he got rid of his.

    It's worth a shot, maybe.

  5. Heh!

    How about an air rifle? I've got a Diana (German made) that shoots a .177 pellet at a reasonably high velocity. It'd at least knock the little SOB's senseless enough to employ a baseball bat.

    Just sayin...

  6. BR, I have pondered the air rifle route. My son (that lives next door has one, and I may do it). But, I live so close to other folks, and a major US Hwy...and a bunch of other stuff, that it'd be cheaper to just buy fresh vegetables at a market than to pay for broken windows, fines from the city, etc. if something went wrong with anything more powerful.

    I'm taking a scientific, cost/benefit approach to this. Right now, all I can figure is the trapping and hauling off deal.

    But, I am putting out the rolled oats, mixed with plaster of paris. We shall see...

  7. yep, that big sorry a$$ Chicago squirrel got away ... and is now running amok in Washington, eh

    gotta love a blog discussing squirrels and walmart guns... hot damn I miss America sometimes! ;)

    Andy... you can try shipping me some squirrels, but I guarantee you they would NOT pass NZ quarantine...

    besides, we don't have many trees with acorns and stuff - mostly just palm trees and beaches

    I still miss wildlife in the states - its awesome.

    the national bird in NZ is a lame kiwi... need I say more?

  8. We have a different collection of critters here in the Sonoran desert. No squirrels, but at night you can hear the coyotes howling at the moon, and sometimes you'll find them roaming the neighborhood looking for a juicy cat to enjoy as a midnight snack. Occasionally, a family of ornery, and smelly, javelinas might pay you a visit. They're more annoying than anything else, but can be menacing if you corner them.

    But the critter I fear the most is the venomous bark scorpion. One of those suckers sent me to the emergency room in the middle of the night a few year back. The demon bug stung me in the middle of the back while I was lying on the couch - MY OWN COUCH IN MY OWN FAMILY ROOM!! - watching a rerun of 'Everybody Loves Raymond'. Within an hour I was stretched out on a gurney in the emergency room barely able to walk, speak, or see. Be thankful those tree rats are not armed with neurotoxin - it could get ugly...

  9. Andy, our Walmart still carries guns.

    It may be illegal for people to kill squirrels but it's not illegal for cats to kill them.

  10. Dadman, that is triple wicked, man! Golly...I didn't remember hearing about that. I might have been absent that day. Man...frightening!

    Patrick, we have cats all over the place. They are everywhere. Mommas, Toms, and kittens. No luck! When I was a kid, our Momma cats were fabulous hunters and would drag squirrels and rabbits up to the back steps as trophies.

    These cats around here are just lazy! Maybe they are "welfare cats." Dunno.

  11. where about do you live Dadman?

    I only need to know so I never live there... scorpions?! !

    [running away from pc now]

  12. Lisa...Dadman lives in Phoenix. You know...that place where the weird lizard people, and killer scorpions vacation.

  13. Yes, Lisa, I live in Phoenix...a little hamlet called Ahwatukee to be precise. It's close to a lot of undeveloped desert so we get the coyotes, javelinas, rattlesnakes, demon bugs, and, yes lizard people, roaming in and around our property on occasion. A chimpmunk sighting is not unheard of...

    About those lizard people. I didn't know much about them until Andy clued me in. He even accused me of being a lizard dude, but he was way off base - as usual. I've come to learn, however, that Phoenix is full of lizard people.

    Lizard people are what you call ectothermic and need to warm themselves by laying around pools, and occasionally on the black asphalt, when temperatures soar above 110 F. Every now and then I catch one of my lizard neighbors laying in his driveway in shorts and a tank top soaking in the heat. Sometimes real lizards, like chuckwallas, will join him in this odd respite. I've learned to ignore it.

    The upside is many lizard people are fine-looking females who flock to Phoenix in the summer to lay half-naked around enormous sparkling pools and/or stroll around town in teeny tiny shorts and bikini tops. Yes, ectothermia has its rewards.

    But I'm no lizard guy. The desert summers nearly kill me and another one is on the way. Will I survive this summer? Who really knows...

  14. Hey Dadman, I'll vouch for ya' that you're no lizard man. But, if it's not too much trouble, please e-mail some pictures of those lizards that frequent the swimming pools.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?