How Do I Hate Squirrels? Let Me Count the Ways.

Today’s post comes from Edith.

Jim’s comment “The squirrels around here seem to be unusually pesky” got me thinking about how much I hate squirrels. South Minneapolis squirrels seem to be especially hateable. People who say squirrels are “cute” either are crazy or they haven’t seen the squirrels in my neighborhood.

When I grew vegetables in my yard, it was an endless source of frustration to see tomatoes get almost to the point of perfect ripeness and then find it lying on the driveway with a squirrel bite taken out of it. The thought of eating a tomato that had been handled by one of those rodents deterred me from ever cutting off the bitten part; my compost pile was the only thing that benefitted from the squirrel leavings (and, actually, the compost pile didn’t benefit, either – see below).

I now only grow herbs and fruits and flowers in my yard. Squirrels like to dig in the planter boxes on the front porch or any freshly turned dirt and also do things like eat tulips off stems before they open their blooms. But at least they aren’t eating my food.

One time a squirrel got into my house. I’m not sure how…but you haven’t seen pure craziness until you’ve seen a squirrel dashing around your house at full speed.

We’ve all heard about how squirrels rob bird feeders of the bird food. If you have an open compost pile, to which you add food scraps, in your yard in south Mpls, you are basically operating a free restaurant for squirrels.

151028_001

But the real reason I hate squirrels? They hate me. Here’s proof. Those of you who also live in the city of Mpls know that the big gray garbage bins the city provides us for our trash are pretty tough. But they’re not tough enough for south Mpls squirrels. Our diabolical neighborhood squirrels chewed a squirrel-sized hole in the lid of my trash bin. They would then go inside the bin and enjoy snacks 151028_002(this was before I composted most of my food scraps). Then, I out I came, blissfully unaware of any danger, with a bag of trash to put in the bin. I threw open the lid – and SHAZZZAAAMMM out flew anywhere from one to three squirrels in my face. They ran away, laughing hysterically at my scream, and plotting when they can do that again.

I learned to kick the trash bin several times and then stand back before I lifted the lid. After the squirrels escaped, I gave it another kick, then waited to make sure they were all gone before I carefully lifted the lid and tossed in the bag. But sometimes in my usual spacey way, I would forget to kick – and once again the squirrels would enjoy their dominance over me.

What “cute” object or animal drives you crazy?

 

68 thoughts on “How Do I Hate Squirrels? Let Me Count the Ways.”

  1. Wow, our squirrels are mere vandals compared with yours.

    I let the cats out for an hour first thing in the morning, which I suspect diminishes the capacity of the squirrels to organize serious mayhem.

    But have I mentioned the kitties are fondly known as The Deliquents?

    OT-s&h ran a fine race last night and he and a teammate are headed to State next weekend. Joy is somewhat tempered because a third teammate finished the place after the last guy who qualified.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Good morning. Edith,so far I don’t have any holes in my garbage bin created by squirrels. I’m sure that the squirrels that are pestering me are capable of making a hole in my bin and probably will do that before long. My neighbor has a hole in his bin which he indicated was made by raccoons but it might have been the work of squirrels.

    Rabbits are causing me almost as many problems as the ones caused by squirrels. I had no idea that rabbits would eat strawberry plants. I have grown strawberries in the past and never seen any feeding on the plants by rabbits. I had to put a fence around my strawberry bed to keep the rabbits from destroying them. Those bunnies are also eating some other plants that I haven’t had to protect from them in the past including endive. I didn’t think they would eat endive. Now I have very small endive plants that are finally producing a few leaves after I put up a fence to keep out the rabbits.

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    1. After a winter with much deeper snow than normal a couple of years ago, people here had problems with mice and voles decimating garden produce. The deep snow prevented predators from getting the rodents, and people found mouse size holes in their squashes where the rodents had chewed in and hollowed out the squashes.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think the trick to keeping the squirrels from chewing through the garbage carts is to not put stuff in there that they find attractive. Now that I can compost all food scraps, including meat and dairy scraps – thanks, Minneapolis Composting system! – I’m hoping that will keep those critters out of the bin. Having a dog also seems to help, but as she gets older, that won’t necessarily work as a deterrent.

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  3. Most recently, sunflower seeds. The electricians on this job site are spitting the husks everywhere. The “empties” get into the saw cuts and depressions I need to patch. They are difficult to sweep up, so I’ll need to vacuum again. It’s bad enough to have to deal with the wire trimings on already cleaned floors but electrician DNA is disgusting. They are animals.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Our remaining cat is a very shy tortoiseshell named Peanut who drives me crazy at night. I am the only one in the family she likes. She only likes me, though, when I am lying in bed. As soon as I go to bed she is all over me, particularly when husband is up on the reservation two nights a week. Then she rubs against me, jumps on me, stays as close to me as she can, all the while talking to me in a loud and harsh crow-like meow. I turn over, she repositions herself so she is as close as she was before I moved. She is afraid of the dog, who also sleeps with me, but the cat overcomes her fears and stays safely on the opposite side of me from the dog. About 5:00 am Peanut decides that it is time for me to get up and feed her, so she starts purring in my face, or, better yet, swishes my face with her tail. When I am home during the day she hangs out in the bedroom and meows and calls to me when i walk past, trying to lure me back to bed.
    I am a light sleeper and I often have insomnia. I know that the animals in the bed don’t help matters much, but I feel strangely guilty if I banish them from the bedroom. Husband’s return at the end of the week doesn’t help matters much, as his CPAP machine sometimes sounds like I am sleeping with Darth Vadar.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. My dog kills squirrels. I watch them feed on the seed block I put out for the birds. I have mounds of ground squirrel holes in my yard. That said, I figure we can coexist and they don’t bug me. YOU on the other hand, have Stephen King squirrels, holy crap, they sound possessed!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve had mostly good relations with squirrels. I even installed a squirrel feeder at my cabin so we could enjoy their antics as they tried to feed from the thing. I like squirrels more than any of the gang running for president from the GOP.

    My issues have been with critters much larger or much smaller than squirrels. Mice have driven me batty. I cannot get used to living in a mouse-free environment. I think I see mice several times a day, but it always turns out to be a little bird or something else. Gee, the little buggers are so destructive. The first hour of all our cabin visits were spent patrolling the place to see what mayhem the mice had worked in our absence.

    But even mice are better than bears. Uff dah! When you have problem bears you can get downright nostalgic about the days when you thought squirrels were a nuisance.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I feed squirrels for the same reason. But I cannot garden here. I put small corncobs in a suet cage and watch them, as I am at my computer get at the corn. They know how to spin the cob around so they can get at all the kernels. They have fights over it.
      Used to have red squirrels. They can get into any bird feeder you devise. But some foxes were here last summer. I have not seen a re squirrel since.
      Chipmunks eat the corn when they can sneak in past the squirrels. I have mt three bird feeders of ropes fro branches with squirrel guards over them. That did not stop the re squirrels. Every so often I see a chipmunk has managed it.
      What with the state of PBS, the ravine is our best entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No bears yet in my neighborhood. Lots of mice, rats, squirrels, raccons, but no bears yet. Once the bears move in, I might consider putting up a squirrel feeder, but I doubt it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Used to plant lots of flowers around a house in town. Squirrels would dig them all up. I mean all. So I put screening down and planted through holes I cut in the screen. Stopped them cold. Had issues with rabbit. Live trapped them an hauled them away. I guess I caught the aggressive ones early each season because they were still around but left my garden alone. One morning I woke up to two large rabbits in the life trap. They were jammed in so tight I had trouble getting them out.
    So squirrels and pumpkins. After hearing how they eat you pumpkins I bought a nice one, well, what I hoped would look nice to the squirrels in my ravine. I put it right in the middle of several squirrels freeways and side roads. Not a bite in it. They use it to jump up into two trees.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Son and DIL are perparing for a cute and annoying addition to the family. They both have a love of Westies, and, lo and behold, found that their next door neighbor is a Westie breeder. They will get second pick of the litter that is to be born in January. Son says the breeder desensitizes the pups to general ruckus and doorbells and gets them used to baths. At 4 weeks of age they will start introducing the pup to the cat. I think their cat, a maniacal tortoiseshell, will be terribly displeased about this turn of events. I am curious how Caroline’s Westie, Piper, is doing. I bet he is cute and annoying.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m not an animal person and don’t have a yard, so i don’t deal with too many critters. I remember my dad had all kinds of lovely bird feeders on the deck, and he loathed the squirrels that always managed to defeat his latest “anti-squirrel” devices. He even took to having a little BB gun I think to shoot and scare the buggers away. I’ve seen squirrels hang upside down by their toes to reach the unreachable bird feeders — hilarious stuff. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t resist telling about what a neighbor did to keep squirrels out of his bird feeder even though I have mentioned this here before. He installed his feed on sheet metal and ran electric wires to the sheet metal. When he saw squirrels getting into his feeder he could flip a switch which would send an electric change to the sheet metal giving the squirrels a big surprise.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. When Edith’s squirrels take a break from my yard, they come over to my place. They haven’t burrowed their way into the trash yet, but my straw bale gardens had a rough time with them this summer. I tried putting out water on the theory that they are just thirsty – nope. I tried a really horrible smelling spray I got from the nursery – no go. I have little fences, but they only kept out the puppy. Next year I think I’m going to try hot pepper spray on the bales. I didn’t do it this summer because I was worried it would be cruel to the critters, but this year has pushed me over the edge.

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    1. its not cruel it simply teaces them to go elsewhere. works great. a 20 dollar gallon jug works wonders. i have some ghost pepper seeds if you want to plant some to start your own squirrel control center. it is wonderful hot. burns your eyes hours after touching the peppers. they will learn fast. even the dumb ones will realize after two or three doses not to touch that ever again. flea training

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That would be less cruel than what I did one summer. Trapping and releasing across the river? Electric shocks? No, I paid oldest daughter to trap and drown them.

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    1. I think you may be on to something. My neighborhood abuts a river corridor populated by fox and coyote. Squirrels here don’t seem to be as destructive as their South Minneapolis kin. Maybe the struggle for survival leaves them less time to chew through garbage bin lids.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A squirrel, who apparently fell down our chimney, got into our house while we were away by crawling through the furnace. He quickly left the house when I showed him an open door. He didn’t do much damage inside the house because he seemed to have spent all of his time clawing at some of our windows trying to get out. His sooty paw marks could be found all over several of our windows.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. i used to hate em but had an english teacher who changed my opinion of them. good old mrs blasch. and now i relate. there was a book my dad gave me called the old man and the boy and squirrels were a main topic. clydes descriptions of sitting in the woods and listening remendered me of it. . the squirrels in my yard are the dogs greatest preoccupation. they are always and alnmost always get away. one got caught a few weeks ago. one last winter but over all not so much.

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  13. I have a hole just like yours in my garbage can. With three dogs and one cat in our house, our garbage is generally filled with stuff you’d think the squirrels would want to stay away from….not get into. My oldest Golden can catch squirrels (and rabbits) but he doesn’t kill them, he has a nice soft mouth. He’s tried to bring them into the house so now we’ve just decided a human must always be outside with the dogs to prevent any actual critter catching. Despite the dogs, the critters hang out in our yard and generally everyone co-exists. Only once, when my Golden caught a squirrel who turned on him and scratched him up quite badly did I really hate squirrels. The humans got smarter after that and that dog is held back while the other two lazier dogs clear the yard before he’s let out.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hey Cheryl – welcome! Like you, I would have thought the contents of our trash would make any critter think twice (2 dogs, 2 cats) but no!

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  14. Unlike Joanne, I’m an animal lover; I like most critters, both large and small. And having raised two squirrels, I have a soft spot for them. Even mice, although I don’t much care for them in the house, I find cute.

    One critter I do have a problem with is dust bunnies. Fortunately our domestic fairy, Deanna, comes every other week to do battle with them. She keeps them at a tolerable level.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. We’re just thrilled to have found Deanna. She’s a whiz. When she comes every other Thursday, she dons her headphones, rolls up her sleeves and cheerfully goes to work, all the while singing along with whatever she’s listening to. When she leaves three hours later, the score is Deanna 5, dust bunnies, dirt, animal hair, and grime 0.

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    1. Daughter has just started being one of those, but the company for which she works calls them Cleaners. I’m pretty sure she would not like it if I was to call her a domestic fairy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And why not? I view Deanna as practicing a certain kind of magic. She accomplishes in a mere three hours what it would take me days to do. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

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        1. It’s more just her personality. And maybe she would feel that she works a lot harder than a fairy would. Someday I’ll run it by her and see what she says.

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      1. I can’t bring myself to even watch those videos, let alone contemplate making a squirrel catapult. Don’t understand why some people think it’s funny to inflict pain on animals.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We’re both smitten with him. We’re nearing naming him, at the moment we’re trying on Freddie (or Fred for short). He and Martha have declared a truce of sorts. They’re very interested in each other, no hostile chasing or other aggressive behavior; they’re meeting – nose to nose – each contemplating their next move. Martha seems to understand that he’s here to stay, and is more curious than fearful. I’m sure they’ll get along just fine in a day or two.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Actually, you should get a catapult that would fling them right into the river, Jim. That’s a better solution than that of some of my neighbors who think driving them over the river to St. Paul (once they’ve been trapped, of course) solves the problem.

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  15. Hey gang–

    I haven’t had trouble with squirrels. Lots of trees around plus the dogs so while we see squirrels they find other things to do than bother us.

    Many years ago when I measured grain bins for the ASCS I found a bin with a squirrel running in circles down in there. Grain was about 6′ down and it couldn’t jump back out.
    I couldn’t spell sqerril, squreel, squrreel schqureil and finally wrote on the report ‘Rodent in bin’.

    And there is the occasional squirrel that discovers electricity… blowing our pole fuse and leaving a fried carcass on the ground.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. OT: The news today features a story about China’s decision to revoke its notorious “one child” policy. I understand that law is a classic study in social policies that had unintended consequences. One consequence that benefited many American families is that Chinese girls were abandoned by families desperate to have a boy. Many such abandoned Chinese girls were adopted in this country . . . which has often been wonderful for the girls and the families. Perhaps Baboons can think of an example.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. When it comes to squirrels, I pretty much let them have the run of the yard. I figure their ancestors have been here much longer than mine. They’re entitled.

    A couple of months ago I found a drowned mouse in the dehumidifier bucket in the basement. I felt rather bad about it. I don’t want mice in the house, but I don’t like any living thing to have to suffer, and I don’t like to think of the poor creature swimming in circles for hours before succumbing. So now the dehumidifier bucket has a block of styrofoam floating in it, so if it ever happens again, Mr. or Ms. Mouse can float on it till I come to empty the bucket.

    Cute critter that drives me crazy? Probably my cat Sammy. When I go to bed and try to read before turning out the light, he wants to be on me, and gets right up under my chin, between me and the book. He’ll purr there for while. Then he decides to start grooming his paws, and each lick of the paw makes his whiskers brush across my face. Pure torture.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, but she did have the cute within quotation marks. I think that leaves the interpretation of the word wide open. At least in the NY Times crossword puzzles that’s what the quotation mark signals.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. OK we don’t have that problem in France. Maybe because we don’t have the same species? (Ours are orange, most of the time). I am one of those persons who think squirrels are cute.. maybe I should go away haha. I can’t believe they can do so much damage ! That’s scary!

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  19. you picked a day with a guest writer. our usual guy is the one who wrote the blog for october 31 about halloween. the one you read is by one of the regular participants who had a note pop up a couple days ago saying that the mention of squirrels made her think of a possible story to tell and get comments back form us.
    you came in late on the usa clock and most of the people on the blog are reading tomorrows(iodays) post instead of goiong back to see what else came up yesterday.
    our regular group leader just got a new title at his radio station and he is the boss man so the need for gust blog writers is an interesting twist. we have been recruited to do a few gust blogs over the years but the last 2 or 3 months we have been given the opportunity to write most of the stuff.
    we are pleased to see our regular writer (dale) back but littel jail bird will be happy to know her story about hatred of squirrels made a stop in france.
    join us again if you’d like. halloween may not apply in france. do yu have a celebration or tradition that is similar for day of the dead or all souls day. i am not sure many americans even remember that is the reason we have halloween
    do you have a photography site?

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