Squirrels are taking over the MidwestPublished 10:22am Monday, December 5, 2011
Column: Something About Nothing
I don’t like things that go bump in the night. I have an old house, and old houses have a lot of bumps in the night.
I will close my eyes and settle in for a nice night’s sleep when the noise starts. I will swear there are ghosts in the corner by my desk. The cracks and creeks make me look to make sure someone is not sitting there. I close my eyes again, and then I hear Sam snorting and breathing on his window seat. I open my eyes and look over to the window seat and remember Sam is no longer here with us. Maybe it is his spirit that visits every night from his new home while he is dreaming of his window seat.
Sometimes I hear what sounds like chains clanging only to open my eyes and remember it is the pipes of the radiator. The ice cube tray empties in the refrigerator in the middle of the night and the clunk sounds like someone thunking on my door. Of course, then I get up to make sure I locked the doors.
Yes, the night is alive with strange noises.
I don’t expect strange noises to creep me out during the day. However I was taking a moment to watch a TV program one Sunday afternoon when I heard a bang on the high window in my living room. My first thought was that a bird had hit the window, then the clawing began and the banging and the scratching. I jumped up and ran to the window. What was trying to break into my house?
Mr. Squirrel was trying to break into my house. I thought he was going to succeed. How did he get on the ledge? There are no trees right at that window except from across the boulevard. Maybe he was a flying squirrel? There are no ladders or anything to climb on. But there he was desperately trying to get in.
I saved the day. I went to the window and scared him and he jumped up onto the roof of my house scampering away. I kept peering at my window the rest of the day waiting for him to pounce again.
I like squirrels. I used to feed the squirrels but then I saw an article that one park in Minnesota was asking people to not feed the squirrels because they were becoming too tame and biting people. I have an aversion to a squirrel bite.
A hospital on the East Coast recently had to call firefighters to remove a squirrel from its emergency room. Another lady called our house last week for assistance from my handyman to remove a squirrel from her house.
Yes, the squirrels are trying to take over our land. They are invading our houses. They are hiding their walnuts in my yard, on my porch and many times are not even trying to hide them from me. Are they breaking into our homes and buildings trying to invade and force us out so they can live there? Maybe Mr. Emergency Room Squirrel needed medical attention and was seeking it out. Mr. Squirrel, you are too bold.
I am certainly happy Mr. Squirrel didn’t try to break in in the middle of the night or my screams would have been heard throughout the neighborhood.
Our homes must look inviting. Maybe Mr. Squirrel sees many places to hide his walnuts and he wants to play hide and seek with us.
Yes, there are many things that go bump in the night, but as I found out there is something as scary that goes bump during the day.
Squirrels in your home can be no laughing matter. I found that if you do happen to have a problem there are many places that remove squirrels from homes. Squirrels can eat wires; in fact, they have done that to our outside telephone wire a few times. Squirrels can damage insulation, eat holes in walls and cause problems.
I found a website called Squirrels in the Attic. It offers tips for removal. The tip I liked the best was in small print at the bottom of the page:
“Please be kind to squirrels. They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they have emotions.”
I will remember that next time I have to scare Mr. Squirrel away from my window. I don’t want to hurt his feelings.
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at email@example.com.