You won’t see this in Better Homes and Gardens

You may recall, I’ve recently been sprucing up the outdoor spaces around our home. I started with a super-thrifty patio re-do and then I worked on the landscaping around our lamppost. (By the way, thanks for your helpful comments regarding my plants. Because of you, they may have a shot at survival! :))

I’ve been downright tickled with these upgrades to our curb appeal. So you can imagine my confusion as I pulled into the driveway yesterday and this is what caught my eye:


Apparently, while I was out of town on Air National Guard duty, the mister was working on Mission: Squirrel Eradication. You see, since last year, we’ve had this problem of squirrels somehow making it into our attic, taking up residence there, and partying like it’s 1999. (Seriously, that’s what it sounds like.)

So the hubs bought the above contraption and started luring the critters in with peanut butter. I asked him why he set up the trap outsideΒ the house considering there are about a million squirrels in our neighborhood that might like a bite of peanut butter. But he’s assured me this will work. πŸ˜‰

According to his “research,” squirrels won’t return to the same location if they are dropped off at least five miles away. Over the weekend, he trapped two of the buggers, spray-painted the tips of their tails white (no, I’m not kidding) and released them into the wild five miles away from our house.

So if you’re a local reader enjoying a picnic in the woods and you notice a painted squirrel, you’ll know why.

You won’t see this stuff in Better Homes and Gardens …

What would you do to get rid of the squirrels? I’m going to take a hard look around the attic to see if I can spot an entrance hole somewhere and plug it. But, then again, what’s the fun in that? πŸ˜‰

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26 Responses

  1. Jo Shawver says:

    My first thought is why are you trapping squirrels, but then I continued reading to find out they are getting into your attic! They can be very destructive. My first guess on where they are gaining entrance is your flue. Do you have a screen over it? I assume with as new as your home is, your wiring and entrance cables are underground, but if not, check where they enter the house. The next place is the air vents on the eves. Cover those with screens. Cut close branches to your house off, unless of course, they are flying squirrels, which would make no difference! LOL Good luck on squirrel trapping!

  2. Melissab says:

    We actually had to hire a critter company for critter problems….bats and squirrels. They went around our perimeter and caulked all the openings they could find. It is crazy how many openings we had that we didn’t even realize were openings big enough to allow them to get in. You aren’t kidding….those little guys are LOUD! The quiet was worth the 2k (at least that is what I am telling myself).

  3. Meg Casey says:

    We had this same problem for many years. Before sealing the private squirrel entrances we tossed mothballs [dollar store] all around the perimeter… they didn’t like the smell any better than we did and took the party elsewhere! Cheap and effective.

    • Susan says:

      Oh wow, Meg. Great tip. I’m def gonna try this. πŸ™‚

      • Mimi says:

        Moth balls are VERY dangerous to use if you have children or pets. They are poison. Also, the latest is that they are not great for our health (the vapors). Peppermint oil is a better deterrent. Rodents HATE the smell and we don’t (and it’s not poisonous to us). Use it in a homemade spray (drops of the oil in warm water in a spray bottle – I’ve put the recipe onto my pinterest board). I’ve also planted mint plants around my foundation (left in the pots so that they don’t take over)

  4. lisa says:

    This is just too funny! At least hubby is trying. It took my hubby three years to get a cover over our chimney to keep out chimney swifts a very annoying bird. I agree with cutting limbs away from your roof and cover any other entrances to the attic. A friend had a squirrel die in her inside wall and that was an exterminating nightmare. Good luck!

  5. sondra says:

    IF you find the way they are getting into your attic, before you plug up the “hole”, be sure there aren’t any squirrels up there. We did this once. They made a new escape/entrance right away in the eaves! Squirrels can tear through most wire we found out,also. Good luck!

  6. Donna says:

    note: don’t allow hubs to cut down Christmas yree and bring in the house….remember the squirrel in the
    movie ” Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase?? πŸ™‚

    • Susan says:

      I think of that movie all the time now, lol. Especially that clip where the neighbor knocks on the door and the squirrel jumps right on her neck. :0

  7. Andrea says:

    I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes! My daughter and I just had a conversation about a possible squirrel in our attic. She heard it while in her room. I read her this story and she got a good laugh also. By the way, she is eleven. Could be a new project for our mister!

    • Susan says:

      Oh boy. I hope you get rid of your critter before it invites its friends and family and starts a party like ours did, lol. πŸ˜‰

  8. Shell We says:

    Lol growing up we had soccer playing squirrels in our attic. They would climb our pecan tree & jump onto the roof to escape the heat we thought. My dad just soaked some sponges in turpentine tossed them in & we never heard the squirrels again.

  9. Pamela says:

    In your attic? Wow. All this time, I thought squirrels were harmless. They are common place where I live, running freely, even in broad daylight in the parking lot of my daughter’s high school. I did however see a huge raccoon in the neighborhood last night that freaked me out because I normally walk my dog in the neighborhood and I swear that thing was almost as big as my Cocker Spaniel.

    • Mimi says:

      In our suburb, raccoons seem to live in the storm drains during the day & come out at night to feast in garbage cans or pet bowls that are left outside (they can open almost any close container == and they also LOVE attics). We’ve even seen a raccoon in NYC climbing up a fire escape to the roof after scavenging in a trash can (it was a block from Central Park)

  10. Missy B says:

    We have tons of squirrels – and I loathe them! They crawl up our house – no trees necessary, though we have twelve huge pecan trees that draw them. They chewed up the wiring underneath my car & they have chewed up our sprinkler heads. Sometimes when I come home, I see one sprawled out on my front porch, eating a pecan, like he owns the place….target practice I’d say πŸ™

    • Susan says:

      The picture of a squirrel sprawled out on your front porch eating a pecan “like he owns the place” … you’ll have to forgive me because this made me laugh out loud. Apparently, these little devils are wreaking havoc all over the place. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  11. Joen says:

    My father-in-law did the same thing – orange spray paint. He wanted to be able to tell if the same ones made there way back. Hehe It did work though as none of them returned.

  12. Mimi says:

    Squirrels, chipmunks — though “cute”, I’ve come to loathe these rodents. They destroy gardens (rabbits, too, but I just can’t hate them because of Beatrix Potter), attics, garages, etc. They chew their way into any & everything that isn’t steel-encased. And “cute little” chipmunks’s tunnels also destroy patios, sidewalks, driveways by making the ground unstable. GRRRRRR!!! We’ve tried the trap for years (w/ moderate success). Peppermint has been our permanent solution. They’re still all over the neighborhood, but they stay away from our house (though they love our oak trees & acorns). Oh, we enjoy the owls & hawks (and fox) that the abundance of rodent “meals” has attracted to our neighborhood.

  13. Kelly Palmer says:

    Two years ago we had to replace all of the televisions, cable boxes, alarm clocks, DVD players and computers in our home because some squirrels had chewed through the electrical wires at the pole by our street that ran to our house. The surge that occurred because of this fried everything! The men from our utility company said that they have been having a horrible time with them. I used to think that they were cute but found out first hand how destructive and expensive they can be!

  14. Angie W says:

    I had to laugh out loud on the painted squirrel logic. But I love it. It’s a great way to test the 5 mile theory. My dad used to trap squirrels in a contraption like yours. He would drive them out to the country and let them go.

  15. Tee says:

    The squirrels ate the siding off my husband’s workshop down to the plywood, so we have declared war on the little devils. They are rats with fluffy tails. We have killed or trapped 195 and they still keep coming. The ones we trap are transported to the other side of the interstate. If they can make it across the interstate, which is doubtful, they can return. We have sprayed their tails in the past, but that’s a lot of spray paint for us, so we stopped.

    Mimi, please give more details on how to use the peppermint. Do you just put out peppermint candy, or use peppermint drops. Please tell us!

  16. Jean says:

    Oh, I don’t envy you. We had squirrel problems in our house in Georgia. I read that even if you took the squirrels ten miles away that they would come back, so we opted for more drastic measures. Especially after I read that they love to chew on wires and could cause a fire that would not be covered by insurance. It kept me up nights. Good luck with your squirrels!!

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