Squirrel Wars

Things have not improved. They’ve had ALL the blueberries now: returning daily, checking for ripeness and then pinching each one just as it reaches its prime. In the seasonal lull between these and the autumn raspberries the squirrels have returned to the bird table. Two whole fat balls vanished overnight and all of the birdseed. The peanut feeder provides a more significant challenge but even so, the wire mesh doesn’t hold them back for long. We’ve rebuilt the damn thing three times already and still those critters gnaw away.

Mike has resorted to weaponry. Both the front and back doorways have sprouted a little pile of stones for hurling at the squirrels. Not directly at them, just near enough to try and frighten them away. It worked for a while. I tried a jug of water which proved satisfyingly effective and led me to ponder, in a casual sort of way, the possibility of a water pistol. Mike’s eyes lit up. With one word, “Google”, he disappeared from view. I had envisaged something similar to the toy I used to squirt my cousins with as a kid, a sort of small plastic hand water pistol. But no, apparently you really can buy a full sized mock up of a Kalashnikov AK47… and nothing else would do.

I was tempted. The photographs would have been funny. The trouble is, we do get our fair share of low flying military aircraft in the valley. I’ve no reason to think they watch over us with their high resolution cameras or whatever. But, in these hypersensitive times, should someone happen to look down, the sight of a man crashing through the woods with what would appear to be a full size terrorist assault rifle might be misconstrued.

In the end a compromise was found. We now have a water pistol that would look just the job on a Star Wars stormtrooper. It is battery powered and, allegedly, has a range of 27 feet. I have to confess, I am hooked. My study is almost perfectly located for a sniper with designs on the bird table. So, here I sit, window open. Beside me, the fully charged Empire weapon of choice. A tell-tale soft thud as the squirrel lands on the bird table and I can get it squarely on the back of the head. It hurtles off and dives into a nearby yew.

Mike’s preferred approach, predictably, is to find a spot from which he can ambush the squirrel and chase it up the nearest tree.

Either way, they will be back. It has become a challenge. The grey squirrel is by no means stupid. And the worst thing is, they show every sign of enjoying it. Ours are the sort of squirrels which will find a branch 27.5 feet up and sit there eating their ill-gotten gains, slowly and infuriatingly.

 
 

Squirrel Wars

pin it?

 
 
 

2017-11-06T20:37:46+00:00 August 29th, 2012|Tags: |

14 Comments

  1. Simone August 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I love the way you have written this so descriptively. I can visualise it as a youtube video! Squirrels are so clever that I wouldn’t be surprised if next time the gun is squirted at them they just opened their mouths and took a drink!!!

    • Jessica August 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      It is only a matter of time, I’m sure! I’d underestimated quite how intelligent squirrels are. Sometimes, it seems, you can see them thinking. Or plotting…

  2. Cro Magnon August 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I wish I had the answer; but alas…..

    I have eaten squirrel, and it was quite good, so maybe a REAL AK47 might be the answer.

    • Jessica August 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      With lesser specified equipment, that was our predecessor’s approach. The holes in the bird table prove it.

  3. Sue August 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    I can think of nothing I’d like better than to squirt squirrels with a high powered water pistol. Unless it be to squirt cats, but that doesn’t have quite the same alliterative appeal.

    • Jessica August 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      It might be quite difficult to say after a glass of wine too..

  4. elaine August 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, Thanks for leaving comments on my blogs. We too have an automatic water pistol for squirting at cats who try and get at our goldfish. I think we have only managed to hit one once. Luckily we don’t have a problem with squirrels – yet!

    • Jessica August 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Elaine, I hope the squirrels continue to leave your lovely garden alone.. they are a real pest. Holes in the lawn, nut trees growing in the flowerbeds!

  5. Oma August 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    My cat keeps squirrels away here. I would hate to harm one, but I suppose they can be a pest!

    • Jessica August 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t harm one either Oma. I’m too much of an animal lover. Just trying to persuade them that next door might be a better place to live.. !

  6. Rosie August 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    You made me smile! As much as I love to see the squirrels in the garden they are a nuisance. Not only do they pinch the bird food – even the seeds I put in those little cups for the small birds by teetering on the edge and eventually knocking them over – but in the spring they dug up all our crocus bulbs! I caught one digging and blow me if it didn’t gather up as many as it could manage whilst giving me a defiant stare and then ran off with them to enjoy at its leisure:)

    • Jessica August 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Rosie, if it weren’t for the fact you live so far away, I’d say you’ve met our squirrels! Grudgingly, I have to admire them.

  7. Josephine August 31, 2012 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I’ve always enjoyed watching the squirrels in the garden, until they started breeding like rats, and not only devouring the bird seed, but the feeders themselves.
    We set live traps, and transported the little varmints to less populated areas, the Summer drought seems to have taken care of the rest.
    I just hope they never make it inside your attic, they can eat the wiring, and anything else they desire.
    Hope your water-pistol strategy works out 😉
    ~Jo

    • Jessica August 31, 2012 at 9:49 am - Reply

      The water pistol is working a treat. As long as we are here. When we climb the steps to go out somewhere it’s “Come on Chaps, We’re in..”!

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