I’m in a battle with the squirrels and chipmunks in my neighborhood. They’ve destroyed my patio by digging beneath it. It’s cracked and uneven now. They climb my roof and threaten to nest inside my house. Because of that, I decided I needed to take action.
Using a pellet gun was out of the question. Not only is firing a pellet gun illegal in my town, but I also didn’t want to kill the squirrels. I tried spreading a noxious powdered solution around the perimeter, but that didn’t work. They still kept coming. Hordes of squirrels.
I set out a bucket filled with water with peanuts floating on the surface, but that didn’t work. I tried a rat trap out of desperation. That only succeeded in trapping a live squirrel by the head, which I ended up having to mercy kill. Actually, my daughter ended up mercy killing with a stick it because I was too squeamish.
I tried a baited trap. I was having some luck with that. The very first night I caught a squirrel. When I lifted the trap, the squirrel started to cry, which made me feel guilty. I carried the trap to my car and drove it over to Deering Oaks Park, where there are lots of trees and nuts. I let him go and the squirrel sprinted up the tree and disappeared from sight.
It seemed every night I caught a squirrel in my trap. I would drive it over to Deering Oaks and then release it. My methods of trapping became more sophisticated each night. I soon began to utilize a used-up toilet roll. I would spread peanut butter over it and then roll it in sunflower seeds. It worked like a charm.
I began to become obsessed with catching squirrels. It was a running joke in my family. I would stand by the window for minutes on end watching the trap. I was like Bill Murray in Caddyshack trying to catch those shifty gophers.
I felt like I’d been close to ridding my backyard of squirrels. Then the next night I caught a baby. It wailed terribly as I drove it over to Deering Oaks Park, and I felt terrible the whole ride over. I only hoped it might find its family and reunite with them. The previous evening, I’d researched the topic of squirrel relocation and learned that squirrels didn’t do well when moved from their home. But I figured it was better than killing them. At least they would have a fighting chance at a Deering Oaks.
I reached the park and released the baby squirrel. It was even smaller than I thought. It sprinted away and then climbed a tree while I stood there and watched. I tried to locate it, but it escaped from my view. A few minutes passed before I saw the baby squirrel again. It had climbed back down the tree and was now heading straight toward me. What was it doing? It’s eyes stared into mine. I ran around to the driver’s side and it followed me. I opened the door while trying to shoo it away, but it wouldn’t leave. It approached the door and looked as if it was about to jump inside my car. It took me a second to realize that it wanted me to take it back to its home. I quickly got in my car before it jumped inside, and I sped away.
I haven’t trapped a squirrel since. I felt terrible that day about taking that baby squirrel away from it’s home, which was near my home. I dreamt about it that night. Had I broken up that squirrel family? I still see it’s dark eyes staring up at me, pleading with me to take it home.
What had I done?