Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hines Family 0, Squirrels 7

Ah, time to post on something which has caused me much distress and annoyance: the local squirrels. Our trial with them (or one in particular, I think) began last summer. We had planted our annual tomato plants, but unfortunately we planted them late and so they only produced about 7 tomatoes all summer. Not a very good investment. Well, it became an even worse investment when about 5 of the tomatoes were absconded with by squirrels. I would see them running off with our tomato...sitting on the fence post while taking a few bites and then tossing the rest aside. Infuriating. So I told Philip that any garden this year was his deal...I was done feeding the squirrels....we'll come back to that.

Fast forward to March of this year. The two boys were outside eating peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Apparently, Joshua left about 1/2 of his sandwich unattended while playing about 10 feet away. I hear a shriek from outside and run out to discover that a squirrel has swiped his PB&J! He discarded it in a bush as he ran for his life once I appeared. Then, a few weeks later the boys had cheeseburgers. They were still traumatized by the sandwich-snatching event, but I assured them that as long as they didn't leave their burgers unattended, the squirrel would not pose a problem. Wrong. The brazen little thing got within several feet of them while they were eating...twice! As you can imagine, lunch was finished in the house.

Then, two wee
ks ago we made 3 pine cone bird feeders as a fun Father's Day gift (thanks Randalls!). This was a pine cone covered in peanut butter and rolled in birdseed. Sounds like paradise for a squirrel, doesn't it? Well, I was afraid that would be the case, but decided to give it a shot anyway. So, hung the first from a tree = We got a lot of rain and then it disappeared overnight to an unknown demise. Hung the second from the same tree = squirrel bait. Hung the last one on a hook suctioned to our kitchen window and I came downstairs the next morning to find this:

Yes, the little twerp climbed up the screen to reach the prize! And he brought a friend along too! In disgust I went out and took the pine cone and tossed it in the trash in the house. If I ever hang another peanut butter pine cone, you'd better believe it will be laced with something "special". :)

So, as I mentioned, Philip was in charge of the gardening this year, and of course he planted tomatoes. We've now reached the end of June and the tomatoes are once again growing and getting ripe. So far, the squirrel has nabbed one ripe cherry tomato off the deck plant, which was of course surrounded on several sides by wire and and yesterday he was spotted with the largest green tomato off the plants by the garage, which are not currently "protected". Philip was tempted to add an electric charge to the wire he's going to put around them...but alas, we have little children running around.

If you have any creative suggestions on how to get rid this little terrorist...please do share.

1 comment:

Kristine said...

My folks have had pesky squirrels over the years. We tried trapping and relocating them but they came back. We even spray painted them to make sure it was the same squirrel and not different ones! Well, they found out it was legal to trap them, but the couldn't release them. So that take them to the garage and then gas them with the car. Which is what officials recommended!! A last resort to be sure but I don't have any other ideas for you, sorry!