Human vs Squirrel

This started late last week, but if I really think about it – it’s been going on for quite some time. I’d look out the back porch door window at the fire escape stairs and see them hopping up and down the steps. It was fun to watch. Squirrels going up and down during the winter. It’s a glimpse of urban wildlife, like spotting a raccoon or getting to know the neighbourhood cats.

Then about two weeks ago the gutter came crashing down in the middle of the night. The BANG woke us up for about two minutes before we fell back asleep. (Thank God it wasn’t a burgular, geez.) Apparently – according to my landlord – the gutter had simply rotted away, and it needs to be replaced by a professional.

squirrelAnyhow, that’s all back story.

Early last week I was outside on my back apartment-building-porch, enjoying this amazing weather. With weather this good, I take the mobile phone outside and do my social media’ing’ from there in my $10 Sobeys grocery store chair. It works really well.

Anyhoo, I’m on the back porch when a squirrel makes its way down the stairs above me. So I did what you do – I stood up and stomped my foot, thinking the squirrel would bolt. Except it didn’t. The little bugger came at me! Or not at me, but it came toward me, so I’m up and jumping around, and it’s up and jumping around, and I’m like “OH Sh8T this squirrel must have rabies to be this crazy!” and basically hug the wall, when it – thank God again – ran past me and somehow disappeared.

At this point I began calling out for Zsolt, since for some reason that’s my gut reaction in a situation of panic.

Eventually I settled back into my $10 chair, and then promptly left again when I heard more little noises I couldn’t place. I had crazy squirrel fear.

THEN just the other day, Zsolt informs me that we have a family of black squirrels living under my spice planter that has been sitting around since last summer. Apparently, according to Big Z, they just moved in and he has been watching them run in and out. The potter has a gap in the bottom so it could, in theory, sit on a railing.

Four teenage squirrels, who were obviously birthed in the apartment roof, had moved onto our porch. And for some reason, none of these squirrels have learned fear. They are freaking fearless. The cats don’t even chase them!

But you can’t keep squirrels on your porch, can you? One second they are all cute looking, and the next they are reminding me of black rats with long tails. Normally I’m cool with squirrels because they show respectful fear and avoidance. But not this little pack, oh no, they have no fear.

So, we decided to bust up their little nest. Putting on his tall green rain boots and carrying the broom, Zsolt carefully snuck around behind the planter on the porch, and tipped the thing over. They ran outta there.

But here is the problem. They still have the family home in the roof. I don’t want to be responsible for a bunch of dead squirrels if the pest control is called in. But I also really want to be able to go outside and not freak out with every little noise or ambush of black bushy tail.

Therefore, we are keeping the broom on hand at all moments, and Zsolt has been repeatedly running outside with it chasing them down the porch stairs and out of the yard.

I’m not actually convinced this is working, but we will see.

And that is yet another adventure from the land of apartment rentals.

Anyone know of some non-killing squirrel deterrents? Maybe we need to adopt an owl?

2 thoughts on “Human vs Squirrel

    • Fake owls don’t work. The squirrels are a bit nervous when they first see one, especially young squirrels. I had fun watching an older squirrel walk sideways up to a fake owl that my neighbor placed on her fence, and he touch that fake owl on the foot, while the young squirrel was watching nervously from the branch of a tree. Once the older squirrel showed the younger squirrel that it was fake, the young squirrel did the same thing – he nervously touched the foot of the fake owl. Once assured that the owl was fake, I would often see the young squirrel leap onto the head of the fake own to get past it, since that was easier than taking a detour around the fake owl. It took between one to two days for the squirrels to figure out that the owl was fake. On the other hand, one of my cats who never jumps fences now wants to jump the fence to attack the fake owl.

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