‘Burglar squirrel invaded my home’

burglar squirrel invaded my home

by take-a-break |
Updated on

An uninvited guest was taking over my home. Would the chaos ever end? By Michelle Collins, 38

Squirrel invades woman's home

I was lounging on my sofa with my dogs Poppy and Willow when, all of a sudden, I heard a noise coming from the kitchen.

Scratch, scratch.

Poppy’s ears pricked up.

‘What’s that?’ I said.

I got up and peered into the kitchen but there was nothing there.

That’s strange, I thought.

I left it but, the following morning when I went to fetch the dogs’ food, I spotted something. There was a tear at the bottom of the bag, like it had been chewed open.

Mice! I thought.

I put down a humane trap with peanut butter inside to try to catch the critter.

‘Time to leave, Mickey,’ I said.

But the next day, the trap was empty — and the dog food had been raided again.

Then I noticed unusual piles of sawdust around the room, and bite marks on the skirting boards.

My heart dropped to my feet.

What if my mouse is really a rat? I thought.

Squirrel invades woman's home

I called pest control and the man I spoke to agreed.

‘Sounds like a rat infestation,’ he said.

The following morning, I felt anxious walking into my kitchen.

What if my intruder had gnawed my food? Or chewed its way through wires?

But I was relieved to see the worst damage was a chewed tea towel.

My home in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, was next to some woodland, and when I went outside later, I spotted a squirrel jumping from a tree to the roof of my carport.

Suddenly, my brain went. click, click, click.

Could a squirrel be my unwelcome visitor?

A week later, the man from pest control arrived and he found a hole under my porch, which was a gateway to the inside of my walls.

'We need a squirrel trap'

He filled it in, but said: ‘These holes are too small for rats. We need a squirrel trap for this one.’

Aha, I knew it! I thought.

He put down a trap with some peanut butter to lure in the squirrel.

But I said: ‘I don’t think it likes peanut butter.’

Instead, I placed down a chunk of dog food.

That night, I slept restlessly in my camper van on the drive — evicted from my home by my uninvited guest — and when the man from pest control returned in the morning, I tentatively followed him in.

Just as I’d suspected, the peanut butter was untouched, but the dog biscuit was gone.

The pest man was bemused, but I knew we were dealing with a smart squirrel!

After all, he was still getting into the house.

squirrel invades woman's home

Desperate to outwit the night-time intruder, I went online and did some research and discovered that squirrels hated the smell of garlic and bleach. So I put down garlic cloves, and scrubbed the surfaces.

And I stuffed towels under the living-room door to stop it going in there.

I thought: That’ll stop you.

But when I looked out the window, I saw the squirrel, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, staring back at me from the tree outside my house.

Squirrel invades woman's home

Sitting on its hind legs with its hands touching, it looked like it was plotting something devious.

‘Is that tree helping you get in?’ I asked through the glass.

I cut down the tree, but still it kept on getting in to my house.

To make myself feel less anxious about it, I gave the squirrel a name — Sidney.

One night, as I lay in bed at 9pm, I heard footsteps and scratching above me.

‘Sidney!’ I cursed.

squirrel invades woman's home

The dogs weren’t fussed by Sidney’s presence inside, but if they spotted him running across the garden fence, they’d chase after him.

As the days got warmer, I heard less from Sidney. But when autumn arrived, the noises started up again.

‘Welcome back, Sid,’ I said.

Sidney’s now been with me for three years. I just can’t get rid of him.

He doesn’t cause as much damage as he used to, which is a relief, and in a way I’ve got used to him hanging around. He’s part of the family now.

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