I’m sure you’ve been dying to hear how the squirrel story ended.
To recap: three little squirrels arrived on Wednesday night.
None of the the things we did previously worked. Everything we did scared them into a little trembling fur ball back in the corner of the fireplace. They would carefully explore the edges of the fireplace but they would not come out.
I tried luring them out with carrot snacks. They weren’t going for it. I threw the carrot snacks in the fireplace when I closed it up Wednesday night. They were going to have to spend the night in there.
Later I told a friend about the carrots and he said: You have pet squirrels now.
On Thursday we all became more comfortable with each other. One of them came out of the fireplace and proceeded to escape the tunnel and explore the living room. Bob scared him and he ran back into the fireplace. Later I watched him go all the way to the front door and peek out. I grabbed the broom and in a split second he was back in the fireplace.
These little guys are dumb.
We went out and got a trap and set it in the fireplace – this was our last resort.
When we woke up this morning they had nibbled at the snacks, sprung the trap and were napping quietly under the grate.
That’s it! We have a life to live. We called an exterminator.
$250 to set the trap plus $100 per animal removed.
Okay, we’ll keep trying on our own.
It seemed like the only way to get them was to put on heavy duty gloves and yank them out — except there are three of them, so we weren’t sure how that was going to work and we weren’t in the mood to get bitten by a squirrel.
Meanwhile, I had called Chris to come over and cover the chimney. I asked him what he thought we should do. He went through all the things that we had already tried. We discussed and discarded some other ideas and settled on the shop vac.
Man, those things make a THWOP! sound when they go through the pipe.
Great news. We got all three. My fireplace was clean. We put them outside. Problem solved.
I cleaned up the giant mess from the tunnel. Vacuumed. Scrubbed everything around the fireplace. Put away all the implements we’d found to try to sweep them out, poke them out, scare them out, scoop them out, squirt them out, loud sound them out. My house was back to normal and I could relax.
Or could I?
Because a half hour later I came into the house to the sound of squeaking and a squirrel in the fireplace.
D’oh! I don’t know why it wasn’t obvious there’s a nest in there and now squirrely is trapped because we screened off the chimney.
We called a different exterminator who said we were doing everything right. Put the trap back in the fireplace. The squirrel has nowhere to go. We can get him.
So I reset the trap. Went outside to do yardwork.
Returned and checked the fireplace.
The peanuts were eaten. The trap wasn’t sprung. The squirrel has torn out huge pieces of the insulation from around the insert.
Like a horror movie, my next note will probably be written while I’m hiding under the bed, cowering from my squirrel overlord.