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View Full Version : Help! There's a squirrel in the basement!



Plot Device
11-17-2008, 11:49 PM
What do I do?

I'm afraid to go and do the laundry! In fact, I was on my way to switch the loads just now when I saw him perching on top of the furnace. I screamed and he started scurrying around. (He's a BIG one too!) Now I just plain won't go NEAR the laundry. I backed out of the basement and locked the door.

I don't want to pay an exterminator. What do I do???? (My laundry will start to mildew soon.)

MoonWriter
11-17-2008, 11:55 PM
An animal shelter may loan you a trap. Call around. And be sure to seal off his point of entry. Then you can release him outside or take him to a local park. Or, if you prefer, I have a great recipe for squirrel sauce piquant.

Pagey's_Girl
11-17-2008, 11:58 PM
Squirrels are real nuisances sometimes. We've had them in the house more than once. Is there a window or outside door you can open in there to let him out? He'll be more afraid of you than you are of him, but you don't want him getting out into the rest of the house - they're awfully destructive. Barring that, could you call the police or animal control?

We always managed to shoo them out a door, although one left on his own through the hole he'd chewed in the screen - after stealing a bag of cookies off the table.

Plot Device
11-18-2008, 12:12 AM
These are good ideas.


An animal shelter may loan you a trap. Call around. And be sure to seal off his point of entry. Then you can release him outside or take him to a local park. Or, if you prefer, I have a great recipe for squirrel sauce piquant.


Squirrels are real nuisances sometimes. We've had them in the house more than once. Is there a window or outside door you can open in there to let him out? He'll be more afraid of you than you are of him, but you don't want him getting out into the rest of the house - they're awfully destructive. Barring that, could you call the police or animal control?

We always managed to shoo them out a door, although one left on his own through the hole he'd chewed in the screen - after stealing a bag of cookies off the table.

Meanwhile, I just left a voice mail with my uncle--he's a retired game warden so he's dealt with animals his whole life on a professional level.

He more typically always dealth with racoons, deer, bears, eagles, and foxes because those were species that were either endangerd, protected, or else which had specific hunting seasons. But regardless, he knows about ALL wildlife here in Massachusetts because that just plain was his job.

dpaterso
11-18-2008, 12:15 AM
This one's the scout. The others are waiting outside.

-Derek

Kitty Pryde
11-18-2008, 12:19 AM
Do you know how he got in? Can you leave a bagel right outside his point of ingress to lure him back out? Squirrels love bagels. So say I.

tjwriter
11-18-2008, 12:20 AM
Stop it, D!

First, relax. It's just a squirrel. People feed them at the park all the time. It's highly unlikely that he would attack you, and you probably scared him just as much by screaming as he did by being there.

If you can manage to feel brave enough, go down there and open a window or door so he can leave. He will probably be grateful at the opportunity. Also, put your clothes in the dryer while you are there. It's likely he will hide while you are moving around down there.

Once the squirrel has exited the building, you'll need to figure out how he got in and block off that method of entry so that he can't come in again.

Old Hack
11-18-2008, 12:22 AM
Warning: squirrels bite hard. Protect yourself.

My great big husband once told me there was a wild animal on top of our wardrobe that was at least two feet long (and remember here that we live in England, where wild animals are small things on the whole).

It was a squirrel. I caught it with a towel and got it downstairs and outside. During the catch I grabbed hold of its tail and the thing came off in my hand--I still remember the wet "plock" noise it made. Eugh. Don't do what I did: get someone to do it for you and protect yourself from bites and plocking tails.

Old Hack
11-18-2008, 12:23 AM
(I meant, protect yourself if you try to catch it--it's not going to go for your jugular, and would probably scamper out of an open window very happily, given half a chance.)

FennelGiraffe
11-18-2008, 12:28 AM
The guys who got the squirrels out of my attic used, IIRC, dried ears of corn smeared with peanut butter as bait.

robeiae
11-18-2008, 12:43 AM
Call Mike Huckabee and break out the popcorn popper.

JoNightshade
11-18-2008, 12:45 AM
Squirrels loooove dried corn. Leave a trail? :)

Clair Dickson
11-18-2008, 12:46 AM
Squirrels are not carnivorous. They won't hurt you unless they see no other way out-- like the previous example where a captured squirrel bit Old Hack in an attempt to escape.

You have nothing to fear. You can go do your laundry. And open a door or window. You can take your broom and use it to encourage said squirrel on it's way out. But it has not diabolical intentions. It came seeking food and/ or warmth. Help it on it's way out and all will be fine.

Red-Green
11-18-2008, 01:56 AM
Have you asked him to check over your query letter? *cough*

BenPanced
11-18-2008, 01:59 AM
Dear Liza, dear Liza...

Soccer Mom
11-18-2008, 03:21 AM
Kill the squirrel then, dear Georgie, ...*


*is a joke, I don't actually advocate murdering the fuzzy tailed rat

Pat~
11-18-2008, 03:28 AM
First, relax. It's just a squirrel. People feed them at the park all the time. It's highly unlikely that he would attack you, and you probably scared him just as much by screaming as he did by being there.


My grown son got charged by an attack bunny in the garage this morning. Just sayin'...

benbradley
11-18-2008, 04:37 AM
I've used a trap like this:
http://www.havahart.com/advice/critter-library/squirrel-control
http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps/1088
I had a squirrel (maybe twice, I forget) come down the chimney of my house in Long Island. Got one of those from Home Depot. It took a few hours, or a day or so, but the trap caught it and I took it outside to release it. I never saw anything run so fast when I opened that thing up.

Joe270
11-18-2008, 06:07 AM
Plot, this one's pretty simple.

1.) Open door to basement.

2.) Pull pin on hand grenade.

3.) Toss hand grenade into basement.

4.) Close basement door.

5.) Run like the wind.

6.) Repeat as necessary.

Joe270
11-18-2008, 06:08 AM
It took a few hours, or a day or so, but the trap caught it and I took it outside to release it. I never saw anything run so fast when I opened that thing up.

Ben, what was running 'so fast'? You, or the squirrel?

L M Ashton
11-18-2008, 06:13 AM
Squirrels here can be rabid, so... I just make a lot of noise until Fahim comes running and let him deal with 'em. :D

Del
11-18-2008, 06:18 AM
Charge him rent.

Seriously though, squirrels can attack you and they hurt. We had a pet one that we had to let go because it got vicious. See if he answers to the name Moose-Moose. If he does...RUN.

Yeshanu
11-18-2008, 06:37 AM
I have a cat I could loan you...

Williebee
11-18-2008, 06:58 AM
The squirrel is ok. Just wait'll the moose shows up.

Yeshanu
11-18-2008, 07:06 AM
Why I don't have squirrels in my basement:

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h190/Yeshanu/funny-pictures-roomservice-cat-brin.jpg

Darzian
11-18-2008, 10:12 AM
Squirrels here can be rabid, so...


Really? I'd no idea. The tree outside my house's got at least 5 of 'em. They pop onto my balcony where we leave some bread, rice etc....... they come twice a day for their little snacks. It's so cute!


OP: Please do not murder it. ;)

Plot Device
11-18-2008, 10:18 AM
Update:


My uncle the game warden called back. He said to open a door or window, and then spray something very smelly in the basement like hair spray or strong perfume and that will drive the squirrel toward the fresh air and out the open door/window.

But he also said there is obviously a hole in the foundation somewhere that let the squirrel in, and so other squirrels are likely to replace him. So find the hole, plug it, and I should be golden.

Well ... I fond the hole ... and I can't plug it. It's far too comlicated to explain WHY that hole can't be plugged .... but it can't. I'm really screwed.

Joe270
11-18-2008, 10:25 AM
Well ... I fond the hole ... and I can't plug it. It's far too comlicated to explain WHY that hole can't be plugged .... but it can't.

Is there a moose in the hole?

FennelGiraffe
11-18-2008, 06:37 PM
Well ... I fond the hole ... and I can't plug it. It's far too comlicated to explain WHY that hole can't be plugged .... but it can't. I'm really screwed.

Can it be screened?

Bmwhtly
11-18-2008, 06:44 PM
You got it out?
Good.


Next time, lace a bowl if hazelnuts in heavy-duty cough syrup and wait for the little fuzzballs to pass out.
Then you can move them outside. (although squiggle steaks are tasty. Small, but tasty)

Plot Device
11-18-2008, 07:20 PM
Let me try and explain why the hole can't be plugged. The best I can do is offer an analogy. I will use a convertible sports car for this analogy.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/23/1958_Ambassador_4-d_hardtop.jpg/800px-1958_Ambassador_4-d_hardtop.jpg

Some convertible cars have a soft top. Others have a hard top. Try to imagine the hard top. You take off the hard top and toss it in the garage so you can go driving around with no top. That hardtop is big and it's clunky and could probably be very easilly damaged.

Now, imagine some bone-headed idiot comes along while you are out driving around topless, and he ruins your hard top while it's sitting in the garage. So he offers to get you a new one. But instead of ordering a new one from the factory, he picks a used one out of a junkyard. The used one is not the same model and doesn't fit right. The used one is too big and it overlaps the body of your car with funny gaps.

So while your car is sitting in the driveway in the middle of the night, a squirrel comes along and crawls up underneath the ill-fitting hard top through one of those gaps. You now have a squirrel in your car.




Okay, now for my house.



The house has a hatchway. This is what a hatchway looks like.

http://jctonnotti.com/Assets/waylandfinal_web.jpg

When you install a hatchway, the house builder starts out with an open hole in the ground that leads down into your basement. Then he places that metal triangle-looking thing on top of the hole and then seals it down tightly.

Years ago my brother messed up and crunched the metal hatchway to this house. He went to a junk yard and bought a used one to try and make everything okay again. But the used one didn't fit. It was too big. There are gaps underneath where it overhags the cement rim of the hatchway portal. And THAT is where this squirrel got in.

Clair Dickson
11-18-2008, 09:57 PM
Spray foam. There's a brand called "Great Stuff" Eventually critters can pick it apart, but it'll last for a while. And the stuff expands like crazy, which is entertaining in it's own right.

My parents have an old, OLD house and as it's settled and rotted and otherwise developed holes,they've plugged the difficult weird ones with spray foam.

Don
11-18-2008, 10:17 PM
If you can't use spray foam, go get a bag of copper mesh pot scrubbers and stuff them in the holes. Squirrels won't be able to get in. We use a couple of these where our electric cord comes into our camper, and chipmunks no longer come to visit. :)

You could even use the copper mesh as 'rebar' before spraying in the foam, to make it hold together longer.

Silver King
11-19-2008, 05:17 AM
Squirrels here can be rabid, so... I just make a lot of noise until Fahim comes running and let him deal with 'em. :D
I believe it's pretty much unheard of for squirrels to transmit rabies to humans.

From the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/types.html):

Small rodents (e.g., squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, and mice) and lagomorphs (including rabbits and hares) are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit rabies to humans.

I still wouldn't want to be bitten by one. They give me the willies, almost as bad as rats.

Plot Device
11-19-2008, 05:35 AM
My friend Rich came over today after I left him a frantic voicemail begging for help. He says he has a Havahart trap that he leant to a friend last week (because of the same problem! :D) and he'll try to get it to my tomorrow.

He also spent half an hour working on the hole in the house in the hatchway where the squirrel entered. The hole is plugged. So now the squirrel is trapped in the house. Hopefully it'll be in the trap by tomorrow night.

Joe270
11-19-2008, 05:46 AM
Sounds like you have things under control.

Still, I'm disappointed that you didn't take up my grenade suggestion.

Plot Device
11-19-2008, 06:12 AM
Sounds like you have things under control.

Still, I'm disappointed that you didn't take up my grenade suggestion.


Maybe after my mom gets into assisted living I'll consider it. ;)

Joe270
11-19-2008, 06:23 AM
Maybe after my mom gets into assisted living I'll consider it.

Ah, I see. Sorry, I was unaware we had a live-in Mom to consider.

Wait until she's away an appointment of some sort, then toss grenades to your heart's content.

Hmmm. Is it 'til your heart's content' or 'to your heart's content'? Neither look right to me.

Silver King
11-19-2008, 06:35 AM
A while back, a squirrel got in my garage and wouldn't leave. The little sucker caused a mess, knocking things off the shelves, running rampant and screeching to high heaven.

My wife said, "You should do something."

She handed me a broom. I pictured going out there and having the rodent turn on me and devour my remains, after I had died from a heart attack.

Instead, I very bravely left the garage door open, and after a couple of days, the squirrel left on its own, much to my relief. Then I used the broom to sweep up the mess it had made.

C.bronco
11-19-2008, 06:38 AM
I have a cat I could loan you...
The neighbor's cat sometimes leaves entrails and skins of various rhodents on my patio.... I try not to analyze too much when I put them in the trash.

Plot Device
11-19-2008, 06:55 AM
Hmmm. Is it 'til your heart's content' or 'to your heart's content'? Neither look right to me.

To your heart's content.

(Grammar for Grasshoppers time?)

Joe270
11-19-2008, 07:00 AM
Yeah, I know that's the accepted version, which was why I used it.


Still, it sorta bugs me. Seems 'until your heart is content' makes more sense.

*****DERAIL ALERT*****

C.bronco
11-19-2008, 07:05 AM
Skin it, throw it on the grill, PETA be damned...

Plot Device
11-19-2008, 07:40 AM
Yeah, I know that's the accepted version, which was why I used it.


Still, it sorta bugs me. Seems 'until your heart is content' makes more sense.

*****DERAIL ALERT*****

To your heart's desire.

Plot Device
11-19-2008, 07:43 AM
When my friend Rich was here, he and I were in the basement together examining the hatchway, and then I heard the squirrel. I looked up and saw the creature prowling around in the rafters. I shrieked and grabbed onto Rich like I was a frightened little kid. I swear I made a total fool of myself. I focused onto Rich's forearm and wrapped both of my arms around his forearm and hugged my ear in close to his elbow. Not a very romantic move -- more of a 6-year-old, girlie-girl move. My friend didn't flinch at all when I did that.

Joe270
11-19-2008, 07:44 AM
To your heart's desire

To yours, too. What are we toasting, anyway, and shouldn't this be in the drunk thread?

Darzian
11-19-2008, 07:49 AM
Isn't it starving?

Plot Device
11-19-2008, 08:25 PM
Isn't it starving?


Okay, so last night I broke down and set a bowl of water on the basement floor, and left an open granola bar next to it.

Joe270
11-19-2008, 10:23 PM
Okay, so last night I broke down and set a bowl of water on the basement floor, and left an open granola bar next to it.

So how many squirrels do you have now?

Pat~
11-19-2008, 10:34 PM
PD, if you'd just move to Texas you wouldn't have this problem. (We don't have basements.)

But here's an alternative solution:

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j240/pb10220/Sandy-1.jpg

AGENT K-9

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-19-2008, 11:02 PM
Okay, so last night I broke down and set a bowl of water on the basement floor, and left an open granola bar next to it.

Oh, no! Now you've done it!

He'll be tapping out messages on the pipes, like they used to do on 'Beauty and the Beast'! By this weekend, there'll be 350 squirrels lined up to move in!

M.C.BROWN
11-19-2008, 11:17 PM
You might find it entertaining to get a cat and a camcorder. I don't know if the cat would win because squirrels are viscous. Either way, you could watch it over and over.

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 01:32 AM
So how many squirrels do you have now?


My freind sealed off the entry holes, so no more squirrels can get in. But the reason I even set down the food and water for the current squirrel is that he's now quite sadly trapped in the house due to my friend's sealing off the entry holes.

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 01:33 AM
You might find it entertaining to get a cat and a camcorder. I don't know if the cat would win because squirrels are viscous. Either way, you could watch it over and over.


"No animals were harmed in the making of this conversation thread."

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 01:34 AM
PD, if you'd just move to Texas you wouldn't have this problem. (We don't have basements.)

But here's an alternative solution:

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j240/pb10220/Sandy-1.jpg

AGENT K-9


Now THAT'S a cutie!

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 01:34 AM
Oh, no! Now you've done it!

He'll be tapping out messages on the pipes, like they used to do on 'Beauty and the Beast'! By this weekend, there'll be 350 squirrels lined up to move in!


I guess Derek was right then: he IS a scout.

HeronW
11-20-2008, 01:35 AM
Vait til moose join squrl then cal Boris Badenov :}

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 01:51 AM
Vait til moose join squrl then cal Boris Badenov :}


I'm a communist dupee! :eek:

Mela
11-20-2008, 01:54 AM
You most certainly will have a dead squirrel to deal with at some point - and more importantly, the odor of a dead squirrel.
I'd get an animal control person in to see if they can find it because the smell of a dead animal is HORRIBLE.

I'm convinced something was able to crawl into my kitchen sink's pipes and died there and the smell wasn't overpowering but it was definitely there. I poured down gobs of dish detergent to try and get rid of it. After a few months we had problems with the sink backing up and the plumber had to use a super duper vacuum because of the unknown thing that was clogging the drain and causing it to back up.

Not to mention the fact that you have a potentially destructive squirrel now trapped in your house. Does your town have animal control?

Haggis
11-20-2008, 02:09 AM
I think he suspects you're after him.

http://www.andykinsella.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/army-squirrel.jpg

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 02:14 AM
You most certainly will have a dead squirrel to deal with at some point - and more importantly, the odor of a dead squirrel.
I'd get an animal control person in to see if they can find it because the smell of a dead animal is HORRIBLE.

I'm convinced something was able to crawl into my kitchen sink's pipes and died there and the smell wasn't overpowering but it was definitely there. I poured down gobs of dish detergent to try and get rid of it. After a few months we had problems with the sink backing up and the plumber had to use a super duper vacuum because of the unknown thing that was clogging the drain and causing it to back up.

Not to mention the fact that you have a potentially destructive squirrel now trapped in your house. Does your town have animal control?

Did I leave out the part where my friend is going to be bringing by his Havahart squirrel trap? He's going to get the trap to my be tomorrow night. So then I will have that squirrel in my clutches (hopefully) no later than this weekend. And then I'll drive him a few miles away and let him go in someone else's neighborhood.

But until I can get the trap in my hands, I decided that since the squirrel-entry holes in the house were now all blocked up and the poor squirrel can no longer escape, I needed to give him some water so that between now and tomorrow night he wouldn't die on me (and subsequently stink out the house).

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 02:15 AM
I think he suspects you're after him.

http://www.andykinsella.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/army-squirrel.jpg


Now THAT is priceless! :D

Plot Device
11-20-2008, 02:17 AM
My friend Rich came over today after I left him a frantic voicemail begging for help. He says he has a Havahart trap that he leant to a friend last week (because of the same problem! :D) and he'll try to get it to my tomorrow.

He also spent half an hour working on the hole in the house in the hatchway where the squirrel entered. The hole is plugged. So now the squirrel is trapped in the house. Hopefully it'll be in the trap by tomorrow night.


Here we go. Here's a post from back on Page 2 where I explain that the Havahart trap is on the way.

(I did find a Havahart trap for sail on Craigslist just one town away from where I live. But the guy is asking $30. So I say free is better.)

tjwriter
11-20-2008, 02:44 AM
And then I'll drive him a few miles away and let him go in someone else's neighborhood.

Why are you going to drive him far away? He probably has a nest somewhere close by and with winter coming, he'll need his nest. If you've blocked the holes, I don't see why you can't just walk him outside and release him.

Plot Device
11-21-2008, 02:17 AM
Why are you going to drive him far away? He probably has a nest somewhere close by and with winter coming, he'll need his nest. If you've blocked the holes, I don't see why you can't just walk him outside and release him.


I'll try your idea. But if he comes back in again, he ain't gettin' no second chance.

JoNightshade
11-21-2008, 02:32 AM
Yes, DEFINITELY trap and release. I had a huge rat die under my apartment sink once while I was gone for 2 weeks. IT WAS NOT PRETTY. I was spraying lysol for months.

Plot Device
11-21-2008, 11:33 PM
Okay. I got the trap, set ip up this morning, and I even positioned my home video camera on it to capture the moment when the trap springs. :D

Meanwhile, I caught a mouse in my mouse trap (a trap which has been empty for months now). I believe that because my friend successfully plugged up the entry holes, the mice are also now trapped in the house (unable to move freely in and out anymore). And so the mouse I caught was desperate enought to enter my trap.

This is good news because it means no more crittes can enter.

waylander
11-22-2008, 12:04 AM
I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

truelyana
11-22-2008, 12:11 AM
Any sign of the squirrel?

Have you tried communicating with the squirrel?

Haggis
11-22-2008, 12:12 AM
Any sign of the squirrel?

Have you tried communicating with the squirrel?

I believe she sent him a note demanding his surrender.

His reply? "Nuts."

Mela
11-22-2008, 12:14 AM
Did I leave out the part where my friend is going to be bringing by his Havahart squirrel trap? He's going to get the trap to my be tomorrow night. So then I will have that squirrel in my clutches (hopefully) no later than this weekend. And then I'll drive him a few miles away and let him go in someone else's neighborhood.

But until I can get the trap in my hands, I decided that since the squirrel-entry holes in the house were now all blocked up and the poor squirrel can no longer escape, I needed to give him some water so that between now and tomorrow night he wouldn't die on me (and subsequently stink out the house).

Oh, sorry; right you are - I missed that post.
We;; feed it some vittles and then send it on its merry way

Plot Device
11-22-2008, 01:20 AM
I caught him!!!!

He's now at my utter mercy! MUWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Haggis
11-22-2008, 01:25 AM
I caught him!!!!

He's now at my utter mercy! MUWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Watch your fingers around him.

SRSLY.

Plot Device
11-22-2008, 01:58 AM
Watch your fingers around him.

SRSLY.


I donned my heavy work gloves and carried the trap outside to the back yard.

I propped the trap on top of the trashcans and opened the door. He gladly escaped.

Meanwhile there 's a MESS in the basement. He also did some damage to the house. He was literally trying to claw his way out of the house so he picked a spot along the foundation where the woodaen frame of the house met with the top of the concrete basement wall, and he started gnawing away. There's a huge pile of very rough sawdust from where he was biting through the wood.

But again: this is more evidence that my friend's effort to plug the entry hole was successful.

Plot Device
11-22-2008, 01:59 AM
I got done watching the video footage.

Cool stuff! I think I'll post it on YouTube.

Haggis
11-22-2008, 03:13 AM
I got done watching the video footage.

Cool stuff! I think I'll post it on YouTube.

Make sure to share the URL here. :D

Plot Device
11-22-2008, 03:53 AM
Make sure to share the URL here. :D


Absolutely! :cool:

Joe270
11-22-2008, 06:46 AM
Congratulations, Plot. I can't wait to see the video.