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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Analyzing the Squirrel Problem - Rationally

ra·tion·al adj.

  1. Having or exercising the ability to reason.
  2. Of sound mind; sane.
  3. Consistent with or based on reason; logical: rational behavior.
If you think about having a squirrel in your attic, you can get pretty worked up. You can imagine all kinds of things.
  • Maybe there is a family of squirrels and they will have babies!
  • Maybe they will eat my wiring.
  • Maybe they will destroy my house.
  • Maybe it's not a squirrel!
  • Maybe it's mice! Eeek!
  • Maybe it's a possum!
  • Maybe it's a roof rat!
  • Maybe it's a raccoon! Ahhh! They have cute little hands that can open jars!
  • Maybe it will cost hundreds of dollars to get rid of it!
  • Maybe they will come back!
  • Maybe... ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!
But when you think about the problem rationally you will be able to pare it down to it's two major components.
  1. A squirrel.
  2. A hole.
If you didn't have a squirrel, you would not have a squirrel problem. If you didn't have a hole, you wouldn't have a squirrel problem. But by God, you now have both a hole (or maybe several) and a squirrel (or maybe several) and so you have a squirrel problem. This takes us to the present time.

At this point, I have carefully examined all possible points of entry in my home. I have found one which I was not able to patch. I have placed large rat traps and sticky traps in the places we have most often heard the squirrel, and specifically in the location where the squirrel set off the rat trap as it ran by or tried to get the peanut butter I put on it. I checked -- no squirrel yet.

Over the one remaining hole, in a roof vent over a portion of my garage/foyer I cannot access via the house or garage attics, I have placed a large plastic tub, which I weighted down with two concrete paving stones. I cut a square hole into the bottom of this tub and inserted a newly washed live trap baited with peanut butter and two different kinds of tasy/salty crackers. The end of the trap sticks halfway out the tub. I came to the conclusion that:
  1. I have blocked all other means of exit/entry from/to my house.
  2. Any squirrel wanting to leave the house will have to go out this hole and will get caught.
  3. Any squirrel wanting to come in will be blocked as well, since they will not be able to move the tub and access the food or the hole.
  4. I am hoping that there is no squirrel left in my home (I didn't hear one tonight at all) and that in the morning, the trap will be empty.
  5. If the trap is not empty, I will dispose of the squirrel and reset the trap and tub.
  6. If the trap is empty, I will wait 5 days, the amount of time Sandy was told that a squirrel will not live without water.
  7. After that time I will fix the hole in the roof and consider the case closed.
Rational comments welcome.


Karen 10/05/2006 07:57:00 AM  

Did you hear about my twenty dead mice?

Michael and Anne 10/05/2006 09:56:00 AM  

Did I mention that they suck the breath from small children! And Kurt...they will eat your nuts.

Heather 10/05/2006 12:18:00 PM  

Yes, be careful with your nuts Kurt.

Kurt Schroeder 10/05/2006 12:41:00 PM  

Nuts to you.

Sandy 10/05/2006 01:04:00 PM  

They're all going to kill us! We're all going to die!!!!

Oh, wait, I guess you said rational comments only...