Squirrel Family Tales
Squirrels Run In Our Family
Apparently squirrels do run in our family. Sounds pretty silly I guess, I mean we aren't really related to them and yet no matter where we live, or how far we move we have two friendly squirrels greeting us at the door. Hanging out on our windowsill. Sitting on our fences. Chattering up a storm in our trees. They wait on my porch to greet me when I come home - no they really do! They come running as soon as my car drives up and parks, then go around and around in circles to say hello. I don't feed them. I didn't build them a little squirrel house. But I always stop to say hello and watch them show off in their friendly, happy play.
And there they are season after season, from my first tiny apartment in New York to my home in New Jersey, my friendly happy squirrels are at home around my house. Of course I know they aren't all the same squirrels, but who knows maybe they are all squirrel relatives and have their own way of climbing the Family Tree.
When my daughters moved out, not so far away from me and bought their own homes suddenly they had squirrel visitors too. Cute little bushy tail squirrels of their own. Jumping on fences. Peeking in their windows. Cute, right?
But suddenly, the squirrel challenge is on! My oldest daughter's friendly squirrels have decided that her backyard is a squirrel cafe. They come for breakfast. They come for lunch. By dinner they are perched happily on her garbage pail and oh these are not my friendly, non-destructive squirrels. These are squirrels gone crazy!
Squirrels It's All RelativeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Squirrel Comes To Visit
Adorable squirrel, who wouldn't love to see a squirrel perched on their fence fluffing it's bushy tail, cleaning it's little paws, sitting and sunning and enjoying nature.
Well that's how the visits started but then.....
Squirrel Finds A New Seat
At first it was delightful, why look how brave the squirrel is getting, jumping down from the fence and sitting on the heavy duty super strong animal resistant firmly closed outdoor garbage pail.
But wait, what! Is squirrel chewing on the handle of the garbage pail. Oh no squirrel no!
Squirrel Taste Tasting
Squirrel made a nice little hole in the heavy duty animal strong garbage pail before stopping, looking around and waving his bushy little tail in delight. He circled around the the top of the garbage can dancing left and right, happy as can be.
Apparently the taste testing left squirrel with a good idea for dinner.
Shoo Shoo Squirrel Shoo!
Oh no, within minutes hungry, determined squirrel ate through the center of the garbage lid handle, eating away at the heavy duty plastic lid until he had made a pretty sizeable hole in the lid!
"Hey squirrel, go away shoo, shoo" said my son in law loudly as he stepped outside to scare away the squirrel. Squirrel didn't even budge.
"Squeak squeak funny noises more squeaking" said my daughter loudly as she stepped out into the backyard trying to speak squirrel language and convince him to leave.
Giggle, giggle laughed my granddaughters watching the squirrel challenge unfold!
Squirrel however, did not seemed bothered by any of it at all.
Stomp, Stomp, Stomp went my 6' 2" son-in-law on his wooden deck moving towards the garbage pail and steadfast squirrel. They stomped and squeaked and finally squirrel decided it was time to leave.
No Blocking Hefty
Now squirrel has earned the name Hefty. My daughter calls him that since he's kind of chunky, is found inside our trash can and after he visits he's filled with garbage!
So how strong can a squirrel be anyway my daughter wondered. They aren't all that big and muscular so come one, it's got to be easy to just block him out.
So she piled a beach chair or two, the cover of an insulated cooler and some other odds and ends stacked them up right on top of each other.
And wow did it make a lot of noise when it all hit the floor after squirrel knocked it all over!
Chipmunk Fake Out
Squirrels, we read, are way too smart to start up with animals bigger than them and it was suggested we place kind of a scarecrow on the garbage can lid, something that might make our Hefty squirrel's survival instinct kick in.
We tried a giant stuffed chipmunk toy. Placed it right over the squirrel hole. OK, don't laugh it seemed like a better idea than the alternative Hello Kitty or adorable stuffed teddy bear. We were going to try a stuffed Alvin the Chipmunk or Lion King but my granddaughter was too scared to let them go out and face the naughty squirrel no matter how much we tried to talk her into it LOL.
Hahahahahaha laughed the squirrel at the stuffed giant chipmunk. He walked right around it and slid easily into the hole he had made.
Squirrel Friends Share
True squirrel friends share their found treasures and enjoy a meal or two together! Hefty Squirrel has brought his friend over for lunch. We are known to the have best garbage meals in the whole neighborhood now.
Good news for squirrels - not so much for us though!
Umbrella Has You Covered
Great idea. Just pop an umbrella, a big one of course in the hole in the lid so the umbrella lies flat and the squirrel can't get under it. Squirrel came over and checked it out. What - there's a bright color big umbrella covering my cafe!
Great idea, thanks guys said squirrel. He likes it that way just fine. It adds a little elegance, shade and even protects him from the rain while he is enjoying his special of the day.
Luck of the Irish Spring Squirrels
Irish Spring soap with its powerful minty fragrance is supposed to really keep away squirrels. They hate it and are really repelled by the odor. People shred it and put it in their gardens and swear the squirrels leave their flowers and vegetables alone.
Not our squirrel. I opened all three bars of soap and cut them in half so they were super fragrant, whew and they are! We rubbed the dry soap bars on the outside and even on the inside. We rubbed so much of it on the garbage can lid especially by his super size opening. We put soap chunks on the inside. I left big soap halves on the outside.
Along came our squirrel. We waited and watched. His nose twitched and his tail went side to side....
Then he knocked off all the bars except one, he took that one with him and leaped back over the fence. At least we know our squirrel is clean and minty fresh now!
When he was done with that he came back, jumped down the hole and helped himself to some more yummy garbage leftovers.
Photo outlines the strategic areas where the actual soap bars were placed. I didn't have time to take the actual photo because Squirrel was hungry and I ran back inside.
So far Hefty and his friend agree that we definitely serve the most squirrelicious food in town!
We have added Hefty the Squirrel to the family photo album because we have a feeling there will be many more meals shared with him.
Keeping a photo album of our squirrel journey has been so much fun too. Even when I'm not there my daughter sends me update photos as they visit. The whole family gets photo updates that are amazing and so fun to share. Someday my granddaughters will be looking at these photos and laughing so hard remembering our family fun.
Squirrels may run in your family, or climb your trees or run around your yard too but trust me, you really don't want them to adopt your garbage can.
Naughty squirrels are so rude my granddaughter told me. Well I couldn't have said it better. They eating our garbage can! They knocking everything over! Me don't know why they eat the garbage and they are naughty.
Everyday the girls and their dog Bella wait for the squirrel to show. And he does. Shoo, shoo naughty squirrel! Woof, Woof let me at him Bella says.
There he is, up on the fence ready to dive in for his lunch. He's back said my older granddaughter, I'm not sure what we are going to do about this squirrel.
Kind of a cool family, funny thing to share LOL. Naughty has a whole new meaning now that they are trying to understand it and it's awesome watching them try to figure it out while still thinking the squirrel is cute and has to be protected.
Red capacin powder and castor oil, ewww two ingredients definitely recommended by others combined into a non-toxic spray bottle. This didn't work either.
Natural Squirrel Repellants
Naturally we didn't want to harm the determined squirrel and his friend, but we really didn't want them eating any more of the garbage, or the garbage pail so we did what anyone would do in 2013.....we Googled! There are tons of great ideas to help you discourage and get rid of squirrels the natural way and I think we tried them all - we listed some of them below just in case you may need to de-squirrel some day too.
But I have to be honest, none of them worked for us at all! We tried ammonia full strength spray bottles full, peppermint essential oils soaked on cotton balls and sprayed on the garbage pail, even products marketed specifically targeted to repel squirrels (non-toxic of course). No luck at all.
Oh it was also mentioned to try fox urine but we couldn't get any foxes to stop by and give us a sample LOL.
Have you had squirrel visitors stop by to say "hello?" Are they fun visits or I wish you would go away and never come back visits? Fill us in and share your squirrel experiences.
This is a photo of my friendly happy squirrels showing off for me.
Peppermint Essential oil was definitely going to do the trick swore some natural get rid of squirrels advice blogs. No, the squirrels didn't seem to mind the Peppermint either.
Have You Had Squirrels Visit You?
The Hole Photo Story
Full strength ammonia is supposed to be a sure bet against squirrels. We put some in a spray bottle and sprayed that garbage can lid, outside and inside. They didn't mind it at all.
What started with a cute squirrel visitor soon became a "hole" other story! It didn't take long for Hefty the squirrel to chomp away at the yes, heavy duty animal resistant plastic and make himself a hole to serve as the door to his new favorite restaurant.
As the day went on, the hole got bigger and bigger, I guess he figured he would be putting on some weight and bringing out some extra big entrees as take out to share with family and friends.
I promise - this "hole" story is true and not a Disney movie.
Squirrels Problems and Answers
Squirrels are pretty determined and anyone that has ever had their garbage or garden targeted by some determined squirrel diners knows, it's not easy to convince them to eat out some where else.
The Story Continues....
With all the funny ideas above, the natural and the home made and the great ideas - the squirrels are winning this family challenge so far. Yes I will say it - this squirrel is making us NUTS!
We asked a friendly exterminator what he thought and he said "Oh good luck with that!". Squirrels are just so determined once they mark their territory it's hard to change their minds. We will never consider doing anything to harm them and the relative in the family who is a hunter will not be invited over.
We may consider a cage to try to naturally trap him to relocate him, but I have a feeling he will grab his food and leave us a thank you note.
So the ending of my story is, that I have no ending to my story! Dessert may be over for today but squirrel will be back tomorrow and ready to raid Squirrel Cafe. I hope he likes cupcakes and burgers because we have a lot of family birthdays coming up and they are on his menu.
Hope you enjoyed visiting our family squirrel story, tune in for the next installment of our challenge coming soon I'm sure!
Red squirrel is just the right size to cuddle and carry and is never naughty at all
Squirrels are curious and adventurous and I must watch too many cartoons because I picture them like Chip and Dale with bushy tails getting into trouble but cute as can be.
Brown squirrels and gray squirrels are both adorable when they are stuffed and soft and fluffy
Curious Squirrel Cards
Dessert Time: The Story Goes On
Squirrel Pets I Highly Recommend
Children love pets and I love encouraging them to care for animals and to care about animals even the ones that are wild and free. I don't recommend real squirrels as pets especially since they are bad for your garbage pail lids!
Cute stuffed animal squirrels are just the right wildlife to cuddle your children and entertain your family.
Cute and feisty stuffed soft squirrel is way more fun than the kind that eat your garbage!
Do you have any squirrel or animal stories to share, or maybe a great idea for us to try next?
So cute sweet squirrel is a lovely way for children to feel close to nature and learn to love animals.