Something scary happened to me less than a week ago. I came home after being away for the weekend. I unlatched the kitchen door, put my things on the table and saw the lid of a container on the floor. Then I saw a pint glass on the floor. Water on the floor. There was pile of post thrown face down on the floor too.

I stopped and realised that my basil plant had been yanked out; there was soil everywhere and so on!
So I looked at the windows. Everything was fine. Nothing was broken. The door as I entered my flat, was locked so that means that if someone had been in my flat they were courteous enough to lock the door when they left?

I rang the Police and told them what I could see, the fact that the door was locked etc. Oh and also that my cat wouldn’t and couldn’t have done it due to the latch on the kitchen door.

Here are some photos to show you what state my kitchen and utility room were in.

The Police said they should come and check either way. The officer who came had a good look around outside and in and then said he thought it was rats. They scurry around edges, are strong and would eat a banana the way one of my bananas was left.

So after a few hours of cleaning up, I shut the door to utility room. Suraj suggested this in the hope that the damage would be limited to the kitchen OR the utility room and then I’d know where the animals were.

The following day I came home to: –

The kitchen was fine! Thank goodness! 🙂

So cleaned up again and made sure the door was kept closed. Thankfully ‘they’ were only able to access the utility room so it was kind of contained.

The following day we found a dead squirrel. There was a smell the day before which became awful on the following day. I thought it was from their waste but it was because there was a dead squirrel. It was upsetting yet kind of relieving. The death wasn’t a relief but knowing what I was dealing with was helpful. The council said they’d only help if it was rats. They don’t handle squirrel infestations. So I could not ask them for support.

So I’m now monitoring it. I don’t know if there’s more. I don’t want to trap them or kill them. But of course I don’t want them to carry on invading my flat either.

Any ideas?

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6 Comments

Harshad · November 7, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Light some incense sticks and leave them in a safe place.

They do not like the smell of it and will not come.

Peter · November 7, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Heena

Trapped/ exploring squirrels wrecking rooms are quite common. Very likely this got in when you were in , hid, trapped when you shut the door/window, then they panic and go manic, hid again, they can fit behind units, etc, died..

Not too likely to be repeated, if you have loads of squirrels you can net the windows, but they can just nip in the door in the summer.

You can get sonic squirrel deterrents, but these also deter cats so you don’t want a grumpy cat……….

Best
Peter
http://www.veganorganic.net

Heena Modi · November 7, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Thanks Harshad. I’ll try it 🙂

Heena Modi · November 7, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Thanks Peter.
Defo don’t want a grumpy cat! 🙂 She’s gorgeous. Wouldn’t want to harm her in any way.
Also wary of these things re how they affect squirrels themselves etc.
I hope that it wont be repeated and will be careful when hanging clothes outside in the future! 🙂
I do hope there aren’t more but I’m not sure 🙁
I’ll keep you posted

Nishma · November 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Some info for a damsel in distress with squirrels. (Taken from http://www.squirrels.info website mentioned in Animal Aid’s latest “Outrage” magazine (issue 153, Winter 2008, back page).

Hope this helps
Nishma
xx

SQUIRRELS IN THE LOFT?

When squirrels enter a loft space, they can cause structural damage by tearing up loft insulation for bedding, chewing timbers, pipework and stored items, and posing a fire hazard by stripping insulation from electrical wiring. They may also be noisy, and if they drown in uncovered water storage tanks, may contaminate the water supply. For these reasons, it is important to keep squirrels out of lofts.

The best cure is prevention. A hole need only be as big as a squirrel’s head to allow access. If they have been seen entering the property, their access points will be known, but otherwise a piece of newspaper stuffed securely into a suspected access hole can be easily removed by a squirrel and will show that a hole is in use.

The RSPCA advise the use of strong wire netting with a mesh size no larger than 25mm to block any access holes, plus repair to any slipped slates, rotten soffits or missing bricks etc. to prevent access.

If the squirrels have already gained entry, it is essential to ensure there are no squirrels remaining in the loft before access is blocked.

Not only is it cruel to trap them (and illegal to cause suffering to a captive animal), they may do additional damage in their attempt to escape or in a mother’s attempt to rescue her young. The decomposition of any squirrels that die may also cause smell and insect infestation.

Squirrels can attack when frightened or to defend their young, so take care and make noise to frighten any squirrel out of the loft before you enter.

If young are present, they should be left until they are old enough to leave the nest, and repair work carried out when the family is out foraging.

The use of crushed mothballs spread throughout the loft is reported to be an effective smell deterrent, prompting squirrels to choose a less aromatic residence.

Heena Modi · November 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Thanks Nishma!
Great tips. I really appreciate it 🙂
Also it’s nice to read info that reinforces what I think e.g. the paragraph that starts with “Not only is it cruel to trap them…”

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