We live in the city so I am always surprised at the wildlife issues we are confronted with. To be fair we don’t live downtown, we live in area that is predominantly single family homes with yards, but it is the city none the less.
Last year a family of squirrels took up occupancy in our attic. Our attic is essentially a crawl space and because their residence was above the guest room, it took some time before we realized that we had squatters. I actually didn’t believe Bob until he showed me a squirrel head sticking out of the house. It seems they just moved in and began to remodel. They needed to add some additional entrances to their new place to bring it up to squirrel code so they began with a sliding glass door here and some French doors there (without the actual doors of course). The upside was that we hired some hunky young men to humanely evict our deadbeat tenants and relocate them to some subsidized squirrel housing otherwise known as a forest preserve. The downside was that the perimeter of our attic had to be sealed and the whole process cost a hunky arm and a leg.
Squirrels in the city aren’t unusual, you say. No, they aren’t, but how about rabbits? Yes, we have a small community of bunnies living in and around our yard. They don’t live exclusively in our yard, but they spend an inordinate amount of time in our yards given that we have dogs. Dogs, I might add, who are decidedly anti-bunny. If I were a city rabbit, I might chose to spend my time in a dog free zone, but not these rabbits. They not only hop around our yard, they have discovered where in the yard they are safe from, but not out of sight of, the canines. The result is a bark-fest that would make one think the canine world as we know it is coming to an end. Mike begins with a deep menacing repetitive bark and Goose chimes in with a squeak/bark that sounds a bit like he is being stabbed. The only solution is to run outside with my wet hair in a towel turban and chase the bunny off. The rabbits are apparently (and rightfully so) frightened of a crazy, yelling lady in her bathrobe flailing after them, but not barking dogs.
Lastly, there is our field mouse issue. Every year, although there isn’t a field around for miles, we have field mice that come to visit. They must take the train. After the first mouse came years ago we hired an extermination company to come and put out little crawl-thru restaurants that serve canine safe poison. We have also purchased traps that “humanely” execute mice by electrocution when they stop by for some peanut butter. Both methods have worked in the past to rid us of our unwanted house guests. Our dogs are both uninterested and ineffective in this endeavor, by the way. Apparently our current version of Stuart Little is too refined to dine at the crawl-thru restaurants because the tell tale trail he leaves behind is not green which would indicate a shorter life expectancy. And he may have a peanut allergy or at least an aversion because he hasn’t touched our “humane” traps, though he has left a trail around them as well. This mouse (and I need to believe there is just one – so shut up) is starting to get on my last humane nerve, but I have no idea what to do about it.
Squirrels, rabbits and field mice may seem like cute helpless little creatures, but you’ll change your tune when they have moved in, damaged your property and/or disrupted your life. Then you will believe, as I do, that they belong exclusively in the suburbs and Disney movies.