On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve heard the term urban, so what does it mean? The definition of urban says “relating to, or characteristic of a city or town” So now I want to present an idea to you, the readers. One that you may be unfamiliar with. Urban Wildlife. Maybe you’ve heard this term before, maybe you haven’t. But I’m here to talk a little about what urban wildlife is, and how it affects you. Urban wildlife can be found anywhere that supports human life. Just in case you aren’t sure what some good examples are, raccoons, rats, pigeons, mice, and squirrels could all be considered urban wildlife. Think about how often you’ve seen raccoons digging through the dumpster in a back alley, or a squirrel snitching some food off of the ground in front of a trendy food truck. Many people wouldn’t consider this wildlife, in fact, to many people they are simply vermin. You even see animals like deer attempting to cross a busy road, so now I’ve got you thinking, what has this got to do with me? Well, pal, I’ve got news for you, you play a major part in this whole urban wildlife mess.
An increase in the number of wildlife encounters you have could come from a number of factors. A few of those reasons could be habitat loss, noise or light pollution, pollution, or invasive species. This could mean you run into more less than friendly faces while you’re out and about during the day. Fortunately, there are ways you can help minimize the damage this might cause. You can start by locking all of your outdoor garbage cans. This might not seem like a large thing, but having a source for food could draw more unwanted pests. You should also regularly dispose of fallen fruit, use spill-proof birdfeeders, and keep your pets indoors at night. This will do a lot to protect your property. Remember, most of these animals have adapted to be able to handle human encounters, so don’t be afraid to call for extra back up from trained professionals if things get out of hand.
“IF YOU CATCH A SQUIRREL YOU’RE GOING TO EAT IT!!!” my mom screamed at me as I booked it out the back door, eager to escape her wrath. My latest obsession in my adolescence has been catching animals. Everything from snakes, stray cats, frogs, and now my next victim: Squirrels. I knew catching squirrels could be tricky, they were fast, and not easy to trick. My previous attempts had been unsuccessful thus far. But I had spent weeks planning and I knew that I had a bullet proof plan that was surely going to catch me a squirrel.
My plan included a box, string, a stick, and a handful of nuts. Really my plan was simple. Prop up the box with the stick, which had the string tied to it. I would wait in a bush a little while away and wait for the squirrel to take the bait (the handful of nuts) once the squirrel was in the box, I pull the string which allows the box to drop on top of the squirrel, trapping it inside. Really there is no way this could go wrong! I went to work immediately setting up my master trap. I thought to myself what a good trapper I would make. After the preparation was done and the trap was complete I sat down behind a bush and began my wait for the ultimate prey.
I sat patiently for three minutes, then five, and after about 10 minutes I was getting worried. What if I didn’t have enough bait? Maybe the squirrels are too smart for this! I began to question my flawless plan. When all of the sudden, a squirrel descended from the tree next to the box. I held my breath as I watched the squirrel approach the box. It was weary at first. Staying on the edge of the box, circling it in order to avoid capture. I stayed still and quiet, hoping that the squirrel would fall victim to my trap. Slowly the squirrel began to make its way towards the nut pile. It would take a few steps forward and then retreat a little, as if testing the trap. Luckily for me, I was more patient than the squirrel. Because after a minute, the squirrel approached the nut pile, and began to feast.
MY TIME HAD COME! Faster than the blink of an eye I pulled the string and the box fell on the squirrel, trapping it inside. I jumped up and cheered! I FINALLY DID IT!! I CAUGHT A SQUIRREL! I was so excited that I almost forgot about my squirrel that was sitting in the box only a few feet away. I looked over and saw that the squirrel was trying to escape! NOT ON MY WATCH!! I ran over to the box and plopped down on top of it. HA! No way that squirrel escapes no- “YOUNG MAN WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT CATCHING SQUIRRELS?????” I turned my head to see my mother standing at the back door. Uh oh.
There’s some kind of animal in my chimney, I would assume a raccoon or a squirrel but I’m not at all sure. This morning I woke up fairly early, around five o’clock. I’m nine months pregnant so when the baby tells you to get out of bed and pee, you just get out of bed and don’t look at the clock. Anyway, I went downstairs to make some tea and toast when all of a sudden I heard a loud thump in the chimney. It startled me, but I thought it could have just been my mom brain making things up. I listened carefully at the mouth of the fireplace for any other sounds, and for a minute there was nothing, until I head it stand up and shuffle around. I quickly closed the damper but other than that I have no clue what to do!
My husband left two weeks ago for New York (he’s stationed there as a pilot), so I have no back up at home to deal with this. I know when I was younger, my family had a bird fly into our chimney and my dad told me “Veronica, if there’s ever an animal in your fireplace you get it out as quick as you can so it has no chance to settle down.” Of course, it’s much easier to get a bird out of the chimney than a raccoon or squirrel; and that’s not even mentioning the watermelon on my stomach that would keep me from bending down to look up the fireplace (which I have no desire to do).
So no husband in town, no dad to call for help, I am stranded on this with no clue what to do. I’m trying not to stress out about this too much because there’s no way I’m going to let this animal in the fireplace send me into labor early. Now maybe it’s a myth or maybe it isn’t, but I won’t be having this baby until my husband gets home next week so I won’t be living with this animal. I need someone to come out and take care of this, preferably long before I bring my new daughter home. Help is much more appreciated than advice since I can’t do a lot of stretching, reaching, or moving really. Please!
I am losing my freaking mind trying to control the squirrel problem I have in both my backyard and attic. This is the second spring that we’ve had a genuine issue with the little rats, before then they just came and went, never bothering us a bit. So what changed? Why, after so many years of peace and harmony between my family and the squirrels, did they overtake our attic? Walnuts. When my wife and I first bought this house 12 years ago, we decided to leave our mark on the property and boost the environment by planting two walnut trees in the backyard. Obviously, without the knowledge that the native tree roamers (squirrels), would someday use it to cause chaos in our lives.
Do I sound like I’m being dramatic? I promise I’m not; if you had squirrels inviting themselves to hoard inside of your attic, you would react this exact same way. It was only a couple of years ago that the walnut trees starting actually producing nuts and seeds, and that’s right around when we started to experience the squirrel problem. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have been cursed with JUST the squirrels, but soon thereafter a major windstorm hit, undoing soffit, shingles, rain gutters, you name it. The access points the squirrels had to the house were innumerable, and we just couldn’t keep up. Before long, we started finding walnuts, apricot seeds, and other various plants tucked inside insulation and corners of the attic. We did our best to seal everything off, but when the squirrels returned this spring, it was obvious we missed something.
We have been trying our hardest to stay on top of this, we just want to go back to the good old days of looking at the squirrels – not watching them invade our house through unseen holes. I have tried everything I can think of, and obviously I’m not the mountain man that my wife thought she married, because so far these squirrels have been outsmarting my every move. I need some outside help, and the sooner the better. We just want our house back.
The squirrels in my backyard are nutty – if you can ignore the stupid pun I just made and finish this story, you’ll see I’m being serious. About a month ago, three squirrels showed up in my backyard out of nowhere. At first I wasn’t necessarily worried about it considering they are squirrels and they do live outside and my backyard is indeed, outside. Why would anyone be scared of three, harmless squirrels? Well, it turns out that geese are not the only demon possessed animals in the world. Squirrels also land in the category of unpredictably evil beasts that you can never trust.
Why am I so passionate about my vehement hatred for these squirrels? Let me just tell you. THEY ARE VICIOUS! They moved in to the overhang of my porch, and when I try to go outside, they hiss and basically run down the wall at my face. So far they haven’t actually attacked me, but its close enough! They will also bite and scratch through my screen door; in one month I’ve already had to replace it, and I don’t doubt I’ll have to do it again soon! Considering that it is spring time, I’m very worried that they’re going to multiply and then I won’t just have adult squirrels in my backyard, but their baby demon spawn as well.
Basically, I need a solution that’s more environmentally friendly than my .22 because I’m getting closer and closer to that point every day. I’m especially worried because in two weeks my nephews are coming to stay with me while their parents are out of town and I don’t want them to go home telling stories about the psychotic squirrels in my backyard. I just want this problem solved ASAP. If I can’t find someone else to take care of them for me, I’m just going to have to do it myself. The only crazy animal allowed on my property is me!
I don’t know what it is about it, but wild animals are attracted to my garage. I’m serious! I’m more accustomed to walking into the garage and finding a random animal than not. Usually they’re just one time sights and then they’re gone, but occasionally the animal (whatever species) will stick around for a while. There have only been two times where we had to call a wildlife specialist in to remove them, however. The first time was a squirrel nest about five winters ago. They crawled in through a hole where the wall met the roof and began nesting on top of the fuse box. We thought they were just coming in from the cold for a couple of days but soon we discovered they had actually had babies! We ended up having to wait a couple of months when the little ones were mobile and would be able to survive outside of the nest before a professional came and removed them; that was an adventure.
While the squirrels were frustrating (mother squirrels are very defensive!), that was nothing compared to the raccoons. It was summer time about two years ago, I still to this day do not know how they got in but one night I came home from work to see one full grown raccoon staring at me as my garage door opened. I pulled in hoping it would run out the door but instead it scrambled up to the top of our storage shelves. Again, I left it alone hoping it would be gone by morning. Instead, the next day I woke up to find my car covered in dirty paw prints and to see several of our storage boxes knocked over and opened. This happened every night for about two weeks before we could get someone to come out and get rid of them.
In between the squirrels, the raccoons, and now, we’ve had a few other interesting run in’s; these, however, were just small. Not long after we first moved in, my husband went into the garage for a bike pump and got sprayed by a skunk that had wandered in the night before (that was a bad day). A couple of months ago my daughter found a bat hanging from the roof, not long before that we had a robin sleeping on the garage door runners, and just last week we had an actual deer sleeping on the dog bed! Along with a few other random encounters and a mice problem a few years back, I can’t figure out what animals are so attracted to in my garage! I guess it’s a mystery we’ll never solve.
Apparently, earlier this year a family of squirrel started living in my storage shed. I’m not exactly sure when they moved in, but it had to have been late spring after I had traded out my winter gear for my summer gear, because I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary then. But, late last month when I finally went to pull out the snow gear, I started noticing little oddities here and there. The biggest thing that I noticed was the hundreds of apples all dried up and tucked into corners and shelves, anywhere that they would stay! That was my clue that an animal had moved in
A few years back I had a bat problem in my attic, so I already had the number of a local wildlife guy and he was able to come take a look. When I had told him about the apples on the phone, he had made the speculation that it was a squirrel and when he came by for an inspection, he decided that it wasn’t just one squirrel, but most likely a family. His guess was that they had started storing food earlier in the year and then in late September or so had built a nest and had a couple of babies. By that time they would have been almost ready to go out on their own if they hadn’t already. The solution was simple, set out traps for the squirrels and wait.
He set about 5 traps in various spots in the shed that were fairly visible so I could check them every day and also showed me how to rebait them for every few days. We took a chance and baited the traps with apples, which ended up working out wonderfully! We removed 4 squirrels from the shed within a week and a half, they had dragged in some old cushion and padding from somewhere and built themselves a nest on top of my snowshoes! Luckily, they didn’t cause any damage to anything in the shed and we were able to get rid of them fairly quickly and easily. All in all it was a simple fix and now I’m not sharing my space with anyone!
I’m afraid we have squirrels in the attic, and my eleven year old daughter is afraid we have ghosts. Earlier this month I sent her up to the attic to start pulling down some of the Christmas things, and I guess while she was up there she heard something bumping and rustling around behind some of the boxes. Just like any one from my bloodline would have, she ran downstairs crying and jumped into my arms only to report that our house was in fact haunted. To my horror my 6 year old overheard that and quickly started to cry as well. They both have requested that we either move or have the house “cleansed”; now I know my youngest daughter is only copying her sister but I have no idea where they learned that term but I would go so far as to blame it on my little brother (he likes to tell them ghost stories).
Despite the fact that Halloween is long over, I can’t convince either of them that there aren’t any ghosts in our house. And it doesn’t help that whatever animals are up there like to make noise right around bed time; let’s just say I’ve spent the last three nights squeezing into my bed with two extra sleepers. I’ve had my husband look around and he definitely thinks that squirrels are the problem animals, we found some pine needles, sticks, grass, and other nesting materials burrowed into some of the insulation and that’s what we’re drawing our conclusion from.
Needless to say, we need some help and NOT from an exorcist or a ghostbuster. We think we’ve found where they’re getting into the attic from – there’s a small hole that has opened up in the soffit right alongside of the chimney and it looks like it’s being used frequently. I really do need to rid of these things as soon as I can. It’s bad enough that my brother won’t stop filling their heads with nonsense but now the squirrels in the attic, it’s almost validating all of his stories! For the sake of my kids’ sleep and my sanity, I really need someone to get rid of these squirrels.
There’s an animal in the air duct of my home, I’m not exactly sure what animal(s) it is though. A few years back we had some problems with mice in the walls of our home and of course occasionally our cats would bring a mouse in alive, but with a little bit of poison it took care of it! I set out some of the same stuff this time but whatever the animal is, it’s still clunking around up there. Not to mention, the sounds that it makes are almost definitely from an animal larger than a mouse.
Since the house backs up to a forest-like area, wildlife is common around the yard, and since it’s happening on the lower level of the house, it’s possible that it’s a skunk, right? Now that I think about it, the other night I heard it walk from one end of the vent to the other and I could smell the slight distinction of skunk. But that wouldn’t make much sense, no matter how close the outside of my house is to the ground, the venting isn’t low enough for a skunk to climb into it; at least not any skunk that I’ve seen,
Okay this shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, if it’s not skunks or mice it could be squirrels? Raccoon’s maybe? Actually, raccoons would make sense, I usually only hear sounds at night and I can tell that they’re leaving the air vents and then coming back later. I was thinking about just closing off the vent they’re using to get in when I hear them leave at night but I guess if the animal in the air duct is a raccoon then it’s entirely possible that it has babies inside right? This is definitely something I’ll need a second opinion on.
I have so many wildlife problems, I don’t know where to start. The most recent is the skunk problem, which started around two weeks ago. Surprisingly that one is the least problematic, I mean yeah it stinks (literally), but it causes less damage than the others. But, no matter what it still stinks so I need to have it taken care of. I think they’re burrowing underneath my porch, and I don’t even know how many there actually are whether it’s one or five or more! It really doesn’t matter how many, because I need them to vacate the premises ASAP.
The next wildlife problem is the raccoons; this one is the second most costly issue. A mother and her four babies have decided that the overhang of my deck is the best place to shack up. Not only is it inconvenient and probably hazardous, but it can be scary, too. When you walk out the backdoor onto the deck, the mother goes crazy above you; she’ll hiss and scratch and the babies will mew, it’s very aggravating. This is also a more recent issue, the raccoons started just before the skunk, but my biggest problem started WAY before that.
Woodpeckers. Not that bad? Try again. Woodpecker holes aren’t just used by woodpeckers. Apparently smaller birds, rats, squirrels, and even bats will use the woodpecker holes as homes; and I have seen all of the animals I just mentioned inside of at least one woodpecker hole on my house. This has been happening for months, and no matter what DIY method I find on the internet to get the woodpecker to go away, it just keeps right on pecking. I am so over it, all of it. I’m sick of the skunks, the raccoons, the birds – I’m sick of the whole lot of them. SOMEONE HELP ME!!!