The Boglehead View on Squirrels

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pinecrest
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The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by pinecrest » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:56 pm

I've read the earlier threads on squirrels and thought a little counterpoint might be in order.

We've been having trouble with raccoons digging up our plants and our gardener has traps set out for them. But aside from possums and the occasional skunk, we seem to be attracting more squirrels than anything. They're not doing any damage to our plants, so we release them into our backyard.

Anyway, I came across this photo-story about a soldier and his pet squirrel. It probably won't change any minds, but our family gets so much joy watching the squirrels in our backyard, it was gratifying to see they may have the potential to be tamed.

http://imgur.com/gallery/yrukKYx

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frugaltype
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by frugaltype » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:59 pm

squeee!

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by livesoft » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:02 pm

Squirrels in the Attic! are worse than Snakes on a Plane!
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by sscritic » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:12 pm

My view of squirrels is down the sight of a 22. I think a pink rifle looks best when I am in my Jimmy Choo's.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun ... en-rimfire

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by jebmke » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Yes, squirrels trapped in an attic or garage can wreak a lot of damage.

We usually have a bumper crop of squirrels in the spring (we have oak and hickory trees, aka food) but by the end of the summer the owls, hawks and snakes usually thin them out.

This is one of our neighborhood model "A" squirrels. I don't think the predators like him though.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Labrat » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:20 pm

I live in the woods. I have squirrels, chipmunks, and larger animals like fox, coyote, mule deer, elk and black bear and even an occasional mountain lion. I've never had an issue with any animal other than chipmunks, which have set up nests in two cars and chewed the wires to a tune of over $1500 in repair. Yes, they were all here first, but the chippys drew first blood. Many of them are dispatched every year if they come within 50 yards of my car. Live and let live unless they're asking for it is my motto.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by sscritic » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:24 pm

When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by HueyLD » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:32 pm

sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
In the attic: squirrels

In the basement: rats. :)

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by jebmke » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:36 pm

sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
mice.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by izreel » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:37 pm

squirrels above are the worst. Just recently had to vacate a family of 4 that were living above the rafters. Took a lot of work to find and seal the entry point.

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VictoriaF
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:37 pm

jebmke wrote:
sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
mice.
They are changing the roof in my building.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:38 pm

Just don't feed them. They tell all their friends. And once they learn where the food comes from they will try to break into your house to get it. They're very smart in that respect.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:40 pm

cheese_breath wrote:Just don't feed them. They tell all their friends. And once they learn where the food comes from they will try to break into your house to get it. They're very smart in that respect.
Is this in response to izreel or me?

Victoria
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:46 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Just don't feed them. They tell all their friends. And once they learn where the food comes from they will try to break into your house to get it. They're very smart in that respect.
Is this in response to izreel or me?

Victoria
Neither specifically, just a general comment based on personal experience.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by englishgirl » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:47 pm

sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
Actually, the one time it happened to me I thought "badger". It sounded less like pitter patter and more like clomp clomp clomp. Though quite how a badger would get in the attic was not a thought my brain was capable of thinking about in the wee hours. It turned out to be a rat.
Last edited by englishgirl on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by jebmke » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:47 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
jebmke wrote:
sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
mice.
They are changing the roof in my building.

Victoria
How do they grasp the hammer with those little feet?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:48 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Just don't feed them. They tell all their friends. And once they learn where the food comes from they will try to break into your house to get it. They're very smart in that respect.
Is this in response to izreel or me?

Victoria
Neither specifically, just a general comment based on personal experience.
The way it came out, I thought you were advising me not to feed the roofers lest they break into my apartment for more food. They're very smart in that respect {smile},

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:49 pm

Squirrels are just rats with a better publicist.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:49 pm

sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
Squirrel sized rats... also known as ROUS

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cheese_breath
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:53 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Just don't feed them. They tell all their friends. And once they learn where the food comes from they will try to break into your house to get it. They're very smart in that respect.
Is this in response to izreel or me?

Victoria
Neither specifically, just a general comment based on personal experience.
The way it came out, I thought you were advising me not to feed the roofers lest they break into my apartment for more food. They're very smart in that respect {smile},

Victoria
That's possible too. Our neighbor's lawn man broke into their house while they were away. But it wasn't food he took. He wasn't as smart as a squirrel though. They caught him when he tried to hock the neighbor's watch with his (neighbor's) name engraved on the back.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:55 pm

jebmke wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
jebmke wrote:
sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
mice.
They are changing the roof in my building.

Victoria
How do they grasp the hammer with those little feet?
They use their hands. :P
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:56 pm

EmergDoc wrote:Squirrels are just rats with a better publicist.
I've heard them called tree rats.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:03 pm

The *Boglehead* view?

The squirrels should continue to add acorns to their underground vault savings, and not eat/squander too much each summer.

What else could we advise!?

RM

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:05 pm

ResearchMed wrote:The *Boglehead* view?

The squirrels should continue to add acorns to their underground vault savings, and not eat/squander too much each summer.

What else could we advise!?

RM
To reduce the "expense ratio," the squirrels should switch from the round acorns to the square ones.

Victoria
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Yipee-Ki-O » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:09 pm

sscritic wrote:My view of squirrels is down the sight of a 22. I think a pink rifle looks best when I am in my Jimmy Choo's.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun ... en-rimfire
My late father was partial to a 20-gauge shotgun for defense of his pecan trees. Living in the country does increase one's options for thinning the squirrel herd.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by 4nursebee » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:09 pm

LOL

I find the boglehead view of "X" was too pervasive here.
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:27 pm

One of their cousins haunted our bedroom ceiling (at 2am) on an intermittent basis for years. After employing trappers and a .22 and getting nowhere i discovered that it may very well be a flying squirrel! They are about half the size of the typical grey squirrel and can squeeze into tiny openings. Further they love tall cedar trees. There is one about 25ft from my house. They little darlings ( now ex flying squirrels) were flying from the tree landing on the roof and going thru the tiny roof vents. I laid out rat traps and caught them the very next morning. I then clogged the vents with steel wool and that ended their nightly forays.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:53 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:I then clogged the vents with steel wool and that ended their nightly forays.
I use copper wool. It does not rust the way steel will. I found that steel wool turns to dust in about a year, so I'd have to redo the varmint proofing frequently.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:01 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I then clogged the vents with steel wool and that ended their nightly forays.
I use copper wool. It does not rust the way steel will. I found that steel wool turns to dust in about a year, so I'd have to redo the varmint proofing frequently.
Thanks. I didnt even know it existed.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Dutch » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:02 pm

Squirrels are the bogleheads of the animal kingdom; accumulating enough nuts in the fall to safely draw down on during the winter.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Dutch wrote:Squirrels are the bogleheads of the animal kingdom; accumulating enough nuts in the fall to safely draw down on during the winter.
Except bogleheads have more integrity. Those little rascals will steal you blind if you're not careful.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by likegarden » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:29 pm

Once a squirrel was able to gnaw through a ceiling tile and fall into my small apartment in an old house while I had people over for cake and coffee. I was able to chase the critter out through an open kitchen window using a kitchen towel. Guests left through the door right afterwards.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Dutch » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:34 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Dutch wrote:Squirrels are the bogleheads of the animal kingdom; accumulating enough nuts in the fall to safely draw down on during the winter.
Except bogleheads have more integrity. Those little rascals will steal you blind if you're not careful.
They are just exploiting inefficiencies in the market.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Angst » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:53 pm

pinecrest wrote:Anyway, I came across this photo-story about a soldier and his pet squirrel. It probably won't change any minds, but our family gets so much joy watching the squirrels in our backyard, it was gratifying to see they may have the potential to be tamed.
With a little patience... well, with a lot of patience, you can train wild ones to eat out of your hand. It helps if you spend a lot of quiet time on your back porch reading, with some peanuts or maybe grapes or banana nearby. I've been bitten a few times but it's usually just a tiny nip. No, you can't get rabies from a squirrel; not from a rodent.

When I was a kid we got a baby squirrel that fell from a nest or something like that. It was a wonderful pet. Lots of fun even though it eventually took to the wild and left us, but it was still friendly for several months afterwards and would come down the tree trunks to visit and say hello and take a bite of food, or maybe my finger.

The next summer we missed having our pet so much that we raided a squirrel nest and stole a baby. (Yeah, yeah... we were kids.) It's eyes were not even open yet. Once again, great pet! I believe we ended up having 4 squirrels over the years. I highly recommend getting yourself a squirrel, at least if you happen to be in that 8 to 12 year-old age range.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by frugaltype » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:57 pm

cheese_breath wrote:Just don't feed them. They tell all their friends. And once they learn where the food comes from they will try to break into your house to get it. They're very smart in that respect.
I have flat saucers of bird seed and unsalted peanuts on my deck for all critters. The squirrels have never tried to break into my house (to my knowledge) in the decade or so that I've lived here. Why should they go to that trouble when food is easily available. The population does not seem to explode, I guess the hawks and foxes take care of that.

The only garden items I seem to lose are apricots. I figure, I've taken a part of the animals' habitat, they deserve something edible in return. Also, I plant things for shelter.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Kalo » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:33 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Dutch wrote:Squirrels are the bogleheads of the animal kingdom; accumulating enough nuts in the fall to safely draw down on during the winter.
Except bogleheads have more integrity. Those little rascals will steal you blind if you're not careful.
Also, don't squirrels tend to forget where they've planted some of their acorns by the next summer? Not very Bogleheadlike. Having accounts in too many locations makes it too hard to keep track.

But on the other hand, Bogleheads do try to squirrel away some seeds for a rainy day.

:wink:

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:41 pm

jebmke wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
jebmke wrote:
sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
mice.
They are changing the roof in my building.

Victoria
How do they grasp the hammer with those little feet?
They don't use hammers, they use nails {laughing},

Victoria
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by sscritic » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:43 pm

Kalo wrote: Also, don't squirrels tend to forget where they've planted some of their acorns by the next summer? Not very Bogleheadlike.
You obviously have missed all the threads about "when I die, my spouse won't know where my acorns are unless they are [Choose One] (in a safe deposit box) (at TreasuryDirect)." Bogleheads may not lose acorns, but they definitely fear losing acorns.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Fallible » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:57 pm

Kalo wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
Dutch wrote:Squirrels are the bogleheads of the animal kingdom; accumulating enough nuts in the fall to safely draw down on during the winter.
Except bogleheads have more integrity. Those little rascals will steal you blind if you're not careful.
Also, don't squirrels tend to forget where they've planted some of their acorns by the next summer? Not very Bogleheadlike. Having accounts in too many locations makes it too hard to keep track.

...
Reminds me of a TV commercial years ago of a squirrel stealing post-it notes from a home and bringing them to his treehole, which is papered with post-it notes showing where the nuts are buried. So who says they don't "keep track"?
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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by pinecrest » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:00 pm

frugaltype wrote:
The only garden items I seem to lose are apricots. I figure, I've taken a part of the animals' habitat, they deserve something edible in return. Also, I plant things for shelter.
The only fruits we lose are to the humans who steal from our trees. The squirrels will ocasionally have fruit-based snacks, but unknown neighbors sneak around on our property and completely empty some of our fruit trees.

Speaking of fruit, we are forced to leave the trapped possums in the cage for the gardener to pick up. We feed them fruit in the interim since it gives them both food and water. We're finding it a bit too easy to become attached to the possums, and we've had to give in and let the baby possums go. They're too small to damage our plants (the gardener takes the other side and says we'll have to deal with them sooner or later). This is the first year we've had problems iwth raccoons and until we had the traps set we never knew what a menagerie we had in the backyard.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by Colorado13 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:51 pm

likegarden wrote:Once a squirrel was able to gnaw through a ceiling tile and fall into my small apartment in an old house while I had people over for cake and coffee. I was able to chase the critter out through an open kitchen window using a kitchen towel. Guests left through the door right afterwards.
Now that's a strategy (that I had not previous considered) to encourage relatives to shorten their visit.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by LH » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:19 pm

sscritic wrote:When you are lying in your bed at night and you hear the pitter patter of little feet over your head in the attic, do you first think squirrel or rat?
raccoons.

Growing up, the picture on the wall would go crooked as they ran across the ceiling and down the wall.

right now, we had a squirrels nest in the chimney, new cap will hopefully cure that.

Last year, we stored our outside table umbrella in the garage, went to get it this past spring, about 500+ nuts came out of it lol.

deer eat the flowers. I am about 5 minutes from the center of downtown Cincinnati too. Deer are everywhere the past 5-7 years.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by pinecrest » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:35 pm

LH wrote:

Last year, we stored our outside table umbrella in the garage, went to get it this past spring, about 500+ nuts came out of it lol.
That is funny.

Re: the quesiton about the pitter patter of little feet, it's always been rats for us. It was a joint effort between our neighbor and us to cut back a tree which was used as the rats' ingress route into our attic. I'm not sure why we've never had squirrels in the attic, but they seem to like running along our fences and up the trees that are away from the house. Maybe they prefer outdoor exercise in the sun. :?

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by GerryL » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:16 am

Have to confess: I feed them. But I do it to help the birds. By scattering sunflower seeds on the patio, I keep the squirrels and scrub jays on the ground so the little birds can have the feeder. Most of the time. Well, at least when I am sitting at the table working and they can see me wagging my finger at them if they start eyeing the feeder.

I also name them.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by protagonist » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:22 am

From "The Intelligence of Squirrels", Popular Science Monthly, April, 1890: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_ ... _Squirrels

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by frugaltype » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:30 am

protagonist wrote:From "The Intelligence of Squirrels", Popular Science Monthly, April, 1890: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_ ... _Squirrels
There's a Nature(?) episode, Raccoon Nation, which postulates that humans are inadvertently encouraging the evolution of ever smarter raccoons.

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:41 am

LH wrote:Last year, we stored our outside table umbrella in the garage, went to get it this past spring, about 500+ nuts came out of it lol.
That was the squirrel's stash of I Bonds at the Treasury Direct that her heirs were not aware of. Ouch!

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Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:41 am

protagonist wrote:From "The Intelligence of Squirrels", Popular Science Monthly, April, 1890: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_ ... _Squirrels
But, protagonist, you are reframing the discussion. Instead of deliberating the Bogleheads traits of squirrels, such as a relentless pursuit of assets and obsessive hoarding, you are introducing their personal side.

Based on the Popular Science article:
Chipmunks enter the same trap over and over again, lured back by an apple of all things; whereas red squirrels are singing and dancing on the edge of the trap teasing the hunter. Contrary to the former belief, chipmunks can be perfectly tamed to the point of eating from the master's hand and playing on a wheel. Squirrels, of course, have been playing on a wheel all along. Squirrels under excitement produce "many other tones associated with great complexity of emotion." In contrast, chipmunks tend to sneeze voluntarily three or four times, similarly to human belching.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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habbot
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by habbot » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:54 am

My thoughts are:
1. Contact www.crittercontrol.com/ if they break into your attic. Critter Control is good at finding and sealing up the access point.
2. Don't feed them around your house for reasons already stated.
3. Don't feed them by hand in the park unless you want to be bitten.
4. Shoot them with a rifle or air rifle in safe manner whenever the law permits! They're a damn nuisance.

gd
Posts: 1416
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: The Boglehead View on Squirrels

Post by gd » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:40 am

I've known a lot of squirrels. I have yet to meet a squirrel who understands house construction. They get inside houses because owners do not maintain their possessions properly, and allow inviting cracks and holes into desirable nesting spaces.

Squirrels are utterly wild creatures, as a species and by nature utterly independent of humanity, and show us no more deference and interest than any other animal or tree in their territory. This makes people's actions towards them a disturbingly deep and revealing mirror of human nature. "Stop and watch the squirrels" will get you a lot further and to more interesting places than "stop and smell the roses".

To the original post, there is a pair of books by Douglas Fairbairn about a baby squirrel he rescued, who eventually took over his life. He ends the second with some insights about his "tame" squirrel. They have unique personalities that can be the equal of a house pet. Weighted by their circumstances (lifespan, development time and living conditions) they make dogs and cats look as interesting and clever as goldfish. Yes, that includes the guy on your bird feeder, you just are too oblivious to notice. Fairbairn was a writer working on the Great American Novel, and will probably be remembered best for the squirrel he lived with. They make spectacularly bad pets, and are illegal in many states.

Locked