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Squirrel stealing bait (aka they're baaaack!)


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Posted by Elsa on 15:05:35 12/8/2011 from 50.14.6.106:

I posted a lot on this board a long time ago and got a lot of help here. (Thanks again, John!) I trapped (and permanently disposed of) a total of ten squirrels over time. Long story short, our roof is still not fixed and new squirrels have moved into the eaves.

For a long time I couldnít get them to go after the bait, despite chumming.

Most recently, my mother heard a very loud, continued rattling downstairs and came rushing upstairs, certain that Iíd caught a squirrel in that part of the eaves.

I hadnít Ė the trap had sprung and the door was shut tight with the locking bar, but no squirrel inside.

In the eaves, I use a Havahart 1040 Ė the traditional-style one, not the ďEasy-SetĒ one I see has now been put on the market. But I have one end of the trap permanently duct-taped shut. This way I can put the bait (bread with peanut butter) in that end and make the squirrel go far into the trap (so its tail doesnít keep the door open when the trap springs).

I had also covered the sides, the top, and the bottom of the trap on that far end with duct tape a long while ago, to keep the squirrels from just reaching a paw through and pulling out the bait.

This last time, when I looked at the sprung trap, I found that a large portion of duct tape had been chewed off one side. I think the squirrel chewed that off and then stuck a paw in, but the trap sprang with its arm still in there, and it got startled and hurriedly tried to get its paw back out, which is the rattling noise my mother heard. (The trap is sort of wedged under the valley of the roof, so it didnít just get turned over on its side with all this.)

So now Iíve gone to a masonry supply store and bought some wire lath (the kind used by masons for ďmud jobsĒ), which has sharp edges that squirrels donít like to chew on. (I had to be careful to get the right thing, because once in the past I bought some heavy-duty galvanized steel mesh at a Home Depot in order to close off some squirrel holes in the fascia boards and valleys of the roof, and it doesnít have the sharp edges Ė the exterminator you recommend locally looked at it and told me it wouldnít work.)

I also bought some wire snips and 16-gauge galvanized steel wire, and the other day I started wiring the lath to the trap, all around the outside of the far end.

I had some trouble doing this without interfering with the trip mechanism on the outside of the trap, and then I realized I donít even remember how to set the trap anymore. (Thatís why I was looking on the Havahart site for instructions on setting my trap, since of course I canít find the instructions you sent me when I bought the trap from you.) And then it started raining. So Iíve been lying around much of the day, reading the Squirrel Page to get back into trapping mode, but feeling rather depressed.

There are various other modifications I know I might need to try, but for now Iím just posting this in order to recover the sense that Iím not alone in this endless quest. Also, in order to find out whether it seems logical to you that a trap-shy squirrel stole the bait by chewing off the duct tape and reaching inside. What do you think?

And yes, I know in the end the only solution is going to be fixing the roof (after trapping every last squirrel that considers this home). I wonít even get into why fixing the roof has turned into such an everlasting nightmare, which I hope will finally be over this spring.



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Here's a link to more squirrel removal information and pictures from Rid-A-Critter, an Atlanta animal control company.
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