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Monday, May 16, 2011

Gardener 4, Squirrels 0

     I buried my fourth squirrel today. I'm a nice old lady who loves babies and little furry creatures... except squirrels. "But they're so cute!" Uh huh. They pose adorably as they nib-nib-nibble on the sunflower seeds they have stolen from the bird feeder. I'm sure they were ever so perky when they dug up all my seed peanuts. And ate the pineapple top I planted. And the chayote squash I was trying to sprout. And the buds of my day lilies. So, so cute was the sweet potato they dug up and took a single bite out of. And, oh, the peak of charm are the toothmarks on the passion fruit, which isn't even ripe, but has been knocked off the vine by the sweet little balls of furry EVIL. Did I mention the dozen or so unripe figs they purloined from my struggling fig tree?           
     Yessiree, I kill squirrels. Cayenne pepper and oil of peppermint have protected some of my crops from their depredations, but I have to go back around every couple of days poofing the cayenne out of the gigantic warehouse club container and sprinkling the absurdly expensive peppermint oil from the health food store. Hub and I have both taken shots at the little blighters with a pellet rifle, but Davy Crockett we ain't. Slingshot was hopeless. Spring rat traps they easily unbaited and snapped without injury. I could almost hear them chuckling.      
      Enter the Victor brand electronic rat trap, a black plastic quonset hut about eight inches long. It takes four C batteries, and you bait it with peanut butter. The first night, I set it on an arbor bench. Next morning, big kahuna squirrel had met his end. In fact, the end is what protrudes from the tube: rear legs and tail. I dug a hole and tipped the body in. Subsequent squirrels seemed a trifle shy, so I placed the trap at the base of their favorite tree and sprinkled a little birdseed at the entrance and inside the trap. That did the trick. Another hole, and another, and another. About one a day. Today's squirrel fell bum first into the hole and kind of stuck upright, seeming to look up at me with reproach. At least, that's the poetic, sensitive interpretation. "It won't work," said I, pushed the nasty little thing down into the hole and covered it up. I shall reset the trap forthwith.

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