Julie Lyles Carr: Squirrel Wars

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Squirrel Wars


My grandmother is 95 years old.

She is sharp, sassy, sweet.

And she is an unabashed squirrel hater.

Living in Mississippi, she has long experienced squirrel invasion armies in her yard and home. She is a seasoned squirrel hunter, trapping and um, ah, transitioning the squirrels to their next um, ah, divine appointment. For years she kept records on her calendar of what the squirrel harvest had been for the day, the week and the year.

For her efforts, I have teased and teased and teased her. Every year for Christmas, I give her a squirrel-themed gift. Sometimes it's a squirrel pendant necklace. Sometimes it's a squirrel calendar. There have been squirrel figurines and Christmas tree ornaments and on and on.

I can't wait for Christmas this year. I've gotten her something epic.

In a nutshell (see what I did there?), I have made her squirrel obsession my relational comedic fodder for a long time.

So I suppose it was inevitable. I suppose it had to happen.

We now have squirrels invading our yard and attic.

Squirrel revenge.

I knew we had squirrels living their squirrel lives in the trees at the back of our yard. Our dogs love to race out every morning and zip to the tree line, yipping and scolding the squirrels. And I would occasionally hear a squirrel skip across the roof above my master bedroom.

Until it sounded like the squirrel was not on top of the roof shingles. But more like right between me and the drywall.

Squirrel War was declared that day.

We have hacked down foliage near the house. We have spread predator scent. We have placed a big plastic owl on the roof. I'm the general in the Squirrel War Army and 3 of 8 is my Lieutenant and we have marched into battle and we are armed and we are focused.

And the squirrels laugh at us. A lot.


I constructed a tunnel of chicken wire. My theory was that we could mount it over the access hole the squirrels had made for access into the attic. The squirrels would exit through said tunnel and then we could seal the hole. Problem solved.  One problem: it is impossible to figure out where they're getting in. As a matter of fact, having now gotten up close and personal with my roof, there seem to be all manner of access points for any kind of vermin who should chose to move in.

Or maybe I'm getting paranoid.

Through this process, there is one squirrel in particular who sits, nay, reclines on the branch of the nearest tree and chirps at us. He giggles. He takes notes. And then he slips back in and helps himself to some more insulation.

So we have come full squirrel circle.
I have become my grandmother.
My name is Julie.
And I am squirrel obsessed.


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