Sunday, May 8, 2011
Squirrels have the ability to breed every year and the young are born naked, toothless, helpless, and blind (like me... and you). The mother looks after the young, which are weaned at around six to ten weeks of age; which in squirrel years is.... six to ten weeks of age. They are very protective of their young and have been known to attack both people and pets. They are always looking for new nests, which helps in the distribution of food for their young. Once the young are weaned and ready, off they go to do their thing. They go to work, buy condo nests, mate and continue the cycle of life. It's a rule of nature.
All to say that if you are a twenty-something squirrel who is still living in your mother's basement playing Nintendo all day, you are a freak of nature.
And if you are a young squirrel starting off on your own, a bit of advice: never let your mother live with you.
Once mothers identify you as a food source; beware. Every bit of chatter at squirrel family gatherings will be seen as an invitation to move in. Being spotted dangling from the bird feeder is a good indication that you a good provider. You should make a habit of burying your assets and professing poverty to her every chance you get.
As squirrels age, they remain both agile and wily... and should you find a nice home of your own to move into; three pointers. 1) Get cable. TV antenna towers leave gaps they can sneak into. 2) Prune. Trimming back tree branches within leaping distance of your nest is a good idea as well. 3) Keep balcony doors securely locked. Living in the treetops does not mean you are safe. Mothers are very good climbers and have been known to scale brick walls onto balconies twenty floors up. If you see your mother on your balcony, check back again in 24 hours. If she is still there with a pleading look on her face (with perhaps baby pictures) and a vision of domestic bliss; take care. You only have to open the patio doors once.
Many mothers will try to convince you they just want to live in your attic. Do not fall for this. Before long, they will assume run of the whole house, be after your nuts every chance they get and will invite their friends in. You'll find your time at home surrounded by a bunch of bushy-tailed retirees expecting you to serve them herbal tea and peanut butter cookies.
If you should come home one day and unexpectedly find your mother in your house, you shouldn't trap her with a net as this may cause harm. The best thing to do is make her want to leave (and this doesn't mean throwing her purse out the door and locking it after they run after it – that's just plain mean). You might try to make the environment unattractive to her. Leaving a radio on all day and night with a 24-hour talk radio station blaring, leaving sweaty clothes around, or distributing urine soaked kitty litter are all known deterrents. Warning: this may make you want to move out as well. If all this doesn't work and you still find your mother coming down the chimney; relax. Remove all breakables in the room, close all drapes and doors to the other rooms, open all windows and exterior doors, shut off all the lights and shout "Rand's cooking dinner tonight!"
They should run straight out of the fireplace and bolt for the light of outdoors... and freedom.
Happy Mother's Day Mom. I know you had a laugh with this. Miss you.
Posted by Rand MacIvor at 8:01 AM