It started with a few creaks and groans on the back wall, which I took to be house-settling noises, ones I would get used to before long. Then I heard some tapping sounds. My husband was working outside, so I looked out the window to see if he was on the deck doing some maintenance on the outside wall.

He wasn’t.

By the time I heard the pitter-patter of little feet, I knew we had one of two problems. Either the house was haunted or, more likely, critters had gotten into our attic.

A visit from the pest control company confirmed that a squirrel had taken up residence in our home. This is when we learned that it’s not uncommon for squirrels, mice, and even bats to find their way into homes here and to nest in the attics. We also discovered that this is a busy time of year for pest control people. We had to wait through several weeks and multiple visits that included searching and exploring, setting and checking traps, and finding and closing up entry points once all the squirrels were gone.

In the meantime, I ignored them as best I could – which wasn’t easy, since their main living area seemed to be along the wall of the room I am using as my office. Early in the morning, late at night, or any time in between, I’d be sitting at my computer, minding my own business, when suddenly I’d hear tapping, running, or scratching noises coming from the other side of the wall.

By now, the squirrels had to know we were trying to get rid of them.  And they probably weren’t happy about it. This was starting to concern me, especially after we found out it was a mama squirrel and three babies nesting in the insulation. I know the old adage about never getting between a mama bear and her cubs, and I imagine the same holds true for squirrels. I started thinking about Alfred Hitchcock’s horror film, “The Birds,” as well as other movies – and even cartoons – that featured animals ganging up on humans. I pictured squirrels in helmets, lined up next to a slingshot and a stash of acorns.

One day, after the workers had gone to lunch, my husband and I walked around the outside of the house, surveying the work being done. We saw a squirrel on the roof, staring at us – literally staring at us – before finally scampering off. A little later, we saw the squirrel standing next to an apparatus with a one-way door. The squirrels could get out of the house, but couldn’t get back in. We again engaged in a stare-down before going back into the house. Us, not the squirrel.

It’s been a few days, and we haven’t heard any more noises. The workers finished sealing up all the openings, and I’m pretty sure the squirrels are gone for good. After all this time, I find that I almost miss the sound of their scampering about. Almost.

I’m sure there are more discoveries and dilemmas ahead of us with regard to wildlife in the area, especially as summer approaches. But, hopefully, we won’t have to deal with any more squirrelly situations.

April 21, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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