Saturday, November 14, 2009

Outwitted By A Rodent

Since my landlord, surprise surprise, has done nothing about my rodent infestation situation....I've taken matters into my own hands. Well, sort of.

I am pretty sure that it's these grey squirrels living in the rafters of my bedroom. I see them all day on my deck. And I've discovered a massive hole in my foundation which I'm almost sure they are using to get into the walls.

Anyway, I've got one of those animal traps pictured above.

Four times now they've not only picked the bait, but set off the trap. How the bleep are they getting out? I can barely open the thing for crying out loud. Just now, I heard the cage bounce - and then bounce again three more times outside of my window. I was sure I had one of these rascals - so much so that I was a little afraid to go out and check.

But I went out anyway, persuaded by one of my wife's visiting friends.

And yet again the trap was empty of food and rodents!

It's a long shot, but one other possibility does exist.

Perhaps my trap is getting looted each morning by the local Chinese restauranteur?

See the comments of - Second Career Roadkill.

If someone knows how these squirrels are escaping and how I can finally nab one, please, help me out.

After I drown it, I'd be happy to Fedex you the meat in these lean economic times!


Anonymous said...

Are you squishing the bait onto the trap so that they really have to gnaw to get it?

Sometimes they are pretty good at carefully sneaking in there, grabbing the bait and when they run out(in more of a hurry) they trip the thing.

Kinda like when mice clean off a trap without tripping it.

Squish that bait!

Anonymous said...

For squirrels, try peanut butter. Also the trap must be big enough for them - if the door falls on their back, they will easily escape. Using too small of a trap is a common error with these livecatch traps.

MA has ridiculous firearms laws, but maybe you can own a decent air rifle. About 750 fps or better ought to do it. Use the lead pellets, they are far more lethal than the steel BBs.

If you do catch them with the live trap, wear some lined leather gloves when handling the cage. You still want to avoid allowing them to bite even the glove, but the gloves are a necessary safety precaution. Squirrels are some viscous bastards when trapped.

Anonymous said...

Also, forget the catch and release idea. Tie a rope to the trap and throw it in a secluded pond somewhere...for about 10 minutes. These things are tree rats, you risk a bite trying to release them.

Kwame said...

Perhaps you should leave them a two course meal -- lace the bait with some rodent poison and your repeat customers will never venture back.

CaptiousNut said...

I do think the traps are too small.

Probably, minimally the tail is getting caught when the door falls and it manages to squirm its way out.

And I am using the peanut butter, albeit on bread. I'm not exactly making them sandwiches....I'm just baiting with my son's leftover crusts.

I've been meaning to buy a BB gun anyway. $125 at Wal-Mart, right?

Always wanted one, since I was a kid. For 30 years I head-fake towards the gun counter at Wal-Mart but always wimp out of buying one.


If I poison them, they could crawl back in house and die in the wall/ceiing, right?

At least that's what the $700-charging pest control propaganda states.

Have you done this before? Any results?

Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

CaptiousNut said...

Tonight I will paste the peanut butter right on it.

Anonymous said...

if u can get a webcam near it, record it. There is free software on net that will only start recording when there is motion change.

Anonymous said...

Yep, peanut butter directly on the bait tray.

Not sure what is currently available re: air guns, just make sure you get one that fires either the .177 or .22 cal lead pellets.

Problem with air gun is same with poison: dying squirrel trying to get back home. YOUR home. Bait them with some feed corn out in the yard for an easy head/vitals shot...but watch out for nosy neighbors!

Kwame said...

Valid point, it would probably freeze through the winter months though -- how long you planning on staying in this place??

Right around the time you wrote your initial rodent post, I had mice in the attic. I went up there with two sticky traps and caught them within a week, no poison. So, I pretty much have zero experience with the poison idea... it was just a thought. Good luck! Capturing squirrels is no easy task.

Anonymous said...


I've followed your blog for a couple of years and cannot remember seeing 9 comments on any topic--until this infestation problem. What's your take on why this topic is so relatively popular?

CaptiousNut said...

Why am I getting comments on this post?

I guess this topic may be analogous to *how many ways to skin a cat*?


My trap is gone!

WTBleep happened?

I've been here all weekend. This isn't a heavily populated area. Could a person (animal rights nutjob?) really have come and taken my trap from my backyard?

I spent an hour searching all over the property for it today.

Luckily I had another, and I threw a huge pile of peanut butter towards the back of it. Maybe I can snag the runtiest of the squirrels in it tonight.

Plan B:

I've been Googling BB guns today. Some people say that *any BB gun* will kill a squirrel. The one I was contemplating buying only advertised 400 fps.

It seems a lot of them use CO2 now; but I was leaning *cheap*, towards a pump action one. A lot of them have laser sights too. I just want to kill 3-5 squirrels; I don't want to break the bank.

Massachusetts allows BB and air guns from what I can tell. Just can't shoot *across a street*, etc.


I don't think I'll be here long....but the squirrels are getting louder and louder in my roof. They're pissing me off!

Plan C:

Call a pest guy; pay the $700; deduct from my rent. It's been 1.5 months and my dimwit broke-a$$ landlord has done nothing but ignore me and thank me for my *patience*.

Anonymous said...

trap is gone !!!??? I say inside job :)

Anonymous said...


Quit being a pansy and buy yourself a bow and arrow and pull a robin hood on their squirrel behinds. And shoot some massholes while your at it.

My friend from Virginia used to talk about how squirrel is like caviar down there. Maybe this could be a new business venture for you.


CaptiousNut said...

The trap is still MIA.


My BIL said he murdered a buck with an arrow this past weekend. Still waiting on a pic from him.

Probably going to call a *squirrel guy* tomorrow.

What are the odds he has a mullet? Family in NH?

Or a quiet business relationship with the local Chinese restaurant?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a dog ran off with the trap. Oversized pack rats, is what they are. Get the air gun, they work great for running off dogs as well as shooting squirrels. Just shoot the dogs with BBs only as this will minimize the potential damage to the dog(s).

Forget the CO2. The ones that don't leak are cost prohibitive. Get either a single stroke or multi-pump air gun that shoots both BBs and the lead pellets. Combine this with a cheap $30 scope and you can get a dime-sized shot group with pellets at 50 ft. after a little practice. Note that this weapon is an excellent training aid to teach your kids how to safely handle a rifle.

I know a lot of MA libs would say they don't need that training, but if they ever decide to do some hiking in Alaska, you better damned believe they'll need it.

CaptiousNut said...


A mid-sized rat.

I'm scared to go near the trap. The thing is pissed!

Will try to drown it tomorrow, that is, if it doesn't figure out how to escape, someone steals my trap, or the Chinese restaurateur doesn't find it.