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Animal Control

October 29, 2013

I had a disturbing experience while slogging through my morning run yesterday. No, it wasn’t the overly-gory Halloween decorations that my neighbor has up (seriously? decapitated heads? WHY), it was the MULTITUDE of squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and rabbits made unnaturally bold by their anxiety about winter. The squirrels were the worst–I was within 2 or 3 feet of many of them before they scurried away, and I must have seen over a hundred on my 30 minute run.

Not to mention the deranged squirrel who has spent hours chewing on my front porch every day for the past month. What is going on here?

If you are similarly freaked out by your local wildlife, here are some tips to keep critters from digging up your bulbs, chewing on your Jack O’ Lanterns (or porch), or eating all your birdseed.

1. Hang up some barn owl houses (like these). Bringing in some natural predators is an easy way to permanently get rid of rodents, without feeling guilty. It’s the circle of life!

2. Sprinkle cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce around your bulbs and on your pumpkins. Squirrels don’t like it and will avoid the area.

3. Give them a better alternative. Place a squirrel collar on your bird feeder, or buy a special squirrel-proof feeder, and then place an easier target someplace far away–a corn cob on a tree branch or a suet block will keep them away from hard-to-get birdseed.

4. Tune a radio to the news. If you suspect that animals are hanging out in your attic, you can scare them off by placing a radio in the area, and then tuning it to a talk station.

5.  Spread some mothballs around. The smell will repel squirrels from the area.

Image: Nutty for Squirrel, $20

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