The Squirrel Tale
The Squirrel Tale
So everyone is talking about the explosion of the squirrel population and the amount of road kill on the highways this summer. Experts are saying the population increase was due to the bumper acorn crop last year. That could be. But I think the number of causalities on the highway, particularly along the stretch of Parade Rd near Old North Main in Laconia can be attributed to home maintenance issues. So, follow this narrative and you can learn how to squirrel proof your home and avoid problems.
You see, I sold Bart and Sue a home over off Old North Main in Laconia a few year ago. It is a nice little ranch and Bart and Sue have really done a great job renovating it into an impeccably charming and desirable home. It is really beautiful.
Now, their problems started with the bird feeders…it usually does. While it is great to see the birds, the feeders attract the occasional bear but also hoards of squirrels and chipmunks. Pretty soon they had about twenty squirrels at the feeders. Since they live on a retiree’s budget they decided to take the feeders down to save some money.
A few days later after returning from the early bird special at the China Bistro, Bart and Sue walk through door and into the kitchen to find four squirrels at the dining room table eating nuts. The squirrels just looked at Bart and Sue with those beady little squirrel eyes…you know that look. Bart just stares and wonders where the booster seats came from and tries to understand how the squirrels got the nut jar open. Sue just wonders where they got the tiny dishes.
Sue was holding her eleven year old puppy Jebediah in her arms. Jebediah is basically blind and weights less than a squirrel soaking wet, but she got a whiff of squirrel smell and let out a bark like a Doberman. The squirrels’ eyes got big as saucers and they bolted off the chairs and scurried through a tear in the back door screen. That was the first home maintenance issue that caused a problem.
After that big commotion, Bart and Sue settled in for the evening, had a cup of hot chocolate, watched an episode of the Incredible Dr. Pol and the Walking Dead, and then retired to bed. Bart vowed to fix the screen the next day.
Just after jumping in bed, Bart could hear that dreaded scratching sound above the bedroom ceiling. He tried to ignore it but after thirty minutes he could stand it no longer. Creeping out into the hallway he pulled down the scuttle to the attic with the built-in ladder. He moved slowly so the big steel springs on the ladder didn’t go “boing.” He stealthily climbed the ladder with his trusty 32,200 candlepower Maglite and upon reaching the top he turned on the flame. Down at the gable end of the house, above the master bedroom, were eight sets of beady little eyes peering back at hm. He couldn’t believe his eyes. It looked like an old school dormitory down there with four miniature sets of bunk beds. Jebediah was now awake and running up and down the hall barking at Bart. The squirrels were startled, scrambled in circles and seemed to disappear down the corner of the attic like someone flushed a toilet.
Even with all that noise Sue was still asleep when Bart came down and grabbed his slippers from the bedroom. Sure enough, outside on the corner of the house Bart discovers a small hole chewed through the wall. Bart adds this hole to his repair list for the next day and notes to check for any other access points on other parts of his home.
Bart returns to the bedroom to find Sue wide awake now. He explains that they are under siege by these varmints. She says, “Bart, have a heart! They are just looking for food.” “Yes!” exclaims Bart, “I forgot, I have a ‘Have a Heart’ trap!” He jumps out of bed, rushes down to the basement, finds the trap, goes to the kitchen to get some nuts for bait, climbs back into the attic, and sets the trap. He’s sure he will capture one of them by morning.
Sure enough, bright and early Bart retrieves the trap with one of the varmints cowering inside. He decides he is going to relocate the critter miles away, but first he must make his repairs. It doesn’t take long to fix the screen and repair not one, but two, holes in his siding. He is now confident that his home is squirrel proof.
He loads the trap and captive squirrel into his trusty pickup truck which has been sitting most of the summer. He fires it up, backs out of the drive, and makes it to the end of his street when old Betsy coughs to a stop. It won’t start. He opens the hood and looks around. There are acorns everywhere! He takes off the air cleaner cover and finds that it finds the whole filter and housing are full of acorns! “Have-a-Heart-Bart” is now livid. He gets his truck started and takes the squirrel up Parade Road and pulls off the road where the big fields are up past Tavern 27. He opens the trap. You can probably guess the squirrel didn’t run into the woods, but rather into the middle of the road, stopped, faked left, faked right, and started left, and then thump. One less squirrel.
Bart returns home. He is emotionally drained. Looking up at his fine home he can’t believe his eyes as he just catches the end of a tail going through his gable end vent. “I gotta put a screen on that!” he angrily mutters to himself. Now, “Have-a-Heart-Bart” seizes his 12-gauge double barrel shotgun and mistakenly loads it with buckshot instead of bird-shot. Climbing up the attic ladder one more time he spots the wretched beast illuminated by the light coming in through the vent. He lets both barrels go at once. It was deadly. Satisfied, he climbs down the ladder and sees Sue standing there as white as a ghost. Bart softly says, “Got a few more holes to patch…” This is the real reason why squirrels are fleeing the Old North Main Street area and becoming road kill on Parade Road. I suspect similar events are happening all over the area…
There were 146 single family residential sales in the Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The averages sales price was $438,224 and the median price point was $312,000.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system while eating cashews…