SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – I’ve been called many things over the years and not all of which were flattering, but one that my wife likes to use is “The Great White Hunter.” Not that I actually hunt, but whenever I go fishing she always assumes I’ll come back with nothing but stories of the ones that got away, which happens more often than not. A recent incident, however, put her sarcasm to rest once and for all.
We had been hearing noises coming from the crawl space behind the wall of one of our upstairs rooms so I decided it was time to investigate. Cutting a hole in a wall inside one of the closets, I crawled into the area and sure enough found evidence of a visitor or visitors, small droppings and a few half eaten acorns. Not knowing what kind of animal it was I called a local exterminator who came the next day and said it was larger than a mouse so it was something beyond his expertise, and that I should call a company that specializes in wildlife.
Following the man’s suggestion, I looked in the yellow pages for such an enterprise and called, only to find that their initial visit for investigation would cost several hundreds of dollars and for each animal they caught, assuming there was more than one, there would be an additional charge of about $70 for disposal of the animal. Hmmm… it sounded rather expensive and since there was no telling how many animals we were talking about, I decided to try to catch the thing or things myself by buying a trap (as the exterminator had also mentioned).
Of course I didn’t know how big the animal was but I assumed it was smaller than a bear so I bought a trap that was designed to catch squirrels and rats. I read the simple instructions, baited the thing with peanut butter and cheese, set it up inside the crawl space and waited, hoping against hope that I’d be successful. Successful? Within a few hours I went upstairs, looked into the crawl space, and there was an animal that looked like a chipmunk, but gray instead of orange striped. It was cute as heck and I was glad it hadn’t been harmed in any way, but naturally had to be disposed of.
I took the cage and its occupant for a ride and released it in the woods several miles from my home in the hopes it wouldn’t be able to find its way back. Of course I was afraid the thing might jump out and attack me once released, but it just ran away and climbed a nearby tree, never to be seen again.
Going home, I baited and set the trap a second time just to be on the safe side, and sure enough the next morning there was another gray and furry critter in the trap. Wow, the trap worked better than I ever imagined it would. Again I took my cute little captive for a ride to a different location and set it free, watching it immediately scamper away to wherever. So far that would have cost me $140 had I hired the animal control experts, and who knows how many more of those things there were living in my house.
Those things… yeh what were they? I searched the Internet and determined that though they looked like a chipmunk with the same kind of tail, they were actually baby squirrels. Well to make a long story short I caught eight of those little devils within the next week before the trap finally remained empty for several days thereafter, even though I baited it with new delectables each evening. They were eliminated, never to be heard from or seen again, I hope. Never fool with the “Great White Hunter.”