Posthumous Advice

A friend called today. Someone we’ve known since we were itty bitty kids. He wanted to hear a friendly voice, and I was honored that he called me. Our conversation settled in on vermin. We are both dealing with squirrels, which he catches and drowns in a cistern. His experience is that as soon as he eradicates 1-3, many more appear. Many years ago he asked my late father-in-law why this was happening. Dr. Leo said, “Squirrels are very territorial. As soon as an Alfa squirrel evaporates from his area, three others are going to move in and try to take over.” Well shit, doesn’t that make sense! I know now not to deploy my traps 🐿.

Instead I’ve been employing all sorts of mechanical deterrents in my pots:

  • Hazel nut shells.
  • Crushed red pepper.
  • Bone meal.
  • Dried blackberry twigs.
  • Wax pepper spray.
  • Bird netting and chicken wire over raised beds.
  • Granules made of putrified egg and garlic.
  • Marigolds.
  • I’ve stopped feeding the crows and jays for the moment, and when I resume, will toss the peanuts with cayenne. Birds can’t taste it, squirrels can’t stand it.

That’s a lot of counter-measures before pulling out the traps… Which Leo would tell me not to.

It was good to hear Leo’s advice more than 5.5 years after his passing. He was a treasure. 💕

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