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Corona Diaries: the squirrelageddon saga

May 6, 2020

Two diary entries today. This one on a personal note. A bit later, you guessed it, back to politics.

Yesterday I had a George W Bush moment. You might remember the scene after the invasion of Iraq when Dubya lands on an aircraft carrier and, decked out in a flying suit, announces “Mission Accomplished”. We all know what happened afterwards.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will know that over the past few months we’ve been fighting a losing battle against squirrels that have made a temporary home in our loft.

We’ve tried many stratagems to get them to leave and thereby spare us from being woken up by scratching in our bedroom ceiling at two in the morning or at other equally inconvenient times.

In this time of plague, it’s hard to find anyone prepared to come over, seal the eaves, plant landmines on the rafters or sell us a ghetto-blaster with movement-activated Led Zeppelin tracks.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been tempted to buy an air rifle. But up to now we’ve resorted to non-lethal methods of persuading the squirrels to go forth and multiply elsewhere. They include external and internal ultrasound rodent repellants and an infrared camera intended to help us understand our enemy more clearly. Not to mention my wife banging on the ceiling and screaming Celtic curses at them whenever she hears a noise (apart from at two in the morning of course)

All efforts failed until we installed the camera. In itself it was useless. We thought we were installing the equivalent of military-grade night vision goggles (too many episodes of Homeland I guess). But what we got was a foggy darkness in which nothing could be seen other than a few grey smudges which were not moving, so they couldn’t have been squirrels. In retrospect, what more should you expect for twenty-five quid?

So we decided to put a light up there. It’s not a usable space, so we didn’t have one before. We’ve left it on day and night for the past three days.

And breakthrough. Not a sound of little feet scampering back and forth. No scratching. No nothing.

From which we concluded that these are vampire squirrels. They don’t like the light. Could it be that we’d accidentally stumbled on the ultimate deterrent? If so, it would have been surprising that it was something as simple as a light bulb.

But then, as I’ve also mentioned before, my little town was wiped out by the Martians in HG Wells’ War of the Worlds. And was it not the introduction of the common cold – a coronavirus – that sent the invaders and their lethal handling machines crashing to the ground?

So perhaps the fact that accidental discoveries led to defeat of squirrels and Martians might point the way towards an end of our current battle with COVID-19? Unlikely, but you never know.

Alas, as Dubya also discovered, my moment of triumph was premature. The bastards are back. Presumably this is the second wave.

From → Books, History, UK

  1. Steve, your mistake was to shine the light ON them, not IN them.

    And as for sealing the Eves – would you take away the one pleasure that remains to us ? For ‘eaven’s sake !

    • Ah. So where can I get hold of a bit of polonium?

    • By the way, you’re right about Eve. I’d be very sad to see her premature death. Eaves, on the other hand, are another matter…

  2. deborah a moggio permalink

    Have you tried a hunter’s camera? Motion activated, take pictures day and night… ?

    • I’d prefer one that takes pics of cuddly tiger cubs and pangolins where the end game is not killing them. And anyway, a hunter would laugh at the one I installed.

  3. deborah a moggio permalink

    A friend of mine is using one here at the home of a neighbor who is convinced that someone is coming into her yard and taking wood. So far, the only one on the pictures taking wood is she herself.
    useful just for identification and perhaps finding out how/where they are getting in, no?
    The point is that the animal should be visible on these both day and night.

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