Squirrels Are Eating My Car

Squirrel Car

The little deviant

The other day, I popped the hood on my car to fill up the windshield washer fluid tank.  As I lifted it open, a squirrel blasted out like a jack in the box.  Needless to say, I swore like a sailor, almost had a heart attack and nearly fell off my driveway into the neighbor’s yard.  Mercifully no one was to around to bear witness.

The fuzzball had gathered several pounds of leaves and sticks into some kind of nest right on top of the motor.  Muttering curses, I grabbed the leaf blower and proceeded to jam it in every available opening to clean out the mess.  And was again grateful that no one was outside to see me in action.

I’ve been opening the hood every time I get in the car now to make sure it’s un-nested.  I also hold the garbage can lid in front of me like a medieval shield.  Wouldn’t want to get attacked by another murderous rodent.  Fortunately, there has not been a repeat offense but Richie, the father unit, made a good suggestion on checking out options for deterring this in the future; via some online searching.  And wow was I in luck.  Not only have other people had this issue, they’ve had the benefit of suggestions from every nitwit on the ‘net.   Here are some faves:

I have heard that ferret urine will deter squirrels. A local pest-control guy I know uses it on cotton balls and places them in spaces where squirrels have nested…He gets the used litter from ferret cages at the pet store. Maybe get some from your local pet store and seal it in a bag with a towel and let it marinate for a day or so. Then place the towel under the truck or wherever you think might be the fuzzer’s point of entry.

Ferret urine.  In a bag with a towel to marinate. Into the FUZZER’S point of entry.  Hmmm.

Rags soaked with ammonia are a good deterrent — stuff them in all the openings where the squirrel could be getting in.

Stuff ammonia soaked rags into ALL the openings a squirrel could get in.  I’m not a chemist but this one just reeks of Darwin award.

Set…mouse traps in the engine compartment and around the car. Bait them with peanut butter, cheese or bacon. Roast the bait with a match or lighter to increase its aroma.

I’m conflicted here.  What’s more absurd – mouse traps in your engine bay or ROASTING the peanut butter before setting them?

This might sound a bit daft, but if you have a cat and you can leave it under the bonnet for a night, that could frighten the squirrel away.

bit daft?  Stuff a cat under the hood for a night. See what happens to you when you re-open it.  Clearly, this clown has never been around cats.

Should have put the nest in a more respectable place. if you get a nest again have a cardboard box ready for it. don’t throw it away, or 2 boxes (one inside another) so it will appear warm for the thing. you can then feed it sometimes and use the trap once it has your trust.

I had to re-read this one a few times since it was written by a narcoleptic monkey on acid.  I’m gathering the writer was upset the poster had tossed the nest he found.  But these elements:  “warm for the thing” – “feed it sometimes” – “use the trap once it has your trust” leave me slightly afraid.

Have any experience in this arena? Got anything to add?  I’ll be sure to pass it along in response to this mind bender of an internet question.

photo credit: daveboudreau via photopin cc

How To: Control Thy Road Rage

Road RageAfter 13ish years behind the wheel, I’m very proud of myself and how far I’ve come in dealing with road rage.  Maybe in places like Montana and Mongolia, road rage doesn’t exist but in places like New Jersey it’s real.  I come from a long line of Road Ragers so after achieving my license, I was unknowingly embarking down a road of, well, rage.

Rather than throw my entire raging lineage under the bus I’ll share just one story.  It’s about my sister, Caroline, and it’s really more funny than OMG and it will explain my genetic pre-disposition to freaking out on the road.

Several years ago, Caroline called the Father Unit to chit-chat.  He was unavailable so Caroline left him a voicemail.  It went something like this:

“Hey Dad, it’s Caroline.  Just calling to say hi and see what you’re up to.  I’m going to WHAT THE F*CK!!  YOU STUPID AS*HOLE!! ARE YOU F*CKING BLIND!! I AM GOING TO F*CKING MURDER YOU!! GOD DAMN SH*T!! SONOFABIT*H!!!!!”

The transition from normal, happy Caroline to insane, blood thirsty Caroline was as startling as it was hilarious.  Of course I am exactly the same in this regard but as I mentioned, have come a long way (and so has Caroline).

I decided that having apoplectic explosions every time someone drives like an idiot is not good for my health and well being.  Given the number of idiots behind the wheel, the frequency of my rage was quite high.

So, instead of flying into a vein-popping episode of madness, I’ve resorted to a much more enjoyable response.  When I am treated to some jack ass driving like a moron, I:

  1. Take a deep breath and smile
  2. Let the jack ass finish their maneuver without a whisper of a beep
  3. Pull up beside the offender and gently honk to gain their attention
  4. Throw 2 big thumbs up, flash a wide-mouth court jester grin and yell something to the effect of “Say chap, you’re really GOOD at driving!”

80% of the time, the feeling of being mocked is instantly identified and they fly into a wild rage, incensed that I have just critiqued their driving skills.  The other 20% of the time, I’m met with a blank look which confirms my suspicion of Tiny Brain Syndrome.

To reiterate, I’m really high on myself for this much improved road rage response.   Why freak out when you can smile and enjoy your day? I never understood the phrase “Don’t suffer fools gladly” until I read Plato’s 4th Doctrine.  His interpretation is that when someone is being an asshole, don’t let it get you down.  Instead, gently inform them of their status as an asshole.  Plato was ahead of his time.

Author Disclaimer: I am a perfect driver and never do anything stupid behind the wheel.

photo credit: PDXdj via photopin cc