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« Edible San Francisco: The Third Article Is In! | Main | Wendell Berry in conversation with Michael Pollan »

27 August 2006


Shuna -- I suppose it could have been a squirrel, but before blaming all of the Rockies in the world, try to consider that it was (ugh) a rat. All over the Bay Area this summer everyone's having trouble with roof rats. They hide in ivy, climb trees, get into attics, squeeze themselves into spaces one thinks impossibly small......Keep an eye out for the awful rats, ask around your neighborhood to see whether anyone else is having problems....I really don't see a squirrel opening candy....And maybe the bitterness of the walnut shells drove whichever varmint it was back out of your house!....Yeah, I know I sound like Pollyanna, but be glad it wasn't a raccoon, who would really trash the whole place, or ---- a skunk.
PS Betcha felt better after writing.

She might have felt better for writing it until she read your note!

I believe you timed your post to pop up at the exact same moment you dived into a Lafayette pool with all thoughts of squirrels far from your mind. Owen pointed a squirrel out to me - it was on his front lawn as we were winding down. I think he mentioned he hated them too. In fact I seem to recall him muttering something about wishing he had an air rifle [sorry - don't know how to spell the american word for that] so that he could make a squirrel pie.

Hi Shuna,

I think Kudzu is right - roof rats. We had some invade our garage and they ate a whole box of chocolate calcium chews right through the foil.They chew through wood and are smart and opportunistic. I can certainly relate to that feeling of your home being violated -it really freaked me out. I have to say, compared to the hideous river rats of my childhood, roof rats are about as cute as a rat gets (I used live traps, being one of those awful vegetarians). That said, I'd keep my windows shut if I were you. Good luck.

There's a squirrel that has his secret nut hiding place right outside my office window. He doesn't know I've been spying on him. If you want, I can go out and ransack it and take little bites out of his nuts. That'll show those squirrels!

Feel I need to defend my advice. I didn't mean to freak you out more than you were freaked....If you want to leave windows open, get screens. I would practice caution against firearms (by the way, Sam, you were right except that they're usually called BB guns here; they are still illegal)....At least we don't have bears.

OK, let me get something absolutely straight here.

I came home, opened the door, saw a squirrel, niblet in hands and mouth leap from my front table to the floor, look back at me, try and figure out what to do, leap onto an orchid, tip it over and manage to get out the window, 2 stories up, that was open TWO INCHES WIDE!!!!!!!

I called my landlord, she called screen people--- now all my windows but 2 have permanent screens on them. The rest will be done soon.

This squirrel post? It is not about a rat, a cat, a raccoon, a skunk, a bear or a possom. No. It is about the squirrel that I saw with my own eyes in my own house.

PS Yes, I did feel better after writing. And cleaning every square inch of anything that fucker might have touched for FIVE HOURS.

Wow. *Hug*
I remember I wrote a post much like this about the UPS man once.
BTW: You have every right to be angry, and it's totally cool.

oh, UGH. That is the absolute pits. I would be hating every squirrel in the world with hot, blinding rage if that had happened to me. Big hugs to you, and here's hoping your home goes back to feeling like your home, unvandalized and uninvaded, SOON.

This was wildly funny. The photo documentation was beyond of each sordid act was beyond. But you played it for more than laughs. It was like meeting the buddha in the middle of the road or something. (what do you do if you meet the buddha in the middle of the road? You kill it, right?). You were raging and barking and then you were overtaken by some kind of....epiphany? What an unlikely messenger. Have fun scrubbing and spraying.

Yes, I saw it too...
Stupid Squirrel!

OMG. I laughed. I cried. I loaded my gun.

I don't know if this will comfort you, but I once read that the reason that squirrels hide their nuts all over the land is because they don't have the memory capacity to "have" a single hiding place. Perhaps this creature won't remember to return to your pad for his next looting. God willing.

Oh Gosh...when I went to SF the most surprising thing was to see windows open to the world with no St. Louis we are screened in against flying insects. I thought it must be wonderful!!! I didn't think about squirrels.


Whull, at least your legs weren't covered in wasps.
What kind of crazy apple did you leave in my pocket?


A commiserating squirrelecdote: I was living in Brooklyn in an old brownstone house that was plagued with squirrels on the roof, in the walls, all over the place. I unthinkingly left the kitchen window (opening out onto the fire escape) open one night, and in the morning woke to a noise which was a squirrel wandering nonchalantly through the kitchen, the living room, and into my bedroom. Yes, I screamed, jumped out of bed, ran and got the upstairs neighbor who came down wearing gumboots and armed with a which time the squirrel had vanished out the window from whence s/he came. I'm sure the only reason the marauder left with so little damage was because I was actually home during the break-in...

I hate when people use chef as a verb. "Hey big fellow, you still cheffin' over there at that fancy restaurant?"
But I love Eggbeater!

The same thing happened to me when I lived in SF.
A four-legged intruder busted in my dog door and ate an entire 10# block of dark chocolate. I blamed it on a racoon, since squirrels are so cute and fuzzy with those big, bushy tails and adorable, sweet brown eyes.

And racoons are mean-ass motherf%$kers.

At least in SF, the vermin have good taste.

SUPER EXCELLENT WRITING!! So great to explode all that hate into funny, true, and truly loving words!! A real gift to your readers, and the many responses proce how happy we are to get it. Thank you, Shuna!

Thank goodness we don't have squirrels in australia! I'm surprised they like chocolate... and fancy french chocolate too. that's one heck of a gourmet squirrel!

Urban Vermin do seem to have quite a palate! I have seen mice and squirrels go straight for the best chocolate, even when other foods are easier to get to!

Shuna--you need a cat.

A nice big, bravo cat, who will take care of that skulking vermin, whether it be squirrel or roof rat, for you.

Of course, then, you might have a body to clean up afterwards, but at least you'd know that the thieving little furball had gotten what was coming to him or her.

Great post, btw....thanks for sharing.

Got screens yet?

At least screens keep them out. Our problem here in New Mexico is mice. They can squeeze under the door in 1/4" of space. I hate those meeces to pieces.

That squirrel's ancestors weren't here before us, either. Those reddish squirrels we get in citise and'burbs are Eastern fox squirrels, and they've pretty much driven the native grays out of town. You can still see grays in Marin, but the ones in town are fox squirrels.

We had one break into our place in Berkeley years ago; it bit big bites out of the perfectly ripe pears -- one each -- and raided the pantry, knocked over the plants, scattered the papers, and chewed a big hole in the windowsill. We ID'ed it by the tracks it left. Apparently it came down the stovepipe.

There are recipes around for Brunswick stew, you know, and someone mentioned his Acadian memere's squirrel stomach pie on a listserv I'm on, last month. Alas, Memere's too far gone to give him the recipe. You make it in fall, when the stomachs are full of nuts.

You call yourself a squirrel hater? every time I kill a squirrel i put a penny in a dish to keep track of how many. That change dish is now a coffee can 7/8 of the way full.


I feel exactly the same way. Five of these awful creatures have dropped into our chimney (we couldn't find a company who could make a cap to keep them out) over the last 8 years. Finally found someone who took care of it, no more squirrels in the chimney. But I still hate them, hate them, hate them!

I HATE CRITTERS! I think all rodents and bugs - namely roaches, should be banished from the face of this earth. I see no purpose in their existence (at least not im my world). All they do is harbor disease, filth and cause people to become crazed and paranoid beings. Thank you for sharing your squirrel invasion story. I had a mouse in the house and that stirred up all kinds of craziness in me. DAMN YOU MOUSE! Least now, I'm better at cleaning everything.

T'was definitely squirrels! Believe it or not, I had something quite similar happen to me in college: They came in thru my window via an oak tree, gnawed on all of my Blow Pops (lollipops) (even hid one under my pillow!!!), ate half of my sandwich and plastered confetti from my perfume case all over the damn oak tree at heights that only a squirrel could have reached. The exterminator got rid of them after their little bowl-a-rama event in the attic early one Saturday morning. I know these little buggers and I feel your pain!


Thank you for hating squirrels. I had one come into my office through a fireplace. It tracked suet all over my beige furniture.
It made a noise like it was posssesed, now I am afraid of my office and I am a therapist

A Squirrel got into our house today, it broke into our house, the window was open but we have a screen, it chewed through it and ate our bread

LOL~I love squirrels...I am certified/permitted to rehab wildlife in my state, so I have an appreciation for them that not everyone can agree with. As much as I adore the cute critters~I have to admit, I also appreciate your frustration & was humored while reading your 'loving' rant :) On the surface, your disgusted, but deep down somewhere in your heart, you admit the little guy was just findin' a bite to eat~ he didn't realize the impact his trespass would have on you~I'm sure he's sorry, if that helps :) lol. (& more than thanks you for the fine chocolates!)
In reply to the comment about them having a 'short' memory~sorry to say, but you've been misled. He will remember EXACTLY where he found the great buffet & will most likely make a return visit.
Thanks for the entertaining read.
Have a great day!

Squirrels....furry little fuckers! I have flower beds, with lots of flowers. Almost. The beds were nicely arranged with the most beautiful pictures of bulbs and bedded with an offsetting orangish cedar mulch. Three hundred dollars worth. The next morning, it looked like a friggin moon scape! Holes....hundreds of holes! I was so pissed! I've been battling these 2 lb monsters for months. Nothing works. Ive tried blood (not theirs....YET),Franks Red Hot Sauce, chilli pepper, black pepper, garlic, onions, even Decon. THEY EAT THE FUCKIN DECON LIKE CANDY! I'm beginning to feel like Bill fuckin Murry. GRRRRRR. They are driving me nuts. So I thought chocolate covered nuts. The chocolate! That will kill em. Nope, they love it. I cant feed them to keep them away from the bulbs, they invite their neighbors, then dig up the fresh tender roots of my bushes for desert. I could get a dog, but then the dog digs holes, craps and pees all over the beautifully manicured turf, and barks until I go bonkers with that. These are not ordinary squirrels...they are from the hood and are city hardened to every trick. I am relegated to either letting these bastards have their way and rape my yard, or get the BB gun and eliminate them. I guess if a human walked into my yard and did one tenth the damage these furry monsters do, he would most certainly at the least end with an ass whoopin, at the most, a cap in his ass. I HATE SQUIRRELS!!!!!!!!

This is too funny. A squirrel broke in to my apartment yesterday through a broken screen and got into a bag of M&Ms that were sitting on my dining room table. There were half eaten M&Ms all over the place! Then, he pooped on my windowsill and left, hopped up on chocolate.

The funniest part was whe I caught him trying to re-enter through the same window (now smartly closed) this morning. We eyed one another through the relative safetly of the glass, and I told him that due to his appalling behavior yesterday, he is simply not welcome in my home at any point in the future.

You know I found this post because I have squirrels driving me crazy, living in my ceiling. I found some ways to trap them and get rid of them -haven't done it yet-but when I came across your post I laughed my fucking ass off. You made me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one who's life has been intruded on by these annoying little shits. Made me feel like it's a little more humorous now. I don't like to kill any living thing but the damn things have crossed that threshold where I will actually enjoy murdering the little pricks when I get a chance. They started a mini war. They drew first blood, not me...... Show no mercy!

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