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Battling the Enemy: perseverance

Embracing my inner Bill Murray in Caddyshack was my agenda this weekend.  The squirrels are back in my chimney and this time I am determined to put an end to this invasion.

As I walked up the driveway this morning I saw that chubby mama squirrel sitting atop my fence munching on a roll.  I told her, once and for all, “You don’t live here!”  Then I shook my keys at her.

She ran and dropped the roll which I quickly discarded in the new $100 garbage can with attached lid. Find breakfast at another house I thought.

This seems to be an ongoing battle with me and the neighborhood squirrels.  I can sense they know I am a widow, and must be lonely, so have decided to move into my chimney, again.  I know they are in the chimney because my dog Harry has been barking and shaking like a crazy Yorkie. This time I have partnered with Google and am ready for battle!

https://www.youtube.com/watch? To v=iR0sWU1HzTE

To rid squirrels from the chimney…


This is such an obvious method, it’s amazing it took me 8 months to try it!  My son and I made a torch, from part of a pizza box and grocery store flyer.  We opened the flue and carefully placed a smoking paper object into the fireplace. My son claims fire ignited from the nest above the flue and then smoke and heat burned the nesting at the top of my beautifully decorated chimney top. This is a good start.


After spending a few minutes googling squirrels in chimneys we watched a young man pull a squirrel from the chimney with safety gloves. I don’t think I’d like to try that.

Next we read about these supersonic plugin type things designed to deter rodents. I’d have to order them and I needed immediate satisfaction. Then I read that squirrels don’t like loud noise, especially static from the radio. I searched and found the old clock radio, placed it at the bottom of the fireplace and found the most annoying sound I could. Even I left the house.


So it happens that my yard is surrounded by black walnut trees and guess who loves eating black walnuts? Squirrels. So for the past 11 years we all lived happily together on the 1/8 acre plot but those days are over. I spent 3 hours on Saturday cleaning the yard of all debris including leaves, nuts and seeds. They like garbage too so I put out massive amounts of yard stuff. There is no place to hide!


I have a trap. It is a kind trap. It’s even called ‘Havahart’. You put a bottle cap of peanut butter in the middle and safely capture the little offender.

That’s where the problem occurs. I assumed I could take the fat little rodent off to a nearby park so she could build her nest in a tree, LIKE SHE SHOULD. However the chimney guy told me that in New York State catching and releasing squirrels is illegal and you can be fined up to $5000. Yikes. So what do I do if I catch one? Apparently drowning them is OK. As if…next…


Once again I called the chimney cleaners, for a chimney I never light a fire in. They are scheduled for Monday to remove bricks from my fancy chimney top. The plan is to remove the nesting. It costs more to remove the squirrels as well but hopefully they will be out and about at that time of day. Next they will insert a stainless steel netting inside the top of the chimney to keep these invaders out, seal up the bricks and hand me a bill.

The battle of the squirrels continues but after the damage they did to my house last spring once the babies arrived, I am determined to be proactive. Being a homeowner is great. As a widow I suddenly have to make all these decisions on my own. I can use Google and friends to figure out the best approach. Sometimes you can get a recommendation from a friend. It’s great when that works out, but sometimes it doesn’t. Anyway, I’ll be investing a bit of money to insure Squirrel Babes in Springtime does not have a return performance in my home. http://runawaywidow.blog/2017/04/22/runaway-from-home-look-who-moves-in/

Wish me luck.


At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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8 Responses

  1. Leslie says:

    After all your efforts I am surprised that you still had to call in the experts!

  2. liz says:

    As a fellow single woman I hear you. Nothing we can’t do though! You tube and Google have taught me well how to deal with Sprickets! Right up there with Squirrels I think…

  3. bestylechic says:

    Amazing blog

  4. cedar51 says:

    I’ve never seen a squirrel up close – we don’t have them in New Zealand, not even in zoos…but we do have other critters that are just as pesky – however, they don’t build nests (usually in a chimney)

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