Monday, October 9, 2017

Battle of Wills (Escalation of War)


No I am not referring to the leaders of North Korea and our Current Occupant. Rather I am referring to the war closer to home, in fact, right next to and underneath my home. It all started this summer when I noticed a few ground squirrels living in the rose garden in the back of our house. Though they were digging holes into the ground underneath them, they weren't hurting them so I adopted a live and let live policy. However during the recent picnic I discovered that one had evidently chewed through a perimeter drain tile that comes through a retaining wall that wings out from the house and was bring lots of clay out and piling on my lawn. My worry is that instead of water draining through the tile, it would now go through the dug holes next to the foundation and cause problems. I set some mole traps near the holes and eventually took care of the problem. Or so I thought.

I filled in those holes all around the rose garden and they haven't been dug out. Instead, another one has taken to digging out underneath where my concrete driveway meets the garage. Now it isn't as critical of an area but again, they were digging out copious amounts of gravel and dirt which leaves the driveway unsupported and eventually can break creating a pothole. I flooded the ground squirrel out with a water hose and filled the hole back in with gravel thinking he would move on. That didn't work. I set the mole traps again. He was smarter and dug around the sides of it. I filled it in and placed concrete bricks on top of the area. He dug under or around those. I did a better job of putting the bricks in and still the guy kept digging around them.

So I escalated the war and spent five bucks for a bag of concrete and after digging a huge hole so that I could shove as much of the gravel back underneath the slab, I plugged the entire area to a depth of a foot with concrete. I'm not sure what will happen next but if I had a smallish version of a nuclear bomb, I might do some test explosions to let him know I'm serious!

P.S. I had secretly hoped I had entombed the ground squirrel underneath my driveway but the next day when I went out to check if my plug of concrete worked, I saw the scene below. He is still around somewhere but as of a week after writing this, he isn't burrowed underneath my driveway and that was my goal.


11 comments:

sage said...

I'm reminded of Bill Murray in Caddlyshack! Here, we have problems with marsh rats. I have caught many under the house and then realized that one of the HVAC units had a two inch gap under it that led under the house (and probably had been that way since hte unit was installed in 2011). I placed screen around the unit and through I had it nipped but found they were still getting under the house. I then realized they had chewed through the screen so I replaced it with heavy wired screen and hope they won't get back and if they do, they'll have some serious dental issues.

Ed said...

Sage - The thought of that movie has crossed my mind as well. Fortunately I think I have this house mouse proof since I haven't seen a sign of them in the five years since we moved in.

Kelly said...

All our squirrels are the tree variety, but they still can cause problems close to the house. We also have occasional problems with moles and rats.

You may have to consider getting a dog or cat. ;)

Ed said...

Kelly - In all my life, I have only seen a handful of ground squirrels, until I moved to this place. There was a pair living in some old landscaping behind the house and the kids enjoyed watching them. However when we kicked them out in the process of redoing that old landscaping, I thought they would move on and was sadly mistaken. I think my live and let live policy let them multiply to the point they have expanded their home by a factor of ten now. It is time to fight back before they do serious damage.

Kelly said...

I have a relative who live-traps critters like this and releases them far away. Problem is, they're territorial and by doing that, you might be inflicting a far worse fate on them by dropping them in "foreign" areas. As cruel as it sounds, maybe best to eliminate from the get-go. When they're causing real damage to your property, you almost have to.

Vince said...

Hard to believe it's 5 years since you moved.

Ed said...

Kelly - It's unfortunate when it has to come to that

Vince - Time flies fast!

Bob said...

I've done battle with squirrels (the tree kind) for years. I've been up on having a bird feeder because of them. They got in our attic and we had to get the folks Kelly describes to get rid of them. They build a nest behind the basketball goal mounted above our garage. And on and on.

They need to be dealt with swiftly and deliberately. Good luck to you and if you defeat them, you're a better man than I!

Leigh said...

I'm grinning but it's mostly from relief it's you and not me! We have our own critter battles, so I know it's not as humorous as you make it sound. It's a fine line between co-existing in balance and a destructive take-over. I always have questions in my mind either way.

Susan said...

What a great account of Man vs. Ground Squirrel. Our problem here is the red squirrel. They are certifiably insane. Very much like the two aforementioned 'leaders'.

Ed said...

Bob - I've never had a problem with the tree squirrels but the ground squirrel is a different story. I've seen more of him in the last couple weeks than at any time in my life. I wonder since it is dry here and the hawks are closer to water sources if that has made them more brave.

Leigh - I find humor in just about any situation, even if it leaves me steaming out the ears at times!

Susan - So far it is Ground Squirrel so far ahead in the punch count that Man is swinging wildly hoping for a knockout!