Squirrels - grey menace

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Tuesday 5 November 2002 11.02am
I planted some bulbs in pots on my balcony a few weeks ago, but I've just discovered they've been dug up by squirrels. I've put wire mesh on the pots for the time being (I hope that will keep them out, but they're still using my balcony as a playground). Is anyone else plagued by squirrels? Any ideas how I can get rid of them?
Tuesday 5 November 2002 12.31pm
I do sympathise, however I love having them around in my communal gardens. They bring a welcome element of nature / countryside to urban life.
Tuesday 5 November 2002 12.41pm
Grey squirrels are a complete menace. The best way to deal with them is with a cage trap, see http://www.traps.freeuk.com/squirrel-traps.htm for where to buy one mail order in the UK. The best thing about a cage trap (a live trap) is that if you catch the wrong sort of animal (cat, dog etc.), you can release them with no harm done.

When you catch your squirrel, remember that it is illegal to release grey squirrels into the wild in the UK - they're non-native and have pushed out red squirrels.

Just as an aside, when you watch animal rescue programmes on the telly, and they 'rescue' injured squirrels, repair them and release them, they are breaking the law.

And as another aside, they make good eating so they don't need to go to waste - just casserole them.
Tuesday 5 November 2002 8.59pm
Gosh Countryside Fan you are full of fab ideas. Mmmmm squirrel casserole - just let me finish the fox roadkill stew and manky pigeon pie first...
Wednesday 6 November 2002 10.48am
Thanks Countryside Fan - but if I do catch one and I can't release it into the wild - what am I supposed to do with it?
Wednesday 6 November 2002 12.15pm
apparently, if you are not confident / inhumane enough to kill it yourself, you may take it to a vet for a humane despatch. I think you can hire traps from some places. Do remember that it is also illegal to inhumanely kill the animal (drowning / stabbing etc).
Wednesday 6 November 2002 1.35pm
what about moggies roaming around everywhere, decimating british wildlife, making racket at dawn every day and digging up all my plants - at least squirrels are wild(ish) animals - cats are just other peoples pe(s)ts!
Wednesday 6 November 2002 2.03pm
Speaking as a marmalade moggy myself, I say to Helen: "That's fighting talk!". We cats provide a very real public service by preventing your neighbourhood from being overrun by scary mice, snakes and other nasty vermin. Hey, we'll even have a go at the grey squirrels for you when the mood strikes. And we provide free lap-warming, relaxation and purring services.

As far as digging up your garden, at least we don't eat your daffodils. We just move them around and, er, fertilize them a bit. So where do you expect us to "go"? On the pavement like those disgusting canines? Ugh!

Anyway, as far as Seb's problem is concerned, I think that Countryside Fan should saddle up his hunter, don his Pinks and form The Bermondsey Squirrel Hunt. What a rousing sight that would be for a Boxing Day morn!

Um, sorry about the dawn chorus, but that was a result of a little too much catnip at Belushi's last night. It won't happen again. I promise.

Wednesday 6 November 2002 3.12pm
grey squirrels are vermin and foxes too.
I'm not talking aboutthe lovely country side types, I'm talking about the less healthy, less hygenic, less attractive city type.

They scutter about the estate where I live with hairless patches all over them raiding bins and attacking peoples pets.

I am going to get a cattapult and sort them out.
Wednesday 6 November 2002 6.20pm

Seb, you could try a good air pistol at point blank range which should do the job (just mind the pellet doesn't bounce off the cage and hit you. Alternatively a good pair of tough gloves and a piece of iron piping. I think horses and a pack of hounds would be a little OTT, and the BSH is unlikely to get off the ground! Bow and arrow or catapult might work too, good luck Darwish.

London ones probably better not eaten, like feral pigeons.

Grey squirrels are vermin wherever they are; sadly it's a bit late to eradicate them completely from the UK. They have made our native red squirrel (much prettier than the greys) almost extinct. As they always say about the Americans, 'over sexed and over here'!

As for urban foxes, the poor, poor things. They are infested with mange, and they never know the joy of a good chase through the countryside after a rabbit or a mouse. Whatever you do, don't even think of 'returning' them to the country, they are unable to survive as they have never learned to hunt anything other than McDonalds wrappers.

By the way, are you sure that the cats do belong to your neighbours, rather than being wild cats?
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