7 Things You Must Know About Stupid Squirrels

January 28, 2016 | By | Comments (41)

Photo: modernfarmer.com

Squirrels are the bane of human existence. Everyone accepts this. Yet many are unaware of crucial issues related to dealing with these insufferable fluff-rats that can hopefully one day lead to their total annihilation. Therefore, Grumpy answers seven critical questions that millions of squirrel-haters are asking today.

Question #1: Would eradicating squirrels from North America cause any environmental catastrophe?

Answer: I don’t know and I don’t care. I still think it’s a goal worth pursuing. We wiped out the dodo, passenger pigeon, and wooly mammoth and the world still turns. And none of them were remotely as annoying as squirrels. If we all stick together, we can do this.

Question #2: Why are there so many stupid squirrels anyway?

Answer: As with deer, many more squirrels exist today than when Columbus landed in the New World in 1492. The reason? Misguided, evil squirrel lovers provide these demons with everything they need to survive and thrive — food (bird feeders), water (birdbaths), and shelter (attics). Thus, if you want to find squirrels, a forest wilderness is the last place to look. Look in the burbs. Every other shade tree holds a squirrel nest. I’m currently searching the web for a flame thrower-wielding drone to address this problem. Maybe something like this.


Question #3: What real harm do stupid squirrels do?

Answer: They gobble all the seeds in your bird feeder. They rob plants of just-ripened apples, tomatoes, and other fruits and leave them partially gnawed on the ground to rot. They dig up your seedlings and eat your bulbs. They sneak into your attic, chew on your wires, and burn down your house. They also carry fleas, ticks, mites, parasites, and horrible diseases like rabies that can make you look like this poor girl.

Rabies victim

Pitiful victim of fatal squirrel disease. Photo: imgarcade.com

Question #4: What are some good ways to keep squirrels out of my attic?

Answer: Removing your attic always works, but then the house gets drafty. If you have gutters, install gutter guards. Squirrels often get into the attic by getting in the gutters and gnawing a hole in the fascia board of the soffit. Metal gutter guards prevent this. Spreading poison bait in the attic sounds like fun, but if a squirrel dies up there, it won’t be. Traps are another alternative. Sunflower seeds and peanut butter make excellent baits. After you catch the varmint, you can exercise extreme prejudice (RIP, Rocky) or take it away and let it go.

Squirrel Trap

Havahart squirrel trap. Photo: havahart.com


Question #5: Let it go? Won’t the dang thing just find its way back?

Answer: Not if you take it far enough. I put the trap and squirrel in the trunk of my car, drive 13 miles to work, and let it go. None has ever returned. Look at it this way. Any animal that’s going to zigzag 12 times in front of your car on a neighborhood street before you finally squash it ain’t gonna survive a gauntlet of busy interstates and bridges between it and your house.

Question #6: How can I keep squirrels off of my bird feeder?

Answer: There are lots of fancy squirrel-resistant feeders out there that make the critters fly off, fall off, slide off, or close the seed ports. Grumpy uses a tube feeder with short perches designed for little birds and hangs it from his crepe myrtle using a single wire. The feeder hangs at just the right height and distance that it can’t be plopped down on or jumped to. Another excellent strategy — fill your feeder with Cole Hot Meats, which are sunflower meats infused with Habanero oil. Birds don’t sense or react to the pepper at all. But when squirrels eat it, this is what happens.

Flaming squirrel

Medium-well, please! Photo: ludingtoncitizen.ning.com

Question #7: Wow, that squirrel looks tasty! Can we eat squirrels?

Answer: We sure can! Grumpy just finished reading a fascinating article published by Modern Farmer that points out that squirrel has been a traditional American meat for many years. In fact, “Up until 1975, The Joy of Cooking included an illustration and description of proper squirrel skinning within its pages.” Modern Farmer praises squirrels for being a local, non-GMO, hormone-free, lean, sustainable source of protein. “Limb chicken, as squirrels are affectionately known in many hunting circles, is arguably better than grass-fed beef or organic pork when it comes to planetary health,” it states.

I agree! Try this tasty recipe for Bacon Wrapped Squirrel found by my Southern Living protege, Kaylee Hammonds. Mmmmmmmm. Bacon!

What to drink with cooked squirrel? I propose a good Rioja, Syrah, or Zinfandel. If you’re not a wine drinker, our man-about-town, Keith Stone, suggests this outstanding beverage.

Keystone Light

Keith Stone. Photo: Keystone

Keystone Light. So smooth, always.




  1. krk

    Ugh! They ate most of the peaches on my tree & left partially gnawed ones – I picked 2 that aren’t ripe hoping to ripen in the house. Here in TX they are bedraggled, noxious pests. Fast enough to mostly evade predators. Neighbors neglect their house & they nest in the soffits – won’t be remedied anytime soon due to nature of the owners. Can only hope the roof collapses soon. Males will also charge humans during mating season – used to happen on my previous college campus often. Awful, awful creatures. The local BBQ places should start serving them! I mean, you can get rabbit, quail, alligator, etc so why not BBQ squirrel? One animal I would not feel badly about eating… And if the skins aren’t too blighted, make some hats!!!

    April 27, 2017 at 2:13 pm
  2. Gene Harrison

    The tree rats have demolished my apples, peaches and tomatoes. I trap the ones I can and relocate them. The others are being shot by my grandson and me. I hate squirrels!.

    January 9, 2017 at 7:57 pm
  3. Steve Bender

    OK, I admit it — I overstated the rabies issue. Transmission from squirrel to human is rare. However, squirrels do carry the fleas that transmit Lyme disease. Therefore, be careful when preparing to grill free-range squirrels. Or buy processed squirrels from the supermarket.

    January 5, 2017 at 9:49 am
  4. Gail

    Can’t believe how many people got butt hurt over this funny article. For those snowflakes out there that no longer recognize humorous satire…….It was all tongue-in-cheek! Sad world we live in these days. No one can take a joke anymore. Too many self-righteous people ready to blast anyone who says something they don’t like.

    January 4, 2017 at 7:53 pm
  5. Chris

    The guy is a hateful moron. He can’t be bothered to do a moment’s research. Let me just quickly debunk one myth here because lots of people believe it, squirrels DO NOT spread rabies. If you check the Center of Disease Control (CDC) you will find that it’s never happened. Yet, people everywhere believe it, in part because of morons like this who willfully spread misinformation.

    January 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm
  6. Kim

    Mmmm, squirrel dumplings

    January 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm
  7. Cindy G

    Steve Bender should Not write for your magazine. He give out wrong info and is mean hearted. I’m regarding the article posted on 1/28/16 7 things you must know about stupid squirrels. So sad that you let this garbage get published.

    January 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm
  8. Dave

    They do not carry rabies but they do become infested with deer tick in our area. I allow one or two in my yard but after that they get a 22 cal. Pellet from my air gun thru the brain.

    January 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm
  9. Chris

    You are the epitome of stupid!!! God help us all. I am ashamed that you are part of the human race. You need to evolve and catch up with,at the very least the 20th century. I beg you to educate yourself and visit a wildlife center.

    January 4, 2017 at 9:23 am
  10. Casey

    Squirrels don’t carry rabies! They are lovely. All of God’s creatures deserve to live! How dare you decide they should be eradicated! It’s illegal to poison them fyi… You sound like an uneducated miscreant!

    January 4, 2017 at 6:45 am
  11. Cheryl Squirrel

    Um…I am a big fan of squirrels so this article, tongue in pouch I’m sure, wasn’t very amusing to me. I am one with the squirrel. Birds are ok…but gimmee Rocket J. Squirrel any day!

    January 4, 2017 at 5:11 am
  12. Dawn LeClair

    Not stupid…come to my door daily…looking at the pantry where I keep their treats! (I did NOT say nuts!!!)

    January 3, 2017 at 3:59 pm
  13. Dennis Heins

    On December 7 2013, trying to put wire screening on the cedar siding of a house the d*** squirrels were making look like Swiss cheese, I fell 16 feet off the ladder. I shattered my left femur and broke my back in three places. No one else was home. I pushed myself on my back using the good right leg for nearly 50 feet an inch a minute. I got in the door of the house to call for help, but the phone line was dead. I laid on the cold floor of the unheated house in 30 degree weather for 7 hours before my wife came home. She had to drive five miles for her cell phone to work to call for help. About 10 hours after I fell I arrived at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. I was in critical condition. I needed 19 pints of blood. After I was stable, I had a rod inserted in the femur and pins in the knee and hip to hold the rod in place. Ten days later I had surgery to fuse disks in my spine. I spent two weeks in the main hospital, two weeks in the rehab unit, and another two months of in home rehab. I was very fortunate to suffer no paralysis.
    I hate squirrels with the deepest passion. The elimination of this evil, vile, and totally devoid of any useful value animal would be in the best interests of the country and the world.

    January 3, 2017 at 3:13 pm
  14. Candace Hout

    Chewed through 3 separate strands of Christmas lights this year! And why??? Because they’re evil!! 😉

    January 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm
  15. Gee

    For the bleeding heart squirrel people, I didn’t build my house in their woods, they have chewed holes in my walls, thru to the inside in 2 instances, they dig up every plant, eat anything and everything, apples, gardens, flowers. They are nuisances, overgrown rats. and the only good squirrel is a dead squirrel. (And no, you don’t want to put poison in your attic, especially in the summer, because they will eat it, they will die, and you will have to re-locate for several weeks while the smell goes away.

    January 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm
  16. kath arnett

    Texas sized tree rats are fed by the neighbor’s dog food, tossed bread and bird seed. These squirrels carry infants off sunning blankets. The tree rats sit on the fence and fart at our cat.

    February 21, 2016 at 2:38 pm
  17. Beth

    Sprinkling blood meal on your outdoor pots seems to keep them away until a heavy rain and is good for the plants too

    February 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm
  18. Josephine Harris

    I have also raised abandoned baby squirrels, but after EVERY SINGLE PEAR ON MY 3 TREES DISAPPEARED, I felt differently towards them. I like the relocation solution.

    February 15, 2016 at 8:41 am
  19. Carol Walker

    Why do the little !$#%{€~]+¥s eat paint? The hateful twits are gnawing away at our front porch posts and railing, even after painting them (the posts, not the squirrels) with habanero hot sauce. The bushy tailed rats ate nearly every potted plant on our deck last summer and appear to be particularly fond of moss rose. Grrrr!

    February 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm
  20. Chris

    They don’t carry. But they do deliver.

    February 7, 2016 at 9:53 am
  21. Garry Lynn

    I tried many things to keep the squirrels out of my birdfeeder but I finally found the one thing that has been working for me for 10 years or so. If you make the base of your feeder with 4″ PVC pipe the squirrels can no longer climb it. Any smaller pipe will not work and the 4 ” does not stop raccoons, but it will stop squirrel. If you try this make sure there are no close limbs that they can jump from to gain access to the feeder.

    February 4, 2016 at 8:44 am
  22. Richard

    If you have ever had them eat through wiring in attic or spark plug wires of your car than you would understand why many of us are not fond of squirrels. They are nothing but rats with good PR.

    January 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm
  23. Diane Morrow

    Large rocks around your plants keep the squirrels from eating roots. We love our squirrels and woukd never think of harming them. Put Crisco on your feeder pole and the squirrels can’t climb up the pole. we live and let live in our yard in South Texas; except for snakes.

    January 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm
  24. Brynn

    We have super-squirrels here. Not only do they eat safflower with wild abandon, they also will empty a feeder of hot pepper coated seeds faster than anything you’ve ever seen!
    We only have a few though we back up to the woods, so either they’re running any others off, or the hawks are keeping them under control. Or they’re truly little furry urbanites, like you said!

    January 29, 2016 at 10:58 am
  25. Kathleen

    Squirrels are incredibly cute. I leave the ones in the woods alone but allow other folks to hunt & I’m not going to turn down a dressed out squirrel or two in return.
    I like rodents & even catch & release mice that stray into my home.
    But you can have too many squirrels in some areas & they can cause huge-even dangerous-damage to gardens & structures. So there has to be a balance.

    January 29, 2016 at 9:06 am
  26. Paula K

    After we fixed the hole in the house, we set a live trap and caught 17 in 4 days. Seemed as though there was no end to them. And they ate wiring in the car. Purchased a battery powered sonic device for under the hood and it helped. It’s war.

    January 29, 2016 at 8:59 am
  27. Kathy.

    I hoped to learn ways deter them from digging up my plants. On a serious note, you could use safflower seeds in the bird feeders and you will only be feeding the birds.. Squirrels don’t eat the seeds.

    January 29, 2016 at 5:14 am
  28. Avery Robert

    Go Grumpy! Is comedy dead? For those who feel the need to proselytize animal rights in public over a humor column, there’s a political convention nearby for you. As for squirrels, I dedicate to over-care: wrap peanut butter in cheese and dip in butter until the little nippers keel off the branch from a coronary.

    January 28, 2016 at 9:19 pm
  29. Jane

    Sorry, Grumpy, I can’t agree with you here. We have learned to love squirrels, having rescued five or so, and brought them to maturity. They are smart and fun–after we have liberated them to the forest, how can we be mean to them again? Lively, funny creatures, really.

    January 28, 2016 at 8:43 pm
  30. Arnold nelson

    Squirrel mulligan. With gravy and biscuits. In a hungry world the best remedy to tree rats is a good recipe.

    January 28, 2016 at 7:29 pm
  31. Doreen

    The little jerks ate all the corn out of my garden one year. And my less than intelligent neighbor names and feeds the stupid things. I can’t win.

    January 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm
  32. Mina Kelly

    This article (?) is full of incorrect information (rabies is not carried by squirrels) and sick humor…if that’s what you consider humor…animal cruelty is not funny in any way and I’m
    surprised a publication like this would allow it… Southern Living…what happened to you?

    January 28, 2016 at 6:18 pm
  33. Mahetabel

    Big fan of grumpy gardener -however, squirrels are living beings and do what squirrels do – burning squirrels not funny..

    January 28, 2016 at 6:06 pm
  34. Julie Boy

    If we get rid of the squirrels, the hawks are going to go after my cats. The cats and dogs love them, too.

    January 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm
  35. Kitty Greene

    My dogs love stupid squirrels. They think they are quite delicious

    January 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm
  36. Kathleen

    My personal solution is serving them up with biscuits & gravy. Dumplings work well, too.

    January 28, 2016 at 2:12 pm
  37. Tracy Maxwell

    This just might be one of your best every. I live in Southeast Texas and we battle squirrels in every way!

    January 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm
  38. grant

    Squirrels do not carry Rabies

    January 28, 2016 at 11:39 am
  39. Carolyn Choi

    I’ve got a new squirrel deterrent that really works -an energetic hard working Australian Shepherd who spends a lot of time chasing them away.

    January 28, 2016 at 10:50 am
  40. Tess

    One summer we relocated 28 tree rodents and you wouldn’t even have known it. There are just way too many!

    January 28, 2016 at 10:38 am
  41. Dorothy Sadler Hemphill

    And because squirrels really aren’t dumb is why you’re having this problem. 🙂

    January 28, 2016 at 10:21 am

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