Gut Rumbles

February 09, 2005

tree rats

I've always had bird feeders in my yard. I like my birds. Maybe that's one reason I hate cats so much, because a got-dam cat thinks a bird-feeder is a buffet table and it will serve itself with whatever it can catch. Fuck a cat.

But the tree rats are even worse. A squirrel will invade a bird feeder, run off all the birds, kick all the small seeds to the ground and sit there munching sunflower seeds as if the bastard owned the place. I've probably killed a hundred of those shitasses with my pellet rifle. Damned rats.

I once put up a nice T-bar, stainless-steel frame in my back yard and hung a bird feeder on each end. The birds enjoyed it for about a day until the squirrels found it and invaded like a bunch of fuzzy-tailed Michael Moores, fucking up anything they couldn't eat. They pissed me off, but I couldn't shoot them without risking hitting a neighbor's window.

So... I thunk a thought. I went to the hardware store and bought a can of water-insoluable axle grease and I lathered that center pole with about half the can. THAT was amusing.

The squirrels came running up, jumped on the pole to climb up to the goodies they were accustomed to stealing, and ended up sliding right off with grease caked all over their greedy little paws. The pissants started falling out of trees after that, because they couldn't get a grip on anything. I enjoyed the show and I thought my squirrel problem was solved.

One Saturday morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper. I heard a thump, a crash and a rattle from the back yard. After about the third repetition of that sound, I wondered WTF is THAT? I looked outside and saw what was happening.

One fat, scheming squirrel figured out that he could climb a pine tree near the feeders, take a wild run-and-go down a low-hanging limb and then launch himself like Rocky the Flying Tree Rat at the feeders. Even if he couldn't catch one and hold on, he managed to knock them around enough that a lot of seed hit the ground, so he'd sit there and eat until he got ready to launch another aerial assault.

I watched him do it a dozen times and I was impressed by his ingenuity. He found a way around the greased pole. But I eventually grew bored watching him, so I waited for him to sit on the ground munching, and I shot him in the head with the pellet rifle. See... once he was on the ground, I didn't have to worry about hitting my neighbor's window anymore. I sent that rat to the great Bird Feeder in the Sky.

I mention that story because I KNOW that squirrels are devious little shits who will find a way to overcome your defenses if you give them enough time to think about it. They are slick and evil.

Spammers are a lot like squirrels. Thanks to the efforts of this golden god, I have been almost totally spam-free in my comments for more than a month now. Paul put up a greased pole on my site and he kept the squirrels at bay for a while. But, alas, squirrels don't quit scheming.

I was hit by more than 200 Trackback spams last night. Those fuckers found a way around the greased pole. I deleted them all (and I banned a couple of IP addresses, so if I got you by accident, let me know and I'll see if I can fix the problem), but they'll be back. They ALWAYS come back, just like the rats they are.

I just wish I could catch one sitting fat and happy in my yard while munching the fruit of his rattiness. I LONG to shoot one right in the head and watch him drop like a rock with a sunflower seed still hanging out of his buck-toothed, greedy little mouth. Where I live now, I don't have to worry about hitting a neighbor's house, so I might use something a little bigger than that Crossman pellet rifle.

Spammers are rats and they SHOULD be shot.


While watching Americas funniest home videos, I saw an idea that might help your squirrel problem. (which by the way I've made pets of squirrels, they're adorable, really. They like they're tummys scratched, and they'll play with you, honest.) Anyway, not sure if this will help, try saran wrapping your feeders. I hope this helps. I understand your frustration with intruders.

Posted by: Trease on February 9, 2005 12:40 PM

I'm not sure how MT works but Expression Engine, which I use, has an adjustment on how many trakcbacks one can recieve per hour.

If MT has such a feature try setting it to one per hour. It may help.

Comment/trackback spammers are stealing your web space to sell their shit.

Like any thief they should be shot.

Posted by: Daniel on February 9, 2005 12:47 PM

Receive . . . I mean RECEIVE!!

Posted by: Daniel on February 9, 2005 12:48 PM

I've read that coating the bird seed with hot pepper, specifically capsaicin, keeps the mammals at bay. Apparently the birds can't taste the heat; some aviary was having a problem with mice and rats, coating teh food with capsaicin solved the problem. Problem is finding the stuff. I've tried Cayenne pepper with limited success, 'cause the rain washes it off.

Posted by: bottlestop on February 9, 2005 01:55 PM

Google for 'The Yankee Flipper' bird flings the squirrel off for quite a distance. Their video cracks me up every time. You could calculate where they tend to land when flung, and put up an electrified grid there to fry them. A rat-zapper. Good times.

Posted by: Bane on February 9, 2005 02:31 PM

Paul is a TypePad pioneer, and one of their Beta testers. TypePad just developed some decent filters for trackback spam, and they are shutting down 99% of it on my blog. I bet Paul can fix you up with a tweak for this sort of theft that will work.

Posted by: Rivrdog on February 9, 2005 03:07 PM

I see you enjoy big game hunting like I do. I live up north and have the same problem with squirrels too. I don't pay all that money for bird feed to watch the squirrels empty the feeder in an hour when it would last the birds I'm trying to feed for a week. And far as I can tell, the birds don't spend the summer burying nuts to eat in the winter.

But living in the woods like I do, I've got an even bigger problem with the god damned chipmunks. I think there's about 6.5 million of the fuckers per square acre. They dig up and eat damn near everything I plant in the flower beds, then in their off hours, they remove the screens from all my drainage tiles and go in and plug them up. I damn near have a standing contract with the Roto-Rooter guy.

I have a nice Ruger 22 with a 50 shot clip. We're talking serious fun in the summer and a good challenge too. You really have to have the scope sighted in to follow the one shot - one kill rule. Plus, I snipe from the second story bedroom window - so no problems with shooting the neighbors.

These pussies that go to Africa and shoot elephants for fun don't impress me. Who the hell couldn't hit something the size of your garage? Now hitting something in the head that's the size of a hamster from 25 to 50 yards - that's skill.

Too bad I missed being able to go to Viet Nam by a year or two. I could have been right up there with Hathcock.

OOH-RAH!! You go dude!

OK, maybe I do need psychiatric help.........but I haven't started on people yet. I stress the yet....

Posted by: Drugstore Cowboy on February 9, 2005 04:05 PM

Shit... didn't see this post 'til after I emailed you asking how the comment blocking was going & checking about trackbacks...

Guess I have my answer. I'll go try my technique on the trackback problem now. If for any reason trackbacks stop working, it'll only be temporary..

**donning the asbestos skivvies for a trip into the Movable Type code**


PS Cowboy, your elephant analysis wsa hilarious - and bang on.

Posted by: Light & Dark on February 9, 2005 07:18 PM

You miss a squirrel, though, and it ain't gonna charge you and squish you into pudding...

Posted by: Jay G on February 9, 2005 09:29 PM

Just don't miss. No problem.

Posted by: Acidman on February 9, 2005 11:44 PM

I did have one cat who was a great squirrel hunter. During the several years he lived with my parents their bird feeder was seldom molested, and you could actually walk down the drive barefoot without cutting yourself on chewed acorn shells. Then I moved someplace where I could have them and took my cats with me. The bird feeder didn't last long after that, and their yard turned into a quarter acre mole run almost overnight.

Posted by: LibraryGryffon on February 10, 2005 10:10 AM
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