Living rural in the city is great – you can do it, too.

Tag: Squirrels

Just in time for World Rewilding Day, a message for the local neighbourhood

Vous avez peut-être remarqué qu’avec les travaux aux égouts la semaine dernière, les rats ont évacué les égouts et ont trouvé refuge dans nos cours.

Veuillez retirer tout poison que vous avez utilisé pour essayer de les tuer. Il cible d’autres espèces, comme les écureuils, et je ne veux pas que nos (« mes », je les appelle, bien qu’ils soient des animaux sauvages) écureuils subissent la mort horrible que procure le poison. Il est illégal de piéger et de tuer des animaux sauvages, et j’ai eu le cœur brisé de voir quelqu’un dans ce quartier le faire en toute ignorance, car cela ne résout aucun problème qui ne pourrait être résolu autrement. (Il y a un écureuil noir avec une tache blanche sur la queue qui me manque particulièrement, et ses enfants aussi. Elle s’appelait Gladys.)

Les travaux sur les égouts sont presque terminés et les rats peuvent désormais regagner leur habitat habituel. Vous pouvez les aider à y retourner en leur rendant leurs nouveaux emplacements hostiles, en les piégeant dans des pièges vivants Hav-A-Hart et en les ramenant à l’égout. C’est ce que je vais faire.

Gladys, a very sociable but polite mamma of two, with a white tip on her tail, and a penchant for stealing plums and chocolate (OK so it’s not polite to steal, but don’t leave them out on the counter to tempt her!)
Gladys, une maman de deux enfants, très sociable mais polie, avec un bout blanc sur la queue, et un penchant pour voler des prunes et du chocolat (OK donc ce n’est pas poli de voler, mais ne les laissez pas sur le comptoir pour la tenter ! )

You may have noticed that with the work on the sewers last week, the rats have evacuated the sewers and sought refuge in our yards.

Please remove any poison that you have put out to try to kill them. It targets other species, like squirrels, and I do not want our (“my,” I call them, though they are wildlife) squirrels to suffer the horrible death that poison provides. It’s illegal to trap and kill wildlife, and I have been heartbroken by someone in this neighbourhood doing so in all ignorance that it solves no problem that couldn’t be solved another way. (There is one black squirrel with a white spot on her tail, and her progeny, that I will forever miss. Her name was Gladys.)

The work on the sewers is almost done, and the rats can now return to their usual habitat. You can help them return there by making their new locations hostile to them, and by trapping them in live Hav-A-Hart traps and returning them to the sewer. This is what I will be doing.

Meet my squirrel! Mangey, but adorable.

This little guy or girl comes by my backyard every day and raids my two bird feeders, sometimes with the help of another squirrel. Because it has sarcoptic mange, I’ve been concerned about its winter survival.

You can treat mange with ivermectin, selamectin, or any of the avermectins. These are insecticides that kill mites and other parasites (some internal worms, too) in pets and livestock.

Left without treatment, this squirrel will suffer fur loss and diminished immunity, not to mention being driven mad with the itching. It will also lose out on time better spent food gathering and stashing.

Finally, there’s an increased risk of transmitting it to other animals and species. I certainly don’t want this, though I’m not sure if mites that affect squirrels also affect birds.

A long time ago, now, my dog Daisy died and couldn’t take her HartGard pills with her on her journey, I took one of the pills, shaved off a slice, and slathered it in peanut butter. I put one out on the patio about a month ago, hoping the right squirrel would take it. Then, I started occasionally feeding it a tidbit or two to get it used to me. Then I was able to treat it more directly.

The mange cleared up, but in the past week, it has come back. Probably the eggs in the nest have hatched and new juvenile and adult mites have latched on. So I followed up with a second treatment. Of course, the squirrel has stopped running away when I open the patio door, because it knows something edible is going to come flying out and land somewhere in the garden. Sure enough, it made a beeline for it today!

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