In our third straight year of drought in Maryland a little while back, we
were overrun with squirrels. I guess there were no acorns out in the woods.
They ate all the plums off the plum tree, swarmed over the bird feeders, and
generally made themselves unwelcome. I set a few Have-A-Heart traps and we
began shuffling squirrels across the river, into the deep forest miles away.
One Saturday, we hauled six of them. But more came to take their place.
I kept track of how many we caught; after we passed 60, I began to think
that maybe we were taking the wrong approach. The squirrels were spreading
the word; go to Paul's place, have a nice meal of peanut butter in the cage,
then they take you for a pleasant drive across the river. We were probably a
tourist attraction for squirrels, with transport in the trap their
equivalent of some thrill ride.
At this point, I suggested crucifying the ones we caught in the traps as a
disincentive to the rest, but my wife objected to this approach. Being in a
semi-rural area where the neighbors mind their own business, I got out the
shotgun and killed three of them one afternoon. We didn't see another
squirrel in our yard for almost a year after that.