I lay in bed last night, eyes shut, slowly drifting off after a busy weekend, and became slightly disturbed. There was a scratching noise coming from above me. What’s going on here? Then it dawned on me – I have invaders in my loft!
I heaved myself out of bed, sauntered over to the landing, opened the loft hatch, switched the light on and popped my head through. I glanced around a little, not a thing. I remained still for a few minutes, and then there was rustling coming from a box in the corner. I grabbed a length of wood and started prodding the box. Fortunately, I wasn’t confronted with a load of angry wasps, bats, birds or anything else airborne. It would seem my intruders are landbased, fast and small as I didn’t see or hear them make their escape. Rats, mice or squirrels. Given it’s the loft – I reckon squirrels. I figured there was nothing I could do about it at midnight – so I went back to bed.
A quick chat with various friends, as well as consulting the web has led me to learn a few things about squirrels – grey ones in particular. According to DEFRA, I’m legally allowed to lay down traps, but if I get a non-lethal trap, I then have to kill the squirrel anyway as it’s illegal to release a squirrel into the wild! Additionally, I’m not allowed to drown the squirrel, but the suggested method is that, “They can be run into a sack and killed by a sharp blow to the head.” The other suggested alternative is to shoot it. Apparently, drowning is inhumane. Alas, I don’t have a gun (crossbows and bows are not allowed), and I can see myself making a huge mess with a squirrel, a sack and a spade. Maybe a non-lethal trap isn’t such a good idea after all.
Another search on the net has unearthed an electromagnetic/ultrasonic electronic deterrent. A quick trip to B & Q, and the device is now operating in the loft. I can understand how the ultrasound part of the gadget works – squirrels have much better hearing than me. I’m a little puzzled about the effect of the electromagnetic part. Do rodents have a capability to sense electromagnetic waves in ways that humans cannot? Can squirrels detect more than light and infra-red? How do I know this won’t affect me? Will I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat (or worse) caused by an EM induced nightmare? We’ll see. All that remains to be seen is if this little gadget does the job and deters the squirrels from my loft. Otherwise, I may just buy some lethal spring loaded traps. I can see myself losing a finger to one of those! I’m hoping the gadget works!