The running theory in my house is that squirrels are living happily in the walls. Yes, squirrels. The cute woodland creatures have nested deep within the Victorian-era walls of our decrepit Burlington apartment. There is currently only circumstantial evidence of the rodents, but the evidence is unfortunately strong. Ravenous scratching can be heard behind the living room couch, accompanied by loud infant squeaks throughout the night and the eerie feeling we all get while being silently watched by a squirrel… from a distance. All these experiences contribute to the conclusion we have squirrels.
My house has always been what I’ve called an ecosystem. We have had, including but not limited to, pantry moths, spiders out the wazoo, fish, snails, fruit flies, mice, monster house flies, mosquitos, house centipedes, hundreds of mildly-healthy plants… and now squirrels. Most of these animals can be attributed to the fact that the house is ten million years old. No joke, the colossal monster flies were there because of the half-filled, unused water pipes littered across the ceiling of our basement. The owner clearly upgraded the pipes and thought, “Eh, let’s just leave the old ones.” So, needless to say, my roommates and I were used to creatures appearing out of nowhere… But squirrels are different.
This news of new animals came as a shock. There was no way we could have known or prepared for the animals. There definitely was not my maintenance man directly warning me, “You know, squirrels can nest in your walls and eat your wiring.” This comment was in response to seeing a squirrel steal the stuffing from one of our outdoor chairs.
I made no connection, believing that the squirrel stealing nesting material and the ominous warning had no relation. The only thing I can remember thinking on the day was, “damn, it would suck if squirrels got in our walls.”
Okay, so the rodents are here; what do we do now? My roommate’s first suggestion was to dress them up for Halloween. This idea received universal acclaim amongst the household. Once the idea of seeing the squirrels in costume was implanted in our heads, calling the landlord was out of the question. We just couldn’t do that to the little pose of squirrels, who we may or may not have psychically dressed up as the “Friends” gang. Beyond psychic distress, none of us want to deal with the squirrels.
Additionally, if we call exterminators, that means we have to deal with exterminators. Not to say I have a problem with exterminators, but we all would rather not deal with the hassle. We are currently trying to get our heat fixed, which we have been told is an “easy fix” twice now. It’s been two weeks, and we still have no heat. Could you imagine how long it would take to get squirrels out of the walls? Also, they would replace the insulation with one that has pesticide on it, which seems… dubious. So, what do we do now? The answer is a classic— do nothing, and hope the problem goes away by itself. The universal fallback.
Again, we have never seen these creatures.. but we know they are there. I hope they are having fun inside our walls. I’ve personally never been inside a wall, but I can imagine it being spectacular. I would prefer if they didn’t eat our wiring, or our already poor insulation, or the walls themselves. But you know, I get it; sometimes you gotta chomp on a live wire powering my ceiling lamp. I can imagine the rush.
We hope that they move out. I’m positive the property value of our walls is not very high, I bet they can find a better investment elsewhere. As of now, though, the ominous scratching behind the walls continues, and the denial becomes stronger.