A Maine Squirrel Saga


Small rural red squirrels seem smarter, nimbler, and more destructive than large gray ones, in my limited experience. A Maine red squirrel family moved into our camp before we got there this spring. We saw mother on the counter, caught her in a Havahart trap, and released her 20 miles away. The next morning two  babies ran across the floor, zipping right under closed doors like mice. I caught them, also using peanut butter crackers as bait. Their preferred food seems to be house wiring. Sometimes you never know they are there until your house catches fire.


We heard squirrels chattering  in the trees all summer, and this fall they’re back. We’ve seen one in the bath gathering insulation for a nest. We hear them running across the ceiling and between the walls. Years ago I thought they were cute.

We’ve hired a “critter catcher” who uses Havahart traps and bait for his catch and release program because Maine is humane. So far he has pointed out that we also have two skunks living under the house.  These critters all go for peanut butter crackers, but skunks will also follow miniature marshmallows toward the entrance of the Havahart.

One skunk took the bait on his nocturnal rounds. Without incident the critter catcher carried him off the next morning, the cage covered with a blanket to avoid unduly upsetting the skunk. Larger spring traps have been  ordered for the wily squirrels, but so far they just keep taunting from the treetops.

I’ve read that red squirrel litters range from three to seven. I wonder what the count will be by next spring.




4 responses

  1. Yikes. You have a squirrel/skunk haven up there in Maine. I still think the squirrels are cute because they haven’t entered our house – they just stockpile nuts and seeds in our garden. And they squawk at us when we yell at them for hanging upside down on the bird feeder. :-0

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