Dicromantispa interrupta

Dicromantispa interrupta

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Flying Squirrels in My Corner

Every now and then a flying squirrel has been spotted in the house I’m constructing. Yesterday, I noticed that the volant rodent was using a spot on the outside of the house as a urinal. Pretty ugly. Today, I went on a squirrel nest hunt and found it in a boxed-in corner soffit just under the roof. I opened the wood face of the box and things got uglier. This pic shows the wood stained by urine, and to its left below you can glimpse the nest:

Peeking inside the box, you can see the nest a little clearer. It is composed of wheat straw I bought for the yard and shredded paper towels from inside my pickup. I am not just their landlord:

Looking a little closer, here’s one of the culprits:

All four corners of the roof have such “box.” The other three each had a single access hole, all of which I immediately covered with new wood plates. The corner nest box had three access holes, however, one being significantly larger than any of the other access holes and probably the reason they went for this particular abode rather than the others. I constructed three wood plates to cover the nest box’s access holes and sat back to wait for dusk. The idea is to fasten the wood plates in place so they can’t get back in after they leave their nest for their nightly foray. The squirrels cannot get into the other three corner boxes either, so they are forced to find a home away from my home. Hopefully, opening the face of the box and exposing the squirrels to predators will encourage them to skedaddle.

But wait! There’s a winter storm coming. Cold rain is expected and we could get sleet or even 1-3 inches of snow. Without an insulating nest to protect them from the coming chill, the squirrels could be killed if I evicted them just before the storm. They mate in Feb-Mar and give birth 40 days later, but this being a relatively cold location gives me hope that this animal will not drop her pups until April.

I guess waiting until several days of good weather are upon us would be the humane thing to do. That might give them time to construct a new nest elsewhere before I pull the old nest out and clean things up.