Tag Archives: squirrels

Thieving Squirrels Steal Your Attention

If you’re an urban bird-lover you’ll know what a Pest Squirrels can be. You refill your bird-feeders with nuts and seeds and before you know it, a grey, furry-tailed Rodent is helping themselves.

We were going to blog about how your friendly neighbourhood squirrel can cost you more than a few stolen nuts. You need to know how much damage they can do once they start gnawing through timbers and wires in your home.

But then we started watching squirrel obstacle course videos on YouTube. And we have to admit that we got distracted. So we thought we’d share some of our favourites with you.

It started when someone said: “Wasn’t there a squirrel assault course in a TV ad years ago?” Seconds later we’d tracked down the Original Carling Black Label advert, complete with the compelling ‘Mission Impossible’ soundtrack.

We’re not sure if that’s the first squirrel obstacle course on video, but it’s one of the most memorable and has inspired stacks of imitators. We also like this one, or should we say, two. Don’t switch off after the first squirrel finds the nut!

Making a squirrel obstacle course isn’t just for the professionals. All you need is some wood, rope, plastic tubing and a squirrel. And some nuts, obviously. This guy treated his squirrel to a course that became increasingly more complicated over 23 days, and videoed the results.

It seems that squirrels will go to almost any extreme to get those nuts. They’re not afraid to take on someone bigger than they are. This great little video shows what can happen when a squirrel knows what it wants!

The star of the show so far has been the ubiquitous grey squirrel, a foreign invader that carries a disease fatal to Britain’s smaller, native red squirrel. But the reds are equally agile and determined, as this excerpt from a BBC documentary reveals.

Finally, we discovered one squirrel story that would have made a great video but unfortunately wasn’t captured on camera. A New Jersey squirrel managed to destroy an entire car in 2007. It decided to chew on some overhead power lines, with the predictable explosive result that took a Toyota Camry with it.

Fortunately most squirrels don’t do that kind of damage!

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Rodent Bites Can Hurt More Than Your Pride

It’s bad enough being bitten by a rat. But it’s particularly humiliating and distressing to be bitten on the penis.

That’s what an American claimed to have endured recently, when he’d been locked up for a short spell in a rodent infested prison cell near New York. He said that the rat came out of a mattress and bit him twice, once once on his hand and once in a much more intimate location.

He was probably attacked by the extremely common Norwegian or Norway Rat, also known as the Brown Rat. These are the dirty, unpleasant rodents that thrive on the rubbish we too often leave around us. With their sharp teeth these sewer-loving vermin are a major pest control problem, gnawing through wood and thick plastics on their relentless search for something to devour.

The chances of being bitten by a rat are relatively low in Britain, if official statistics are to be believed. But rats aren’t the only pest that can attack with their teeth.

We were all shocked by the headlines, last June, which reported how an urban fox viciously injured twin baby girls as they slept in their Hackney home. More recently a female lawyer lost part of an ear to a fox in Fulham and woman from Sussex had the tip of a finger bitten off by one as she slept.

Other furred vermin, such as Grey Squirrels and Mice, can also inflict a nasty injury with their teeth. But quite aside from the shock and pain of being unexpectedly bitten, victims also risk catching something very unpleasant from their attackers.

The American man who suffered the unfortunate bite complained that he’d subsequently been forced to endure a series of injections to protect him from rabies. While British pests are highly unlikely to carry this disease, they can transmit a host of other potentially fatal conditions including Weil’s disease, salmonella and tuberculosis.

Anyone unlucky enough to be bitten by a Rodent or fox should get medical help. In 2007 a Sussex businessman died after he was bitten by a pet rat and ignored advice from NHS Direct, who told him to visit his doctor.

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