Squirrelgate + the Aftermath
Have you ever heard the saying “waiting for the other shoe to drop?” Who invented this saying and why do we sometimes sense dread in moments of size-mic happiness? My friend Brene Brown calls it “foreboding joy.” The moment I heard these words uttered from my favorite shame researcher I immediately felt a connection to her. I thought OMG, I am not the only women that throws crazy scenarios into the universe so that I am prepared for EVERYTHING when it happens. Am I right?! Well this story I am about to share with you I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams or prepared for.
So last week we decided last minute to drive the whole family to Charleston, SC. It was myself, John, Shane, Jack and of course Denny. The drive down was a little long so we stopped off in VA. We split the trip down into 2 days. But once we got there we had the BEST time! We stayed right on the ocean with an amazing balcony view. The hotel had a heated pool and they had a Starbucks right in the lobby! I got up early every morning, went for walks on the beach with the dog and had my latte on the beach. The food, history and the city itself blew us away. We decided to stay one extra day and do a full days worth of driving to return home. We were so happy we stayed, John went surfing, we walked the pier and took Denny to his first “doggie cafe.” All around a great vacation!! John even told me how nice it was to see me relaxed, apparently that is a rare occurrence as of late.
So we arrived home late, I would say 9:45 pm. We pulled up, happy to be home. With keys in hand, Denny and I walked in. Right away I noticed a half eaten apple on the floor with little apple shavings scattered everywhere. My stomach sank. I began to get nervous. As I walked into my family room I saw wood shavings covering the floor near each window. Then I saw my fireplace doors open. I think every curse word formation ran through my head at that point. The rest of the family walked in and as we assessed the damage we were all stunned. What kind of animal was it? How many were there? And were they still in the house?
We spent the next 30 minutes looking for the furry vandal. They finally spotted a tail in the upstairs closet. Everyone came running down the staircase along with the squirrel behind them. Man do I wish our phones weren’t all dead from the long trip home! Easily we could have scored big on AFV! I screamed too, and with each yell he ran in the opposite direction. At one point we thought we caught him in the den but we didn’t open the front door quick enough. We lost him in the family room and while pulling back the curtain it jumped on my back! Many screams later we caught him and released him outside. Oh my gosh! I can actually laugh about it now.
In the days that followed there were many aggravating phone calls to insurance and a massive amount of clean up. To my disappointment insurance doesn’t cover rodent damage, ever. Raccoons are a different story apparently. This guy ate through our cap and made a nest in our chimney. He must have fallen through our flue and the doors opened. It was the perfect storm for him(or her) to do such damage. So if you ever go away, have someone check on your house, set up a video camera and BARRICADE your fireplace doors, ha! No but seriously!
An update on Squirrelgate…
So life is somewhat back to normal. The clean up was rough. We bleached, steamed, scrubbed, washed everything and threw a lot out. His urine and feces were everywhere. I tried to just take it one room at a time to keep my sanity. The window frames, blinds, moldings, furniture and rug damage was a lot. The first day I was in tears, second day too. But it could have been worse I suppose. I actually felt bad for him (or her), it must have been so scared!! Yesterday was phone calls about replacing windows and still need to address the shades. One day at a time right, ugh!
Honestly, I am sharing this story with you so you are informed about such matters. If you have any questions just leave them in comments or email me. I am happy to answer them.
Have a happy day!
I feel for you! We came home late at nught from a long trip to find a flying squirrel in out home. First clue was an apple eaten to the core. Following the “trail” we DISCOVERED he entered Through an attic closet door. What a job yo clean up the “trail”. FORTUNATELY, he did not damage anything—just left his “tracks” everywhere. (Suffice it To say i got rid of a lot of items!). Anyway, sorry you have such a mess to deal with, hope the repairs go smoothly.
Thank you Sharla, thank you! Jen
I just can’t get over how much damage one little squirrel can do! Ugh…Glad to hear you are getting things back to normal!
Thank you Shelley!
How dreadful!! I know you’ve been through so much worse in your life, but my heart goes out to you, friend. Happy to hear you almost have the mess cleaned up. Glad you can laugh about it a little now. Sending big hugs!
Thanks Shauna, we are getting there. It’s one of those stories that will probably live on for a very long time, ha! Jen
Omg! I’m glad you’re fine and that you can laugh about this. I never knew squirrels can do so much damage. I bet watching “Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” wont be the same again!😉
That is exactly what came to mind!!! That movie!! Thanks so much! Jen
We had our cushions and rug on our pontoon destroYed by a possum, which was the good news because it was a marsoupial. Not sure what the diff is bUt thaT is wasnt a racoon, the insurance covered it.
I cant imagine the damage in a house. So sorry!
Hi Eileen, yes if it’s a marsupial they will cover but not rodent damage. Learning as I go here:).
This is beyond scary, sad, depressing and costly! Makes you wonder why anyone has insurance. It isn’t like you left the back doing open!
I am so sorry, I would of cried for a week. Sure glad you had a wonderful vacation BEFOREHAND!
Apparently they don’t cover rodent damage, marsupial damage is another story. Thank you so much! Jen
I feel your pain! We noticed we had a squirrel in one of our kitchen cupboards! There was a hole in the back of the cabinet for plumbing and figured it mUst have followed the pipes in getting in. We were leaving for the weekend for my mother-in-law’s house with our two little kids, so We set a live trap in frOnt of the cupboard, opened the cupboard door, and left the house. All weekend i was worried about it bUt my husband reassured me The squirrel had nowhere else to go but in the live trap. WHen we came home, my husband went in first to bring out the squirrel. He came out with the squirrel, bUt his face was pale. “Call your Dad to ask if we can spend the night with Him tonight”. 13 squirrels later we had an ABSOLUTE mess to clean up!! I had to take out everything and either pitch it or wash it twice with bleach. Apparently the squirrel had called his friends over to let them know he had chewed througH the wire mesh on our dryer vent cover and was ready to party! 🙄
Becki, OMG!!! I cant even imagine what that was like. The thought of trapping 13 squirrels, that’s crazy!! What a nightmare! See, I knew it could have been worse. With every little noise, my first thought is “another squirrel.” SOOOO sorry!
I am so sorry ! What a mess.
We poured A new concrete foundation for a tiny house we are building. the next morning we discovered scratches and marks (like someone had ice skated all over the slab) completely covering the lovely perfect new slab.
Looking closer-It is raccons damage. Looks like they had a great time, and they had to have used tools. Good thing the slab is going to be covered-but we wanted it to be perfect just in case someone ever wanted to move the tiny house and use it as a patio.
Oh well-a funny story and yes-install cameras everywhere. I would love to have seen what those silly raccoons used to do so much damage. Good thing they are so cute…
you poor woman omg i want to cry looking at that!!! God bless you!!
Hi Jen – what a shame to hear your story!
I know you keep such a beautiful home – so sorry you had to go through such a terrible experience right after being on a wonderful vacation!
a dear friend of mine had a similar thing happen to her when she was on vacation. the
squirrel that got into her home ate from her kitchen pantry – she had such a mess – she had to throw out everything too!
but, i do not remember the squirrel in my friend’s home eating through her wood blinds, etc. your squirrel – it seems to me – did much more damage!
You mentioned blocking off the fireplace – that is a very good idea – i will try to remember that when we are going away!
regards – best to you & your family!
OMG !!! I cannot believe the damage ONE squirrel could do in just a few days. Last year I had to replace my shed and all my outdoor cushions and large umbrella as well as many chewable items that I stored there. The squirrels had chewed their way in over the winter and proceeded to destroy everything in sight. I thought that was bad ! I cannot even imagine the shock and horror that you must have experienced in having one in the house..I can only pray that now that my shed is secure, they don’t come looking to get in the house. You know that the fireplace doors will remain locked. Thanks for the tip.
Oh my god. What a disaSter! I’m so sorry you guys caMe home to this! Hang in there, girl. I know you’ll get back to beautiful decor inspo soon, but take your time dealing with this mess. Maybe another vacation is needed… 😉
i’m horrified! We just spent $4,000 to get rid of squirrels in our attic! I didn’t really think they could come down the chimney! I hope you get your home back to normal soon! What a terrible experience!
Oh NO!!! That’s horrible! I had no idea either!! Thank you! Jen
OMG! I HAD NO IDEA SQUIRRELS WERE SO DESTRUCTIVE, SO SORRY!
Sorry for all caps, not realyly shouting but i cant get them to turn off….
Ha, I get you! 🙂 Jen
I KNOW!!!! I didn’t either:)!
Oh jen, i am so sorry. I am glad that you can laugh now. Several years
Ago i broke both leg bones off at the ankle. I spent ten weeks in A bed. At my Mother- in – laws home. 😬One day my son who was home alone with me, yelled into my room with that distinctive voice that alerts Every mom that something is up. You know the voice, mom i have something to tell you. You know the one, mom don’t get Mad. Bear in mind, That i was in no condition to make any quick moves. I was a sitting duck. So My darling boy proceeds to round the corner of my
Room with a rather large adult squirrel in one of my mother in laws clear storage totes. Yep, the little darling lured this thing into the house and captured him in a tote.he was so proud of his aCcomplishmenT. He Was so excited to announce, look Mom, look at MC squizzy. Well i don’t know who was more traumatized, me or mcsquizzy. I let out a calm but firm proclamation Drew Harrison get that thing out of here. If mcsquizzy gets loose, it is going to be ugly. Plus i am pretty sure that capturing a squirrel is not recommended, and no you can not keep mcsquizzy. Thankfully my mother in law was not home. I know shE would have been less than thrilled with a squirrel in her home. 😬 for the rest of the story, mcsquizzy was safely released into the yard. He was a little hesitant to come and eat peanuts at the back deck.
So sorry you had to go through that! What a nightmare!
We had a nest of squirrels in our living room wall, but thought it was only 1 or 2 adults. They got in where they drill holes in your siding to add insulation. Well, eviction day came. First we covered the hole with tin, thinking an adult or 2 were living there. but unbenounced to us, 3 days later we were still hearing scratching in the wall so we removed the tin and loe and behold a little face poked out, then another, then another. 3 little faces! they made their way down the side of the house where we plucked them from the grass and relocated them to a hollow tree in our orchard. Then put the tin back over the hole until repairs could be made. Mom had been back many times over those 3 days and literally chewed the cedar shingles off the house all around the blocked hole, several shingles above and below the hole, as well as the entire corner edge of the house for about 10 feet trying to get to her babies.
But your damage was far worse than mine for sure!
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