Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Help! I’m Goin’ Squirrelly!

There exists, somewhere near Casa de Curmudgeon, a top secret squirrel training camp whose denizens are hell-bent on disabling my car.

Roughly a week ago, my fuel gauge stopped working.  No problem.  If I check my trip meter I can deduce when I need to refuel.  The problem, however, is that I had two idiot lights that were illuminated on my dashboard.

My car is due for its annual state inspection, so I drove to the AAA Car Care Center near my home and told the service consultant that I needed to have my car inspected.

I sat in the waiting room roughly a half hour when the service consultant came to me with the news that my car would not pass inspection due to the failure on the On-Board Diagnostic Display for a MIL-Commanded On test result.

Then he told me a scan of the vehicle computer needed to be done to isolate the problem.  He had a driver take me home rather than waiting there.

About an hour after I got home, I got the phone call.  There was a problem with the fuel system and would need to be replaced with a fuel system kit.  Parts and labor:  $986.

I told the guy to move forward with the repair because I needed the car to pass inspection.  I busied myself with other things so as not to become upset and had made peace with my situation.  Two hours later, I got another call from the service consultant.

He said, and I quote, “Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.”  I didn’t say a word.  Then he said, “I’ll cut to the chase.”  I thought, “That’d be nice.”  He said, “You’ve got rodents in your car.  They’ve chewed your wiring harness and the mechanic is working on it now.”  I was stuck on the “rodents in your car” thing.

Then I snapped to attention when the guy said, “The good news is the bill is going to be a lot less than we talked about earlier.  Your new total is $388.03.”  I thanked the guy profusely, and I do mean profusely.  We agreed he’d call me back when the car was ready and have the driver bring me back to the repair center.

Now all I have to do is run the car about 50 or so miles to reset the computer and they’ll rerun the OBD scan, give me my inspection sticker and I’ll be legal.

This is where you come in.  I need help.  How the freaking hell do I rid myself of these vermin?

I own a GAMO Whisper G2 air rifle to take these sumbitches out whenever I can.  I know they produce two litters of pups a year and each litter can have up to six pups.  I’m fighting a losing battle, but by golly, it feels good to take these furry marauders out.

I talked to the driver on the way over to the repair shop and he rather tongue-in-cheek suggested I move to the city.  There may be fewer of these critters in the city, but I ain’t movin’.

I’ve done a web search for some solutions:  
  • Leave your hood up during the day and close it at night because squirrels are not nocturnal and a car engine’s warmth provides a cozy nesting spot
  • Use a “taste deterrent” like bitter apple spray
  • Spray small animal repellent on parts of the vehicle that don’t get hot
  • Use rat poison
  • Wrap “rodent tape” which is impregnated with the chemical that makes hot peppers hot on the wiring
  • Spray on "Critter-Ridder" repellant
  • Dab cotton balls or cotton rags with a few drops of peppermint oil or dust cotton balls with curry powder
  • Squirrels don’t like the color red. Place a red towel over each tire or on the ground underneath the car
  • Place rat snap traps in the wheel well area or on top of tires
  • Live traps baited with corn
  • Mothballs
What have you guys tried?  I need your help.  These guys are like SEALs going after UBL.

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