(Somewhat Graphic Content Warning)
For some reason I still have squirrels on my mind. I remember when I was younger, we had been working on building a barn for my dad to use as a garage, but the construction company we were working with kept on delaying. For a couple years there was only the foundation of the walls put in place and inside and around it was all dirt and clay. An old bucket was left out under an oak tree. All the cement had been used but there were some hardened bits still left inside around the bottom’s edge.
This bucket sat there forgotten, but as time passed, it became filled halfway with rainwater. A few acorns also fell inside and when that happened, I believe the bucket became a deathtrap. Perhaps the squirrels had merely fallen off while climbing the tree, but I think they were trying to get the nuts they saw in the bucket and fell in with no means of escape and drowned. I never noticed them until winter had come, but by then there were at least six frozen squirrels along with a few dozen acorns in the old icy bucket.
The bucket was entirely unintended as a trap even though it did prove to be quite effective and lethal, but there was another occasion when my family did intend to set traps for squirrels. They were always pests in our yard, eating the strawberries, but that is not what drew our wrath to them and it is not the ones in the yard that we set traps for. Somehow, a small group of squirrels had come to inhabit our attic, where my bedroom was. We believe that they must have made leaps of faith onto the roof from a tree five yards away and then made their way through an open window. Their rodent instincts led them to chew through insulation and wiring like rats and their scurrying and chattering woke me up before sunrise everyday in the summer. Needless to say they had to go.
Instead of using conventional mouse traps that snap their necks after they are tricked into believing they were getting a free meal, my father wanted to try out glue traps instead. That is when we learned just horrifying glue traps were. Snap traps can lead to an instant death if they successfully snap the neck, but sometimes the victim can survive and be trapped there before finally succumbing to starvation in a slow and painful manner. Glue traps can only offer a quick death if the victim gets their face stuck and they suffocate as their nose and mouth are sealed shut in the pool of glue, but other than that, slow starvation is the default.
We left for a short vacation after setting the traps and when we returned we saw the results. four squirrels spread among three traps. One of the victims had his front two legs, only one of which was still connected with the rest of his body, caught inside along with his head. It appeared as though he successfully gnawed off the limb only to then lose his balance and then fall face first into the glue. The trap that had two squirrels in it had one whose body was completely inside as though he leaped into the center of it and the other one only had his front half trapped up against his companions side as though he tried to free him and gotten himself stuck in the process. The final squirrel was just caught lying on its side as if it had gotten one paw stuck, and after failing to free itself and becoming exhausted it collapsed and lied down in the glue.
We had no issues with squirrels for some years after that, though when another got into the attic a few years later, we got a cage trap instead with a one-way door for the squirrel to walk through and when it was caught we just let it outside. The cage trap is still set up in the crawl space of the attic and empty the last I checked. If another squirrel does break in, he will likely not be as lucky to be freed from his prison, or rather his grave.