DEATH TO SQUIRRELS. -UPDATED. -UPDATE 2.

People, there is some VERY disturbing news coming out of California. No, not the devastating droughts and unprecedented wildfires, or the L.A.P.D. getting cartoonist Ted Rall fired from the Los Angeles Times by dropping an audio tape that of course turned out to be bullshit. I refer, of course, to the squirrels.

You see, part of Yosemite National Park has been closed by health officials because, it seems, a second tourist there has contracted the plague. The plague! As in, you know, the Black Death? That little pandemic that killed an estimated 30–60% of Europe’s total population in the fourteenth century? YES THAT PLAGUE.

And guess how it’s being spread. Go ahead, guess.

By fucking squirrels.

Squirrels are a fucking menace.

I need to come clean here with Loyal Readers™. You might expect that since I live in downtown Manhattan, if I were to seriously hate on a fellow species–and let’s face it, all species are fellow species—it would probably be pigeons or something. Rats. Maybe cockroaches, which, as far as I’m concerned, ought to be the official symbol of New York City based on their sheer impudence and tenacity alone. Or perhaps those giant waterbugs everyone thinks New Yorkers are totally exaggerating about, until they actually see one and realize that some insects never got the memo that the Permian era ended hundreds of millions of years ago.

NOPE. I have come to loathe and detest no species on Earth so much as those members of the Order Rodentia, Suborder Sciuromorpha, Family Sciuridae. Well, besides H. sapiens, but that should go without saying. (See: virtually every post on this blog.)

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. But Iris! Squirrels are soooo cyoooot! How could you harbor such ill will towards our adorable little bushy-tailed cousins?

Okay first of all, you are woefully uninformed about the true nature and utter depravity of these beasts, an unfortunate and increasingly urgent state of affairs I intend to remedy shortly, and at length. (Wait, what?) Second, “ill will” does not even begin to cover it.

The squirrel-plague nexus.

Yersinia_pestis_fluorescent

Yersinia pestis bacteria. THE FUCKING PLAGUE, people.

In the wild, the plague bacteria Yersinia pestis circulates via flea bites among animal populations, particularly rodents—and squirrels are fucking rodents. Humans, such as our Yosemite tourists, become infected when bitten by a flea that has bitten a plague-ridden rodent. (Like, oh, say…a squirrel.) But that’s not the only disease vector. Once infected, humans can spread the plague amongst themselves by coughing or sneezing, contact (including sexual contact) with an infected person, indirect contact like touching a contaminated surface, breathing air under certain conditions where the plague bacteria can remain airborne, and the most disgusting transmission route of all, “fecal-oral,” from ingesting food or water contaminated with the diseased shit—literally, the actual shit—of the plague-infected. Think: Ebola. But with squirrels.

Take a look at how fast the plague spread in the fourteenth century, and consider that back then, exposure to infected populations would have happened much more slowly than in the age of widespread air travel and crowded trains.

BlackdeathSPREADNow it is true that these days the plague is generally treatable with antibiotics, which did not exist during the Black Death pandemic because Jeezus “forgot” to tell us about them. However, the plague can still be fatal if left untreated for whatever reason, including misdiagnosis, or lack of access to quality health care in this truly exceptional country. Just think about that the next time you have “fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes,” and your doctor tells you to just go home, get some rest and drink lots of fluids. By the way, do you think the United States has a stash of antibiotics for 321,216,397 people? And what happens if (when?) an adaptive mutation leaves Yersinia pestis impervious to antibiotics?

Anyway. It turns out the two recent cases of squirrel-plague in Yosemite tourists are by no means isolated incidents, either. In fact:

Since 1970, 40 cases of plague have been reported in California, and nine people have died from the disease.

OMFG. I had no idea.

Squirrels are escalating their attacks.

Last year, a squirrel caused $300,000 in damage to a community center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Just this summer alone:

  • A Michigan police department has named a squirrel a suspect in a $128,000 nut heist.

squirrelmugshotDO NOT APPROACH!
This squirrel is considered armed and dangerous.

  • Then, a squirrel was caught on camera devouring A FUCKING SNAKE in a Texas Park.

    squirreleatingsnake

    Oh, did you think they only ate nuts? NOT ANYMORE.

  • A drunk squirrel—yes, you read that right—caused massive damage at a UK pub. When workers arrived they naturally assumed the place had been robbed by H. sapiens: beer all over the floor, glasses and bottles knocked off the shelves, a real shitshow. Then a slow moving squirrel staggered out. The little fucker managed to turn on a tap, and drained (or drank!) more than $450 worth of beer. WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE BEER.
  • On Friday in Clark County, Washington, a suicide terrorist squirrel bit into an overhead power line in order to set himself ablaze and fall to the ground, thereby setting a patch of grass on fire. Fortunately, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and no one was harmed. This time.

The squirrels are clearly escalating their attacks. They have become much more brazen and organized, as these pictures I just found with a quick Google search on the Internets clearly attest:

squirrelcompBe afraid. Be very afraid.

Shit gets personal.

When squirrels begin to overpopulate an area, they will cause damage to trees, shrubs, ornamental plantings, gardens, and “structures”—as in, your fucking house. Squirrel populations are normally kept in check by environmental factors including weather patterns, predators (foxes, hawks and owls) and the availability of food. This is why no one should feed squirrels, ever, not even accidentally: squirrel-proof bird feeders are A Thing for good reason.

Well. It has come to our attention that the Palace’s neighbors—whose outdoor space is separated from our magnificent gardens by a fence—have been feeding squirrels. ON PURPOSE. They even have a fucking sign and everything!

squirrelxingOH. NO. THEY. DIDN’T.

As a result of this unconscionable perfidy, large numbers of squirrels have been digging burrows all over the place, uprooting and eating our bulbs, flinging mulch hither and fro, PLANTING THEIR FREE FUCKING PEANUTS THAT THE NEIGHBORS ARE FEEDING THEM which very quickly sprout up into unsightly peanut plants, and just generally trashing the joint with wild abandon.

castlepalacegardensOur Humble Abode: The Palace and surrounding gardens.*

We read somewhere that dogwood berries are poisonous to squirrels, so of course we planted a big dogwood tree right up against the shared fence line last fall. Yet we are still overrun with the little fuckers. We have doubled the gardening staff and landscaping crews, and still we can barely keep up with all of the wanton destruction. Last year, My Amazing Lover™ asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told him a high-powered BB gun with a scope. He declined to purchase me one, which, okay, I admit that was probably for the best. But I did insist on decorating the Palace Yule tree with owl ornaments in order to make an anti-squirrel political statement.

Action plan.

This much is clear: all of us will need to do our parts to at the very least mitigate the pestilential scourge of squirrels, if not eradicate them entirely. We certainly have our work cut out for us too, because of so many unrepentant assholes—including my very own mother! Can you even believe this shit?!—who insist on feeding them, or even keeping them as pets. (?!) These people cannot be reasoned with. As a first step, then, we must educate ourselves and any others who can be reached before the Squirrelpocalypse is upon us and it’s too late.

Here are some links to get started:

How to Stop Squirrels. Squirrels will happily destroy your garden, invade your attic, and eat your fucking house: they can and will chew through pretty much anything that isn’t metal. This website offers tips, tactics and product suggestions for keeping your Palace and surrounding areas squirrel-free.

Natural predators of squirrels. I propose that we immediately scale up massive breeding programs for rat snakes, hawks, great horned owls and barred owls, red and gray foxes and bobcats.

“Squirrels were once major pests.” Read about the experiences of early European settlers in Ohio and see for yourself just how bad things can get. TRIGGER WARNING: this is the stuff of nightmares and horror movies—and yes, it can still happen today.

Squirrel hunting tips on how to get started. (<—Self-explanatory.)

Know your squirrel hunting season. For example, in most of New York State the hunting season for gray, black and fox squirrels starts September 1 and continues through February, with a bag limit of six. That’s six daily. RED SQUIRRELS CAN BE HUNTED YEAR ROUND WITHOUT LIMITS.

squirrelhuntingseasonNYSquirrel Recipes. (These are via the Missouri Department of Conservation, but there are many others.) Squirrel is one of the most ethical meats one can consume, and apparently pretty tasty too. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it.

braisedsquirrelBraised squirrel with bacon, mushrooms and Pinot Noir.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: cook your squirrels thoroughly to make sure you KILL ALL OF THE FUCKING PLAGUE BACTERIA.

It’s time to wake up, people. Forget the War on Terror. And we definitely do not need a War on Drugs. What we need is a war on squirrels. These demon spawn pose perhaps the greatest threat human civilization has ever faced.

nosquirrels#deathtosquirrels

__________
*Due to security concerns, we obviously cannot reveal publicly what the Palace and its surrounding gardens actually look like. The pictures herein are simply meant to give readers an idea of the overwhelming scale of the squirrel problem we are dealing with here.

UPDATE: Texas firefighters are rescuing squirrels. JFC.

UPDATE 2: In Verona, Wisconsin another suicide terrorist squirrel blew up some electrical shit and disrupted power to 2,172 customers. And in Eagle Mountain, Utah, another squirrel pulled the same shit, leaving 3,125 homes and businesses in the dark.
#signsofthesquirrelpocalypse

11 thoughts on “DEATH TO SQUIRRELS. -UPDATED. -UPDATE 2.

  1. Finally, at long last, something which we can truly hope will deliver a much needed correction to the California housing market.

  2. Ah Iris, thanks for this post! It made me laugh, sorry if that wasn’t your intent.
    I’ve hated squirrels since many years ago one of those “rats with fury tails”, found his way into our home while we were vacationing and chewed much of the woodwork, chewed into kitchen cabinets, then for good measure, chewed his way out through a wall. Guess he hadn’t heard of the superstition of going out the same way you went in. So I’ve hated them since.

    But your drunken squirrel story, great nut heist, made me laugh. Like today with horrible immigration concerns Globally, a terrorist attract on a train, reliving Katrina, ISIS destroying World Heritage Sites, China’s stock market collapse, Global Warming – need I go on? What’s foremost on the minds of Parisians? Baguettes! Seems the French Ministry that regulates bakeries, told the bakers in Paris that this year, the bakeries could take their 6 week holiday whenever they want – result? They pretty much all closed.

    Probably someone may have thought “just let them eat cake”, but the last person who supposedly said that, lost her head

    • I’m sure you didn’t make up any of the misdeeds of the squirrels! As I said though, it was the humor I appreciated. The thoughts of cops actually naming a squirrel as a perp! Nuts! Was the town Mayberry by chance? Thanks god it wasn’t a black squirrel, or – well, you know what probably would have happened. Headline: Unarmed black squirrel shot dead whilst fleeing police.

      • Brilliant and hilarious and “breaking news” worthy. You should have a few minutes each night on all three networks – and maybe Fox News, if they had an balls. I hope someone is paying you for writing this stuff. It’s too good; we are not worthy but we are “blessed” to have the PSP.

  3. @Mr. Born:

    The thoughts of cops actually naming a squirrel as a perp! Nuts!

    I see what you did there. Hahaha.

    @Don:

    I hope someone is paying you for writing this stuff.

    Fawning accolades from Loyal Readers™ is payment enough.

  4. Um… so… uh…

    Hi!

    I used to be indifferent to squirrels, and then, when I was attending Florida Atlantic University, in my 3rd semester, I was outside eating lunch and studying when a squirrel just up and sat on my shoulder. I actually tried feeding it. At first I didn’t know what to do so I ignored it. At one point I actually tried to feed it and it rejected the food. So I just went back to eating and studying. Eventually I had to go to class, so I packed my book bag and got up. The squirrel stayed on my shoulder. So I started heading to class, but was stopped by women (and a few men) who couldn’t get over the fact that such a cute squirrel was just hitching a ride on my shoulder (they thought it was my pet!). Some actually pet it, and yes, it let them. I also pet it, too, a few times.

    When I got to the door of the building, it… kissed?… my ear, jumped off, and scurried away. For the record, it turned out I was ten minutes early to class. Also, the squirrel left absolutely nothing behind. It didn’t hurt me or otherwise break my skin, it didn’t use me as a toilet… nothing. And no, I didn’t get sick. Actually, for almost four weeks after that, I didn’t even need my allergy medicine! So it’s possible the squirrel temporarily cured my allergies.

    One person took a picture, but I’ve never gotten a copy and I don’t remember who it was, so…

    And this never happened again. Like… never. To this day (I live on Long Island, in New York, now) I have never had that happen to me again.

    I still don’t know what to make of it. I’m not sure if I should continue my indifference, or be terrified, or find squirrels dastardly cute, or what…

    FYI, squirrels at FAU are generally more bold/less skittish than your average squirrel because everyone there feeds them. I wouldn’t say they’re domesticated, but I’m not sure they’d qualify as “wild”, either. With that and the fact that other than the burrowing owl that is FAU’s mascot (which I never actually saw all four years I went there), they had no predators and the humans at FAU were basically tolerant of and often quite loving to the squirrels… well…

    We also had racoons, but those were rather more skittish… though still less so than the average wild raccoon, because, again, humans fed them. Cats were also around the campus, and they were actually the most skittish of all the animals. And the ducks… they didn’t care about us at all unless we tried to pet them… one could lose a finger that way. But, oddly, they had no problem eating out of our hands, without hurting us.

    So basically… yeah… FAU is/was a weird amalgamation of not-quite-wild, not-quite-domesticated animals…

  5. Nathan! OMG don’t you see? That squirrel was attempting to recruit you. Isn’t it OBVIOUS?! It’s just like Teh GAYZ with all their recruiting, and, and, and, their…agendas! (Except with squirrels.)

    It sure sounds to me like you were lucky to escape with your life. I trust you have been tested for plague?

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