Really Really Big, Mice Problems

 A Red Squirrel saying hello to Maine Wildlife Management

A Red Squirrel keeping an eye on Maine Wildlife Management

“There is something in the bathroom. I don’t think it’s mice anymore.” The ladies voice said.

I always love getting calls like this. I don’t know if there is a house in the world that doesn’t have mice at some point or another. It’s always when the mice activity seems to have doubled in size overnight and becomes really big, that I get the call.

“Well, I’ve been hearing it for a week or so now. At first I thought it was mice, but it’s knocking soap off the shelf and unwinding all the toilet paper!” She exclaimed excitedly.

Those rascally mice. Boy can they get into trouble. We all know it’s not mice though scampering about in the bathroom though. I’m guessing squirrels. It’s hard to tell over the phone which species it could be, but I have a hunch it’s squirrels, nonetheless. “I’ll be right over.” I said as I hung up and prepped my gear.

Upon arriving at the home I completed my regular inspection of the outside, along the ground, the roof line, eaves, dormers, flashing, roof tie ins. You know, all the little places really, really, big mice like to enter a home. The place was tight as could be. I went inside to see what the damage was.

“The noises are coming from behind the shower.” The lady showed me. The bathroom was a cluster of knocked over washcloths, soap dispensers, and bits of toilet paper. I peered down along the piping for the baseboard heat, where it entered behind the shower stall. Sure enough, I caught a glimpse of a small, grayish, fluffy tail momentarily before it darted away into the darkness. Little rascal. I set up a live trap with some treats and sweets and left for the afternoon. After seeing the house so secure, and no history of issues, I figured I’d have the little gray squirrel soon enough.

I returned in the afternoon to grab the little character. Imagine my surprise when I found a little red squirrel sitting inside my trap, rather than the gray squirrel I thought I had seen. More than that however, there was another red squirrel sitting on the outside of the trap staring at me! As I moved into the room two more shot out from under the toilet and escaped behind the shower stall! I wanted to laugh, but this was time to be professional. Baby red squirrels are super funny, even when they’re giving you a hard time.


 A mother and youngster hanging out waitiing for the rest of the youngsters to be caught by Maine Wildlife Management

A mother and youngster hanging out waiting for the rest of the youngsters to be caught.


“Well the skirting around the outside of the house, right outside the bathroom, has had a gap of 3-4 inches all winter long.” The lady began. “We just closed it up a couple weeks ago. I’ve also noticed a large red squirrel keeps showing up on the porch since then. Do you think they’re related?” She asked.

“Yes.” I answered as the situation was now obvious. The mother red squirrel had free access to the area under the bathroom all winter long. She likely had a wonderful little nest and raised several pups. The mother was likely outside foraging when the homeowner fixed the broken skirting, locking the mother outside. Red squirrels don’t hang around with their mother after weaning, and the mother had little motivation to fight to get back inside. The youngsters began exploring and found out how to get into the bathroom and became stuck trying to find a way outside.

 Randy from Maine Wildlife Management taking a quick selfie with the last remaining baby red squirrels before reuniting with their mother

A quick selfie with the last remaining baby red squirrels before reuniting them with their mother

After having a much better understanding of what was going on I reset all the traps. I wasn’t after a single adult gray squirrel that wandered in off the street, or mice for that matter. I was hunting a batch of baby red squirrels hell bent on exploration and playing. I remade all my sets, cleaned up the bathroom a little, and left to let things settled down. The bravest of the bunch were caught quickly The timid and high strung were picked up over the next several days, as the call of hunger overcame they’re shyness. The job didn’t start out as planned. Its always interesting and fun getting calls though, for really big mice.


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Showing 5 comments
  • sdorttuiiplmnr

    You made some first rate points there. I regarded on the web for the problem and located most individuals will go along with together with your website.

  • Jay

    Where do you relocate a family of red squirrels so they do not become someone else’s problem?

    • randy

      Sorry about the late response Jay, seems I got behind, and my notifications have not been working. Relocating any animal so it is not someone else’s problem is a task unto itself. Many times just getting the animals outside of the house is enough of a relocation. However, if the little buggers chose the house to have babies in once, they probably will again. This specific bunch in the blog post was actually released by my house in this situation. The red squirrel population around here took a pretty hard hit during some intense weasel trapping last year. I knew they wouldn’t have much competition and would find plenty of suitable places to live in the woods. Great question though!

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  • […] Often, mice trapping can realistically take a month or more to get all of them. Sealing up the home to remove mice is pretty straightforward, but it’s very time consuming and laborious. See also the problems with squirrels in the home. […]

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