Squirrels on the loose - how to do it right?

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Sugar'sMom
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Squirrels on the loose - how to do it right?

Postby Sugar'sMom » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:25 am

Hi again...

We've had our babies for about 9 or 10 months. So far, their time out of the cage every day has always been supervised: either they're snuggling in our sweatshirts or leaping around the room while we watch and interact.

I am wondering about households where the flyers get out-of-the-cage playtime for many hours of the day, I am guessing that they are unsupervised at least some of the time. How can you possibly make sure that they don't get into trouble or hurt themselves?? How do you know if it's OK to let them loose while your attention is elsewhere?

I am not too worried about our girls running away, since they are definitely bonded to us. But I'm worried about them getting into trouble in the kitchen (which cannot be closed off - no door), chewing on something unhealthy or having a big fall while jumping at a too-smooth surface.

Any tips??

PS: thanks for your input! I love this site, it's great to have people to share questions and stories with!! :D

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Postby Joan » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:55 am

Mine have free range of my room (which is flyer proofed) for several hours at night. I quit worrying about the room after several overnight escapes to avoid the cage. Learned where to find them in the AM. I cage them at night ... unless they wear me out. I cage them mainly because I don't want to have to pick up everything they've knocked over, straighten all the pictures and clean up sprinkles from the weirdest places. Mine are not allowed in the rest of the house. Some have free range in houses, but you'd have to know your flyers and your house really well and then there can always be surprises .... like where they've had pups. :roll:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby Sugar'sMom » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:37 pm

Thanks for your input!

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Postby Nativeprincess » Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:22 pm

Rogue as well is fairly free ranged.
Just in my room though. I just made sure evrything in it was safe and so she spends the night eating my books and knocking everything over.
I always find her in the morning back in her pouch sleeping.
she's been getting "locked up" at night more due to the fact that well....I like my books ^_^, so its become more of a "play untill i go to bed" thing.

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Postby Deb » Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:28 pm

Mine are supervised while out. Depends on what I have to do in the evening as to who gets out and for how long. I have 3 in my living room and 1 in the den. The kitchen is between the two rooms and those 3 rooms are open to each other. It's really easier if I just let every body out at once and stay in those rooms with the doors to the rest of the house shut.

Their cages stay open and they go in and out, and come to me for pecan chips or a mealworm. When I want them to go back to their cages, I put their buffet into the cages. They don't always want to go in, but that's when I get out the favorite treat of the flyer who is still out. Molly is a sucker for Jordan Almonds :twisted:
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Postby Airstreamlady » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:31 pm

We've put the door draft preventers on all doors in the house. I still have not got up the nerve to let them loose.

Wouldn't you hurt one if it is in the way of the door when you gently open it?

I know it's here somewhere but I can't find it. Where is the article about flyer proofing your room with details of what to do. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks all.
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Postby Joan » Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:14 pm

Airstreamlady wrote: ... Wouldn't you hurt one if it is in the way of the door when you gently open it?


Several have been killed when a door closed on them.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby Airstreamlady » Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:24 pm

Oh My God! My fears were founded. We live in an open area from the dining room/kitchen/den and down the hall. There are no doors except on the bedrooms and all the closets and bathrooms. I just don't know how to protect them letting them out unsupervised.
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Postby Joan » Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:32 pm

Airstreamlady wrote: ... There are no doors except on the bedrooms and all the closets and bathrooms.


They are more apt to be hurt when a door accidentially CLOSES on them. I close my bedroom door when I leave them out. I've never had a problem opening the door to the room and I know where they are when I close it, but they are really fast and closing slowly will give a wayward one a chance to move.
If you have a floor runner, you have to be super careful and "shuffle" to avoid stepping on one.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby gloryaf88 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:00 am

I guess its my turn on this subject, huh?

Martie has free range of the bedroom unless I am going to be gone for several hours or as like right now, even being gone for awhile, she is still out, since she hid the babies again.

Pistol can have free range once the babies are older and Martie has calmed down. However, Pistol is my cage baby and could care less if he is out or not.

Martie will try every now and then to escape the bedroom and go into the living room if she catches a chance, but most of the time, if you are in the living room and she wants in there she will scratch on the door like a puppy.

Pistol will go into the living room only if you carry him, then when he is tired of it, he will run back to the bedroom door and wait for you to open it.

You have to know the furball to be able to give them free range and watch them closely to find their favorite hiding spots in case you need to cage them quickly for some reason. Before the babies were born, most of the time I could locate Martie and Pistol pretty quickly. Notice however I did say most of the time. Then there are times that I have to spend hours locating one of them because they have changed their hiding place.

Squirrel proofing is not an easy job and when you think it is safe some of them will find another way out. Martie and Pistol were gnawing out their own escape route here awhile back, but I finally got it sealed off to where they can't get to it now.

Personally, I do not recommend free range that is unsupervised because that is how my first one, Scoot, died, but how are you going to argue with a 2 ounce furball?
Glorya, Owned by Pistol Pete, owned partly by Martie Monster, whose heart will always belong to Amy, now owned by Count Dracula Monsterpete--Drago, and Little Foot MonsterPete.
In Loving Memory of Scoot, whom I will always miss!!

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Postby Mary » Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:03 am

I leave Peanut out to run free almost every night for about 2 to 4 hours, only in the bedroom. I sit with him for over an hour but will leave to go watch tv in the living room, when I can sneak out. I do keep checking on him at every commercial.
He does not run free at night. I need my sleep. :twisted:
Since it is nut stashing time, Peanut wants out through the day so he gets to come out at least twice a day to check on all his nut stashing at least a couple hours each time.
He has me right around his tiny finger.
If you trick him to go back in the cage, he gets all hyper and wants back out again.
Sometimes this is where "tough Love" has to come in for his own safety. I can never let him run free in the room when I have to go somewhere.

Mary

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Postby Lora » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:48 am

I'm a nervous wreck whenever Bobo's out. He learned to get out of his cage recently. After zip tying it all over the place we put him back in. A couple days later I noticed things seemed out of place in the morning but he was in his cage. The next day I found things out of place that I knew he must have done & his fur butt was NOT in the cage. I almost had a heart attack has I had the ceiling fan & a table fan running in there. However, soon as I called him he poked his little head out of the pocket of a robe I had hung on the closet door for him. I discovered he was getting out by moving the floor grate in his cage so that is now zip tied. Haven't had any more escapes since then. We moved out of this room a few weeks ago so he & Winnie (hamster) now have their own room. I'm fully squirrel proofed but the thought of him out unsupervised terrifies me. When I let him out I make sure someone else is home just in case there's a problem & I try not to leave the room for any reason. He's not all that brave yet either. Doesn't go to far away from me or his cage.

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Postby Babysmama » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:01 pm

Now I guess its my turn. If Baby had anything to say about it she would absolutely have no objections. Since she got Gene in all kinds of trouble not to long ago. He was getting repremanded for leaving her door open and since we have a cat that isn't a good thing. He insisted he wasn't and I wouldn't believe him. One night he caught her sitting first on top of her birdhouse then jumping slamming herself against her door and very nicely opening her door and escaping and then wandering over to Rocky's cage. One night she disappeared for two hours and I was in tears and swore the cat ate her. They are out with supervision especially her but we had to put a lock on her door. But I love her anyway. She stays in my shirt almost all night because I'm up all night.

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Postby Rhiannonn2626 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:39 pm

My pixie has free run in her room every night and she is out with me almost every day. I dont even have to worry about finding her in the morning either or during the day because when she gets tired of being messed with she puts herself back in her cage. She'll even climb the stairs to do it! Its one of her cutest tricks!
PROUD HOF to Pixie!!!

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Postby NestleQuick » Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:07 pm

Nestle has free range of my squirrel proofed bedroom as she pleases. I leave her cage door open for her and she comes and goes as she pleases. I can find her about 90% of the time either in her cage, on her tree, or in my curtains. There's usually a few picture frames and the like knocked over in the morning, but other than that, she doesn't get into much trouble and is almost always found sleeping in her (formerly MINE!!! :roll: ) boot that has been placed on the top platform of her tree. Like I said though, the room is entirely squirrel proofed: wires are inaccessible, windows and doors are sealed, ceiling fan in too far to be reached, and there is nothing that, if knocked over, could squish her.
HOF to my little Nestle Quick

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Postby voguemamselle619 » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:36 pm

batman has free range of my dorm room most of the time, unless i haven't had the time to properly 'clean' it. the room is completely sealed off, so she can't leave the room itself. here's what i do:

1. food must be properly stored in drawers... i thought i could hide it under the bed, since batman is not a floorgoer, but we've recently discovered she's been eating goldfish underneath there.
2. any sort of toothpaste-like container must also be stored in drawers (this includes lotions, etc.) bc she will chew through it and then potentially eat whatever bad stuff is in there.
3. no important books can be left out... she will chew them i guarantee
4. nothing breakable on the edges of shelves... or just about anywhere.
5. batman likes to chew through rubbery things... so i can't keep anything that resembles rubber anywhere or she will chomp on it. wires are also a potential hazard... i've been zapped from stripped wires due to batman.
6. i keep my laptop in my room, so i cover it with a towel that way she doesn't pee on it.

in the morning i can usually find her wherever the highest location she can reach is... this is usually the top shelf in the closet. sometimes she's in bed with me.
she wakes me up almost every night i let her out all night. usually i get fed up in the middle of the night and put her away if i need my sleep. :roll:
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- in loving memory of batman, the best little princess i could have ever asked for -

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Postby Joan » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:04 pm

Uh Oh! You've got a chewer. You can cover your electrical wires with 1" Split Wire Covers you can get at Home Depot.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby Guardian » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:47 pm

I'm kind of scared of letting Jack freerange in my bedroom, mostly due to the fact that I'm worried he'll get lost under my bed or in my blankets and I'll squash him. My other worries:

1. I have a VERY high ceiling and a tall cabinent and another tall shelf place he could reach and I wouldn't be able to get to him no matter what I tried.
2. A gap under my door prevents it from shutting most of the time, if the fan is running in my room the gap will prevent the door from shutting.

Does anyone have any ideas on either of these? I've also hung a Chinese-origin umbrella from my lamp to hide it (as well as the fan), I'm worried that if he does get up high he'll jump for the umbrella and go through it. I might need to get a new lamp shade...

Oh. My room used to be a hottub room, so three skylights, anything I need to worry on that? Two (either side) are securely closed/cannot be opened, and the third one is closed but can be opened.
Rest in Peace Gypsy, I wish you were still with us.
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Postby voguemamselle619 » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:48 pm

Joan wrote:Uh Oh! You've got a chewer. You can cover your electrical wires with 1" Split Wire Covers you can get at Home Depot.

thanks joan. i got my first real electrical shock thanks to batman. it wasn't fun at all! :roll:
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Postby Joan » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:53 pm

No, it isn't and it can be deadly to you and him.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby gloryaf88 » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:24 pm

Guardian, on the bed question: The first thing I would do is take a fitted sheet and put it on the underside of your box springs, then tape it to the top side of that mattress. Martie sleeps with me a lot and I have not had a problem with rolling over on her. When I start moving around in the bed, she moves to.

The shelves and stuff up high out of your reach is simple to solve: a small folding ladder. I'm short and everything is out of my reach, so I use a chair to reach Martie and Pistol, but when I had Scoot I lived in a different place and I had the folding ladder to climb up and get him.
Glorya, Owned by Pistol Pete, owned partly by Martie Monster, whose heart will always belong to Amy, now owned by Count Dracula Monsterpete--Drago, and Little Foot MonsterPete.
In Loving Memory of Scoot, whom I will always miss!!

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Postby Guardian » Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:31 pm

Hm. A ladder might work, but I would have to have a full on ladder to get up to where I'm talking about. Haha. (Stupid tall ceilings.)

That's a good idea for the mattress! Thanks alot. I'll see if I can find my old fitted sheet for underneath.


Also. Has anyone ever had a squirrel chew on shoes? Under my bed is my hoard of shoes... should I move them?
Rest in Peace Gypsy, I wish you were still with us.

Smudge, have fun in cat heaven.



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Postby majcourt » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:51 pm

well, i have lost 3 flyers when they were out- one i lost shortly after i had gotten him- i let him out of the cage, and lost him-a friend who was spending the night mistakenly left the toilet seat up and he drowned- the second one was in my bedroom which is flyer proofed- she jumpted on top of the door and i crushed her- she was so fast- the most recent, and most heartbreaking for me was the orphan i raised from infancy who escaped my bedroom from a window that had slid down- a window i didnt know would open- Alvin doesnt want to come out much, i think he sees what has happened to his companions- although i do let him out when he wants to come- my bedroom is still the safest place, all of my windows are locked closed and i check them every night- he likes his cage- i want to get a companion for him, but i think i am probably the unsafe link in my house- so i need one who is not particularly bonded to humans-

i think it is scary to have them out- but that being said, i always encourage alvin to come out, usuallly several times throughout the night- the trick i guess is to have total control of the room- and keep checking for changes-

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Postby NestleQuick » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:54 pm

Well, until recently, I would have bragged at having such a sweet, mild mannered little girl....until I found the remnants of my favorite flip flops. So in short...Yes. They do chew shoes. Though mine were foam, this could be why. There's actually someone on here (sorry I can't recall who) that put some sort of a cage-like fence around their bed that prevents their squirrel from getting under there at all. They swear it works, I've never felt the need for one, but it may very well solve your problem! Good luck!
HOF to my little Nestle Quick

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Postby gloryaf88 » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:36 pm

Before I lost Scoot, he chewed up an expensive pair of ropers that I had bought along with several pair of leather dress shoes. Yes, they will chew up shoes, especially leather or the hard heels.
Glorya, Owned by Pistol Pete, owned partly by Martie Monster, whose heart will always belong to Amy, now owned by Count Dracula Monsterpete--Drago, and Little Foot MonsterPete.
In Loving Memory of Scoot, whom I will always miss!!

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Postby voguemamselle619 » Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:24 pm

oh yeahh i forgot about that. hide all expensive suede and leather. batman has destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of designer goods :twisted:
i forgive her.
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Postby Tamis » Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:48 pm

Perhaps one of those shallow sterilite containers would protect the shoes adn you could still store them under the bed. Just an idea. I am also trying to find ways to flyer proof my room for bigger playtime. The bathroom is starting to lose its appeal. Perhaps just shove everything in closet and close it off...
Tamis.

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Postby gloryaf88 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:11 am

Hope your closet doors go from floor to ceiling with no little cracks. I kept my closet doors closed, Martie and Pistol went under them. I stuffed bedding materials and towels under the door, Martie and Pistol worked as a team to find a small crease and work through it. That is why I now have babies in my closet. I gave up and just left it open :twisted:
Glorya, Owned by Pistol Pete, owned partly by Martie Monster, whose heart will always belong to Amy, now owned by Count Dracula Monsterpete--Drago, and Little Foot MonsterPete.
In Loving Memory of Scoot, whom I will always miss!!

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Postby Susie » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:33 pm

I have always taken Piper to a little bathroom to run around in every night but now I have squirrel-proofed a bedroom for her. She just loves to run around on the bed, under the bed, up the curtains and down. She always acts like somethings after her. She looks so mean !! ha ---and she always has been pretty mean. I've had her for a year and she, just the last month, trusts me more than she ever has. She's been sick, just lifeless, twice and I think she remembers how I held her for hours and took care of her. She's a mess. I'm hers !!

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Postby Lora » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:50 pm

I'm the one who used the fencing around my bed. I bought 2 hamster playpens. They fit flush all the way around our full size bed preventing Bobo from going underneath or between the mattress & box spring. It came up to right below the mattress & didn't bother us getting in or out of the bed. Worked perfectly. We have sinced moved out of that bdm so Bobo & Winnie have the room to themselves but I would definitely use the fence again if I had a bed in there.


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