Another furry parasite mooching a free meal. Photo by markyharky.

I hate squirrels. Hate them, hate, hate them, hate them! They gobble my birdseed, dig up my plants, gnaw on my wires, and nest in my attic. And it's all the fault of you people. You squirrel feeders out there.

See, rodent reproduction is directly tied to the food supply (unlike human reproduction, which is directly tied the apple-tini supply). The more food, the more baby squirrels. So imagine Grumpy's horror and outrage when he went to buy birdseed for his cardinals, chickadees, finches, and tufted titmice yesterday, and discovered this:

emWhat's next? Premium Rat Food? Photo by Steve Bender./em

Squirrel food? Like we don't suffer from enough stinking squirrels already? And look what else it's supposed to attract. Raccoons? Geese? "Other outdoor pets?" Like what? Rats? Weasels? Possums? Armadillos? Velociraptors???????? Sure let's all buy our pet squirrel an automatic pet feeder why don't we?! Where is this country going?

Let Grumpy be clear. If he ever sees one of you walking out of Wal-Mart carrying a bag of this, you are dead to him.

What You Can Do We cannot accept our pristine, serene world of order and reason to be adulterated by eco-terrorists who feed squirrels and thereby ruin the balance of Mother Nature. Therefore, here are three easy things you and I can do to counter their insidious perfidy.

1. Buy a squirrel-resistant birdfeeder. (Note that I did not say "squirrel-proof." A pesky squirrel can conquer just about anything, because driving people nuts is its sole reason for existence.) You can get these devices at garden and home centers. You can also order them online from Duncraft, Wildbeaks, and Perky Pet. Or you can take a really cheapo plastic feeder and do with it what Grumpy did.

emMy cheapo feeder with guard gnome.               Photo by Steve Bender./em

I told you it was cheap. But it feeds my birds and has never fallen victim to stinking squirrels. How? I hang it on a thin wire from an outside branch of my crepe myrtle. I made sure it's too far from the ground or the crepe myrtle for squirrels to jump to it.

2. Fill your feeder with squirrel-proof seed. Cole's puts out a whole line of bird food treated with hot pepper. Birds cannot sense the pepper and it does them absolutely no harm. But when squirrels eat the pepper-treated seeds, it sets their flea-bitten, ravenous mouths on fire. I've tried this and it works. No squirrel asks for seconds. You can get Cole's products at most garden and home centers.

3. Treat squirrels as a renewable source of human nutrition, just as our forefathers did. Here's my son, Brian, preparing a squirrel for our Thanksgiving dinner. Organic gardeners, please note -- our squirrel is free-range, locally grown, and never fed hormones or antibiotics.

emYummy squirrel. Photo by Steve Bender./em

Not sure how to fix squirrel? No problem! Enjoy this quick & easy recipe for squirrel stew from my colleagues at Oxmoor House. Mmmmmmmm. Now that's good eatin'!