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How To Remove A Squirrel’s Nest From A Tree

September 30th, 2021 · 13 Comments · Brian on YouTube etc., Weird Things About Me

How To Remove A Squirrel’s Nest From A Tree



We live in a very wildlife-rich area, and everybody gets along.  Well, I’m sure the rabbits aren’t too fond of the coyotes and foxes, but other than that, the deer, skunks, opossums, minks, beavers, chipmunks and raccoons don’t cause each other or the non-furry animals much of a problem.  Nor do the mourning doves, owls, bats, hawks, crows, wild turkeys, swans, seagulls or Canada geese.  Certainly none cause any widespread damage to homes or other property.

Unique in the animal kingdom ’round these parts are the tree rats — which some people call squirrels.  They ate the mourning dove eggs out of the nest on my windowsill.  Then they ate through the screen on the window and tried to get into the house (thank god the window was closed!  Then they started eating the actual windowsill!  They’ve eaten/destroyed the ornamental wooden fence posts in the backyard.  They dug up the new green lawn that was just planted.  They dig up and kill the flowers in people’s potters on their balconies and in their gardens.  They eat the tomatoes neighbors try to grow, and strip the nextdoor apple tree, taking one bite of each and dropping them to the ground.  They eat their way into attics and start breeding in people’s houses.  They eat through electrical wiring, including not only our neighbours’ expensive Christmas light strings (and sometimes causing house fires), but through the town’s elaborate tree displays, ruining the image, and causing the entire light strings to be thrown in a landfill, plus wasting all the cost and effort by the workers, and ruining the Christmas visuals for children.  And they even do it in the engines of people’s cars!  They’ve chewed on and ruined neighbors’ nice furniture in their back yard.  They strip the bark off the beautiful tree in my back yard to get material to build their rats’ nests.  And that’s when the light went on.  I started looking more closely at the trees around our complex and saw how many penthouse condos we were providing them.

The problem was, of course, that they were so far up in the trees.  So I started thinking of a way to get up there and knock them down.  Then I built the tool — with $30 worth of PVC pipes and a few odds & ends lying around the house.

Materials needed:

four 2-inch wide 8-foot long PVC pipe pieces — $7 x 4 = $28
one 2-inch by 2-inch wooden strip board — which is actually 1½ x 1½ inches — $3
one 3-prong cultivator — $20
duct tape

It’s very simple to build — I show you how in the video — and then I show you how to reach the pipe up into the tree to remove the nest.

I checked with the bylaw people at city hall to confirm it’s legal to remove a squirrel (rat) nest on your property, and they told me that it was.  Then I called the Humane Society to see what they thought of it and the local office told me as long as I didn’t hurt any animals in the process, they were fine with nest removals.

Here’s the instructional video on YouTube . . .



Another little update some might find helpful — to keep squirrels out of your garden (or anywhere) — sprinkle cayenne pepper. It’s the only thing I’ve found that works.  I used to buy it from the spice racks at the grocery store, but I happen to watch Les Blank’s 1978 documentary Always For Pleasure are saw some guy cooking vats of crawfish and pouring in cayenne pepper from a 5-pound bag.  “That’s what I need!!”  And sure enough, you can order them online!  I’m gonna keep and continue to refill the shaker from the grocery store.  But now I won’t have to be so sparing with sprinkling it around — I’m gonna have 5 pounds of the magic powder.  🙂


If you like the voice and style of the video, you’ll prolly enjoy the books I’ve written — like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac.  😉

Or here’s a whole Author’s Page full of them on Amazon.

Or if you like this rats’ nest removal riff, there’s a whole bunch of other videos on YouTube in the same voice on different subjects —

People seem to like this one —


Or here’s the part of Hitchhiker’s Guide where I first arrive at Ken Kesey’s Furthur bus . . .


Or here’s one with some musical accompaniment — Kerouac’s principal musical collaborator David Amram and the mighty Kevin Twigg on drums — in a happy riff about meeting a bunch of the Beat luminaries for the first time.  😉


Enjoy the ride!  And may we all live rat-free!


by Brian Hassett   —

Or here’s my Facebook page if you wanna join in there —



13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Audra Yeomans // Sep 30, 2021 at 12:23 PM

    I love this!!! The squirrels in our backyard DESTROY everything! They bury all their nuts in my plants and ruin all the roots. They rip the bark of the trees, they eat the tree seed pods, jump from tree to the next and make a ton of noise! They climb all over our upstairs neighbors roof and just a few days ago, one almost attacked me when I was trimming a few ficus trees. It was deep in the tree and I didn’t see it, but he was pissed. Luckily I was able to run back in the house and slam the door. I have to clean up after them everyday! So now, NOW, we are gonna do something about it thanks to your video!!!!! ✌️❤️

  • 2 Brian // Sep 30, 2021 at 3:11 PM

    Oh wow! Well, isn’t that a perfect and fast outcome for this.
    So happy!
    Weir everywhere.

  • 3 Audra Yeomans // Sep 30, 2021 at 8:51 PM

    Thank you! I even tried to put moth balls in and around my plants and that didn’t even stop them! I want nothing more than to grow some tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis, but I don’t dare try it bc they would destroy all of it! Like eating one bite and then discarding it! It’s like – at least eat the whole thing! LOL ✌️❤️ to you brother!

  • 4 Lisa Kemp Ebel // Oct 1, 2021 at 9:51 AM

    Wow you are tenacious! It’s an upper body workout too, lol. Your shoulders must be burning.

  • 5 Brian // Oct 1, 2021 at 11:43 AM

    I like “tenacious” 🙂
    And yeah — doing that third nest, the bark up the birch tree, I thought but didn’t say out loud, “I’m gettin too old for this.”
    And yeah — since I can’t go dancing at concerts these daze, taking down rats’ nests is about the most exercise I get.

  • 6 Dale Topham // Oct 1, 2021 at 2:07 PM

    Did battle with one a few months ago. It had found a small hole under our eves and was taking up residence in our roof near the living room chimney where it was nice and warm. Could hear him up there at night. Kept vigilant. After a few days I saw him across the street and quickly nailed a board over the hole. He kept coming back for days, trying to get in the hole or find another. Took about a week for him to give up!

  • 7 Joanne Desjarlais Anderson // Oct 1, 2021 at 4:28 PM

    Love it and the video. Those darn tree rats

  • 8 Ben Kleiman // Oct 1, 2021 at 10:39 PM

    After watching this video it felt like I had just had a visit with an old friend, without having to leave the house.
    You should have your own talk show. 🙂

  • 9 Muzza Deano // Oct 2, 2021 at 10:03 PM

    I might try this with the Great Australian Dropbears that tend to hangout in various trees and leap on unsuspecting joggers & bike riders.

  • 10 Brian // Oct 2, 2021 at 11:49 PM

    Well, if you spot one of their nests, I’m sure this will solve the problem. 🙂

  • 11 Nancy Jones Fulkerson // Oct 3, 2021 at 3:41 PM

    I’m glad you didn’t shoot them. I know people who put food out for squirrels and I know people who kill them because they eat their vegetable garden.

  • 12 Brian // Oct 3, 2021 at 5:03 PM

    Yeah. They’re disgusting despicable destructive rodents. But all I’m doing is encouraging them to relocate.

  • 13 Ann Harker // Jul 23, 2023 at 5:12 PM

    I am going to try this as soon as I get the materials to do it with. I thought your video was great. I have a river birch in my yard and have noticed all the bitten off branches and the chewed off bark and now I know what caused that. Thank you for your informative videos.

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