My neighbor won\'t stop feeding peanuts to the squirrels!

Posted on: Fri, 06/21/2002 - 2:27am
Sarahfran's picture
Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

pWe have an elderly next door neighbor, kind of reclusive, but her one trip out of the house each day is to leave birdseed for the birds and peanuts for the squirrels. The squirrels then take these peanuts and leave them all over our yard--I find peanuts and peanut shells on our front porch, buried in plant pots, strewn on the front and back sidewalks, and all over the lawn. We talked to the neighbor about a year ago and asked her to stop or to find an alternate food for the squirrels because of my DD's life threatening peanut allergy, but I'm still finding the peanuts. I hate it that we can't even play on our own swingset without worrying that my DD is going to have an allergic reaction. Currently I deal with the situation by cleaning and sweeping constantly, and only allowing my DD outside with supervision (which we would do anyway since she's only three) but it's hard to keep up on a daily basis and frustrating that we have to be so vigilant on our own turf./p
pAny suggestions for dealing with this? /p

Posted on: Fri, 06/21/2002 - 3:08am
LJG's picture
Joined: 05/23/2002 - 09:00

Perhaps an expensive proposition, but could you provide the old lady with her squirrel snacks....offer to drop off a bag of sunflower seeds (if they don't pose a hazard) or a loaf of bread each week, if she quits with the peanuts? (I can well imagine what a pain in the bneck this situation must be for you....your own home being invaded by nuts. Geez.)

Posted on: Fri, 06/21/2002 - 7:06am
WoozerMom's picture
Joined: 12/28/2000 - 09:00

I think I would talk to her again.
I live in senior development (thank goodness, I am the baby here -- LOL), and many of the people here are quite elderly. They seem to forget easily, and sometimes don't understand.
But I would really talk to her in a very friendly way, taking along a nice batch of cookies or something. She may be very lonely. Possibly you could get her to tell you and your family about the birds that visit. Perhaps if you could get her involved in a friendly way with the family, she would be more helpful.
I am so sorry that this is happening. I myself find walnut shells in my yard quite often. There are walnut trees about a block away, and the crows carry them over here to drop on our tile roofs and patios to break them open. Since I am allergic to tree nuts, too, it freaked me out at first, but my husband handles cleaning them up.
Good luck.

Posted on: Fri, 06/21/2002 - 12:37pm
momjd's picture
Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

I'm so sorry, I remember you going through this and thinking it had been resolved last year.
I would say move, but how does one ask a real estate agent to interview all the neighbors on their peanut policy?
Maybe send her a picture of your daughter with a note written on it saying "Please stop trying to kill me"; or collect all the shells, put them in a bag and leave them on her doorstep for a week with a note saying "please ask your friends to stop littering in my yard"? (As you can tell I've lost my own optimism regarding the kindness of others in the past few months)
FWIW, even though I don't have a peanut feedin' neighbor nearby (that I know of) I'm still afraid to let ds outside b/c I do see squirrels around. (Our cat is missing- so the squirrels have free reign)
(When's that island going to be ready?)
OOPS! That was wood who went through it last year. Your experiences sound so similar. Have you tried talking to your neighbor yet, or is she just not going to cooperate?
[This message has been edited by momjd (edited June 23, 2002).]

Posted on: Fri, 06/21/2002 - 3:00pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

This sounds like a very difficult and disturbing situation! I can hardly imagine the stress of feeling that your own yard is so unsafe, and to top it off you have to keep cleaning! Ugh! I think WoozerMom had some really good ideas. I also think that older people are often among those who truly don't understand about life threatening food allergies. (I am certain there are exceptions to this; my own parents and in-laws are very understanding, but they have a personal and dear reason to "get it".) She may think you are just an over protective and paranoid mom. Sometimes I begin an explanation of pa by saying "I know this must sound totally crazy/unbelievable..." I don't know if it helps or not, but I feel like acknowledging that it sounds bizarre makes it less likely that people will just think I am bizarre. Good luck!

Posted on: Sat, 06/22/2002 - 11:22am
wood145's picture
Joined: 09/10/2001 - 09:00

I have a neighbor who is also feeding peanuts, but to blue jays not squirrels, although I'm sure the squirrels get in them too! And I was always finding peanut shells in the yard. I asked her if she would mind finding another "treat" for them and she said NO! (This woman also has about 9 bird feeders in a very small yard, puts bread out for the animals, carrots, etc. She's a bit crazy but that's a whole other story). Anyway I couldn't believe she said no and I told her that she had no idea what it was like for us, not being able to do the things that most kids can, like go for ice cream, to a ball game, eat the candy when we go trick or treating, etc. I told her that if the situation was reversed I would stop feeding peanuts to the birds for her children, or anyone elses for that matter. Well, I think she was a bit embarrassed by all this, esp. since this all happened with a few other neighbors there (with mouths open, shocked expression on faces) and she said she would shell the peanuts before she put them out. I haven't seen any shells around and this was a few months ago and I really haven't talked to her since. But maybe if you did try to talk to her and explain that your home is truly your only safe haven maybe she'll "get it". Hope this helps.
PS I'm not really thrilled with her still feeding the peanuts but at least DS doesn't scream everytime he walks outside anymore.

Posted on: Sun, 06/23/2002 - 10:47pm
Lisa V's picture
Joined: 03/12/2002 - 09:00

Anything you could do in your yard that would really bother your neighbor? [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 4:22am
Sarahfran's picture
Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

Alleluia! Alleluia!!! After years of dealing with this, FINALLY our elderly neighbor is selling her house and moving away!!! I feel a bit bad for being so happy about it, but I think we can finally stop worrying about the peanuts in our yard!

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 6:28am
deegann's picture
Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by deegann (edited February 09, 2005).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 10:22am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I'm so happy for you! I am sending *sell quickly* vibes!
[img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 3:25pm
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

I know the feeling...
About a year ago, I fired off an e-mail to the city about a squirrel feeder that is filled with peanuts that is next to the front door of the main library. There are peanut shells at the base of this feeder, including part of the sidewalk. I'm aggrivated that they never did a thing about it. Having to scrub his shoes after every library trip gets old fast.


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