Squirrels burying peanuts in the yard...

Posted on: Sun, 02/29/2004 - 10:22am
nutty-mom's picture
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Joined: 02/19/2004 - 09:00

Help!! Now that we finally had a nice weekend, I was poking around in the yard and discovered to my horror that squirrels have been burying peanuts there. For the most part the nut itself is already gone, but there are quite a few shells to be found in our yard. We live just outside Cambridge, MA so the houses are really close together. I suspect a neighbor is feeding the squirrels, but I'm not even sure how to track the person down...

Do peanut shells have the protein in them- and can they cause a reaction? My 17-month old son had an allergic reaction two weeks ago. We're fairly new at this, so I wasn't sure if I needed to keep him away from shells. We're already strict about hand washing/shoe removal when coming in from outside because our house was built in 1898 and we're been conscious of the whole lead paint issue. I'm seriously going to lose my mind trying to protect my son from all these "unseen" hazards. ~Sorry for the rant.

If anyone knows any info about peanut shells being hazardous I'd appreciate it.

Thanks-
Kim

Posted on: Sun, 02/29/2004 - 11:13am
StaceyK's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

We have the same problem - and my allergist says it's no problem. BUT - big qualifier here - he is extremely lax about the allergy, so much so that I switched allergists recently. He says A-OK on the peanut oil even saying I should give it to my PA daughter and has always advised that I take a wait and see attitude before giving the epi-pen. His staff was also trying to get me to just 'go ahead and let' my daughter start school even though they hadn't gotten around to filling out the forms she needed to have her epi pen on site. Stuff like that, very ignorant, in my opinion. I for one am not comfortable about the peanut shells in our yard - after all - couldn't some peanuts be left in the shells - bits and pieces - even if the shell is safe? I would be curious to know what everyone else thinks/has heard.

Posted on: Sun, 02/29/2004 - 12:37pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I don't want to alarm you any more than you already are - I know how overwhelming and scary this allergy can be, especially when you're first getting used to it. But, I do know a little boy who had an anaphylactic reaction after touching a peanut shell that he dug up in his back yard. His mom posted about it here; I'm sure you can find it if you do a search. (It was probably about 2 - 3 years ago.)
I have to admit, though, that with the comfort zone I have now I probably wouldn't freak out too much.
Take care, Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 2:46am
domesticgodess's picture
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Joined: 08/26/2003 - 09:00

Okay, I've been meaning to raise this question for some time.
My neighbor, right next door to us feeds the squirrels every morning and every evening. I have asked her several times not to do this a [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] and expained why but, she insists in doing it. She ia a very educated women and a highschool teacher to boot.
Every 2 weeks I go out there and rake the refuse up and have at least 4 bags of shells to haul to the curb.It is not just the pa thing squrrles are destructive and we have had to replace bulbs, flower, eaves and shingles!! This summer we are getting a pool and last summer we had several squirrel deaths in out wading pool! Gross!
So when I was spaeking to her yesterday I mentioned the squirrel deaths and she said it was b/c they were thrirsty! Duh!
She said she'd put a bowl out for them and it should help! No, stop throwing that crap!
Also what do I do when these shells are dropped into the pool? Am I to hope they are not stepped on there for puncturing the lining? Am replacing the roof now only to do it again in 2 years?
They are destuctive little beasts and no matter which way I have put it to her( like she could kill my son doing this)she does not seem to care.
This makes me very angry.I like her she is good neighbor and a nice person. Sounds weird I know. Except for this little problem.
My yard is a wreak b/c of this and no garden going in this year!!
I have tried to feed them first but never succeded! I am hoping to relocate a few this spring. It is not against any law for her to feed them and I'd rather not take it that far as I do have to live with her the rest of my life.
I am fuming! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]~Jenna

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 3:07am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

domesticgoddess - I'm in the exact same boat you are - my nieghbour is 90+ and sometimes just keep forgetting about her wee PA neighbours (little boy with PA to the south of her, us with Syd to the north of her). My planter boxes, yard, porch, soil, etc., is always full of peanut shells - Syd gardens with me, but at all times wears her little gardening gloves and gives me a holler when she finds a peanut shell so I can dispose of it. Short of moving to the country, we're stuck dealing with peanuts in their shell... as the squirrels live in the trees by us, but are also bringing peanuts from neighbouring yards back to their nests in the trees near our property & burying them in our yard.
Do you think if you buy a big bag of sunflower seeds and asking neighbour to use them instead of the peanuts, she would?
If that doesn't work, and you are really frightened of the ramifications, rent a trap for a weekend or two and lug those squirrels to the nearest forest.
Cheers, Syd's mom (squirrel trapper at large) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 3:09am
Sharon C7's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

I have the same problem. I have found peanut shells in my yard on more than one occasion. My son is 7, and I've shown them to him so he recognizes them and told him never to touch them, but to come get me and I will pick them up and get rid of them. I haven't warned my neighbors because it seems to be an occasional thing and I don't want to make enemies since they put up with my barking dogs without complaint. So I clean it up when I see it.

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 3:12am
Sharon C7's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

BUt, I want to add, it's just a few shells. If I had to fill bags of them everyday, I would be fuming. Call the town. Send them a certified letter that you are requesting they cease the activity because of the health risks to your son. If they refuse, you have it on record that you've asked them to quit. Next step, threaten to sue them if they continue to threaten your son's life. Any idiot that puts the feeding of a squirrel over a child deserves a lawsuit. Then, consult a lawyer to see if you can actually sue them.

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 3:19am
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Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

I wanted to add again-
When you send the certified letter, send one to the neighbor and one to the town both asking for the activity to cease.
Take photographs of the peanuts before you clean them up and date them. Don't discard the bags in the trash, discard them on your neighbor's lawn with more letters. Have witnesses if possible. Begin building a case. If people can sue for slipping on a sidewalk, I see no reason why this shouold be any different.
Home should be the one safe place you can offer to your child. A neighbor has no right to violate that. Anyone who puts the stomach of a squirrel over the health of a child deserves what they get.

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 3:59am
Kathy L.'s picture
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Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

I don't have any suggestions to offer, but this exact topic was the plot of an episode of "Yes, Dear" on CBS. Their child has a peanut allergy. The mother found a squirrel and several peanuts buried in her yard. The husband took the squirrel "for a ride" in the car, but the squirrel got out. The rest of the show was about the squirrel in the car.
Anyway, one day we discovered a ton of dirt under the basement foundation where it meets the wood at the ground level (don't know the term for that). There had to be hundreds of peanut shells in there plus some whole peanuts! I took my pa daughter out for the day while my husband cleaned it. It's scary to think how many shells have been buried in our yard. We had a neighbor who fed them years ago (before children), but we had so many squirrels they were destroying everything so he stopped.

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 4:02am
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

Is it legal to kill squirrels? I mean, can you outright kill them on your property (are they a pest or wildlife?) Maybe say to her that when you catch them on your property, especially if they are carrying nuts over, you will *KILL* them to save your child (if it is legal.) Maybe suggest that if she does not want that to happen, she should stop attracting them her yard and giving them the substance that they carry over which could harm/kill your child. *If it's legal*, you could be blunt: It's this nasty rodent or my child - guess which one I'm choosing?
(this from a former vegetarian and still an animal lover. But - you know - squirrel or my child. No contest!!)

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 5:03am
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Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

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

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