Mariam Pal says she and her husband assumed a burglar had trashed the interior of their home in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce area of Montreal while they were in Vermont for a week.

The living room was overturned — lamps knocked over, sofa cushions on the floor, window blinds shredded and chocolate wrappers all over the floor.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, someone’s broken in,’" she told CBC Radio’s Daybreak.

She ran upstairs to check on her computer and in her study, she found the culprit — a grey squirrel.

She called the Montreal SPCA, which advised her to try to catch the squirrel in a box or cage, and take it outside.

Squirrel home 2

The pregnant squirrel wrecked Montreal resident Mariam Pal's blinds, knocked over a lamp and soiled her couch. Pal estimated the damage at several hundred dollars. (Mariam Pal)

Finally, she got hold of an exterminator who came and chased the squirrel out of the house.

Pal said the squirrel caused several hundred dollars in damage to the home that wasn’t covered by her insurance policy.

“Our blinds were ruined, we had to have all our furniture cleaned, there was oil all over the kitchen floor, the squirrel gnawed at kitchen cabinets, destroyed all the soap in the bathroom,” she said.

Squirrel 'obviously frantic'

Chris Grabas, manager of Skedaddle Wildlife Control, told Daybreak that chimneys are the most likely home entry points for squirrels.

Most of them fall in accidentally and can’t get back out up the slippery interior of the chimney.

“The squirrel was obviously frantic and trying to get out. It was starving and, unfortunately in this case, it was pregnant and had to give birth,” he said.

Pal found the baby squirrels near death in her sewing basket.

Grabas said the best defence against animal intrusions into your home is installing a cage of heavy-gauge galvanized steel on top of your chimney.

Pal had hers installed on Friday.