A magistrate from Hartlepool was left with a £7,000 repair bill after a squirrel fell through her chimney and decided to wreck everything in sight.
Margaret Bousfield, 64, was alerted to the home-breaking rodent in the early hours of the morning after it set off the burglar alarm.
But by the time she made it downstairs to confront the intruder, it was too late.
The squirrel, which had become trapped in the room, had ransacked the place, clawing, biting and soiling all over her sofa, carpet and curtains.
According to the Telegraph, the mother-of-two said: “The first thing I heard was the burglar alarm go off as it woke me up.
”My first thought was that someone was downstairs. My neighbour entered the room holding a cushion to his chest.
“The squirrel was going wild but he managed to open a window and it was covered in dirt and it shot from the house like a bullet.”
Fortunately, the £7,000 bill was covered by Bousfield's insurance, although she has said not everything can be so easily replaced.
She said: “I'm quite a strong critter but I had chosen the sofa material with my late husband, John, so when I was told the sofa and carpets had to be replaced it really did affect me.”
Having completely refurbished the room, Bousfield has now squirrel-proofed her home by placing a mesh over her fireplace.