Squirrels are a nuisance

Those grey things running around neighborhoods, and using the power and telephone lines to cross streets, are a nuisance.
There are always three in my yard and the mother kicks the young out of her nest in the early fall. Her nest is in a hollow of a tree near our back door, but four metres up.
This year, the mother died in early May and her kits played in the yard until they reached full size. One managed to knock the power out by somehow crossing the wires that run down Victoria Avenue (we receive one power outage a year from a squirrel that tries to defy electricity).
The other young squirrel from this year’s litter seems to have disappeared from our yard. I still regularly see other grey squirrels in yards close by, but have not seen any around my neighbourhood.
But on Saturday, I learned of their handiwork. I leave my Christmas lights up year-round and hope that most strings will light again for the next holiday season after 10 months of being off.
I have been lucky in that respect. This year, however, I had one tree that not a single light came on in the 10 strings that were strung about a flowering cab.
Part of leaving lights up is the amount of work to both put them up and take them down. My face has the scrapes and scars to show how prickly new growth on a flowering crab tree can be in November and December.
The trees undergo a huge trimming when I have to climb through the branches.
And this year was worse. Much to my chagrin, those two young squirrels seem to have eaten off all the plugs and receptacles of those strings of lights. I don’t know what is in the plastic, or if they have an iron deficiency, but they managed to eat most of those couplings.
It was no wonder that the lights refused to come on.
Those grey squirrels are a nuisance. My neighbour had them take up residency in her attic one year and it took a lot of effort of trapping and removing their openings to get them out of the attic.
It also took a lot of work to remove and replace the insulation.
I’m not sure if they have any natural predators in Fort Frances, other than the human kinds that trap them and relocate them.
For the longest of time, those grey squirrels had not found their way into our community. In southern Ontario, the black and grey squirrels are found in abundance in community neighbourhoods.
The red squirrels in our forests can be as big a nuisance as their grey cousins that are found to be in our community. They, too, seem to find ways into cottages, buildings, and attics.
Yet I’ve never known a squirrel to chew up a power cord. My only wish is that the next time they get a hankering for outdoor light plugs is that it comes when the lights are on.
Maybe a sharp electrical jolt will curb their hunger.

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