Who doesn’t love squirrels? For years, we’ve put out ears of corn to keep them fat and happy. And then, a few weeks ago, we opened our side door and two squirrels scampered away. We were amused by these frisky little fellows playing on our porch. But when we returned from a Thanksgiving holiday in Indianapolis and began to unpack, we saw a gaping hole at the square base of a porch pillar. Looking closer, we saw another hole on the side. It was puzzling. Years ago, wasps had eaten away that same base, causing the pillar to collapse. But wasps in the snow? It didn’t make sense. And then it dawned on us. Help! Squirrels are eating our house.
We turned to the internet to confirm our suspicions. And sure enough, there were pages of horror stories about squirrels eating you out of house and home. One person had to spend $10,000 replacing a squirrel damaged roof. Apparently, squirrels will eat wires, man made wood, asphalt shingles and lots of other things in your house.
One squirrel lover sternly admonished that it was our own fault for not providing enough squirrel food. The critters were eating wood because they were hungry. Guiltily, we realized we hadn’t provided the ears of corn this year. But wait a minute, thanks to our neighbors’ trees, our yard is full of black walnuts and acorns. You’d think that would satisfy their hunger pangs. Other experts stated that the squirrels eat wood to sharpen their teeth. That doesn’t make much sense, with numerous surrounding tree branches to chew on.
I hopped in the car and headed for Rural King. As I was getting a bag of free popcorn, I asked a salesperson if they had a product to help someone who had squirrels eating their house. Nearby customers looked at me with astonishment. They had never heard of such a thing. But sure enough, there is a pepper spray squirrel repellent. No, you don’t spray it on the animal, but on the wood, so that it doesn’t taste very good. Trouble is, rain and snow washes it away, so we will be going through lots of the squirrel repellent this winter. For good measure, we covered the holes with duct tape.