The Battle of the Squirrels

Jan. 22, 2013 @ 05:37 AM

Who would have thought that a small, fuzzy, four-legged animal could cause so much grief and anxiety?

Coming off a very long week, I was awaiting my Sunday where I could just put my feet up, maybe watch some Netflix and really do as little as possible.

That all changed at about 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

It was that time I learned just how much damage those cute squirrels can cause with so little effort.

I was abruptly woke up very early Sunday — and let’s bear in mind that I am not much of a morning person — to the sounds of a panicked family.

“Our power’s out.”

“The lights are flickering.”

And of course, from the teenager. “I can’t get on the Internet.”

That came from hours playing on the PlayStation with some of his friends for his birthday.

But, for fear of digression, I managed to get the sleep out of my eyes and avoid killing the closest person to me.

I went around the house and noticed that power was back on but, the lights were dim and some things wouldn’t power back on.

It wasn’t until a few hours later when one of the twins came to me and uttered the words that I was really not in the mood to hear:

“I think there is a power line down across our deck,” he said. “Do you know why that would be?”

Outside of some kind of punishment for a past transgression, I really had no idea why a power like would be in that location.

I was wondering if I was the only person who noticed that when things go wrong, like a power outage, they happen at the least convenient time. On a Sunday, during a holiday weekend? How convenient.

So, I made the call to the electric department and got a very quick response, which was surprising considering the timing of the incident. We had electricians on the scene about 20 minutes later.

Then came the verdict: Squirrels had eaten through the neutral part of our electric cable and caused the power to go out and some of the electronics in the house to be permanently disabled.

One of my recurring thoughts was just how smart a squirrel has to be to realize that chewing through the neutral cable prevents it from becoming a permanent fixture in the backyard. Then, of course, there was the thought as to just how tasty a power line must be to encourage a squirrel to actually attempt to eat it.

Later in the afternoon, we had summarized the damage done which included a brand new television, computer, dishwasher, printer, brand new oven and ... wait for it teenagers ... no cable television.

So I have decided to declare all-out war on squirrels.

I realize that it will be war that I won’t win and really can’t fight but, I just feel better in being able to say that I am waging a war with an animal that weighs about 4-5 pounds and will likely get the best of me.

So it goes ...


Matthew Clark is the Editor of The Daily Courier. He can be reached at 828-202-2927 or emailed at Follow him on Twitter @UMass_MClark