Saturday, July 26, 2014
It turns out that the best way to get rid of the squirrels is to take down the squirrel highway.
I wondered about the highway when I took out the dead tree - I had watched them jump from tree to tree across the yards, and was curious as to how they'd get around with the tree gone. I needn't have worried; they quickly figured out alternate routes using the fence and the power line.
The line originally crossed the back yard at about 8'; it was easy to reach up and grab it - and the squirrels had no trouble jumping from the fence to the line and from there to the roof. I wasn't so keen on the 8' above the ground part (I didn't know yet about the squirrel condo in the eaves; if I had, I wouldn't have been keen about the squirrel roadway part either), so when I had the foundation dug, we also buried conduit between the house and the garage. When the outside of the garage addition was complete, I had my electrician come back and install a new meter box. (The line had to move SOMEWHERE, anyhow - the location of the original meter is now in the middle of my kitchen.) The power company was most cooperative about coming out to move the line from the house to the new box. I don't think they were keen about that 8' clearance, either. From the new meter box, the line runs below ground to the new crawl-space; the main panel has now become a sub-panel off the feed.
While we were at it, we also had old cable and phone lines taken out, and the new fiber line also moved to the garage. Which means there are now no suspended wires connecting my house to the pole.
Turns out the squirrels didn't like having their main highway taken down. They CAN make the leap to my roof from the neighbor's house, which is only about 10' away, but it's an awkward jump. It's uphill, and not a great angle.
So, within a week after the line got moved, they packed up their bags and moved on out. Not sure exactly where they went - I think they just moved to the tree across the street; I see them climbing on it all the time now.
I'm happy. The squirrels, presumably, are happy. The cats, not so much. One of their favorite pastimes was watching the squirrels through the screen, plotting how they could get out there to catch the little buggers. With no rodents to watch, they've had to find other interests. Oh, well. Can't please everyone...