#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 3rd, 2013 11:23
#2 By: greggman, September 3rd, 2013 11:31
Governments train dolphins to find mines who says they can't train squirrels to take out infrastructure
#3 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 3rd, 2013 11:36
This is my new favorite conspiracy theory.
#4 By: Jeffrey Bell, September 3rd, 2013 11:41
There is a legend that every time the power blinks, a squirrel gets its wings.
#5 By: incarnedine_v, September 3rd, 2013 11:44
are the wire sheath made from organic plastic by any chance?
Squires love the taste of that.
#6 By: Edwin Gore, September 3rd, 2013 11:45
Quick! Someone needs to find a video of squirrels running around on monkey bars so we can use that as proof of this!
#7 By: Stefan Jones, September 3rd, 2013 12:23
Dogs have been warning us about this for decades, but do we take their advice and burn the suckers out of the trees with flame-throwers or shoot them off of fence posts with shotguns?
We tell the dogs to be quiet and drag them away, leaving the commie punk saboteur squirrels to gnaw away at our precious infrastructure.
#8 By: Sam Ley, September 3rd, 2013 12:23
As a member of the solar industry, I can confirm that squirrels love to destroy everything associated with electrical infrastructure. Special compounds are added to wire insulation to make it unpalatable - they eat it anyway. Steel cloth is wrapped around PV arrays to prevent squirrels from getting to the wire - they chew through it (seriously). If they make a home under the array, they dig through the shingles into your attic, pull up romex, and use it to make nests. What is their deal? WHY?
#9 By: Christopher Waldrop, September 3rd, 2013 12:31
Tell me about it. It isn't just the infrastructure that squirrels are ruining. I won't mention how much money I've spent this year alone on car repairs because of damage done by squirrels. A few years ago the guy at the auto shop and I were both equally baffled by how and why some wires were cut deep inside my car. A few more incidents later and I realized those wires weren't cut. They'd been chewed.
#10 By: Stefan Jones, September 3rd, 2013 12:43
For a while an employee kept a squirrel feeder nailed up to a tree outside of her cubicle window. Of course, the place was swarming with squirrels. Four or five cars parked in the vicinity had vital wiring chewed up by the tree rats.
Eventually the squirrel feeder came down.
Impudent little bastards.
#11 By: Daniel Johnson, September 3rd, 2013 12:54
They mostly come at night. Mostly.
#12 By: Heather, September 3rd, 2013 13:04
See my FOIA to DHS on this topic. We need answers from DHS on what they're doing to address this grave threat to our way of life. https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/dhs-efforts-to-mitigate-squirrel-attacks-on-our-infrastructure-6597/ #SquirrAlQaeda
#13 By: Ray Cornwall, September 3rd, 2013 13:14
I still remember taking one of Dr. Burnaby Munson's hard as heck chemistry exams in 1989 in a University of Delaware building when the power went out due to a suicidal squirrel. Apparently there was a flash of light and the sound of burnt, furry meat hitting the ground.
#14 By: incarnedine_v, September 3rd, 2013 13:18
yup. there have been numerous reports of this happening with new wiring on cars which is organic and thus edible. It's like beef jerky for squirrels.
Rodent spray seems to keep them out though.
#15 By: Tim Quinn, September 3rd, 2013 13:27
First, they came for the squirrels and I said nothing.
#16 By: Devin Carless, September 3rd, 2013 13:30
Funny, the Smithsonian Magazine had an article about a similar problem: ground squirrels were burrowing past the fences of a nuclear weapons storage facility and setting off the motion detectors (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/08/how-one-nuclear-missile-base-is-battling-ground-squirrels/).
I would have thought that, with a squirrel problem on one hand, and a ready supply of nuclear weapons on the other, the obvious solution would present itself.
#17 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 3rd, 2013 13:59
Nuke 'em all, and let God squeak it out.
#18 By: LDoBe, September 3rd, 2013 14:22
I hadn't heard about car wiring getting chewed up before. In my neighborhood, usually it's a juvenile crow shorting a pole mounted transformer, but sometimes squirrels do it too. I don't get why they don't insulate the mains with a hinged cap on top of the pole. It's not like a squirrel or crow could work a bolt.
#19 By: kcsaff, September 3rd, 2013 14:52
Someone told me that they'll chew through steel but not copper mesh. Seems worth a shot, anyway.
#20 By: Sam Ley, September 3rd, 2013 15:32
Copper mesh would be so expensive that it would be impractical - copper prices are extremely high right now, we even avoid copper wiring whenever possible. The solution is usually thicker cloth. The thing that is funny about the squirrels chewing through hardware mesh is that it is very regionally dependent - some areas they will just give up, but in some areas they are so intent to get back to that wiring that they'll hurt themselves trying to chew through 18 gauge steel hardware mesh. Maybe something to do with the time of year they are barred from entry, or competition for resources among squirrels?
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