The Rodney Dangerfields of the animal kingdom

By Lynette L. Walther

Squirrels just don’t get much respect. Aside from those little wooden chairs that attach to a tree and hold a cob of corn for them to gnaw on, squirrels are pretty much persona non grata in the garden. Squirrels are the butt of jokes, not to mention the root of that term “squirrely,” which fits their personalities to a T.

Perfect example: Squirrel Appreciation Day was Jan. 21, and here we are, days later, giving them their due.

So in the spirit of that honor, we have to hand it to squirrels that if you only have one job in life, it is imperative that you do it well. That’s pretty the accepted norm whether you are a pie-maker, a soldier, teacher, a welder or a spy. Given that assessment, it only stands to reason that when it comes to squirrels, their job of cleaning out the bird feeders is one in which they consistently outperform. You gotta give ’em credit.

But that does not mean you have to hand over that birdseed! Leave it to squirrels to empty the bird feeders, but that’s not the only damage those 1-pound rascals are guilty of. They dig up plants and flowering bulbs, plant unwanted things in our gardens and lawns, decimate vegetable and fruit crops in the summer months, leave holes in the turf and sometimes even chew their way into our homes and take up residence! Yeah sorry, but that’s not the Tooth Fairy rustling around in the attic.

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