Squirrels and other pests
Every year there is a discussion on our forum about the destructive nature of squirrels. Every year there are those that chose sides either for or against the controlling these pests.
I have posted here because it is an off topic subject.
I would like to have a calm , intelligent discussion on this topic without hurting anyones feelings.
Let me start by saying I am an animal lover. I have 2 cats and a dog (all neutered). I feed the birds and squirrels. We even have a moma squirrel that climbs up on the back porch storm door and scratches until someone brings her something to eat. They have no fear of my cats and the cats seem to enjoy playing with them chasing them around the yard until they climb a tree and chatter at them.
I live in a city environment, older neighborhood (1930s) with lots of mature trees. My lot is 100x135 with 4 mature hickory trees that produce a lot of nuts. Every year there is 6-10 new baby squirrels running around my yard. These young squirrels are the destructive ones. They dig just for the sake of digging because thats what squirrels do.
Last fall I covered 2 front beds with wire mesh to protect a number of bulbs. It did no good. The beds looked like they had been bombed. They dug under the wire mesh and tore up everything.
We try to protect our plants from slugs , caterpillars and other bugs. We protect ourselves from mosquitoes, fire ants , bees and wasps. We protect our homes from termites , mice and rats. We kill these creatures without a second thought.
Here in Michigan there are somewhere between 75000 and 100000 deer killed every year during hunting season. We are told that if these deer are not killed they will likely die of starvation.
Why are squirrels any different? Is it because they are cute and entertain us with their antics ? At what point do we draw the line?