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Author Topic: Can Squirrels Hurt My Coach?  (Read 2847 times)
Scott Bennett
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« on: December 07, 2011, 05:46:12 AM »

We're parked very happily in a nice private and wooded spot with full-hookup and 50 AMP service. I have no complaints, except there are little squirrels everywhere. They are under the bus playing, climbing the tires, poking head out of the wheel wells. When I go outside to dump tanks, they scatter...dozens of them. They are using the bus as a playpen. Will they hurt anything? Should I just let them be?
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 05:56:11 AM »

Time for a cat! Grin

Would not want those little guys inside the bus to stow away and cause all sorts of problems down the road.

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Grant Goold
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 05:59:18 AM »

Possibly. I have had mice chew through three air lines in the past two years. First time bus would not air up and second time bus parking brake would not release. Had to replace lines from the rear to the front. Also when dash heat fan was turned up to high I got a face full of acorn shells coming out of the defroster vents. Mice, chipmunks and squirrels can do a lot of damage. They like to chew wires, plastics items and store food in places.
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Steve Canzellarini
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 06:13:52 AM »

If you are going to be there for any length of time, get some fabric softner sheets and scatter a bunch of them in your bays and engine compartment,.....anywhere that you don't want the little buggers  getting into. Grin
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 06:19:26 AM »

Interesting about the dryer sheets...that really works? I know mice and chipmunks are tiny and they are chewers, but I wasn't sure if squirrels really were the same way. Thanks for the tip..I'll try the dryer sheets. The squirrels can't get into my bays, so it the only place I'm concerned is the engine compartment. My air lines are all copper still. I guess I can throw some dryer sheets around the engine compartment....
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 06:49:08 AM »

Are they tree squirrels if they are they don't do damage to wires

good luck
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 06:58:42 AM »

Yes, tree squirrels. I didn't think they were chewers. The worst they could do is stick a nut where they weren't supposed to. Thanks Cliff.
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 07:16:22 AM »

Yup, really work, just have to change them every 3-4 months. I have used them in storage units, cars that have sat in fields and woods, and an old uhaul truck that i had stuff stored in for 6 months. Once i started using them i never had another problem with rodents.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 07:45:22 AM »

I agree with Ed, the sheets do work! Now I need to go change ours out. Thanks for the reminder! Grin
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 07:59:23 AM »

Thought I honestly don't think they are doing anything more than playing (I've observed them for a bit) I will experiment with the dryer sheets just for fun (hey, humans like to play too).
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Scott & Heather
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http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 08:29:34 AM »

Oh yes, they can!

At work we have an ongoing problem with squirrels.   The ground squirrels here cause major damage with their digging, but we can deal with them  -  once a year we put Fumitoxin in their burrows, not that it makes much difference to their numbers overall.   However, the tree squirrels here are classified as game mammals, so there’s essentially nothing we can do to deal with them.   Unfortunately we don’t have enough natural predators to control them effectively, and when there are some the employees here begin to panic  -  we had some coyotes running around during the daytime, and staff here thought they were going to be run down and killed, like The Hound Of The Baskervilles.   Our problem isn’t helped by idiot staff who insist on leaving out food for the squirrels, because “they’re so cute”.   Also, some newer cars’ electrical wiring has soy-based insulation instead of the more usual plastic-based insulation, and I’m guessing this is more palatable to rodents.   An employee’s Lexus here recently had $2000 of squirrel damage to its wiring  -  I guess the squirrel was relentlessly pursuing chewing perfection.   One of our Ford Ranger work trucks here recently caught fire and burnt to a crisp while it was parked:  we suspect its wiring had been damaged by squirrels and eventually shorted out catastrophically.

The tree squirrels here definitely chew wiring, but I don’t think the ground squirrels do  -  their damage is mostly subterranean.   Here are some useful links on squirrels:
Tree squirrels  -  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74122.html
Ground squirrels  -  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7438.html
Ground squirrel BMP  -  http://ucanr.org/sites/Ground_Squirrel_BMP/   (A “Burrow Exploder” sounds like it could be fun!   Tora Bora on a smaller scale?)

Mothballs and dryer sheets are quite effective, but coyotes, bobcats and cats, hawks and even dogs are still the best way to deal with the little buggers.   Or just shoot them  -  the city did that when they were making a soccer field here, but it caused some consternation to folk passing by.)

John
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 09:11:38 AM by Iceni John » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 08:51:04 AM »

Well I can tell you, squirrels will eat propane hose, And I mean tree squirrels. we  have had them eat, the rubber seal around the vent pipe on the house as well.  Have seen damage to an RV where they ate holes in the rubber roof,  We use moth balls, around the engine when up north and here in Fl,  you don't really smell the moth balls like you would think, or you could break out your trusty,  RED RYDER  if you still have it.....................
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 09:23:15 AM »

Mercy...those lil buggers are a little more harmful than I thought. I hope they are not chewing our bus. But I did scatte dryer sheets liberally in and around it just in case. We have a .22 bolt action with a scope and a 12 ga but I'm not planning on using that within city limits  Shocked 
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Scott & Heather
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˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 09:28:29 AM »

You guys east have some bad @$# tree squirrels ours so lazy they wait till the pomegranates fall off the tree and share with the quails lol
I can live with the squirrels the pomegranates are a pain I hate pomegranate season 

good luck
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 09:36:12 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 11:34:20 AM »

Back east the gray tree squirrels will chew through the plastic covering on telephone cables on the telephone poles. We had this problem when I worked for the state wide telephone company. Once they got through to the metal sheath they stop but that now caused water to get in causing cable problems. They also ate the plastic bird feeder I had hanging trying to get the feed which they did destroyng the feeder. Any of these rodents with the sharp front teeth will chew items. I was told once that their teeth continue to grow and they must chew thing to keep the teeth short. Not sure if this is true or not.
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Steve Canzellarini
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 01:22:53 PM »

It depends on the squirrel.

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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2011, 01:27:24 PM »

cant hurt your coach but watch out for your nuts....
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 01:44:38 PM »

cant hurt your coach but watch out for your nuts....

He!  He!
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 04:10:35 PM »

I once saw squirrels throwing mothballs out the roof peak vent of a friends house after they had torn off the screen covering the vent!

They liked to play football at night in the attic!!
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2011, 05:14:43 PM »

Ok...so I take back my comment that they aren't chewers. These guys here in Florida are smaller than most squirrels I've seen (certainly smaller than our Michigan squirrels). Anyway, they are a playful bunch...really love to use the bus as a playpen. They are all over it. Roof, tires, rims, underneath. Cracks me up when they stick their heads out to look at me.  Cheesy
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2011, 11:16:41 PM »

Try living on the Delta. We have river Rats that are so big they will help you change your bus tires if needed.
They are about a foot long with a long tail, we though one was a cat until it turned to look at us and we both went WTf is that. I told the wife to get in the bus but she kept asking me to open the door!  Grin Grin Shocked
 He said thanks for the dryer sheets and saw them doing their laundry the next day.
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 05:50:32 AM »

Try living on the Delta. We have river Rats that are so big they will help you change your bus tires if needed.
They are about a foot long with a long tail, we though one was a cat until it turned to look at us and we both went WTf is that. I told the wife to get in the bus but she kept asking me to open the door!  Grin Grin Shocked
 He said thanks for the dryer sheets and saw them doing their laundry the next day.

LOL! Cheesy
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
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« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2011, 04:04:33 PM »

I was told once that their teeth continue to grow and they must chew thing to keep the teeth short.

Sounds like some lawyers and politicians I know of.
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« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2011, 04:18:40 PM »

Squirrels are just rats with a PR agent.  I keep bait in most of the bays on the frenchy bus and in some of the inside storage as well.  We take margarine tubs, cut a little door out of the side and put a bait bag/bar inside the tub.  The tub keeps it neat and tidy and the little vermin think they're really onto something when they sneak in the door in the side of the tub.  I just replenished all the bait today so its fresh in my mind.
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2011, 07:54:59 PM »

  Game animals or not, a lil .177 hunk of lead from a "light" air rifle, and who's gonna know? Sub velocity .22's are almost as quiet too. And im pretty sure they will eat De Con, if you leave some out, I mean if your feeding mice and they want some too, why not share??

  They can and have done a ton of damage to vehicles. Eat/chew electrical insulation and rubber or plastic hose, they can total a vehicle under the right circumstances. I remember a story, some couple were up in Yosemite and went for a hike. Came back several hours later, car wouldn't start. Everything under the hood was so chewed up I think it totaled the car.
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2011, 08:53:22 PM »

When I used to go fossicking out in the desert we quickly learnt that we had to open the hoods of our cars when they were parked, otherwise engine wiring may get chewed.   I don't know if it was desert packrats or what else that were the culprits, but we didn't take any chances.   If your car won't start, and you're 25 miles from the nearest paved road, it can be a serious matter.

John
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« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2011, 04:56:42 PM »

Mice once chewed through both insulation and copper wire that disabled the wife's car. I had to replace the wiring completely.

I can only imagine what those little pieces of wire did to the little buggers intestines!
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