Sunday, October 31, 2010
I live in the kind of neighborhood where break-ins are usually at gun-point, and the intruders / thieves force their way in through the front door.
A few weeks ago, I came home to my peaceful quiet living room, took off my shoes. Then I entered my kitchen, which was a shambles. It looked as if there had been a minor earthquake. Dishes and boxes had been knocked off the counter and the fridge top and scattered on the floor. Then I noticed that a plum had been nibbled and bits of peel scattered about. My first thought was a bird. But could a bird really be strong enough to cause this much damage?
A 3-inch long slit in the screen was the only trace of my intruder. I’d left top half of my window open. I supposed a bird could have flown in by accident and then escaped by the same route. I closed the window, thinking about patching the screen over the upcoming weekend.
The next day there was a 1-foot diameter hole in my screen. No plum-hungry bird could have done that! It had to be a squirrel – a squirrel with a taste for plums.
I called several hardware stores. Nobody had heard of squirrel-proof screens. And if I found one online, they refused to install them – except for one store, where the screen installer said he’d do it on his own time – the store would have nothing to do with it.
I found squirrel proof screen on line. I got it installed. The hardware store was kind about the whole thing and let me bring my damaged screen with frame and my new squirrel proof screen material to the store and they let their repair person do the job on his break.
Now that the screen is in place, and I can open my window again. I’ve learned that the squirrels aren’t partial to plums. Any aromatic fruit will do. My grapes have come into season and the squirrels are eating more than half the crop. The finks take them just as they start to turn purple. At least they don’t let the flies in when they steal my harvest. And there's no risk of bullets.