Squirrels gone wild

Squirrels gone wild »Play Video
Photo courtesy Flickr user John-Morgan (Creative Commons).

LONGVIEW, Wash. - Squirrels have caused hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in damage to cars and trucks in Cowlitz County.

There may not be another place in the world that loves its squirrels as much as Longview. They even put up bridges so the squirrels can go from tree to tree and get safely across the street.

But it seems the squirrels aren't sticking to the trees, or the bridges, and now folks like Joanne and Victor Martin are finding them under the hood of their truck.

"So far they haven't hit any of the electrical system, just the insulation. I think they were using it for nest material," Victor said.

Other folks say they have had squirrels chew up wires and even brake lines on their cars. And it's nearly impossible to stop them.

"Out in the country you can shoot them," said Alonzo Ogden. "Here, you're not allowed to do any of that. Actually, they're protected in this city. It kind of drives me nuts."

In Longview, the city is working on the problem. The parks director has put the word out to wildlife experts asking for suggestions.

Some people say pepper spray or a paste made of cayenne pepper spread around an engine does the trick. Animal control doesn't recommend poison because pets can get into it.

Some people trap the squirrels that are causing a nuisance but there are rules about where you can let them go.