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Squirrel Outreach Team - Carers UK Forum

Squirrel Outreach Team

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
We finally got our landline and broadband back after a week. We’ve been battered by really heavy wind storms of late so I, not unnaturally, assumed that was the reason our landline was out of action.
And, given that a load of other landlines in our locality were also out of action, so did the BT Outreach engineers.
However, after 3 visits from BT Outreach, checking everything inside and out, the problem was finally located… Squirrels :shock:

Those bushy tailed toothsome terrors have been chewing and nibbling on our overhead line where it joins to our house. According to the BT engineer, squirrels are very partial to this, which is why new lines have some kind of squirrel repellent stuff in them…. I kid you not!

I’m not at sure I believe the engineer’s tale of squirrel vandalism. Maybe he was just using squirrels as an excuse for BT taking so long to sort out our landline?
Why on earth would squirrels prefer BT lines over the nutritious nuts I left out for them? Unless the rubberized plastic (or plasticised rubber) coatings on BT lines are the squirrel equivalent of junk food? Junk food can be difficult to resist, so why should it be any different for squirrels?
But my disbelief didn’t stop me from having visions of mummy and daddy squirrels yelling at their squirrelets, “You can only go and eat the BT line AFTER you’ve eaten your acorns, and not before; it’ll ruin your appetite.”

Perhaps they chew on them as a form of dental hygiene, a bit like those chew things given to dogs? But I’d have thought a twig would’ve done just as well though.
Maybe, just, maybe these BT lines contain mind-altering chemicals that get squirrels high? Maybe BT lines are the squirrel equivalent of a pub or opium den? ;)
That makes more sense to me. After all, why would a squirrel want to dangle 30ft in the air risking life and limb to eat mouldy old rubber or clean their teeth? Addicts will risk anything for their fix; I daresay a squirrel substance misuser would be no different to a human one.
If so, I wonder if squirrels have Outreach Teams to help afflicted squirrels overcome their problem use of BT’s infrastructure.

“Hello, my name’s Squirrel Nutkin, and I’m a rubbaholic.”

I ran my theories past the engineer over a cup of tea and, to my surprise, he did not dismiss them. Nobody really knows why squirrels are so fond of chewing BT lines but my ‘getting high’ theory was closest to his, and some other engineers, theory. Not because of substances in the cables but because the blighters get a kick out of a mild electric shock when they hit the wires. I think I prefer my theory.

I was also told that the biggest cause of death for squirrels is from explosive heart attacks due to fright (so why would they want to give themselves electric shocks?) and that squirrels don’t hibernate, they go into a deep coma (same difference) for a week or so at a time throughout winter.
He seemed a bit squirrel obsessed to me, so I kept those thoughts to myself. But I could no longer keep quite when he informed me that you could play football with a comatose squirrel and even that wouldn’t wake it up.

I exclaimed, “I’m not bloody surprised! Using it as a football is bound to kill the poor bugger.”

He explained he was using a figure of speech, along the lines of someone describing that their camera was so tough you could play football with it and it would still work, and he didn’t intend for me to take him seriously about squirrel footballs.

Fair enough. He then proceeded to put the bejesus up my father and me by describing how squirrels chewing through cables in lofts had caused house fires leading to all sorts of mayhem and even death, and that we might have squirrels in our loft.

I don’t think he likes squirrels very much, but I think he might have a point about them being in our loft. I saw loads of them during the summer scaling our walls and disappearing under the eaves. At the time I thought how cute… not so cute now :evil:

Anyway, regardless of the dietary/dental/addictive/pyromaniac habits of squirrels (or not as the case may be, to be fair to squirrels) our landline is now sorted.
And what was the first thing my dad did when we got our broadband back on? He’s ordered a load of sonic devices to put in the loft that are supposed to repel vermin with high pitched noises.

I checked out these sonic things on the internet; they’re not very good apparently. IF we do have squirrels in our loft, I bet when they wake up they treat the sounds admitted from these devices as some form of house music and decide to have a rave in our loft instead of skedaddling like they’re supposed to.
I bet Squirrel Nutkin :twisted: ends up as the dealer guarding the gap to the BT landline, demanding one acorn for 2 chews or, as a special offer, 2 acorns for 5 chews.
I don’t think Beatrice Potter would approve of my 21st Century take on squirrels; perhaps it’s me that’s now obsessed with squirrels….

I think maybe I’ll ring the council tomorrow to find out how much it will cost to get a pest controller in to check if we do indeed have squirrels in our loft, and to humanly remove them if we do. Better safe than sorry and all that.

Needless to say, no more nuts for the squirrels in our garden. Beatrice Potter has a lot to answer for.
Maybe it wasn't squirrels. Maybe Busby has returned?
Couple of years ago we bought my mum a ground feeding bird table. Put all sorts of bird friendly scraps on it. One day sitting quietly watching for birds we saw a furry creature. On closer inspection it had a long thin tail!!! AAAGH!
So I called in the council. Yep, signs or rats. BUT was I feeding the birds? Yes I was. In that case it was my fault. Any food put out for birds, squirrels etc attracted rats. Don't do it because if you are encouraging vermin it's not our problem.
The ground feeder went in the bin and I'm very careful what I put out for the birds. The squirrels tend to dig up the bulbs in planters. Not too fond of them either, but I haven't seen a rat for a long time, (except the dead one in the garage) What do they say, wherever you are, you are only feet away from a rat?
Brilliant post by the way. Enjoyed reading it.
Very funny!
Squirrels are rodents, and all rodents need to gnaw things to stop their teeth growing too long. For this reason rats have taken out whole computer networks by gnawing wires, amazing!

Who's Busby?
I thought you (and others here) might be too young to remember Buzby - have a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U67FuWUkO_Q
Hi ,Sajehar ,a little off topic ,but how much do you pay for Bt land line and broadband ?.
I used to pay by direct debit ,£42 a month ,but lately i have been in debt ,they wanted to put my payments up to £65 a month , :angry: ,so i canceled the monthly direct debit and told them send me a quarterly bill .
I hardly ever use the land line phone ,a little bit further off topic did you see in the news about Scottish power told a pre payment customer they owned over £400 ?.
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I am at a loss as to how someone could be in £400 debt with SP (Scottish Power) on a pre-payment meter… considering that they cut you off when you are a fiver in debt????

I can only consider they are collating/collecting the Standing Charge. Even so, that would take about 5 years to collect/collate that amount of money.

They are rip-off merchants per excellence.

Regardless, I still stick by my first advice: Don’t rely on phone calls, get a paper trail.

I have got £35,000 plus of rebates for the tenants on my estate; and still they fight me.

I will fight them back….. I just don’’t know how….. but I will!

Don’t fight for them I’m told…. But I bloody well will.. were you go!
Sarj, when it comes to 'leccy bills, you are the Forum Queen! :lol:
I know a thing or two about broadband and phone bills, having switched many times over the years, and BT are absolutely outrageously expensive. I switch providers all the time, and my current phone and broadband package is with Tesco, who cost closer to £25 monthly, and that is for almost unlimited bandwidth and calls. There are probably even better packages on offer for those willing to shop around and switch every 18 months or so.
The key thing with all utilities and financial products is: be disloyal! Be a tart! Screw them .. for every discount, every 'introductory' offer, every 'six months free' trial you can get, and you will save a fortune.
(Currently sipping a nice dram of Glenmorangie single malt whisky from the Co-op, bargain of the week discounted from £36 to £23, and with a Co-op £3-off coupon, dropped to £20. )
Hi ,Scally ,i have thought of switching ,do you keep the same email address every time you switch ,the £25 a month you mention is that line rental included ?.
I pay £23.90 for broadband and £17.99 line rental ,i have Tesco mobile ,but the reception here is crap.
Sajher ,i have tried to find the Guardian online Article ,can't find it :( .