BDN interviews Dill for article on squirrel population explosion

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Griffin Dill, an integrated pest management professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for an article about a population explosion of squirrels in some Bangor neighborhoods. Especially high numbers of squirrels have been sighted in Bangor’s Tree Streets neighborhood this summer. This could be due to a number of factors, Dill said, including availability of food, presence of predators, weather conditions, and the possibility of more having survived over the winter and now producing more babies. “For the most part, squirrel populations tend to stay relatively stable. It could just be one of those things that this is a kind of a hot, dry summer, and that’s making them more active than previous years,” Dill said. Squirrels can cause damage to houses, chew through wires and damage gardens, the article states. “Squirrels are known to eat all sorts of different plants and vegetable matter. We tend to think of them eating seeds and nuts, but they will dig up seedlings or bulbs and nibble on other vegetables, and that can be a nuisance,” said Dill. “We all know feeding birds is the same as feeding the squirrels,” he added. Ways to keep squirrels out of your garden include moving bird feeders as far away from the garden as possible, installing plastic or wire mesh fencing, trimming low-hanging tree branches above the garden and using natural repellents like cayenne pepper, according to the BDN. Ways to keep them out of the house include locating places of entry, installing one-way doors so the squirrels can get out but not back in, sealing up entry points, trimming branches close to the house and cleaning up food and debris that could attract them.