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At home with nature

IN CONNECTION with preventing squirrels from getting access to bird feeders, Constance Buchanan (Letters, July 10) wonders if I am aware of squirrels living in the loft and biting through the electric cables. Yes and no. I have experienced quite a few different uninvited animals living in the loft or under the floorboards, both here and abroad. They have done surprisingly little damage to either property or occupants. Mice have caused the most damage.

For years squirrels went into a neighbour’s loft where they raised their young squirrels but they didn’t damage anything. I doubt if their presence in the loft had anything to do with whether the squirrels had access to bird feed or not. Once the owners fixed the roof the squirrels could not get in and that was the end of the problem. In another neighbour’s house one of their children’s pet hamsters escaped and did indeed eat through an electric cable. So it is a potential danger with squirrels but in reality I suspect that it is pretty rare.

I have lived in houses in Greece and Australia where there were dangerous spiders and either rats or snakes. If there were rats it indicated there were no snakes and vice versa. At home I have had starlings in the loft with their fledglings which made a bit of mess but once their access was closed they had to find somewhere else to live.

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If intrusive animals are doing harm, then do something about it. Otherwise “live and let live”.

Hugh Boyd, Bearsden.

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