A Winnipeg man says squirrels are taking a bite out his telephone lines.

James Mattson, who lives on Christie Road in south Winnipeg, said it's been happening since last spring.

"There's something in that wire that the squirrels seem to snack on. What they'll do is they'll burrow into the outer core of the wire which is vinyl or plastic and then there's bundles of wires inside and they'll pick away at that," he said.

Squirrel damage

James Mattson points to the telephone lines that squirrels have damaged near his home. (Jill Coubrough/CBC)

But it's impacting Mattson's services. His phone, Internet and alarm system cut out every time it rains on those chewed up lines.

Mattson said MTS has sent crews to repair the telephone lines in 30 different spots but that only provides temporary relief.

"It's frustrating. It just keeps on happening and happening and nothing's being done," he said, adding it's happened nine times in two months.

Mattson wants MTS to replace the line with something more durable.

A spokesperson for MTS says while it's not widespread, squirrels damaging wires is a common industry problem.

They are looking into the problem on Mattson's street to see if there is more that can be done to prevent the damage.

Homeowners who believe their overhead phone lines have been damaged by squirrels are encouraged to call MTS Customer Care at 204-225-5687 to report the issue.

MTS will repair phone lines that have been damaged by squirrels.