Manitoba

Squirrels go nuts for tasty Christmas lights

Squirrels are earning a spot on Santa's naughty list — chewing up Christmas lights around Winnipeg.

Squirrels are earning a spot on Santa's naughty list — chewing up Christmas lights around Winnipeg.

Squirrel expert James Hare said the rodents chew things to wear down their teeth, and the latest LED Christmas light bulbs seem to be a favourite target, being much more appetizing than the old glass bulbs.

"The LED bulbs are kind of the perfect consistency," said Hare. "They're hard plastic so they wear the teeth and they don't get a mouth full of glass."

Winnipeggers aren't alone in having their Christmas lights chewed up by the pesky varmints. People in Fredericton and Milwaukee, Wis., are among those to address similar problems.

"Squirrels like other rodents have continuously growing incisors," said Hare. "And so they have to gnaw on things to wear their teeth down and keep them sharp. You know, basically anything hard they can find to gnaw on they'll gnaw on."

Hare said the cheeky little critters are also more likely to snack on LEDs because they can safely get away with it. The lights use a low voltage that saves the animals from electrocution.

Experts suggests leaving nuts around the yard so the hungry rodents can feast on them instead of plastic lights.

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