Wildlife

Squirrel Scourge

Farmers in New England are vexed by unusually large numbers of squirrels that are gnawing their way through pumpkin patches, corn fields and apple orchards this fall.

Robert Randall, who has a 60-acre orchard in Standish, Maine, told The Associated Press: “They’re raising some hell this year. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The squirrel population boom appears to have been fueled by a bumper crop of acorns and other food, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Growers say one of the more infuriating aspects of the squirrels is that they often take a single bite then move on. But just one bite is all it takes to ruin fruit.

The rodents are now being killed in greater numbers by passing vehicles as they dart to find their next meal.

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