A South Tulsa home is under siege from a furry foe. For the past year-and-a-half, Mark and Laura Wilmoth have been forced to share their house with a family of squirrels. The animals have damaged their roof, damaged their guttering, chewed through electrical wires, and smell up the place in the summertime. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says itâ€™s driving the couple nuts!
Laura Wilmoth says it started with strange noises.
"We started noticing it was in the ceiling and in this wall in particular,â€ she said. â€œWe would just hear lots of falling and scurrying and scratching, and it's pretty loud at times."
Wilmoth says they went through three different pest control companies who couldn't even figure out what the invader was, until they found Ned Bruha, who's a different breed.
"Understanding wildlife in the wild is one thing, understanding how they co-exist with people is totally different," said Ned Bruha with Bruhaâ€™s Nuisance Wildlife Control.
The ex-military man says there's really no formal training for rooting out wily wildlife. He says it takes a lot of reading, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of ingenuity and innovation.
High above, he found where they're sneaking in. You might be surprised to know that squirrels are very accomplished chompers.
"I'm just really stunned,â€ said Wilmoth. â€œI didn't realize they ate things."
"They will chew through a roof in nothing flat," Bruha said.
He says squirrel squatters are actually very common.
"Nice warm fuzzy insulation in an attic is much more appealing than a cubbyhole in a tree," said Bruha. "Right now is breeding season, they're having a party up in this attic. My job is to evict the party-goers and tell them they're not welcome anymore."
Bruha installed a cage in the entry hole that will let any squirrels out, but they won't be able to get back in. Some squirrel-proof guttering is also going in, he'll also trim the trees back, because even though squirrels could scramble up the house itself, he says they rarely do.
"Once they're trimmed back, we'll be in business," Bruha said.
But the squirrels have left the Wilmoths with about $6,000 in roofing, guttering and electrical repairs.
"Used to think they were really cute, but not so much now," Wilmoth said.
And one last part to our story, the Wilmoths found out that squirrel damage is not covered by their insurance.