Music hath powers to repel the savage pest

In today’s Zits, Connie Duncan schemes to rid the house and garden of chipmunks:

Her weapon in this anti-sciurid campaign? Her son’s rock band.

It’s a lot like using classical music to disperse loitering teenagers from public areas.

From a L.A. Times story of 4/4/11:

Whether its Handel piped into New York’s Port Authority or Tchaikovsky at a public library in London, the sound of classical music is apparently so repellent to teenagers that it sends them scurrying away like frightened mice. Private institutions also find it useful: chains such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven, not to mention countless shopping malls around the world, have relied on classical music to shoo away potentially troublesome kids.

In the latest example of classical repulsion, the regional transit department in the Portland, Ore., area has been playing orchestral and operatic tunes over speakers at light-rail stations in an attempt to prevent vandalism and other crimes that result from teens having too much free time on their hands.

While the tactic seems to work with teenagers, I see no evidence that repellent music (of any genre) works on chipmunks or squirrels — and, as I have noted several times on this blog, I have a serious personal interest in driving sciurids away.

Squirrels have done considerable damage to my container gardens, and nothing I’ve tried has been effective in keeping them away for more than a brief time. But in the last two weeks, the marauding squirrels seem to have vanished completely. Maybe they’re on their annual early-summer rodent retreat in the foothills. Maybe there’s a predator keeping them away (though I haven’t seen evidence of one). Maybe someone is poisoning them — I bear considerable ill will towards squirrels, but not to the point of having them killed — though I haven’t seen any evidence of that, either.

So: we confront the Mystery of Blessed Squirrellessness.

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