I commiserate with Mr. Gene Cox, as he writes about the squirrels in his life. Those little critters have found free room and board in our large green yard for years. A couple of oak trees provide plenty of acorns to fill their pantries for winter feed.
We ourselves may be at fault, as we toss stale bread, cookies and cake to the birds we love — the pretty red cardinals and an awesome flock of ravens. Needless to say the squirrels get to it first!
The way I see it, the sole solution to the squirrel problem is to move from our wide suburban spaces into a cramped apartment in a Richmond high rise!
I read your piece regarding your problem with squirrels. We and our next-door neighbors have had the same problem with chipmunks and squirrels nesting and gnawing under the hoods of our cars.
We have tried a number of fixes. We found out that squirrels hate the smell of mothballs. We tried putting those small white plastic hanging mothball containers inside the engine compartment. The problem with this is that you need to remember to remove the containers before you drive off. Another try was to place mothballs under the car on the driveway and then park over them when you pull in.
Then I found an under-the-hood animal repeller online at WhateverWorks.com and ordered it. It is a small black box that needs a battery and provides random bursts of ultrasonic waves that keep unwanted pests away. We ordered it and had our mechanic install it under the hood. So far, no squirrel nests or gnawing. If it really continues to work, it will be a small $20 investment compared to hundreds of dollars for wire repairs.
You might want to give it a try.