Explosion of squirrel population causing headaches for farmers

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Farmers in New England are getting harassed by a bumper crop of squirrels.

The varmints are chomping their way through apple orchards and pumpkin patches, fattening themselves for winter while destroying the crops with bite marks.

Robert Randall, who has a 60-acre orchard in Maine, said he’s never seen anything like it. He said the onslaught is rendering apples and pumpkins unsellable.

Kendall Marden from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said the explosion in the squirrel population is linked to a bumper crop of acorns and other food last fall.

But as hungry as the squirrels are, it’s unlikely they’ll inflict serious economic damage. Orchards operators said this year’s apple crop looks good.

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