Squirrels vs. Sprinkler Systems in the Plano Lawn Sprinkler Service AreaPosted on May 13, 2013
Leaks in sprinkler systems in our Plano lawn sprinkler service area can be caused by numerous things: expanding and contracting clay soil, high water pressure, inferior workmanship, lawn equipment, tree roots, and squirrels. SQUIRRELS?!?! Yup, squirrels. Squirrels can come across as cute little creatures with their bushy tails, tiny paws, and beady little eyes. They can run vertically up trees and fences, jump from tree branches to house roofs, and change directions in a single step. Most of us can even admit to stopping or slowing down for these energetic little creatures while driving down the street. But for us at Pearson Sprinkler Company, that is where our affections for these rodents end!
A little squirrel information…
Squirrels are active year-round. They usually build nests in trees, using leaves and other materials. We even found a nest of baby squirrels in a pile of leaves at our house. Squirrels give birth twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Female squirrels will have two to five babies per litter. The babies are self-sustaining at about 12 to 14 weeks of age and will leave the natal area in search of their own territory. Squirrels are territorial and keep to their own area. They can live to be about 10 to 12 years old, but most squirrels in urban areas will be hit by a car before they reach old age.
Squirrels are rodents, and as such, their teeth continue to grow and grow. In order to counteract the lengthening of their teeth, squirrels chew, chew, chew. Squirrels can cause a lot of damage to a residential property. They can, and do chew on trees, branches, plants, patio furniture, lawn equipment, and components of sprinkler systems.
Our most recent encounters with sprinkler system components damaged by chewing squirrels included two residential properties in our Plano lawn sprinkler service area. One sprinkler system had succumbed to sprinkler head damage and the other suffered drip line damage.
At one of our customer’s homes in Plano, squirrels had chewed six sprinkler heads in various areas of their property. The least damaged sprinkler head consisted of several chewed areas, whereas the most damaged sprinkler head was practically chewed right off! When the sprinkler heads are chewed this much, water leaks and pours out the top of the sprinkler head when the sprinkler system is on. At this particular house, four of the six sprinkler heads had been chewed so much that they were leaking. One of the pictures included with this blog is of the sprinkler heads that we replaced at this house. The one on the left is a brand new sprinkler head (without a nozzle). The pyramid on the left includes the chewed sprinkler heads, the worst being at the top, and the least damaged being at the bottom left.
At another of our customer’s homes in Plano, squirrels had chewed right through approximately eight inches of drip irrigation line (see included picture). Whether you have drip irrigation in your shrub and flowerbeds or surrounding your house for foundation watering, if there is a hole in the drip line, when the sprinkler system cycles to these zones, the zone will not function at all. When there is a leaking sprinkler head on a zone, water will still reach the other sprinkler heads, albeit with lower water pressure. However, when there is a leak in a drip line, water will not reach the other areas of the zone. Water will only be coming out of the hole. Picture it…water pouring, pouring and pouring out!
We at Pearson Sprinkler Company recommend that homeowners in our Plano lawn sprinkler service area frequently conduct quick inspections of their sprinkler system, both while it is running and when it is turned off. Regular checks can help homeowners save both water and money.
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