By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 at 9:07 am in fox squirrel.
Several times we’ve observed a small fox squirrel chewing on an outdoor metal electrical box. It has actually made a hole in it. Is the squirrel bored, short of iron in its diet, misled by its parents as to what it should eat, or suffering from its teeth growing too fast?
Phil Grover, Concord, CA
Squirrels are funny. Their teeth have VERY hard enamel on the front side and are softer on the back. They also grow continually, as do the teeth of most rodents. When they chew on something hard, because of the softer backs, they wear at an angle. This keeps the teeth always sharp. Mother Nature is very clever.
Occasionally for some reason, squirrels will become obsessive with their gnawing, like the animal that’s gnawing on your metal box. Why? Who knows. Maybe it feels good, or the sound of gnawing on metal turns the little character on, or maybe the metal tastes good. Whatever the reason, you can probably put an end to it by spraying the metal box with dog or cat repellent (available at pet and most hardware stores). /Gary