Why Do Squirrels Chew Wires? {How Can You Stop It?}

Are you noticing chewed up wires around your property, in appliances or under the hood of your car?  Why Do Squirrels Chew Wires?

What is it with rodents who constantly chew up our belongings? How do you keep rodents from chewing on wires? Why do squirrels chew on everything?

In this article, we will examine and look further into why squirrels chew on wires.

Why Do Squirrels Chew Wires?

Squirrels need to chew on wires to prevent their teeth from growing too long. They need to control the length of their teeth and also sharpen them. If they are unable to open acorns or nuts with their teeth, squirrels will end up going hungry.

Chewing through materials helps them create friction and grinding their teeth gives them the right length. It’s like sharpening a knife.

Unfortunately, chewing through your wires is an easy way for squirrels to exercise, reduce the length and sharpen their teeth.

Do Squirrels Chew Up Wires?

Squirrels chew up wires just like they would not anything else. In my backyard, the corners of my decking and wooden posts are being chewed on constantly by squirrels who are trying to sharpen their teeth.

It helps to reduce the length of their constant teeth growth. Squirrels will gnaw on just about anything including:

  • phone wire
  • coaxial cable
  • electrical wire
  • insulation

If squirrels get through the walls and chew on insulation, they can expose bare wires. They may end up nibbling on the wires themselves. This could cause potential electrical hazards and possible fires it’s left unnoticed or unrepaired.

How Do You Keep Squirrels From Chewing Wires?

If you would like your wires to be protected from squirrels who wish to chew on them, you can apply a few effective strategies. Steel mesh and PVC piping work really well to protect wires, but you can use other types of additives on top of the wires themselves to create a deterrent for squirrels.

Here are a few ideas to help you coat your wires and keep squirrels away:

  • ready-made squirrel repellent
  • pepper spray
  • mint mouthwash
  • citrus solution
  • predator urine

As you can see, there are products on the market that can help you to prevent squirrels from chewing on your wires. Try some today and see which one works best for you.

Do Squirrels Eat Copper Wire?

Squirrels and other rodents like mice and rats continue to chew constantly to maintain the growth of their teeth.

They also need their teeth to be strong enough and sharp enough to gnaw through tough shells, seeds acorns, etc. Unfortunately, squirrels do chew through copper wire.

They also chew through:

  • wood
  • water pipes
  • paper
  • vinyl siding
  • electrical wires
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Why do Squirrels Chew on Everything?

I see squirrels chewing on anything and everything in my backyard. This includes:

  • Trees
  • Decks
  • Patio furniture
  • Leaves
  • Posts
  • Sticks
  • Pots

Squirrels get the uncontrollable urge to gnaw on things to prevent their teeth from growing too long. The best way to prevent this is to apply squirrel repellents on top of anything that you wish for squirrels to not chew.

This includes citrus solutions, peppermint mouthwash, ready-made squirrel repellents or even predator urine.

Can Squirrels Cause Electrical Fires?

Yes. The nuisance that squirrels end up causing for homeowners can lead to electrical fires in some cases. If a squirrel gets into your attic or chews through insulation, they can expose bare wires.

They can get inside vents and electrical appliances. These areas offer the warmth and shelter. They do not realize the extent of the damage they can cause. Nesting inside appliances or walls with exposed wiring can cause overheating and fires.

How Many Fires are Caused by Squirrels?

Thousands of house fires each year are attributed to squirrels. It is hard to prove directly that squirrels were the cause of the fire.

There are instances where rodent teeth marks provide enough evidence to suggest that they were the cause of exposing bare wires which may have led to the housefire itself.

Suspecting squirrels is common when trying to determine the cause of unknown housefires.

What Will Squirrels Not Chew?

Squirrels will chew just about anything. Bigger or tougher materials like steel mesh and PVC piping work well to create a barrier for squirrels. They usually have difficulty chewing through them.

Coating your electric wires with deterrents or repellents will also help to discourage squirrels to chew in these areas.

They will find something else such as tree barks or branches that are much more natural and less destructive. Coat your items that you do not want squirrels to chew on with the following repellents:

  • ready-made squirrel repellent
  • pepper spray
  • mint mouthwash
  • citrus solution
  • predator urine

Why Are Squirrels Chewing on My Fence?

Squirrels are chewing on your fence to cut, clean, sharpen and maintain their teeth length. This is a very normal thing for all rodents to be doing. If you want to keep the squirrels away from chewing on your fence, you can coat them or spray them with citrus solutions or predator urine.

There are other ready-made products available to repel squirrels. Take a look around the house for multiple repellents or just go to the bathroom and pick up a mint mouthwash. Place it in a spray bottle and begin spraying your fence with it.


Unfortunately, nature requires squirrels and other rodents to constantly chew or gnaw on materials that should be naturally provided for them to maintain their teeth length and sharpness.

Too bad they have found human-made items that are extremely important to us and may cause disasters if they continue chewing on our wires. Repellents work and squirrels will find something else to chew on instead.


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