If you’ve noticed squirrels chewing on your fence, it’s important to address the issue before it causes significant damage. Providing squirrels with a variety of food sources and ensuring they have access to adequate nutrition can help prevent mineral deficiencies and MBD. Additionally, discouraging squirrels from chewing on your fence by using deterrents or providing alternative chew toys can help preserve your property.
1. Identify the Type of Wood: Squirrels are most attracted to softwood, especially whitewood and redwood. Make sure you are using a pressure-treated pine or hardwood fence that is difficult for squirrels to chew on.
2. Apply Squirrel Repellant: Apply a squirrel repellent spray or granules around your fence. These sprays have a bitter taste that squirrels hate which may deter them from chewing on it.
3. Provide Distractions: Provide an alternative for squirrels to chew on. This could be a squirrel feeder placed at a good distance from your fence.
4. Create Barriers: Wrap your fence with a hardware cloth that will make it harder for squirrels to get close and chew through the wood.
5. Call Professionals: If squirrel damage persists, you might want to call a pest control expert to inspect the area and provide effective long-term solutions.
Understanding Squirrel Behavior
If you’re a homeowner with a yard, chances are you’ve encountered squirrels. These small, bushy-tailed creatures are known for their energetic behavior, scampering up trees and across wires with ease. They can also be quite the nuisances, causing damage to yards, gardens, and in some cases, fences. Understanding some of the reasons why squirrels might be chewing on your fence can help you take steps to prevent further damage.
Squirrels are natural chewers. They use their sharp teeth to gnaw on objects in order to keep them filed down and prevent overgrowth. They might also be chewing as a way to mark their territory. For squirrels, their teeth are a crucial tool, serving multiple purposes. But the reasons for fence-chewing go beyond just basic behavior.
Common Causes of Squirrel Fencing Damage
One of the most common reasons for squirrels chewing on fences is due to their search for food. In their efforts to find food, squirrels will often chew on anything they believe has the potential to offer sustenance, including fences and other materials. Another reason squirrels might chew on fencing is to gain access to a new area. If the fence is blocking their path, they might chew on it to create a new opening.
Lastly, squirrels might be chewing on your fence just for fun. Squirrels are naturally curious creatures who love a good challenge. If the fence provides a source of entertainment, they’ll continue to chew on it.
The Role of Mineral Deficiencies
One reason why squirrels might be chewing on your fence is due to a lack of minerals in their diet. Specifically, squirrels require adequate amounts of calcium and phosphorus in their diets to maintain strong and healthy bones. If their diet lacks these minerals, squirrels can develop a condition known as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Exploring Metabolic Bone Disease
MBD is a condition that affects both captive and wild squirrels. It occurs when there is an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in a squirrel’s diet. This imbalance can lead to weakened bones and teeth, making it harder for the squirrel to chew its food properly. As a result, squirrels with MBD may chew on anything they can, including fences, in an attempt to meet their dietary needs.
Nutritional Considerations for Squirrels
To prevent squirrels from developing MBD and subsequently chewing on your fence, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet. Commercial squirrel food is available at most pet stores and can provide the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Additionally, you can also supplement their diets with items like nuts, seeds, and fruits to provide additional nutrients.
It’s important to note that feeding squirrels should only be done in moderation, as overfeeding can have negative consequences for both the squirrels and the environment.
Preventing Squirrel Damage to Fences
If you’re dealing with squirrels chewing on your fence, there are a few steps you can take to prevent further damage. One option is to create a barrier around the fence, using materials like chicken wire or mesh to keep squirrels from accessing the fence. You can also use specialized sprays that are designed to repel squirrels from specific areas.
Lastly, if you’re dealing with a particularly persistent squirrel, it may be necessary to call in a professional pest control service to address the issue.
In conclusion, squirrels chewing on fences can be a frustrating problem to deal with. But by understanding the reasons behind their behavior, you can take steps to prevent further damage and keep your yard looking its best. By providing squirrels with a balanced diet and taking steps to prevent access to your fence, you can coexist peacefully with these adorable and curious creatures.