Can Squirrels Chew Through Metal: True or False?


A squirrel baffle can effectively keep squirrels from climbing up or climbing down a bird feeder, depending on how the bird feeder is installed. It is available in the shape of either a cone or dome.

The majority of squirrel baffles in the market are made of metal. And now you may be wondering: can squirrels chew through metal or not?

Squirrels have strong and sharp teeth, which is why they can chew through soft metals such as aluminum and copper. Squirrels will chew through them for the sake of food, protection and warmth. However, their durable teeth are no match for strong metals such as galvanized steel and carbon steel.

Just because you love squirrels doesn’t mean that you should tolerate their mischievous behaviors, such as stealing the contents of a bird feeder and leaving nothing for birds to feed on.

If you want to keep the paws of those beady-eyed rodents off a bird feeder and save birds from getting hungry, it’s a great idea to install a squirrel baffle.

Below, you will come across some of the most important matters that you need to know about successfully stopping squirrels from gaining access to the assortment of seeds in a bird feeder. Don’t stop reading now.

Why Do Squirrels Keep Chewing on Things?

Squirrels keep chewing on things to keep their teeth sharp and to prevent them from growing uncontrollably, too. Like other rodents, squirrels have teeth that grow continually. By chewing on things like shelled nuts and objects out of wood and even metal, they can sharpen and wear down their teeth.

Believe it or not, the teeth of squirrels grow at a rate of six inches a year — that’s half an inch every month!

The rate of growth of the teeth of squirrels is similar to the rate of growth of your hair. To keep your hair from growing longer than you want, you can take a trip to the barbershop or hair salon.

On the other hand, to keep the teeth of squirrels from growing longer than necessary, they chew on things, in particular hard things.

Failure to constantly chew on things will cause the teeth of squirrels to grow until such time that they can no longer eat or their teeth pierce the opposite jaw!

Luckily, some of the favorite foods of squirrels allow them to sharpen their teeth and wear them down at the same time — it’s no secret that squirrels can’t say no to nuts.

This is why if you are going to feed squirrels some nuts, give them shelled nuts. Shelled nuts will keep squirrels happy and prevent their teeth from growing uncontrollably, too.

Squirrels Chew on Many Other Things Than Nuts

Unfortunately, shelled nuts are not the only things that squirrels tend to chew on. They can chew on many other things, too, including certain parts of your home.

image of squirrel

It’s because of this exactly why squirrels can easily turn from adorable furry creatures to bothersome household pests!

More often than not, squirrels enter homes through the roof. This is why experts recommend trimming tree branches back at least eight feet from your roof — squirrels are fantastic jumpers!

Refrain from assuming that squirrels can have access to your attic and the rest of your home via the roof only.

Since they have very strong and sharp teeth, which they have to wear down and sharpen by constantly chewing on things, it is possible for squirrels to also get inside your home by chewing on small holes, damaged areas and gaps.

They can also gain access to your home via a chimney, duct or vent.

Here are some of the top reasons why squirrels end up inside your home:

  • Hunger. Contrary to popular belief, squirrels eat many other things than just nuts. These pawed critters also eat fruits, vegetables, bread, crackers — just about anything that’s in your kitchen or pantry. Especially if there is a shortage of squirrel food outside, it’s not unlikely for squirrels to look for food inside your home.
  • Protection. Squirrels eat many things. Likewise, squirrels are eaten by many predators. Some examples are owls, hawks, coyotes, foxes and snakes. If squirrels, including most especially pregnant ones, do not feel safe in their natural habitat, they will look for protection elsewhere, such as in the comfort of your home.
  • Warmth. In the wintertime, you see fewer squirrels not because they are hibernating but because they are hiding in their nests to protect themselves from the cold. Some of those who are seeking protection from extremely low temperatures may wind up inside your home, where they can feel warm and cozy.

So, in other words, there are many reasons why squirrels chew on many other things than nuts. And some of those reasons can be quite compelling.

And if squirrels are hungry, they will stop at nothing to get some grub, even if it means looking for a way to get around a squirrel baffle.

Buying a Squirrel Baffle: A Quick Guide

Having a bird feeder on your property is a wonderful way to keep your backyard or garden beautiful and teeming with life, too.

It can also help keep the planet a happier place by making sure that no birds will have a hard time finding food and go hungry, especially during winter when food for birds tends to be scarce.

Unfortunately, it’s not just birds that a bird feeder can attract. It can also attract squirrels.

image of squirrel in cage

It’s not that you don’t want squirrels on your property to be happy and satisfied — it’s just that a bird feeder is first and foremost for birds in the area.

The good news is that you can keep a bird feeder off-limits to squirrels, and it can be as simple as installing a squirrel baffle.

Simply put, a squirrel baffle is something that is used to prevent squirrels from having access to a bird feeder and consuming its content. It can be placed above a hanging bird feeder or below a bird feeder on a pole.

Squirrel baffles can be made of metal or plastic.

But because the teeth of squirrels are strong and sharp, no one can blame you for doubting the effectiveness of a squirrel baffle.

It’s a fact that squirrels can chew through metal.

However, their teeth can chew through only soft ones such as aluminum and copper. On the other hand, strong metals such as galvanized steel and carbon steel are squirrel-proof.

When shopping for a squirrel baffle, it’s a must that you opt for the right one.

Otherwise, squirrels on your property will still find it easy to get their hands on the seeds in a bird feeder, leaving birds without anything to eat.

Fortunately, many of today’s squirrel baffles are very good at carrying out their job of blocking squirrels.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a squirrel baffle:

  • Check that it’s out of a hard type of metal. Again, squirrels can chew through soft metals. If it seems like the metal squirrel baffle that you are about to get your hands on can be easily dinged or dented, look for another product. However, just make sure that the pole from which your bird feeder is hanging is stable. Otherwise, the weight of a squirrel baffle out of durable metal will cause the pole to lean to one side.
  • Ensure that the plastic is hard and thick. Opting for a squirrel baffle out of plastic is perfectly fine. Many homeowners prefer transparent plastic squirrel baffles as they are easier on the eyes. They can also help keep the backyard or garden from looking cluttered. When going for a squirrel baffle out of plastic, check that the material is durable and thick. The presence of a scratch or crack can allow squirrels to chew through it.
  • Go for a model with a wide base. Besides the material, another thing that makes a squirrel baffle effective is its shape, which is usually a cone or dome. To keep a bird feeder inaccessible to squirrels, choose the widest one that you can find. A model with a narrow base can save space alright. However, squirrels may find it easy to surmount the squirrel baffle, especially if they get really hungry and desperate to steal some seeds.

Here’s a quick recommendation if you need one:

Erva Post Mounted
Squirrel Baffle

Just Before You Buy and Install a Squirrel Baffle

Squirrels can chew through metal, except for strong ones such as galvanized steel and carbon steel.

This is why when looking for ways to make your home squirrel-proof, it’s a wonderful idea to consider these materials.

To protect a bird feeder on your property from squirrels, consider installing a squirrel baffle. Refrain from assuming that all squirrel baffles in the market are the same.

If you want something that can carry out the job very well, opt for a squirrel baffle that’s out of hard and thick metal. Something that’s out of very thick plastic is also effective.

Wyatt Welch

Hi, I am Wyatt, and I live in North Carolina. I've been working as a Pest Control Technician and now I am enjoying my retirement. This blog is a perfect outlet for me to share my knowledge in the field and I'd be happy to help if you have any questions.

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