Fred Lawler, senior vice president of global field services at Level 3, said that “squirrel chews” account for a whopping 17 percent of the company’s damage repairs this year, across 57,000 miles of intercity and 27,000 miles of metropolitan fiber.

Lawler noted, “Of all the animals in the whole world, almost all of our animal damage comes from this furry little nut eater.  Squirrel chews account for a whopping 17% of our damages so far this year!  But let me add that it is down from 28% just last year and it continues to decrease since we added cable guards to our plant.  Honestly,   I don’t understand what the big attraction is or why they feel compelled to gnaw through cables.  Our guys in the field have given this some thought and jokingly suspect the cable manufacturers of using peanut oil in the sheathing.  If you have any new ideas on how we can combat these wayward rodents, I’d love to hear from you.  We are always looking for ways to improve.”