I'm so glad that Mr. Fischer is taking this so well. He is to be commended.
Squirrels are a very determined and industrious lot.
I know — I've been living with an Eastern Grey Squirrel for over four years. He's a non-releasable rescue. As with almost all wild rescues that remain with humans, he's tame, but not domesticated, though very playful and affectionate.
When loose, and not carefully watched, he will chew anything wooden, and I've found nuts in very unusual (sometimes uncomfortable) places.
Bill; I suppose you've thought of contacting wildlife groups in your area for advice. I recommend groups that have experience with squirrel rescues, not because that's what is needed, but because they are the best source of behavioural knowledge.
Good luck, and thanks for your humane and humored attitude.
I have dealt with messes like this on customer cars for years. This is why pest control is important.
Same with ground hogs now as the are eating wires now due to the soy content.
Too often this damage is very expensive.
One thing worse is if you get an animal like a cat under the hood to keep warm and the get into a fan or belts. That is a one time issue with said animal but not one you want. On the farm you always had to tap on the hood before starting.
We decided to trade in our old square body Suburban for "Cash for Clunkers."
The third row seat had been hanging from the rafters in the garage the entire time we had it.
When we let it down, thousands of acorns fell out.
The squirrel had also torn up the upholstery to make a comfortable nest.
Other old vehicles we had owned had the wiring chewed by rodents.
Back in those days, wiring insulation was made with tasty ingredients:
soy, peanut oil, rice husks, and various plant-based materials.
Rodent repellent scent pouches tucked into the engine compartment brought that to a stop.
Modern vehicle wiring insulation is made without the tasty stuff.