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Wooden Bird House, Holes Either Chewed or Pecked Larger + Swallows

We have a 3 hole wooden bird house.  This morning there were swallows sitting on it and going in and out.  I noticed two of the holes had been chewed or pecked open/larger.  The bird house is not close enough to a tree, but could a squirrel climbed up the pole?

I was told some birds will make a small hole even larger.  I purchased 1 1/4" copper bird hole protectors and screwed them over the holes.  I now have seen the swallows sitting on the house but I don't think they entered it.

Is it possible that the swallows chewed the holes larger and now can't fit through the 1 1/4" copper hole?  The lable on the copper hole protectors said tree swallows can fit thru a 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" hole.

These swallows are shinny black with white bellies.  I love these birds.

Did I mess them up?

Thanks for your help!


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