Squirrels are cute little creatures but can cause havoc on your patio and become a nuisance. They use leaves, twigs, animal fur, and other natural materials to make their nests. But when they can’t find these objects in the wild, they come looking for them on your patio furniture and cushions.
They could also come looking for a warm place to nest, especially during bad weather. Damage from one squirrel can be easy to ignore, but one can attract more and make your patio furniture look distasteful.
Additionally, squirrels carry many diseases such as salmonella, rabies, leptospirosis, tularemia, and more. Fortunately, there are several ways you can use to deter squirrels from eating your wood furniture, such as repellent sprays, covering your patio furniture, clipping tree branches hanging over your patio, removing incentives, and many more.
Therefore, we have compiled a comprehensive list of proven ways that help prevent squirrels from chewing on your patio furniture.
How do you stop squirrels from chewing things on your patio?
There are many ways to stop squirrels from chewing on your patio furniture. However, we recommend implementing a combination of these tips below to ensure success.
The first thing to do is get rid of anything on your patio that could attract these little creatures. These could be trash cans, food remnants, bird feeders, bags of pet food, and more. They may not set on destroying your furniture, but they will smell these things, investigate and then see your furniture as more opportunity. Also, getting rid of these things will keep other insects like gnats, spiders and wasps from your home.
Put away your outdoor cushions.
Squirrels will chew into your cushions to get to the foam for their nests. So a great way to deter them from your patio furniture is to store them inside the house or in an outdoor storage bench or deck box.
Squirrel repellent sprays
You can use repellent sprays to keep squirrels from your chewing on your patio furniture. These repellents help keep rodents like chipmunks and squirrels from coming to your deck or patio. Squirrels have a very powerful sense of smell, so these repellents contain scents that would naturally repel them.
Spray a good amount around your patio rail, furniture and cushions without the risk of damaging your property. Fortunately, these sprays are non-toxic and safe for pets and plants.
The downside is rainfall will wash away the spray, and you will have to reapply it every so often for effectiveness.
Like other prey, squirrels have adapted to knowing the scent of their natural predators, and when they smell the urine of predators, they stay away. Try spraying urine from foxes or coyotes to scare squirrels off your patio.
Since predator urine is not pleasant to work with, you should spray it around your yard and compound. You can find a variety of options from your local department stores and garden centers.
Ultrasonic repellent devices
Squirrels and other animals are quite sensitive to noise. Ultrasonic repellent devices produce an ultrasonic sound, which is inaudible to human ears but can annoy or frighten squirrels and other animals, thus keeping them away from your home.
These devices are also solar-powered, so you don’t have to remember to charge them or replace batteries. Instead, a few hours of sunlight each day will keep them active. In addition, some devices are motion-activated and will startle the squirrels when they come close.
The downside is you have to be cautious when using these devices in your or your close neighbors have pets that run around your patio, and this ultrasonic sound can irritate them just like the squirrels.
Predator decoys of animals such as hawks, owls, and foxes, who are known to attack and eat squirrels, can easily scare them off your patio. The squirrels will see these animals, and their instincts will be to keep away.
Unfortunately, this method will only work for a short while as the squirrels will notice it’s a decoy and not a real threat. You can opt for a rotating decoy which will keep the squirrels guessing.
Use your dogs and cats.
If you have a dog or cat, give them access to your patio, and they will chase away any rodents and squirrels. After a few weeks of your pets chasing them, the squirrels will always avoid your patio in fear of running into your dog or cat.
But be careful not to let them attack or kill the squirrels, as this could put your pet at risk for diseases. The downside is dogs can be quite noisy while barking at the squirrels.
Motion-activated sprinklers are quite effective at keeping squirrels away from your yard. These sprinklers have sensors that detect movement. So they will start whenever the squirrels run by the sensors. This is a great option for those who don’t have pets.
Install patio furniture covers
Weatherproof furniture covers will shield your patio furniture from squirrel droppings and act as a barrier to stop them from chewing up your outdoor pillows and cushions. In addition, these covers protect your furniture from rain, dust, dirt, and snow.
You can squirrel-proof your outdoor cushions by applying pepper to them. Soak peppers like black, red, or cayenne in some water, pour the liquid into a spray bottle, and spray around your patio. The smell of pepper can be mild to humans, but it is strong for squirrels and will irritate their sensitive noses, thus deterring them from your patio.
You can also set some squirrel traps around your patio to capture them and then release them away from your home. Over time they will stop coming on your patio to avoid the risk of getting caught by the traps. However, remember that the bait you put in the trap may attract more squirrels than you can catch.
What scent repels squirrels?
As earlier mentioned, squirrels have a very strong sense of smell which they use to survive in the wild. They utilize their sense of smell to look for food and shelter and keep away from predators. Some smells will attract them, while others will repel them. Fortunately, you can use this to your advantage when trying to keep them off your property. Below are the smells squirrels hate and how to use them.
- Coffee grounds: Sprinkle a layer of coffee grounds in areas around your patio where they land or on your outdoor cushions.
- Cinnamon: Pour some cinnamon ground around the plants close to your patio. Alternatively, mix the ground with oil, add peppermint, and spray it around your patio.
- Apple cider vinegar: Soak some rags in apple cider vinegar, then place them around your patio. You can also mix one gallon of water and one ounce of cider vinegar and spray this mixture on the hard surfaces on your patio.
- Predator urine: Buy natural coyote or fox urine online or in outdoor stores, spray it on the garden around your patio and hard surfaces to keep the squirrels away. Natural urine is non-toxic to plants.
- Pepper: Mix three spoons of either jalapeno, capsaicin, red pepper, black pepper, or white pepper in half a gallon of water and sprinkle the mixture around the plants and hard surfaces. Do not spray this mixture under sunny weather to avoid burning your plants.
- Peppermint oil: Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in areas where the squirrels land on your patio.
- Garlic: Finely crush some garlic closed and spread them around your patio furniture
Does vinegar spray keep squirrels away?
Squirrels hate the pungent smell of vinegar, including white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. So they will naturally stay away from areas with vinegar smells.
Apple cider vinegar has the strongest smell compared to other types of vinegar, therefore making it more effective at deterring squirrels. You can also apply it to plants as it doesn’t cause damage.
White vinegar is also a popular squirrel repellent, but you should not apply it directly on plants as it will burn them.
Do squirrels eat wicker furniture?
Squirrels can chew through your wicker furniture. They aren’t eating; they’re gnawing at your furniture. Their teeth grow throughout their lives. Therefore, they constantly gnaw at different objects to file them down, clean them and keep them sharp.
They will chew on anything and everything. Many homeowners have even reported seeing squirrels chewing on plastic furniture. Therefore replacing your outdoor wicker furniture with plastic ones will not prevent them from being damaged.
What can you put on wood to keep squirrels from chewing?
If a squirrel has chewed on your wooden furniture once, chances are they will do so again. Although it’s almost impossible to completely keep them away from your home, you can make wood less irresistible to chew on or even come close. You can apply several things on wood that will deter squirrels from eating your wood furniture.
- Rosemary oil
- Garlic oil
- Skunk spray
- Irish spring soap(original scent)
You can see that you have many options to keep squirrels from chewing on patio furniture. All of them are effective, some more than others. However, you can combine several methods mentioned above for the best results in preventing squirrels and other rodents from taking over your patio. Whichever methods you choose, ensure they are safe around your pets and kids.