Squirrels can be a nuisance when they start to damage furniture – even to avid animal lovers. These tiny creatures love to chew on things, and that can include your favorite outdoor wicker furniture or expensive cushions. To help you minimize that risk, we will look at how to keep squirrels from chewing on patio furniture in this guide.
To safeguard your patio furniture, spray the patio or its perimeters with commercial or homemade squirrel repellents. You can also install a motion-activated pest-control ultrasound device or sprinkler, use a scarecrow, keep a pet around the lounging area, or provide the rodents with something to snack on away from your lounging area.
Why squirrels chew on patio furniture
Squirrels live in nests made out of leaves and twigs, with soft materials like animal fur, fabric, and feathers lining the walls for added comfort and warmth. Usually, the animal will find these ‘construction’ materials freely in nature. But when they can’t find these things in the wild, they may target your home. That’s when they begin to tear up your patio cushions to steal a bit of the padding inside.
Sometimes they may choose not to go and find comfort in their usual hideouts. Instead, they can decide to make your very cushions their homes – create a hole in the cushions and live inside.
Like rats and a few other rodents, squirrels have teeth that always grow. Chewing on objects is something they have to do to keep their front teeth from becoming too long. Squirrels can make an art of this gnawing habit and return to the same object time and again.
Whatever their reason, these nature’s tiny creatures can cause significant damage to your expensive garden furniture.
What damage does squirrel cause on patio furniture
We have mentioned that squirrels can destroy your patio furniture by nibbling the wood to entertain their ever-growing front teeth. Also, they will often tear up the upholstery to steal the stuffing inside.
Taking away some of the stuffing in your cushions can leave them saggy and unpleasant. You may have to refill them to restore their proper functionality.
Torn upholstery can also leave the furniture exposed to weather elements like rain. Most outdoor sofas or cushions have water- or weather-resistant fabrics for protection. Creating holes in this material means it can no longer hold up against the elements.
Squirrel excrement on your furniture can create room for the growth of mold and mildew, even for furniture that is resistant to these fungi. This excrement is also a common method of disease transmission.
Squirrels may also contaminate your furniture with disease-causing pests. These rodents carry ticks, fleas, and mites that they can leave on your furniture. These, along with their droppings on the furniture, can make your family and pets sick.
In any case, these fuzzy little animals can cause irreparable damage to sections or entire parts of patio furniture. The worst part is that cushions torn apart by squirrels are unlikely to benefit from any warranties as manufacturer’s warranties usually do not cover damage from acts of nature. This means you have to shoulder all the expenses by yourself.
How to Keep Squirrels from Chewing On Patio Furniture
Keeping your furniture safe from squirrel activity begins by understanding their behavior. For starters, these little creatures are scared of certain predators, odors, and sounds. You can use this knowledge against them in the following ten ways.
Method 1: Using commercial squirrel repellents
There are some aromas and tastes that squirrels cannot stand. One of these is deer repellent which you can buy on Amazon or local stores – and spray on the underside of your furniture or around the perimeter of your patio.
Look around for any water spouts that squirrels may climb to access your deck. Consider spraying the deer repellent on these spouts and the edge of the back wall or deck floor to discourage squirrels from accessing your outdoor living space.
There are different deer repellents available, so ensure you read their respective labels to get the correct application instructions.
Squirrel Stopper is another commercial repellent that you can use in place of deer repellant. It works by smell, taste, and feel. Like deer repellant, you can spray Squirrel Stopper around the edge of your outdoor furniture, deck rails, or garden to keep the squirrels away.
This product is organic and safe for use around vegetables and fruits, so you won’t have to worry about contamination. Additionally, the repellant is odor-free and will dry clear after application, meaning you can spray it directly on wicker furniture without a problem.
Method 2: Homemade deterrent sprays
If you wish to keep squirrels from chewing on your patio furniture without spending money, you can use some of the things you already have at home.
Create your spray by mixing two tablespoons of powdered red pepper with a gallon of warm water; add about two tablespoons or six drops of liquid soap. Stir the mixture well and put it in a spray bottle. Close the lid and let it sit overnight.
Once your solution is ready, you can spray it directly on the underside of your furniture, the ground beneath the seats, or within the perimeter of the patio.
Remember that the hotter the red pepper, the better. Squirrels hate the taste and smell of hot peppers and soap. Mixing the two into a spray solution should make the animals look the other way.
You can keep whatever remains of the mixture in a lidded jug refrigerated. Consider using it twice or three times a week.
Alternatively, you can pour cayenne pepper around the perimeter of your patio, preferably in a continuous line. You’ll need to redraw the line if it rains or whenever the supply gets low.
Soap alone can also be an alternative repellant. Simply rub a circle of soap around the edges of your deck, garden, or patio. The smell of soap will keep the rodents away.
If you have bird feeders outside your house, putting soap on the lids of these feeders will deter the squirrels and give you the peace you need. You could also make the bird feeder slots too small for squirrels to sneak in, but if this is not practical, then revert to the option of soap. The smell will not detract your birds but will get the job done with the intruding animals.
Method 3: Predator urine scare
Coyotes and foxes are some of the most common squirrel predators. Anything announcing the presence of these hunters will be a huge scare for the miniature game.
One of the ways to keep squirrels away from your property is to capitalize on that natural fear. Use a lawn sprinkler to spray coyote or fox urine around your garden or along the edges of your patio, and the rodents will be too scared to come by.
Of course, you do not have to go hunting for the foxes or coyotes to tap their urine. These products are available for purchase at most garden centers and home improvement stores nearby. You can also find them at online retailers and department stores.
Once you sprinkle your deck or patio with the urine, squirrels will recognize the scent and assume that predators might be nearby. Their survival instincts will not allow them to come and damage your outdoor furniture as long as the smell lingers on.
Method 4: Plant mint around your deck
Mint is a natural squirrel repellent because the animal does not like the smell. It does not cause them any known harm, but squirrels will prefer to stay away from the taste and smell of mint.
It is, therefore, a good idea to plant some mint in your garden around the patio, deck, or backyard near your outdoor furniture.
While you will be happy to have some mint leaves handy for your mojito and other culinary purposes, squirrels will not be nearly as delighted – a double win for you.
Method 5: Give the squirrel something to snack on
One reason why squirrels destroy your furniture is that they have to chew on objects to keep their front teeth from growing too long. Providing them something edible to nibble should give them a preferable alternative to your furniture.
You could nail some dry corn cobs to a tree in another area of your property away from the patio. This should keep them busy enough to keep them off your costly cushions.
Squirrels will also appreciate peanuts and sunflower seeds. These should be your other options if you do not mind having the animals around, provided they do not destroy your patio furniture.
This workaround might allow you the chance to watch the fuzzy animals play without causing any harm to your seats. Watching squirrels play can be pretty entertaining.
Method 6: Use a scarecrow or your pet
Squirrels will be unwilling to approach a place with an owl or hawk. These are vicious predators that are likely to kill them on sight.
With this knowledge in mind, you can create a statue of one or more of these killers. Place the owl or hawk mannequin on your patio or yard to keep squirrels too scared to visit your outdoor seats for shelter.
You may have to alternate your methods or shift the statue(s) from time to time because squirrels are no fools. In a few days or weeks of seeing the object at the same spot, they’ll figure out it is not a real threat.
Your pets should mount a more effective scare. Keep a dog or cat in the location of your furniture. With the pet(s) on patrol, the intruder rodents will prefer to find some other place to hang out.
Chasing squirrels can be an entertaining pastime for a dog or cat. Meanwhile, this activity will keep your sofas safe even if it does not entirely rid your home of the squirrels.
Method 7: Install a pest-control ultrasound device or sprinkler
Pest-control ultrasound devices emit sound waves that only the animals but not you can hear. These motion-activated devices will irritate any squirrels and force them to change their minds about attacking your outdoor seats.
Motion-activated sprinklers are just as effective. Squirrels do not like getting wet and will prefer to stay away from a yard with water sprinkling up each time they try to approach.
Method 8: Scare them with sound
Squirrels are scared of people. Anything that gives the impression of people present in the yard will scare them off. One such thing is the radio.
You don’t have to disturb your neighbors with constant loud music. Leaving a battery-operated radio playing around the cushions while you are away will do the trick. The radio, along with lights illuminating the area, should be an effective deterrent to any squirrel.
Method 9: Trim trees back from the lounging area
Squirrels can often climb onto your furniture from trees. Allowing tree branches to grow into the lounging area might provide stubborn squirrels with a climbing platform for accessing your cushioned furniture.
Ideally, you should leave at least 6 to 8 feet between your furniture and the trees. Jumping from such a distance would be an impossible task and could keep them from your outdoor space.
Method 10: Secure your trash can lids
Rubbish sticking out of a trash can attracts squirrels and all manner of unwelcome guests, including rats and raccoons. You want to keep trash cans properly lidded, with no garbage lying around for the animals to come scavenging on.
What scent do squirrels hate?
Squirrels naturally hate scents like red hot pepper, black pepper, white pepper, and garlic. They also find sweet smells such as peppermint to be inherently unpleasant.
Sprinkling some pepper or peppermint oil on your patio, flowers, or plants will deter squirrels and keep your garden furniture safe.
How do I stop pesky squirrels from raiding my patio cushions?
You can place strong-smelling items within the outdoor space or cushion area. Soak some rags in cider vinegar, lavender, ammonia, mothballs, or mustard oil and put them where you don’t want squirrels to visit. The strong smells and taste will be a natural deterrent to them, keeping them off the area.
Then again, you can invest in outdoor furniture covers to keep your items safe from pesky squirrels. Be sure to place the covers on your furniture each time you are not sitting on the patio. This will be an easy way to shield these assets from squirrels and weather elements like rain and dirt.
How do I keep squirrels from eating my outdoor wicker furniture?
The best way to protect the wicker furniture is to soak rags in apple cider vinegar and place them on the furniture or around your patio. Remember to re-soak the rags every once a week to keep the scent strong and unbearable for the pesky critters.
Do dryer sheets repel squirrels?
Yes, dryer sheets act as natural repellents for both mice and squirrels. The sheets contain a scented substance that squirrels find unpleasant and will prefer to stay away from. Having these on or someplace around your deck can be an effective way to ensure the critters will not visit and wreak havoc.
Squirrels won’t always visit your patio when you are around. But you will not be around your deck or patio all the time to watch your outdoor furniture. That leaves only one option: to find alternative ways of deterring squirrels and keeping your furniture safe.
With up to ten different ways to keep squirrels from chewing on your patio furniture, this guide should be your all-time friend.