How to Stop Squirrels from Gnawing on Your Wood Deck

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What You'll Need
Motion sensor
Live squirrel trap
Liquid or spray repellents
Crushed chili peppers and water
Spray bottle
Dog or cat hair

Squirrels are cute, furry little creatures that are fun to watch when they scurry up trees, playing and chuckling at each other. However, when they are gnawing on your wood deck, they might not be so cute anymore. Here are some things you can do to deter the little rascals.

1. Liquid and Spray Repellents

Treat your wood deck with a chemical spray designed especially for squirrels. Try Ropel, a liquid bird and rodent repellent that stops animals from chewing on outdoor furniture.

You can also try Critter Ridder® Animal Repellent, made by Havahart. This organic product comes in liquid or pellet form and contains active ingredients that irritate animals if they touch or taste it.

2. Homemade Repellents

Alternately whip up a batch of homemade repellent.

  • Crush 1 cup of chili peppers in 1 gallon of water and place in a covered container in the sun for one week. Strain through cheesecloth, then pour into a spray bottle and spray in areas around your deck.
  • Spread mothballs around under the deck (but not too many).
  • Gather the hair of a dog or cat to form clumps about the size of grapefruit. Distribute them in places around your deck to release the smell of dogs or cats that squirrels will avoid.

3. Other Repellents

  • Havahart makes a water sprayer with a motion detector. When a squirrel is near, the water goes off. Consider placing a few of these around your wood deck.
  • Although not usually recommended, you can use live traps to catch squirrels and relocate them. The problem with this is that there will always be a continuous population of squirrels.