Two of the things most people associate with the autumn-winter season are beautiful Christmas lights and cute, fuzzy squirrels looking for nuts. Unfortunately, those two things really don’t go well with each other.
Most people in rural areas who’ve tried to put up string lights in their yard for the holidays know how annoying squirrels can be when they start chewing through the wiring. So, how to keep squirrels from chewing Christmas lights? Fortunately, there’s more than one way.
Note: We won’t be talking about pesticides for multiple different reasons.
- We’re not really ok with the idea of killing the cute little beasts;
- Pesticides can easily harm lots of other innocent animals;
- Killing off one squirrel colony tends to only invite a second colony either next season or immediately.
So, instead of pesticides, here’s how we’d suggest you squirrel proof outdoor Christmas lights this season:
The first easy way for how to protect Christmas lights from squirrels is to simply repel them the lights. You can use multiple different smells for that – mint mouthwash, pepper spray, citrus solution, even predator urine. In most other cases such repellents are insufficient but here all you need to do is repel the little rodents from the lights themselves. So, as long as your Christmas lights are drenched in lemon or dog urine, the nearby squirrels won’t be too enthusiastic about chewing on them.
Surprisingly, putting up 3D cardboard or plastic lifelike owl-shaped figurines around the Christmas lights also works. The squirrels are smart enough to recognize the appearance of the predator but dumb enough to realize it’s a fake. Plus, owls do look quite festive!
Squirrel-proof your fence
Another way for how to stop squirrels from chewing Christmas lights is to stop them from entering your property at all. This usually includes modifying your yard’s fences and doors so that squirrels can’t climb them. Switching to extra-smooth and tall fences, and removing the nearby tall trees can protect your entire property, not just your Christmas lights. The obvious issue here, however, is that this solution is expensive and you may not want your yard to be that enclosed.
Set up traps
A common and age-long solution to rodent infestations is to just set up baited live traps. Catch the critters, drive them away, and that’s it.
Get sturdier squirrel-proofed lights
There are some squirrel-proof Christmas lights on the market. They are made with thicker and sturdier coatings that even a squirrel’s sharp teeth can’t chew through. They are pricier, however.
Reinforce your lights
As an alternative to 5. you can just reinforce your own Christmas lights with duct tape and electrical tape.
All of the above
The best method is the “All methods at once!” method. If you reinforce your lights, smear them with squirrel repellent, set up both traps and scarecrows, and at least remove the nearby tall trees, the likelihood of squirrels destroying your Christmas lights again will drop significantly.
Call a pest control professional
If all else fails, you can always call a pest control professional. Even if you’re ok with using pesticides, it’d be much safer for a professional to do that. In fact, in many states, it’s prohibited for non-professionals to use pesticides outdoors.