Things You'll Need
Oil of mustard
There is nothing cuter or more annoying than a squirrel, especially one chewing on your outdoor cushions and furniture. Their rootless teeth never stop growing so they chew nonstop. There are many humane ways to stop the little menaces from ruining your furniture. With things you already have around the house, you can discourage them from choosing your property to demolish and make your property squirrel-free.
Place strong-smelling items around the cushion area. Choose things like rags soaked in cider vinegar, ammonia, lavender, mothballs or oil of mustard. Squirrels dislike strong smells, which can deter them from entering the area.
Shine bright lights in the area of the cushions and play a battery-operated radio around the cushions while you are gone. The noise and lights may scare away the squirrels.
Loose a cat in the area. Cats will often chase squirrels. Even if it does not get rid of the squirrels, they'll be too busy to chew your cushions.
Use deterrent sprays in the area. While there are many commercial versions, a homemade solution is 1 tbsp. of pepper sauce mixed with 1 qt. of water in a spray bottle. Commercial versions with capsaicin- based repellents are most effective.
Nail a dry cob of corn to a post or tree in another area of your property to keep squirrels busy and away from your cushions.
Trim trees back from the cushioned furniture area so there's 6 to 8 feet between the trees and the furniture. Squirrels like to jump from trees onto furniture, and this will discourage them from such leaps.
Call a commercial removal company or your local animal protection agency, if the squirrels persist and continue to cause damage. There may be costs involved.
As a last resort, trapping or shooting squirrels is legal in some states. Check with your state wildlife agency for local regulations. If you trap and relocate them to a new area, it does not mean you won't have any more problems. Your original squirrel may have been keeping others at bay, and you may wind up with the same or even larger problem as the squirrels fight for territory.
Both the commercial versions and the pepper spray can be irritating, so don't spray them on the cushions themselves. They can also stain the fabric.
Squirrels can be quite assertive if they are protecting their young. Please be careful when approaching any wildlife, regardless of size.
Do not use a radio with a cord as it is likely the squirrel will chew the wires, possibly causing a fire.
Isabella Brooklyn began writing professionally in 1983 as a journalist. She writes for various agencies, including Alberta Relationship and Divorce Solutions, and her journalism has appeared on various websites. Brooklyn was the publisher of the "Tellim News" and owner of Advertising Alternatives Advertising Agency. She gained her journalism diploma from Grant MacEwan University.