How to Stop Squirrels from Chewing Outdoor Lights?

Squirrels are cute. It’s pretty entertaining to see when they run, talk to each other, and jump from one tree to another. But they can be destructive as well.

A few years back, I decorated my house and garden for Christmas. I put several types of lights on the trees and fences. Just a couple of days before Christmas I noticed some lights and wires are damaged.

Those were chewed by the squirrels! From then I was looking for the best solutions to stop them from chewing my outdoor lights.

With the help of some experts, I have listed some of the best ways to keep squirrels away from the lights. Today, I am going to share those with you in this article.

Preventing Squirrels from Chewing Exterior Light

Squirrels get attracted by the exterior lights and come forward to examine those lights. The only way they can examine them is by chewing them.

It’s not a great or suitable option to hunt squirrels. So, you must think differently and find ways to keep them away from the lights and wires.

To find the ways, there is no better option than knowing the habit and nature of squirrels. Let’s see why they do this and how we can stop them:

Why Do Squirrels Chew Lights?

In North America, you will see 5 types of squirrels. They are American Red Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Black Squirrel, Eastern Gray Squirrel, and Western Grey Squirrel.

Among these 5 types of squirrels, the most common types you will see in your garden are the fox squirrel and the eastern gray squirrel. The bad thing is, all of them have the habit of chewing lights and wires!

After having a closer look at their habits, I have found 2 main reasons why squirrels chew outdoor light. Here they are:

Sharpening their teeth

Well, I cannot blame the squirrels much after knowing this fact about their teeth. The teeth of squirrels keep growing and never stop growing.

This is called malocclusion. If they cannot control their growth, they might lose the ability to eat and they might die in that process.

So, they have to keep rubbing their teeth on something to make it sharp and control the growth. I cannot blame much for this reason but also chewing my outdoor lights is also not pleasant.

Squirrels think lights can be nuts

Squirrels love walnuts and hickory. They love to eat these because their teeth rub on the harsh surface of nuts. These creatures also gather nuts at their nests for winter. Before Christmas, it’s the perfect time for them to store food.

Squirrels cannot differentiate lights from nuts. They mix things together and went on chewing the Christmas lights.

How You Can Keep the Squirrels Away?

As I have said earlier, hunting is not a solution or way to keep the squirrels away from your garden or outdoor lights. Many expert pest controllers and animal removers use these tricks to keep squirrels away:


1. Spraying apple cider vinegar

Have you ever experienced the pungent smell of pure apple cider vinegar? I am sure you didn’t like that. The squirrels don’t love it as well.

You can buy this straight from the shops. Put them in a spray bottle and spray them directly on the plants, trees, fence, and on outdoor lights.

If spraying on the light is not safe, make a circle around the light and spray there. The pungent smell will keep the creature away. You can repeat this process after a couple of days.

2. Use strobe lights

If it is ok with you, you can use strobe lights as your outdoor lights. The repeated and regular flashes of light will irritate the squirrels and make them run away.

These lights are harmless and useful as well. You can also use these in your attic to keep it squirrel-free.

3. Keep your yard clean

A clear yard or compound not only looks beautiful but also keeps squirrels and pests, and snakes away. A dirty or messy place seems like a bushy environment to these creatures.

Make sure there is no nut fallen on your yard or near the outdoor lights. Nuts will attract the squirrels. Same for the fallen fruits.

4. Motion sensor sprinkle

You can set motion sensor sprinkles around your yard or where the outdoor lights are. If the sensors sense something, they will start spraying water.

Squirrels are really sacred of these sprinkles. You can also water your plants with these as well.

5. Animal repellents

You can buy some animal repellents from the market. You can spread these human-made repellents in your yard.

Squirrels don’t like the scent or flavor of these and stay far from them.

6. Mulching

Squirrels can be really dangerous for the bulbs that are planted and dig into the soil. They are easy to access.

You can add mulch to the soil. Squirrels don’t like mulch at all. Putting heavier mulch can be more effective as a squirrel cannot move it aside.

7. Safflower seeds

If you have birds as your pet and you give them sunflower seeds for feeding, it can attract a squirrel. Other feeds can be destroyed by the squirrels as well.

You can use safflower seed instead of sunflower seed or you can even mix some of these seeds with other feeds. Birds will love to eat these but squirrels will not.

8. Fox urine

Fox is a natural predator. The smell of fox urine will fear away the squirrels. They will think there might be a fox around the yard.

It might sound a little weird and you may have found it hard to arrange it but it really works. Some online shops sell fox urine or you can even collect it from the zoo.

9. Jalapeno pepper-vinegar spray

Squirrels are frightened and irritated by the jalapeno pepper. When it is mixed with vinegar, it becomes much worse for the squirrels.

You can make a solution yourself. Just put them inside a spray bottle and spray them around the outdoor lights or around the whole compound.

10. Dogs

Squirrels are really scared of dogs. A pet dog can scare away the naughty creatures from the exterior lights and from your compound.

11. Grow mint

You can grow some mint plants outdoors. The strong smell of mint leaves will keep the squirrel away.

12. Cayenne pepper

This is pretty well known as a squirrel repellent. You can spread or sprinkle some cayenne pepper around your outdoor lights to keep them safe from squirrels.

13. Use peppermint

I am sure squirrels have a fear issue with pepper! They are afraid of all that have pepper.

Peppermint oil is a pretty good repellent. Make some cotton balls and soak them in peppermint oil and just leave them like that around your yard.

Keep the balls beside outdoor lights and the strong fragrance will keep the squirrels away.

14. Citrus

I love the smell of orange and all other human being out there love the smell of orange as well. But squirrels don’t!

Soak some cotton balls with citrus oil and put them near the exterior light. Squirrels will never come closer.

15. Owl decoy

Owls hunt squirrels. That’s why squirrels fear this predator a lot. You can put an owl decoy near the outdoor lights to scare them away.


Bedside being a cute creature, squirrels can be noxious as well. Especially for outdoor lights and wires squirrels can be really disturbing as they love to chew them.

If you put the outdoor lights on for some occasions like Christmas, you can take some temporary steps to keep squirrels away. But if you have permanent exterior lights, it’s always good to take some permanent steps.

We have talked about some really easy solutions to this problem. I hope you will have benefits from them as I had earlier.

About The Author

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Written by Shimul
Hi, I'm Shimul, the founder of Trendy Outdoor. I'm excited about sharing the latest outdoor living trends with you. My goal is to provide you with up-to-date information that will help make your outdoor space stylish and enjoyable. Read About Me More । Follow on Facebook

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