Pest Away Tips

11 Effective Ways to Keep Squirrels from Eating Your Christmas Lights

Squirrels Eating Christmas Lights: Understanding the Reason and Finding the Solution

For many homeowners, Christmas lights add amazing warmth and coziness to their homes. However, squirrels often find these lights just as appealing as people do.

Unfortunately, when squirrels munch on these holiday lights, they can create a fire hazard and pose a risk to anyone living nearby. Knowing the reasons for squirrels’ behavior and how to keep them away from lights can help you enjoy your holiday decorations without any worries.

Reasons for Squirrels Eating Christmas Lights

Mistaken Identity: Squirrels have poor vision. They can’t distinguish between the oblong pointy shape of a Christmas light and the shape of food that they crave.

When they bite into these shiny objects, they find they are not what they expected, but continue chewing, resulting in damaged bulbs and wires. Food Scarcity: In winter, when food is scarce for squirrels, they are prone to looking for alternative food sources.

Often, when natural food sources are exhausted, squirrels may search for different food sources, including dense clusters of Christmas lights.

Scents to Repel Squirrels from Lights

Using scents as a deterrent for squirrels can be a useful strategy. Here are some scents that can be effective in repelling squirrels:

Powdered Pepper: Sprinkle pepper on your Christmas lights and the surrounding areas.

The scent is unpleasant to squirrels.

Peppermint: Squirrels do not like the smell of peppermint, so hanging peppermint-scented sachets on trees or placing peppermint sticks or essential oils around your lights may work. Citrus: The scent of citrus, such as orange or lemon, can also help to repel squirrels.

Try rubbing citrus peels on your lights, or boiling citrus peels and spraying the resulting water around areas where squirrels like to go. Rodent Repellent Spray: This is a commercial product made specifically for repelling squirrels and is available in most garden centers.

Making Yard Inhospitable to Squirrels

Using motion sensor lights, owl decoys, motion sensor water sprinklers, polybutenes, and PVC plastic lights can make your yard an unpleasant place for squirrels. Predator urine or synthetic predator urine, available from garden centers, can keep squirrels away from your lights.

The scent of predator urine sends a clear message to squirrels that danger is close. Motion Sensor Lights: These can be helpful in deterring squirrels from entering your yard.

When they sense motion, they flash, scaring away squirrels. Owl decoys: Place owl decoys where squirrels like to go.

The presence of these decoys can be enough to discourage squirrels from going near your lights. Motion Sensor Water Sprinkler: This is a different approach to deterring squirrels; whenever the sprinklers sensor detects any motion, it releases water to startle the animals.

Polybutenes and

PVC Plastic Lights: Using Christmas lights made from polybutenes or PVC plastics can be helpful because squirrels find their taste unpleasant.

Keeping Yard Squirrel-Free

If you are particularly worried about squirrels around your Christmas lights, it’s necessary to take a more comprehensive approach. Ensuring that you remove the reason for squirrels to come and visit your yard is the most effective way to keep them away.

Bird feeders: Squirrels love birdseed, so to minimize the attraction of squirrels around your Christmas lights, removing bird feeders is crucial. Hot and Spicy Birdseed: Adding hot and spicy birdseed to your bird feeders can be a great deterrent.

Squirrels do not enjoy the taste of spices, so it helps to keep them away. Removing ground cover: Clearing away ground cover, such as bushes and small shrubs, can reduce the habitat of squirrels around your lights.


Squirrels are beautiful animals, but they can cause harm when they try to eat Christmas lights. Understanding why squirrels behave in this way is the first step in finding a solution to the problem.

By using the strategies mentioned in this article, homeowners can have a squirrel-free holiday season. Whether it means incorporating repellents or making your yard less hospitable to squirrels, there are many effective ways to keep these furry animals away from your lights.

Hopefully, now that you have acquired the necessary knowledge, you can enjoy a beautiful and peaceful holiday season.

Scents to Repel Squirrels from Lights: A Comprehensive Guide

Squirrels may be cute, but they can cause a lot of damage to your Christmas lights. Using natural scents to repel squirrels is a humane and effective way of keeping Christmas lights in good shape and avoiding a fire hazard.

Here are some of the most common scents that can help keep squirrels at bay.

Using Scents to Repel Squirrels

Squirrels are sensitive to scents and are known to avoid those that are unappealing or unpleasant to them. Using a scent-based deterrent is an excellent method to repel squirrels from Christmas lights.

However, different scents work for different squirrels. Therefore, using various types of repellents is necessary to find the most effective one for your needs.

Pepper Powder

Squirrels do not like the scent of pepper, and a dry peppered powder can deter them effectively. Spicing up the area around your Christmas lights as a way of deterring squirrels is an easy and common practice.

Sprinkle the powder liberally around your lights, for instance, where the bulbs and wiring meet. The spicy dusting will be enough to keep squirrels at bay.


Peppermint is another scent that squirrels find unpleasant. It is easy to use peppermint to repel squirrels from your Christmas lights; all you need is peppermint oil or a few drops of essential oil.

Soak cotton balls in the oil and place them strategically around your lights. Alternatively, you could hang peppermint-scented sachets near your Christmas lights.

Peppermint can also be found in rodent repellent sprays – an effective solution that wards off squirrels around Christmas lights and other areas around your home. Citrus & Citronella

Squirrels find the scent of citrus and citronella startling, making it an effective way to repel them.

You could use some citrus oil, such as orange or lemon – a few drops of this oil applied around your Christmas lights, can keep the squirrels away. Citronella candles or citronella spray on the lights can work to a certain extent, although they may not be the best solution in a rainy environment.


Squirrels find the smell of mint unappealing; therefore, using mint-based repellents is a great solution to deter them from your Christmas lights. Applying mint mouthwash (diluted with water) to your lights can be an easy and cost-effective way of deterring the squirrels.

You could also try hanging up cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around your lights.

Rodent Repellent Pellets

Using rodent repellent pellets is another option for repelling squirrels. These pellets are infused with natural essential oils that emit odors that are obnoxious to squirrels and other rodents.

They are typically motion-activated and can be placed anywhere that squirrels frequent, making them an effective and long-lasting solution.

Making Yard Inhospitable to Squirrels

Scaring Squirrels Away

There are different ways to scare squirrels away from your Christmas lights. One great way is to place an owl decoy, in the areas around the lights that squirrels commonly visit.

The presence of an owl decoy sends a clear message to squirrels that predators are nearby, prompting them to stay away. Motion sensor lights are another effective solution, which are triggered when squirrels try to enter the area.

Another way of scaring squirrels away is using motion sensor water sprinklers. These sprinklers emit a sudden burst of water that startles squirrels and makes them run away.

Finally, predator urine is also an excellent way of scaring squirrels away. The scent of predator urine signals an imminent danger to squirrels, prompting them to stay away from the area.


Polybutenes – a sticky material, can be used as a repellent for squirrels. When applied to areas surrounding your Christmas lights, this substance makes it difficult for squirrels to climb and access the lights.

You can apply it around the base of trees, drains, downspouts, and other buildings in the area.

PVC Plastic Lights

Squirrels are not attracted to plastic, thus using PVC plastic lights has proven to be an effective way to keep the lights safe. The plastic encasing used in these lights makes it difficult for squirrels to bite through the wires or bulbs.

Therefore, using PVC plastic lights would be an excellent solution for squirrel-proofing Christmas lights.

Bird Feeders

Squirrels are attracted to birdseed, and bird feeders are an area they are likely to visit. Hence, it is essential to place bird feeders far away from your Christmas lights.

Placing bird feeders in areas with a lack of shelter, sunlight, and water sources will make it difficult for squirrels to visit. Additionally, using hot and spicy birdseed that squirrels do not find appealing is another solution in deterring the rodents from visiting.

Pet Food

Feeding your pet outside or leaving pet bowls outside can be an attractant for squirrels. When possible, bring pet food indoors and clean up pet bowls as soon as your pets are finished eating.

Doing so will help reduce the chances of squirrels visiting your yard in search of food.

Removing Ground Cover

Squirrels love ground cover, such as shrubs and bushes, as they provide shelter for them. Removing ground cover near your Christmas lights can make the area less attractive to squirrels, thus making them less likely to visit.

Removing ground cover can also make it easier to spot squirrels, making it easier to scare or deter them.

Final Thoughts

Squirrels eating Christmas lights can pose a significant fire hazard, and finding effective ways to keep them away is essential. Using natural scents as a deterrent and making your yard inhospitable to squirrels are some of the most effective ways of preventing squirrels from dining on your Christmas lights.

Use a combination of these methods to find the best squirrel-proofing approach for your home. With these solutions in place, you can be confident that your Christmas lights will remain unharmed and your home – safe.

In conclusion, squirrels are a common problem for those who put up Christmas lights, as they can create a fire hazard and damage the decorations. However, there are several effective ways to repel squirrels from Christmas lights, including using natural scents like peppermint and citrus, making the yard less hospitable to squirrels, and scaring squirrels with motion sensors and predator urine.

The importance of taking steps to repel squirrels cannot be overstated, as doing so can save homeowners the inconvenience and cost of replacing damaged lights or worse, the tragedy of a house fire. By using the tips outlined in this article, homeowners can enjoy their holiday decorations safely and squirrel-free.

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