The holiday season is a magical time filled with beautiful decorations and twinkling lights. However, one nuisance that can put a damper on your outdoor Christmas display is squirrels chewing through the wires and bulbs of your lights. These furry critters love to gnaw on cords and can cause extensive damage. Luckily, there are several effective methods to deter squirrels and protect your Christmas lights.

Why Squirrels Chew Wires

Before exploring solutions, it's helpful to understand why squirrels tend to chew through wires in the first place. Here are some of the main reasons:

Sharpening Teeth

The incisors of squirrels grow continuously throughout their lifetime. As a result, they need to constantly gnaw on hard surfaces to file down and sharpen their teeth. Wires and cables provide the perfect material for this purpose.

Seeking Food Sources

Squirrels may mistake wires and bulbs for possible food sources. When hungry, they will nibble and bite on cords hoping to find something edible.


Squirrels are very curious creatures by nature. They may innocently chew on wires just to see what they are and if they taste good.

Electrical Charge

Some experts believe squirrels may be drawn to the electrical charge or electromagnetic field around wires. This can attract them to chew.

Effective Deterrents

Now that we know why squirrels tend to chew wires, here are some of the top methods and products to deter them and keep your Christmas lights protected:

Pepper and Chili Pepper Sprays

Applying bitter, pungent pepper-based sprays to your wires and bulbs can deter chewing. Squirrels dislike the smell and taste. Reapply after rain. Some good options include':

Wire Coatings and Protectors

Covering wires and cables with plastic, metal, or steel protectors can block access and prevent chewing. Some options:

Motion-Activated Sprinklers and Devices

Motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices can startle squirrels when they approach your lights. They will associate this area with unpleasant sensations and avoid it.

Predator Urine/Hair

Applying fox or coyote urine scent or fur clippings around your cables can make squirrels think a predator is nearby. This triggers their survival instincts to flee.

Taste Deterrents

Substances with bitter, offensive tastes can be directly applied to wires. Squirrels will taste these and leave the area. Choices include:

Wrapping Tape

Wrapping cords with surfaces that are sticky (duct tape) or slippery (Teflon tape) can frustrate squirrels and make chewing unappealing. Must be reapplied regularly.

Lighting Location

If possible, install lights and wiring out of reach from trees and bushes where squirrels perch. Place them along gutters or fences instead. Remove overhanging branches.

By employing one or more of these deterrents consistently, you can train squirrels to avoid chewing on your beloved Christmas lights and develop new habits. With persistence and patience, you can outsmart these crafty critters! Enjoy peace of mind knowing your holiday display will remain intact for all to enjoy.