Pumpkins are tempting treats for many unwanted pests, but most especially squirrels. If you have jack o’ lanterns outside of your home and are concerned about squirrels ruining them, here are some strategies to deter them.
Use a commercial repellent
Look for a brand made using rotten eggs. This will have a strong odor, especially right after it is applied. The smell should fade when the repellent dries, but you should spray your pumpkin away from the home.
Squirrels hate pets
Sprinkle some pet hair around your pumpkin.
You can also mix hot sauce, water, and a drop of dish soap or vegetable oil to help the mixture stick to the pumpkins. You will need to spray them every day, and especially after it rains.
Straight up tabasco sauce can be an effective repellent as well, but it can become messy and can potentially stain both the pumpkin and your porch.
DIY Stink Bomb
Squirrels are repelled by the smell of distilled white vinegar. Vinegar can damage the pumpkin’s skin, so we suggest putting some in a bowl by the pumpkins.
Making a mixture of one part eucalyptus oil, ten parts water, and a drop of vegetable oil or dish soap to help it stick is also known to help. Apply iwith a cotton ball, repeating daily and after it rains.
Stick it to ’em
Squirrels dislike anything sticky. Another option is to coat your pumpkins with a generous coating of a vapor rub or petroleum jelly. This can last for weeks, even through rain.
You can also coat your pumpkins with a spray lacquer, letting it dry. This method will keep away some squirrels, but not every one of them. The spray must be applied to the whole pumpkin, inside and out.
Another solution is to spray the pumpkins with hairspray. You will need to reapply this every day or two, as well as after it rains.
When it doubt, scare them out
Owls are natural predators of squirrels. You will frighten squirrels by placing an owl statue near the pumpkins.
Another option is to place motion-activated devices near the pumpkins to frighten away squirrels.