How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Shed

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Squirrels may be cute, furry creatures, but they’re not-so-cute when they take up residence in your shed or cause extensive damage. As homeowners, we need effective solutions to keep these pesky rodents at bay and maintain the integrity of our outdoor structures.

Key Takeaways

Squirrels like sheds due to the abundance of food sources and as a shelter from harsh weather and predators.
Signs of an infestation in a shed include gnaw marks, squirrel droppings, and scratching noises at dawn/dusk.
You can prevent squirrel infestations in your shed primarily with physical barriers such as metal mesh screens and steel-lined edges and with proper maintenance and cleaning .
Use non-lethal deterrents such as ultrasonic repellents, hot pepper spray, scent deterrents, and motion-activated sprinklers.

Understanding Squirrel Behavior

Before we explore the possible solutions to prevent squirrels from damaging your shed, let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence their behavior and motivations.

Common Reasons Squirrels Target Sheds

Squirrels are attracted to sheds for a variety of reasons, primarily due to the abundance of food sources that are often kept inside. Nuts, seeds, and even garden equipment can pique their curiosity as they search for sustenance during their regular foraging habits.

Another reason squirrels target sheds is that these outdoor storage spaces offer refuge from harsh weather conditions, predators, and other external threats. This safe haven allows them not only to gather much-needed nourishment but also to spend time nesting and raising their young without disturbance.

Grey Painted Garden Shed with Double Doors

The Damage Squirrels Can Cause

Squirrels may seem cute and harmless creatures, but they can cause extensive damage to your property, including sheds, garages, and even your home. One way squirrels wreak havoc is by targeting wooden structures for nesting or chewing purposes.

This compromises the structural integrity of a building and leads to costly repairs.

Aside from physical destruction, squirrels are notorious carriers of various pests like ticks and fleas that pose a threat to human health. Moreover, they have been known to carry diseases such as salmonella, which can spread through their droppings left in nesting sites.

Identifying Signs Of Squirrel Infestations

One of the most critical steps in tackling a squirrel problem is to identify the signs of an infestation early on. Squirrels can cause significant damage to your shed, gnawing on wood or wiring and even contaminating stored items with their droppings or urine.

Squirrel droppings are another major telltale sign that these rodents have invaded your space; they often resemble pellets similar to those produced by rabbits. If you spot fresh squirrel feces – particularly near entry points, garages, or attics – it’s a strong indication that there could be an ongoing infestation.

In addition to physical evidence, listen for scratching noises from inside your shed’s walls or ceiling during dawn and dusk when squirrels are most active; hearing such sounds consistently could mean you’re dealing with a persistent critter issue.

Physical Barriers To Keep Squirrels Out

Installing metal mesh screens and steel-lined edges can prevent squirrels from chewing their way into the shed.

Metal Mesh Screens And Steel-lined Edges

One of the most effective ways to keep squirrels out of sheds is by installing metal mesh screens and steel-lined edges. Steel mesh is commonly used to cover any entry points that squirrels and other animals can use to access the shed.

This durable material is resistant to chewing, which makes it a reliable barrier against pesky critters.

Metal mesh screens also protect potted plants from squirrel damage in gardens. The screen or chicken wire can be cut into sections and placed around individual pots, ensuring that no curious squirrel can dig up seeds or bulbs.

Avoiding Plastic Or Wood

When it comes to creating physical barriers to keep squirrels out of sheds, plastic or wood might seem like a viable option. However, it is important to avoid using these materials as persistent squirrels can easily chew through them.

Additionally, installing fences or other types of barriers around the shed can also be effective in keeping squirrels away. It’s important to ensure that these barriers extend out from the shed a bit so that squirrels cannot simply jump over them.

By avoiding plastic or wood and choosing sturdier materials for your barrier protections, you’ll greatly increase your odds of successfully critter-proofing your outdoor structures against squirrel infestations.

Installing Fences Or Barriers Around The Shed

Physical barriers are one of the most effective ways to keep squirrels out of sheds and other areas. One option is to install metal mesh screens or steel-lined edges, as these materials are difficult for squirrels to chew through.

Another option is to use fencing or barriers around the shed made from chicken wire or other garden fencing materials. You can even try aluminum foil as squirrels hate the texture when they step on it.

When installing physical barriers, it’s essential to ensure no gaps between the barrier and the structure that could allow squirrels access. Wildlife exclusion techniques like this are a more permanent solution than squirrel repellents or other deterrents because once installed, you won’t need to worry about them for years.

Non-Lethal Deterrents For Squirrels

Using ultrasonic repellents, hot pepper spray, scent deterrents, and motion-activated sprinklers are effective non-lethal methods to keep squirrels away from sheds.

Ultrasonic Repellents

Ultrasonic repellents are devices that emit high-frequency sound waves to deter squirrels. These non-toxic alternatives can be effective in keeping squirrels away from your shed without causing them any harm.

Ultrasonic devices work by creating an irritant noise for the squirrels, which makes it uncomfortable and confusing for them.

The Rodar Ultrasonic Squirrel Repeller is one of the most powerful ultrasonic squirrel repellers on the market. It emits high-pitched sounds that only animals can hear, which creates discomfort and discourages their approach toward the treated area.

However, it’s important to note that while these devices claim to be effective in deterring squirrels, there is no guarantee of their effectiveness as some pests may become immune to certain frequencies over time.

Hot Pepper Spray

Hot pepper spray is one non-lethal and natural way to keep squirrels out of sheds. Capsaicin, the compound in hot peppers that makes them spicy, irritates squirrels’ senses of taste and smell.

This makes it an effective squirrel deterrent that can be used in gardens or around bird feeders as well. However, handling hot pepper spray with care is important, as it can be dangerous if not prepared properly.

Scent Deterrents

Scent deterrents can be a great way to keep squirrels out of your shed. Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, and certain scents can repel them effectively. Some popular options include using peppermint oil or white vinegar.

You can simply soak cotton balls in these substances and place them around the shed to keep squirrels away. Another option is to use odor deterrents specifically designed for wildlife control, which typically contain a blend of strong noxious scents that are unpleasant for squirrels.

These natural squirrel repellent ideas are effective and eco-friendly, making them ideal for those looking for non-toxic options.

White Vinegar in Glass Bottle

Motion-activated Sprinklers

One non-lethal deterrent to keep squirrels away from your shed is motion-activated sprinklers. These types of sprinklers are usually used for deterring cats and rabbits from gardens, but they can also be effective for scaring off squirrels.

When a squirrel gets too close, the sensor picks up its movement and triggers the sprinkler to spray water in its direction, startling them enough to make them retreat.

In addition to being effective against squirrels, motion-activated sprinklers can also help deter other unwanted wildlife like deer, raccoons, skunks, and possums. They’re easy to install and operate on batteries or solar power, so you won’t have to worry about electrical wiring or high costs.

Preventing Future Squirrel Infestations

Regular cleaning and inspection, trimming nearby trees and bushes, sealing up any entry points, and getting rid of squirrel nests nearby are all effective ways to prevent future squirrel infestations.

Regular Cleaning And Inspection

It’s important to keep up with regular cleaning and inspection to prevent future squirrel infestations in your shed. Squirrels are attracted to dirty and cluttered spaces, so keeping things tidy is a great first step.

Keeping areas clean is particularly important for areas where squirrels have reasonably easy access. This includes not only sheds, but also patios and garages.

Inspecting your shed for any entry points that squirrels could use to sneak inside is also important. Check for holes or gaps in the walls or roof, as well as damaged screens on windows or vents.

By making cleaning and inspection part of your routine home maintenance tasks, you’ll make it much less likely that squirrels will set their sights on your shed.

Trimming Nearby Trees And Bushes

One effective way to prevent squirrels from infesting your shed is by trimming nearby trees and bushes. Squirrels are excellent climbers and can easily access your property by jumping from tree branches or using overhanging plants as a bridge.

Regularly pruning surrounding greenery not only helps keep the squirrels out but also has added benefits such as improving air circulation, enhancing sunlight penetration, preventing disease in plants, and making the landscape look neater.

Sealing Up Any Potential Entry Points

One of the most effective ways to keep squirrels out of your shed is by sealing up any potential entry points. Squirrels are agile and can squeeze through even the smallest holes, so it’s important to inspect your shed thoroughly for gaps or openings that these critters might exploit.

Check for cracks in the walls or foundation, gaps around windows and doors, as well as missing or damaged weather stripping.

Keep in mind that once you’ve sealed off one opening used by squirrels, they may try to make a new one elsewhere in your shed.

Getting Rid Of Squirrel Nests Nearby

If you’ve noticed squirrels invading your shed, it’s important to start by getting rid of any nearby nests. Squirrels build their nests using twigs and dry leaves in the branches of trees close to buildings rather than inside them.

Another method is trimming back tree branches and overgrown bushes that provide easy access for these critters. Keep a good distance between your garden or property so it’s harder for squirrels to reach.

Doing this not only makes it more difficult for them to access your home but also helps prevent future infestations.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Avoid using poison to get rid of squirrels, as it can harm other animals and even humans.

Using Poison To Get Rid Of Squirrels

One common mistake many people make when trying to keep squirrels out of their shed is using poison. This method is cruel and inhumane and can also be dangerous for other wildlife and pets around the area.

Instead of resorting to toxic measures, you can use several non-lethal methods to deter squirrels from entering your shed. 

Not Sealing Entry Points Properly

Properly sealing entry points is essential in preventing squirrels from entering your shed. Even small holes or gaps can provide easy access for these pesky rodents.

Check your shed’s walls, roof, and foundation for any openings that need to be sealed off with caulk or steel wool. Blocking a hole in the roof or roofline that squirrels are actively using is a common mistake, as it may trap them inside, causing damage and unpleasant smells.

In addition to keeping squirrels out, sealing entry points will also help protect against other pests like mice and insects. Rodent-proofing your shed with proper seals can go a long way in protecting your home from unwanted wildlife invasions while extending the lifespan of your structure.

Overlooking Regular Cleaning And Maintenance

Squirrels are attracted to debris, clutter, and unclean areas that provide them with shelter or nesting material.

Neglecting basic yard care, such as trimming trees and bushes, can also create a highway for squirrels to access your shed. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly clean out the inside of the shed, removing any fallen leaves or branches and sweeping away cobwebs.

Additionally, ensure that food containers are kept tightly sealed and stored away from the shed, as they can attract critters into unwanted areas. By prioritizing home maintenance, you significantly decrease the risk of pest control problems.


As you can see, there are many ways to prevent squirrels from invading your shed and causing damage. By learning how squirrels think and act, and by applying some simple and effective solutions, you can protect your shed and its contents. 

Some of these solutions include installing mesh wire or fencing material, using hot pepper spray or motion-activated sprinklers, and maintaining a clean and secure shed environment. 

Photo of author
Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.

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