Squirrels eating chairs

Asked June 5, 2013, 12:17 AM EDT

Hello: I'm writing to you as a favor to my father who is 85 years old & does not have a computer. For the past several years, squirrels have eaten the legs on his small plastic lawn tables. We bought a new table & that chewing/eating stopped. Now, they are eating his Rubbermaid plastic chair legs to the point that the legs are half their size & becoming unsafe to sit on. He told me that these chairs are not made anymore, which is a problem for him because he has severe back problems & these chairs are the only ones that keep him comfortable. My question is this: Do you know why the squirrels eat these chairs/tables? Have you any idea what they are composed of that would be so enticing to the squirrels? The shavings from their "meals" litter the ground like sawdust. Also, do you know of anything we can apply to the chairs to discourage the squirrels from eating the legs? And now that they've chewed the legs to less than half of their original size, they have started eating the top of the chairs which make moving them difficult for my dad because the roughness of the surface in the chewed area, rips Dad's very transparent skin. Any information you can give me, is greatly appreciated by myself & my dad. Thank you, Roseanne Foy, Elizabethtown, PA

Lancaster County Pennsylvania

2 Responses

Hi Roseanne:
Nice to hear from someone in Elizabethtown, though not good that you have a problem. I live there. Are you positive squirrels are causing the damage and not a porcupine? Either way, these animals need to chew to wear down their front teeth, which continue to grow.

You could try a deer or animal spray repellent. Depending on what you use, there will be a smell (hopefully not too bad) and a bad taste. May need to be reapplied if it rains. You could also try a live trap and remove them from the area.

Hi Tim:

Thank you so much for your speedy response. While you & I both live in E-town, my dad lives in Columbia. He lives in a retirement community & sits around most of the day watching the birds & squirrels out his back door. The creatures eating his chairs are most definitely squirrels because he's watched them do it. He can't chase them because he isn't able to move too quickly & he does enjoy watching the wildlife outside of his door. A trap would be out of the question because his community is loaded with squirrels but I'm sure the animal spray repellent will work out for him. Many, many thanks from myself & my dad for your answer. I'm sure we'll be purchasing that repellent by the weekend. Re-application won't even be a problem due to rain because the chairs are on a covered porch. Have a good day & a good weekend, Roseanne Foy