Squirrel Stealing Christmas Decorations? 3 Reasons They Take Stuff & How to STOP Getting Burgled

When squirrels steal your brand new Christmas decorations, it’s bound to make you grinchy. But don’t blame them, it’s not completely their fault.

If there is anything you can count on with squirrels, it’s that they don’t do things out of spite. In fact, there are perfectly natural reasons they need to steal your stuff .

Once you know why they took off with your holiday d├ęcor, you can sleep better knowing it’s nothing personal and then you can easily prevent future rip-offs.

Squirrels take your decorations because they need to:

  • Repair their nest
  • Store food close to home
  • Grind their teeth down

Here’s how you know why they are stealing yours…

Nesting Material

Squirrels keep multiple nests and they never stop making repairs. During the winter months, raw materials (leaves and straw) are in short supply or buried under snow. Squirrels have no other choice but to find alternate ways to keep dry and warm.

Then, like magic, every December, squirrels begin to notice great supplies popping up. With a little bit of effort, they can make improvements to their failing structures.

Which Christmas Decorations Make Great Nest Filler?

Christmas ribbon, wreath bows, garland, seasonal flags, stuffed animals, inflatable Santa, vinyl snow globes, fake poinsettia & holly, a snowman’s scarf, outdoor stockings, sled cushions, nativity scene straw or baby Jesus blanket.

image of Christmas decorations squirrels take for their nest

Best Ways to Stop This?

  • Provide better options – Keep a pile of real straw or leaves nearby. This works best if you take the extra steps to keep it dry.
  • Make them taste bad – In addition to giving them better options, you can Spray decorations with this mixture for outdoor furniture

Storing Food

We all know that squirrels bury nuts in the ground. But they’re smart enough to know that even if they manage to remember where they put the darned things, the ground will freeze, snow will fall, and retrieval becomes impossible.

That’s why squirrels also store food above ground. You’ll often see them hide a nut in your grill, planter, empty box, or even in plain sight under a covered porch or gazebo.

As winter sets in, a determined squirrel will drag something closer to its home and use it to store food.

Decorations Squirrels Can Use to Store Food

Gift box decorations, Christmas baskets, snowman top hat, sleds, artificial plants, train parts, light-up village houses, holiday mailboxes, gingerbread houses, and anything that might keep a nut dry.

image of holiday items squirrels use to store food

Best way to prevent

  • Tie these down – Use stakes or screws and fasten these items to the ground or railings, etc., Squirrels may still use them, but at least they won’t steal them outright..
  • Give them an odor – Sprinkle them with Irish Spring shavings. Squirrels do not like the smell and they wouldn’t want their food to taste like soap. Check out our full list of cheap deterrents

Portable Tooth Groomer

Squirrels MUST chew hard items to keep their teeth from growing too long. Many people think it’s to keep teeth sharp, but it’s all about length.

If a squirrel runs out of hard items to chew, its teeth will grow too long. The bottom teeth will grown up and into a squirrel’s nose and top teeth will grow down and penetrate flesh around the jaw. Both conditions are horrible, causing death if untreated.

When winter rolls around, squirrels have a hard time finding items to chew. People have moved their picnic tables and lounge chairs indoors and squirrels need other solutions. If they find a one that is portable, they’ll take it!

Decorations Squirrels Might Take for Teeth Grooming

Outdoor ornaments, LED Christmas light bulbs, signs, solar candy-canes, nativity statues, small projector boxes, little Christmas candles and lanterns, plastic elves, bells and snowflakes.

outdoor decorations squirrels chew on

Ideas for Stopping This

Install Gnawing Stations– Teeth grooming is a matter of survival and squirrels are not ever going to stop. If you’re willing to help them out, it’s easy. Install a couple of real antler pieces in your yard. Be sure to fasten them down or a squirrel will definitely steal that too.

Use Spikey Mats – You can deter squirrels by installing scat mats underneath your decorations. These cut-to-size spikey mats irritate squirrels without hurting them. Unfortunately, these don’t work too well once they become snow covered.

Remember, squirrels may steal your decorations or they may just use them and it’s a good idea to hose them down after each season.

Use the information above to learn why the squirrel took off with your decorations and it becomes easy to prevent going forward.