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Avoiding Animal Damage to Your Pergola


I think that a pergola is a beautiful addition to practically any piece of property. It’s so pleasant to sit and chat with friends beneath an ivy-covered pergola. But you may find that many animals also like to spend time around your pergola. Mice like to chew on the wood and leave their droppings behind. Squirrels and rabbits are known for digging holes and burrowing underneath pergolas as well as tearing up vegetation. But there are some simple things you can do to discourage these animals from visiting your pergola.

Remove Hiding Places

Take a few minutes to walk around your pergola and check out the area. Are there any piles of sticks in the vicinity? Piles of sticks and patches of weeds are perfect hiding places for rodents. Furthermore, an area of tall grass can be very enticing to a rabbit that wants to dig holes and search for food near your pergola. Getting rid of these types of hiding places can discourage animals from hanging around your pergola and causing damage.

Apply Peppermint Oil to the Wood

If you’re looking for a natural way to deter mice, you may want to spray peppermint oil at the base of your pergola. Mice are repelled by the strong scent of this liquid. Remember to reapply the oil after heavy storms during the spring and summertime.

Keep Your Pergola Clean

Not surprisingly, mice and other rodents always seem to make an appearance when there is a new food source. If you have a party under your pergola, be sure to remove items of dropped food, fruit peels, and wrappers. I suggest setting up a big garbage can before the party begins. Rodents that find food beneath your pergola just one time are likely to make return visits to try their luck again.

Spray Hot Sauce on the Legs of the Pergola

If you see squirrels digging a lot of holes around your pergola, you may want to try bringing some hot sauce into the mix. Pouring some hot sauce at the base of the legs of your pergola can help. There is also a hot pepper wax spray you can purchase that stays put for about a month. Rabbits are also repelled by the smell and taste of hot sauce.

Plant Marigolds Around Your Pergola

Planting marigolds is another way to discourage visits from squirrels. Squirrels do not like the strong fragrance of these flowers. You could put some in hanging pots or plant them around the base of your pergola. These flowers will bring color to the area while discouraging squirrels from approaching the structure.

Offer Other Enticing Alternatives

Sometimes, putting out alternative food sources can discourage animals from visiting your pergola. For instance, you could put a squirrel feeder up at the opposite end of your yard. The squirrels may bypass your pergola for a tasty combination of seeds and nuts in a feeder. Another idea is to plant a few vegetables in a separate part of your yard to feed any rabbits that visit. Of course, the rabbits’ vegetable supply would need to be far away from your family’s vegetable garden.

I hope these ideas help you keep your pergola free of animal visitors. Thanks for reading! – Alan

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