Awnings & Furry Critters – Squirrels and Birds, Oh My!

Awnings & Furry Critters – Squirrels and Birds, Oh My!

Published by Brenda Adams on 2020 Jan 13th

We often get calls from customers needing to change the fabric of their awnings because animals damaged the fabric. Likely suspects are either squirrels that tend to eat at the fabric or birds that nest on the mounting bar and peck at the fabric on the roller tube which leaves holes in the fabric.

We do provide the service of changing awning fabric however, this is not a long-term solution to prevent animals from nesting in future. You could change your fabric but these adorable critters could persist and damage your replaced fabric.

We are awning experts and unfortunately, not wildlife experts – below are some natural solutions to possibly look into if you are looking to deter these furry critters.

If you currently have an existing awning and a bird has nested on the mounting bar of your awning, the first thing is to realize that as cute as birds may be, they can cause a lot of damage. If you see a nest on the back bar of your awning, your intuition may tell you to leave that nest there, however, if you do that it could cost you hundreds of dollars just to replace your fabric. You could avoid that expense by removing the nest – if it is safe to do so or hire experts to do it for you.

If you currently have an existing awning and you want to try to deter squirrels that have nested on your patio or near your awning, some solutions to deter them through humane harassment are:

  1. Squirrels do not like bright lights. Place bright lights near their nest (ensuring it is safe and will not start a fire!)
  2. Squirrels are not bothered by music but feel threated by the human voice. Tune into a talk radio station and place it near their nest.
  3. Deceive Squirrels into thinking predators are nearby. Try soaking rags in apple cider vinegar and put it in a plastic bag, poke holes in the plastic bag to let the smell escape and hang it near their nest. Alternatively, you can also use dirty cat litter in a plastic bag in the same way. Both of these scents, to a squirrel, can make them feel threatened that predators are nearby and may relocate
  4. Persistence is key to these above-mentioned deterrent methods.

Unfortunately, if this is a reoccurring issue and you want to look into styles of awnings that can help prevent this issue or you are doing research into getting a brand new awning, we suggest a cassette style awning (either full cassette or semi-cassette).

Semi-Cassette – The mounting bar and the roller tube is covered and protected.

Full Cassette – This is a box style awning. When retracted, there is absolutely no exposed fabric.

The reason we suggest these styles of awnings is because when the awning is retracted (closed), the roller tube (this is the aluminum tube that the fabric rolls onto when the awning is in the closed position) is encased and protected within the cassette. This prevents any animals from getting to the mounting bar to nest or getting to the roller tube where the fabric rolls onto.

We are happy to discuss your shade solutions and assess the best style of awning for your space through an on-site evaluation. Call us at 1-800-506-0450 to find out more!