Storage and varmit question

This time of year i find that squirrels and mice get in my shed where we store our boats and chew and nest. So far they haven’t destroyed anything to serious, but am afraid that it’s a matter of time. Other than trapping and poison i am at a loss,besides, this is only a small percent of them probably anyway. Has anyone ever used those canvas covers with success? I have covered w/ a tarp and it’s just not tight enough. So my thought was if it’s stored in the kayak canvas cover then a tarp thrown over it i might fare better. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for keeping the varmits at bay?

Oh and i do realize that they can and will chew thru, most anything.


Dryer sheets
Spread some perfumey dryer sheets around. Stuff holes with steel wool. Both seem to work.

I have found that as long as …
I have the cockpit covers on I don’t have any problem with the squirrels.



Thar is a big temperature range
between northern NH and Florida. Mice want in bad in the north. We take our hatch covers off…two years the rodents chewed one. And flip the kayak over so its hole down.

Mothballs help too. But leave the bag intact but opened so you don’t directly contact your boat. Napthalene is potentially toxic.

Squirrels have chewed through

– Last Updated: Oct-30-12 6:45 PM EST –

house siding here.Maybe a couple of cats?

Throw a couple cats in there before sealing them up for the winter.

Cayenne pepper
Spice section, cheap, nontoxic, not pleasant for animal snoots and mouths. Refresh it once in a while.

I’ve used it to keep tomcats from lurking around bldgs and vehicles. You definitely don’t want to encourage cats to hang around your boats; the piss stench never comes out even with multiple washings with various cleaners.

Look up “natural animal repellants” or similar phrase. You can use mothballs, too, but be careful how you do it. I’ve hung them in cheap nylon hose that I cut into tube sections and tied off at both ends, then hung up a few inches above the ground but under dry cover. That way, they can’t contaminate the soil from rain soakings.

I assume inside storage is out of the question?? I’ve put moth balls inside my boat & never had a problem with mice / squirrels storing in my shed.(a little stinky though) Rest of my gear goes into a plastic tote(s) with a tight fitting lid. Not sure if I’ve just gotten lucky with the moth balls, or if they really work.

A cat is not going to happen, Moth balls
make me ill. I will remove covers though, good idea. Dryer sheets are another one and the cayenne pepper. Thanks everyone.

Stow the hatch covers inside
Gives them less to chew.

canvas tarps and lemon spray
I used to stash a couple of kayaks (including a costly folder that was such a pain to break down and set up I left it assembled) on my covered but open back porch. I used painters canvas tarps that come in 6’ x 20’ size, perfect for wrapping a touring kayak, and would wind them around the boats and secure with wrapped rubber bungee cords and nylon rope. Having noticed that pet dogs and cats react with aversion to citrus based household sprays, I saturated the canvas with a good dose of Lemon Pledge and never had problems with mice, squirrels or raccoons. Those same varmints had their way with my trash cans and some lawn furniture stored in the same area so I am inclined to think my lemon flavored kayak burritos were not to their liking.

if you find something that works…
…please post it here!

I like this idea A LOT ! makes sense

cheap tarps
Keep your eye out for 50% off sales at Sherwin Williams paint stores. In my area they seem to have one whenever they open a new store or for whatever reason. That’s when I get the 20’ x 6’ canvas tarps – they are under $10 each during the sales and they sell a nice weight of them. I like cotton canvas because it doesn’t break down and get brittle like plastic tarps. If your storage area is damp, you will get some mildew and staining on the canvas, but you can lay it out in the sun and it will kill most of the spores, or you can just wash the tarps in a washing machine with a little bleach.

Thanks Wiilowleaf
not sure if we have those paint stores here, i will check though.

Orange spray cleaner
Having read that cats hate orange scent, I sprayed some orange cleaner on the ground perimeter where I wanted to repel them. It worked, but I don’t know if that’s why.

My male dog, on the other hand, loooooooves to roll in tangerine peels.

Hmm, wonder how far north citrus plants grow and survive…