Split view of a squirrel in nature and Hardie Board siding with gnaw marks from squirrels chewing.
Squirrels can wreak havoc on Hardie Board siding, but don’t fret! There are ways to deter them.

The squirrels around Cathy Rieger’s Thomasville, Ga., home are relentlessly chewing on her Hardie Board siding. They’ve already gnawed down to the porous part of the siding, and now she’s looking for a solution to keep the tree rats from wreaking further destruction.

Why Do Squirrels Chew Hardie Board Siding?

To clarify, the squirrels aren’t actually eating the siding — they’re using it to sharpen their teeth. Squirrels have four front teeth that never stop growing, so they don’t wear down from the constant gnawing, according to National Geographic

Hardie Board siding is made of fiber cement, a durable product great for home siding but unfortunately also great for squirrels to sharpen their teeth. 

Typically, juvenile squirrels will gnaw to sharpen their young teeth, just like puppies like to chew on things around the house. Squirrels will outgrow this gnawing phase after about a month or so. However, the problem is constant because of squirrels’ breeding habits. 

Female squirrels have their babies twice a year and can produce as many as eight babies with each litter. Breeding season takes place in late fall/early winter and early summer/late spring.

Options to Keep Squirrels Away

Hardie Board suggests making a small box out of fiber cement siding away from the home for the squirrels to chew on. The idea is that this will hopefully get them away from chewing on your home and instead on the decoy box.

To repair the damaged Hardie Board siding, use automotive body filler to fill in the chewed parts. Sand it to shape, then prime and paint the siding. 

To deter the squirrels from returning to their chewing post, use a squirrel repellant spray or squirrel mace. Spray wherever they are chewing.

You can also lay down porky pine wire. These are the same strips used to prevent birds from landing and roosting outside windows.

Skip to [skipto time=9:30][9:30][/skipto] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:

  • Installing a Curbless Shower
  • Fixing a Jammed Jalousie Window
  • Cooling Solutions for a Mobile Home

Best New Product

Living room view of Lifeproof with Petproof Technology Barx I collection carpet This carpet is tough on pet stains, soft on bare feet. Learn more>> 

Simple Solutions

Reciprocating Saw Tree Trimming — Next time you need to trim a tree branch, try using a reciprocating saw fitted with a pruning blade. The aggressive-cutting blade is about nine inches long and has only five teeth per inch to quickly slice through branches.

Watch: Use a Reciprocating Saw to Prune Tree Branches Faster Than Ever 

Question of the Week

Q: Is it OK to install a powered-turbine roof vent in the attic of a garage if the garage has a ridge vent?

A. We typically don’t recommend combining a turbine-powered vent fan on the roof with a garage that has a ridge vent. It could reverse the air’s natural flow. Instead of the air flowing out of the ridge vent, the turbine fan could be sucking air into the attic, making it hotter. It could also draw water in when it’s raining.

When you have an exhaust fan of any kind, you have to have some air intake. If there’s a window on the side of the garage, leave it open or put up another fan with air blowing into the garage. Make sure nothing is blocking the air intake on your ridge vent and check to see if you have enough soffit vents. Depending on the structure of the house, it’s fairly easy to install a wall-mounted exhaust fan.

Skip to [skipto time=39:05][39:05][/skipto] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

In The Aisles of Home Depot

The Home Depot is hiring 100,000 part-time and full-time store associates this spring. They’re also hiring for positions, including drivers, at select distribution center locations to replenish store inventory, help pick and ship orders.

All experience levels are welcome and flexible schedules are available.

The Home Depot offers a wide range of health and personal benefits, including tuition reimbursement, company performance-based cash bonus program, discounts on cell phones, paid parental leave, 401(k) savings plan with company match and discount company stock purchase program.

The company’s new accelerated hiring process means applicants could get an offer within one day of applying for a job. Anyone interested is encouraged to apply online at www.careers.homedepot.com.

Skip to [skipto time=35:55][35:55][/skipto] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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