How To Kill A Squirrel

Depending on the severity of your squirrel problems, you may at some point find yourself looking to kill the squirrels. This typically happens when you feel like you've exhausted all other options with no results. There are several ways to kill nuisance squirrels and these are similar to those used for other annoying wildlife. Most of the time, however, there is a better solution available. Before trying to kill the squirrel or squirrels, you should first try prevention techniques, trapping and relocating the animal, or hiring a professional. If you decide killing is the only option, here are some methods.

Lethal Traps
Killing a squirrel with a lethal trap will typically involve using a body grip trap. These are similar in design to rat snap traps but larger. Remember that a rat trap will not work on squirrels as these animals are too large and that a lethal trap is dangerous and difficult to use.

If you don't have a lethal trap, you could theoretically use a live trap to catch the squirrel and then kill it in some way. In this case, drowning is considered very inhumane and stressful for the squirrel and the same will be true of most other methods.

Perhaps the most tempting method of killing a squirrel is with poison. It seems simple in theory as you just set out the poison, wait for the squirrel to eat it, and your problem is gone. In reality, however, there are multiple issues with this particular option. First of all, it is almost always illegal to poison a squirrel because there aren't any registered poisons that will do this job. You can try using rat poison, but because squirrels won't find it appetizing, the squirrel most likely won't even eat it. If they did eat the poison, it would probably not work as well on squirrels as it is designed for rats and the same is true of every other poison on the market.

If the squirrels are currently inside your attic, then there are most likely several of them. It is unlikely that you would be able to get all of the animals with poison, meaning you would still need to try a different solution anyway. Finally, keep in mind that since no poison works effectively on squirrels, if it does kill them, it will not do so immediately. This will give the squirrel plenty of time to find a nice, quiet place to die, such as your attic or walls. You then have to go through the trouble of finding the carcass and safely removing it before it begins to rot, smell bad, or attract bugs or other scavengers.

Knives and Shooting
Depending on your skill with a knife or gun, you could also theoretically shoot or stab the squirrel. In either case, the most important thing to consider is that you want to actually kill the animal. Leaving it injured or maimed is simply inhumane and may even worsen your problems if it dies a slow death in a hidden location.

Why Avoid Killing Squirrels
We've already mentioned one of the biggest risks of killing squirrels: not killing them at first, leaving to them dying somewhere else so you have to find their body and then dispose of it. In addition to this problem, squirrels are living animals who deserve a chance to try to survive. Finally, depending on where you live, it may actually be illegal to kill the squirrels, or to do so in a certain way. The exact legalities will vary from state to state and city to city, so you should always check your local regulations before taking care of a nuisance squirrel yourself. Depending on the killing method you use, it may even pose a danger to your children or pets if accidentally triggered or ingested.

Why Live Trap Squirrels
A good alternative to killing squirrels is to use a live trap to catch them. With this method, you will not be hurting the squirrel in any way, offering a humane alternative. After trapping the squirrel, you can make the necessary repairs to your home before releasing it so the animal cannot reenter. An alternative is to relocate the squirrel to an area that is far enough away where it is unlikely to find its way back to your property. Before relocating a squirrel, simply make sure that you can legally do so and be sure to select a new location where the animal will find food, water, and shelter.

Prevent Squirrels
Before you even consider killing a squirrel, you should first try to discourage them from selecting your home with a few preventative measures. Typically squirrels will select a place to live based on comfort and access to food and water. If you remove any of these things, then they are less likely to pause on your property and consider staying there. This means that if you want a bird feeder on your property, you will need to select it carefully to ensure that squirrels can't access the bird seed. You should also clean up fallen nuts and berries as well as those on low-hanging branches. Finally, make any necessary repairs to your home so squirrels no longer have access to your chimney, attic, or walls.

Read the How to get rid of squirrels page for helpful information and to learn more about How To Kill A Squirrel

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