Different Ways to Kill a Nuisance Squirrel

From Sandy Cheeks in SpongeBob SquarePants to Princess Sally Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog, squirrels are popularized as cute fluffy little creatures. While they are, indeed cute, they’re one of the most difficult nuisance animals to deal with, making them just rats with fluffy tails.

They sometimes seek shelter in attics because of the warmth it provides. However, they cause immense damages by chewing through wires, wood, and several other things. Do you know squirrels are responsible for up to 20 percent of all power outages in the United States? Furthermore, their high intelligence and speed make them difficult to catch.

Ways To Kill Squirrel

For homeowners, even after trying to deter them, some just keep coming back. In these scenarios, your only option might be to kill them. However, some species of squirrels are protected. This means that you have to contact your local wildlife to confirm the legality surrounding the killing of squirrels. In this post, we’ll explore the ‘right ways’ to kill a squirrel.


Before discharging a firearm, make sure to check your district’s laws with regards to the use of a rifle for hunting. If you live in an urban or suburban area, the use of rifles may be disallowed. An air rifle or .22 rifle or a .410 shotgun loaded with birdshot, aimed at the head, is sufficient to kill a squirrel. However, due to their agility and small heads, aiming might be difficult; therefore, it requires expertise and patience. You often have to wait for them to come down from trees so you can get a clean shot.

Trap, then euthanize

If you’re concerned about killing a squirrel humanely, this is the best option. It involves, first, trapping the animal with a baited live cage trap. After capturing it, it can then be euthanized in a CO2 chamber or injected. If you prefer, you can fire a clean shot to its head. Unlike direct shooting in the wild, there’s no possibility of the squirrel escaping with sustained injuries.

Lethal Traps

While using a lethal trap, the primary concerns are to find the right trap to use and to also find the best place to set the trap to avoid killing other animals. A good kind of trap is the tunnel trap. You just need to bait it with nuts or other food and place it near the entry hole of your attic or loft spaces. Some traps can also be mounted on tree trunks to kill a squirrel. A good example is the Conibear 55. It may even be set near the entrance of a squirrel’s nest. Lethal traps usually feature a snap mechanism. Once a squirrel is caught, it delivers a devastating impact on the animal that kills it instantly.
Some homeowners make use of rat traps, but this isn’t a good idea, especially if it’s an adult squirrel. Most times, it just maims the animal and they eventually die a slow death. Instead, use a lethal trap that is commensurate to the squirrel’s body size.


There are devices called rat zappers that kill rats through electrocution. However, by baiting it with nuts and strategically placing them where the squirrel always travels, they can also be used to kill a squirrel. Once the squirrel steps into the zapper, it delivers a lethal dose of electric current. It is a reliable and humane way to kill squirrels. Just ensure you purchase a good product with positive reviews.

How Not To Kill A Squirrel


While you might be tempted to just poison the nuisance critter, it’s a terrible idea. For one, poisons are inhumane. The poison slowly damages its internal organs, leading to internal bleeding. If the squirrel is in your attic, it looks for a quiet and hidden spot to lay until it dies a slow and painful death. You might not know of its death until it begins to give off a putrid smell, which will attract flies and scavengers. You now have a new set of problems to deal with.

Furthermore, there’s the risk of poisoning an unintended animal. What happens if your pet or kid gains access to the poison? There’s also the risk of secondary poison. For all these reasons, avoid the use of poisons.

Disposing of the Carcass

After killing the squirrel, avoid direct contact when disposing of the carcass. Squirrels are carriers of several diseases that can be transferred to humans. First, ensure you wear disposable gloves and long-sleeved clothing to prevent contact. Thereafter, put the carcass in a plastic bag.
It is important to check with your local wildlife office about the acceptable means of disposing of a dead squirrel. In general, you can either bury, burn, or send it to the landfill, depending on what’s allowed.


Before you consider killing a squirrel, make sure you’ve tried other means of getting rid of squirrels like using an exclusion funnel, then sealing potential entry holes. Killing should only be used as a last resort.

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