Is It Illegal or legal to shoot a squirrel?

The answer to whether it is unlawful to kill squirrels is that it is forbidden in many states to kill squirrels without permission. You can shoot squirrels with permission, however, during hunting and trapping season. You cannot kill squirrels in the offseason unless they have caused damage to your property, and even then, you must first obtain permission. You cannot torture squirrels by placing them in the fire, confining them in a cage without food, tossing them from several stories, or any other form of torture. You may, however, get rid of squirrels without shooting them. Here’s how to go about it.

Identifying squirrel damage in the garden

  • What did you eat with your spring bulbs? Squirrels, chipmunks, or groundhogs are most likely the culprits. Squirrels enjoy digging up spring bulbs during their autumn foraging, both to consume the bulbs and to store their foraged nuts.
  • Squirrels can also be identified by missing or damaged crops in the garden. Squirrels will frequently take maturing fruits and vegetables to dine on, especially soft and juicy produce like squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and melons. Surprisingly, they rarely eat the full item!
  • If you’re planting flowers or veggies in containers, you could see someone rummaging about in the soil. Squirrels and chipmunks have been observed searching for insects or other delights in pots, and may uproot plants in the process.
  • Squirrels will not only destroy your gardens, but also your bird feeders. If your bird food is gone quickly, you may have a squirrel problem.

Remove squirrels without shooting

Getting rid of these tough little rodents without shooting them saves you time and dealing with permits. It also makes less sense to harm these helpless animals when you can put a stop to it. We’ve provided some key tips to halt them, whether they’ve done some or more damage. This method is effective regardless of the type of squirrel.

Your pets

Do you have a dog or a cat? Then you may already be aware, through walks in the park, that they enjoy chasing squirrels.

Take advantage of this by letting them out in the garden the next time you see a squirrel up to no good. They’ll most likely chase it away, and the little animal will choose a safer location to visit next time.

To repay the favor and keep your four-legged pals safe, keep an eye out in your backyard for the most hazardous plants for dogs and plants that are poisonous to cats.

Remove their food source

If you have a bird feeder, you’ve provided them with a whole food source. There is no need to remove the bird feeder. Replace it with a squirrel-resistant bird feeder. Remove any squirrel feeders you may have. Remove any pet food that has been left outside, as this is a great source of food for them.

The most effective and useful step you can take is to remove their food source. This indicates you’re encouraging them to come if you have some food for them, such as food leftovers, seeds, or anything else you know about. Also, please make certain that their water source is removed.

Use distracting objects

You may also employ various distractions, including a blood meal and a full soil fertilizer, which will help plants develop faster. Pour a little blood meal on the ground, and it will most likely protect the next time they try to come in.

You can also use chicken manure or pelletized hen manure, a great soil fertilizer that grows your plants and keeps squirrels at bay. After you’ve planted your bulbs, apply a light layer of top dressing to your garden containers. Consider what squirrels dislike seeing, what they dislike smelling, what they dislike touching, and what they dislike tasting.

Use a trap

Catch them, then transport them to the river and release them. That way, the rodent was not harmed, and they no longer had a problem in their garage.

If you want to get rid of them but don’t want to hurt them, consider purchasing a live trap.

You can then catch them and release them somewhere far away from your property.

Forestry Suppliers Tube Trap Squirrel Trap (Standard)
  • Get rid of those pesky squirrels with the Tube Trap
  • Natural attractant to squirrels wanting to run through it or hide in it
  • Features a safety hook, is constructed of 21-gauge steel, and measures 4.5” in diameter and 15”L

The trap, made of 21-gauge steel, is intended for squirrels that use their inclination to run through tiny spaces. The tube measures 15 inches long and 4.5 inches across. It is suitable for usage with or without baits.

Rugged Ranch SQRTO Squirrelinator Trap CatchMor Live Chipmunk Squirrel Rat Mouse Rodent Small Animal...
  • TRAPS SMALL MAMMALS: Humane wildlife trap keeps backyard wildlife confined and safe; Entice and trap small woodland and grassland animals such as chipmunks and squirrels
  • DURABLE WIRE FRAME: Large cage made from metal wire gets critters in and won't let them out
  • DOUBLE DOORS FOR MORE ACCESS: 2-door system makes sure more animals have access to the trap

Use this multi-catch live trap to catch numerous squirrels at once without killing them. The cage is 23 by 23 inches in size and can house up to 25 squirrels. They should be released at least 5 miles away.

Squirrels despise flowers

You would believe squirrels are obsessed with all things green. After all, their diet consists primarily of berries and seeds, and they live in tree trunks. Squirrel deterrent plants, on the other hand, do exist.

Plant flowers that are either brilliantly colored or have a strong odor to keep squirrels away from your garden. Fritillaries, geraniums, hyacinth, galanthus, lily-of-the-valley, mint, and daffodils are among the plants squirrels despise.

Daffodils are hazardous because they contain lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals, both of which are poisonous if consumed.

Alliums include onion, garlic, leeks, and scallions, the taste and odor of which naturally repel squirrels. The smell of mint may be pleasant to humans, but it ranks high on the list of smells that repel squirrels.

Use these plants to supplement your other squirrel-removal efforts. Grow them at entry points into your yard to keep squirrels out. Place them strategically around the trunks of trees to keep these animals from climbing up and eating the fruits.

Place them around the perimeter of your home to deter squirrels from approaching. These colorful and aromatic flowers not only keep squirrels away, but they also bring color to your landscape.


If squirrels come to your house and dig up your plants and bulbs, there is a solution. It is possible to mulch around the bulbs.

There’s something about the feel of the mulch that squirrels don’t seem to like. A few years ago, we mulched all around our garden beds. Squirrels were repelled by this since they couldn’t walk on it to get to the beds.

Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

Use ultrasound to get rid of squirrels

Rock concerts are proof of sound’s ability to cause pain in people, but what about ultrasound as a squirrel deterrent? Squirrels are extremely sensitive to noise, particularly high-pitched frequencies, so it’s worth looking into a sonic squirrel repellent that’s meant to keep them away.

When a squirrel or other animal is detected by the motion sensor, these devices produce a sound at a higher frequency than humans can hear. Be careful that the sound may have an effect on your pets as well.

Hoont Solar Powered Motion Activated Ultrasonic with Flashing Strobe Outdoor Animal and Pest...
  • The ultrasonic sounds and flashing LED strobes eliminates all animal intruders on your property
  • Features three ultrasonic frequency settings, 7 sensitivity settings plus an optional on off flashing light
  • Attach the included stake to the repeller and stick it into the ground then select your desired settings. The solar panels on top of the device help recharge the device under the suns energy.

Hoont has been developing some of the most innovative pest management products for quite some time, and these solar-powered ultrasonic repellers are among the most effective, yet compassionate, gadgets we’ve seen!

Simply position these spiky devices near the sections of your yard and garden that you want to keep squirrels and other pests away from, and let the ultrasonic frequencies and flashing strobe repel these creatures all day.

Batteries are required to ensure that the device functions if the solar energy saved is insufficient, however they are included when you order.

Install a sprinkler that is activates by motion

Squirrels are naturally jittery animals. They are small and rely solely on their fangs and jaws to defend themselves. When confronted with anything frightening, they would rather flee than stay and fight.

You don’t need much to scare squirrels away. You are not required to inflict pain or do injury. A sudden movement or sound is enough to make them flee. A motion-activated sprinkler is ideal for this.

Most people are wary of sprinklers since they can quickly increase your water bill. Choose one with a lot of configurable settings to avoid this.

A good motion-activated sprinkler lets you pick whether you want it on during the day, at night, or all the time. It also features a high-tech sensor that can tell the difference between animal movement and wind movement.

You may alter the angle of the sensor based on the height of the animal you’re attempting to get rid of. Simply connect it to your hose and push it into the ground with its spike.

Then, modify the settings to suit your needs and let it do its thing. A spray of water has to be the safest, non-toxic, and all-natural squirrel deterrent ever!

Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes,Black
  • HUMANELY DETERS ANIMALS AND PESTS: Keeps animals out of plants, yards and gardens using a harmless spray of water
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  • STABLE DESIGN: Simply press spike into soil or turf to firmly hold the Yard Enforcer in place.

The device detects squirrels from 40 feet away and chases them away with a powerful water jet. It has a total area of 1,600 square feet. This is the only deterrent sprinkler with day, night, and 24-hour protection settings.

For larger garden centers

There are also various approaches to this, particularly for large gardens. The most traditional method is to use a predator bomb, coyote urine and spread it throughout your garden. This can also be done using fox pee, raccoon pee, or even pee (human pee).

For years, gardeners have peed along the perimeter of their property, either in their garden or throughout their entire property. You can also use human hair, dog hair, pee, and different types of pee. There are other plants, such as the daffodil. If you have squirrel problems, growing poisonous daffodils will keep them away.

It is based on hot pepper oil and repels squirrels by both aroma and taste. The repellent is long-lasting, lasting up to a month. The 32-ounce ready-to-use spray has a coverage area of up to 500 square feet.

The repellant, which contains fox urine as an active element, capitalizes on squirrels’ inherent dread of predators. Its formulation as porous weather-resistant granules ensures that it remains effective for an extended period of time.

This is a ready-to-use chemical spray that is manufactured entirely of natural materials. It contains.025 percent garlic oil,.0495 percent peppermint oil,.0225 percent rosemary oil,.0255 percent white pepper, and 98.877 percent inert components of water and vinegar.

Professional exterminators utilize this combo with different degrees of success. Squirrels and other creatures are repelled and discouraged by the combination of smell and taste.

This product works best in dry climates, but it may be used in rainy, humid climates if you’re prepared to re-spray after each rain and twice a week to keep a decent barrier around your house, trashcans, and so on. For extremely damp conditions, a one-gallon variant is available.

The barrier, which must be reapplied twice a week, must be three feet wide and extend all the way around any place that has to be protected. It should not be sprayed directly on food or feed crop fields. It doesn’t have any strong chemical odors, but it’s hardly anything you’d want to eat.

An intriguing technique is to soak many rags in this product before sealing them inside a zip-lock baggie. Poke a few holes in the plastic bags and place them around the bases of select trees. This results in a high concentration of repellant that is also relatively weather resistant. It irritates the squirrels greatly.

Kill in as the last option

Squirrels are excellent at detecting and even building weaknesses around your home to get access to your attic for shelter. When these pests come inside, they can be deadly since they chew on electrical wiring. And they did just that to me. They chewed through all of the wirings beneath my solar panels, which cost me a fortune to repair.

Not only that, but they chewed chicken wires and pierced into and chewed the exterior of floors and walls. If the squirrels aren’t leaving your home and you’ve tried some or all of the processes, and they didn’t work or aren’t possible for you, such as having a nut tree that can’t be taken down and is continuously damaging, then you have no choice but to kill squirrels.

The protected wildlife series

You have no authority to kill squirrels unless they have caused damage to your property, in which case a permit is required. More information regarding shooting guidelines and everything else you need to know may be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) website.

The law protection

Many states need permits to kill squirrels during specified seasons and under certain conditions, as well as legal regulation. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, squirrels can be killed without torturing, cutting them up, putting them in the fire, trapping them to death, or other forms of pain. That’d be shooting.

Obtaining permission is the easiest part of the process; there is much more to come. While most people are new to shooting and lack skill, they cannot shoot into the head, which is lethal. And the squirrel suffers, which is against the RSPCA’s rules and is illegal.

Get permit

In most areas, getting rid of squirrels necessitates permission. There are, however, two categories of permits. If you want to shoot squirrels to eat them, you can only do it during hunting season and with a hunting permit.

If squirrels are a nuisance and cause damage to your property while it is off-season or closed season, you can file for a nuisance wildlife permit, including squirrels. However, the process varies by state, but these are generally the two basic permits that need you to shoot squirrels.

Shooting squirrels and anything else necessitates a precise location. When shooting, avoid shooting in the direction of a neighbor’s house.

Several laws and regulations must be followed, which can be found on the DEC’s website. If you’re not sure what kind of squirrel it is, you can look it up on the internet or phone the department.

The best guns for squirrel shooting

You can now shoot squirrels in your backyard after the permit step is complete. Shooting squirrels without injuring them necessitates the use of a great gun, and what you fire with is crucial. Some weapons injure squirrels rather than killing them, which is illegal and will result in a penalty if discovered.

For example, if you use an Airsoft or BB gun, you are more likely to harm than kill. Certain laws and regulations apply in metropolitan areas, particularly cities, to prevent squirrels from being disturbed, offended, or scared. If they are terrified or become aware of it, they will produce different sounds to inform others.

If you use a firearm like a Remington, which requires special permission, it does a great job killing squirrels. Perhaps a single shot to the head will kill instantly.

You can also employ various rifles that are useful for hunting or survival, such as the Caldwell Conversion Uppercut, Nagant M1895 Silencer, and the Nagant 1895 Officer.

Shooting squirrels properly

First and foremost, begin pursuing squirrels and keeping an eye on them. Find out when it visits places where you’ve seen it before, such as a bird feeder. On the other hand, squirrels are most active in the morning and, to some extent, at dawn.

When you have enough information about when it will be available, you should alert your neighbor (both sides) and your family members, particularly if there are children who might be terrified, and bring your pet and family inside.

The best strategy is to set some food somewhere you’ve seen it before or somewhere you’d like to fire it (but not in your neighbor’s direction), and then when you’re ready to serve, pull out your pistol, sit down, and shoot carefully.

Remember! You can only shoot on your land, and if it isn’t yours, this isn’t for you.

  • Get as close to the squirrel as possible. The closer you are, the better. It will improve your chances of hitting your target and not missing or injuring them rather than killing them. Ten shots are better than one flawless one. Instead of ten rounds, which is highly dangerous, come as close as possible, gently direct your gun to the head, and fire a single shot.
  • Shoot the squirrel – Take out the gun, lie down, point your target at the head, load it, and fire. If it moves quickly, you can put some food in it to make it last longer with a small move. Otherwise, if they attempt to flee or move somewhere, do not shoot because it may go wrong and break the law.
  • If you shoot it in the head, it will die after a few seconds. Or, if you wind up shooting into its body, it may not die immediately, indicating that you have injured it. In this case, shoot it again, but this time into the head.

Take the deceased body to the backyard and bury it there. If you don’t want to, place it in a rubbish can, preferably in black plastic, and the garbage collector will take it away.

This is most likely the best and safest method to go about it. You can also catch and then kill squirrels, which is a lot easier.

Other Humane Ways to Kill Squirrels

If your state, like Indiana and most places in the UK, does not allow killing gray squirrels, or if you are frightened of offending or scaring your family or neighbor, you may go with similar choices. Still, they are an easier and safer way to go.

Simple and deadly traps

Traps are one of the most popular and widely used methods. While many various traps are available, such as basic and snap traps, they aren’t as effective as lethal traps, which kill squirrels directly rather than catching them as other traps do.

Fortunately, lethal traps allow you not only to catch but also to kill them. This is the most effective and easiest technique to kill squirrels without effort, limiting risk, and likely taking very little time to manage or care for. However, if you have a pet or a small child, there is a slight possibility that they will fall into the trap. Nonetheless, that is the only thing to worry about, which isn’t as difficult or dangerous as shooting a pistol.

  • Put the trap where you’ve seen them or where they’re more likely to go or put some food there so they’ll come, and you’re ready to go. Just make sure to look after your pets and children, and that’s all there is to it.
  • After a day or two, you will notice that the job has been completed without your intervention.

The only challenging aspect of lethal traps is finding a good one in stores or anywhere else. Most of them are simple traps that grab squirrels but do not kill them; they merely make killing simpler but do not complete the task. I discovered one that works, but you can find one that is better. Remember that most rodent traps do not work for squirrels, especially those designed for mice and rats, because squirrels are larger than most rodents.

Bow and arrow

Arrows and bows, like traps, have been proven to kill squirrels but, like guns, require some effort to aim the proper place. You can do it easily with traps. You may catch the squirrels with a simple trap and then shoot them in the head. This is the simplest method.

The easy technique is to identify squirrels by the holes and marks they leave, and after they’re located, you can take the arrow or bow and fix your target on the head and shoot hard.

Arrows and bows are legal in many places for killing rats, and they are all used by people. Red and flying squirrels can be killed at any time, like before, but gray squirrels require a permit. Since we’ve completed the permit aspect, I’m assuming you’re finished with it, so that’s another method of killing squirrels, comparable to shooting with weapons.


You may utilize the poison option if it is permitted. This will do the complete job as long as you set it in the proper location, similar to lethal traps but with a few drawbacks. If you have children and pets, you may use this only if you can entirely protect them.

For starters, squirrel-specific poisons contain nuts that attract squirrels and drawing them to the poison will easily lead to their death. But only when squirrel poison is used, not when rats, chipmunks, or other rodents are poisoned. Using a poison that isn’t intended for squirrels is unlawful, and it just injures or confuses them before killing them a few times.

It’s easy to get good squirrel poison, but there aren’t many of them. Because of the necessary ingredients, a good squirrel poison applied in a proper location will quickly kill squirrels. This is also one of the most effective techniques to kill squirrels with the least work and time.

Neogen 116352 Home Pest Control Products Ground Squirrel Bait, Green
  • Kills California ground squirrels, weather resistant
  • Highly durable product
  • Manufactured in United States

This weather-resistant and highly durable poison bait is made in the United States and will effectively kill ground squirrels. The primary ingredient is diphacinone, a rodenticide with anticoagulant properties.

Wilco 100046603 Ground Squirrel Bait Station
  • Wilco Ground Squirrel Bait Station This Durable High Grade Green Plastic Bait Station Is Used With Ground Squirrel Bait Where There Would Be Ground Squirrel Activity
  • It Is 3 Inch And Has A Child Resistant Closure Lid For Easy Filling To Keep From Children Pets And Non Target Animals, And Also Keeps Bait Fresh
  • Place Near Ground Squirrel Activity 30 To 40 Feet Apart If More Than One Is Necessary

Place poisons in this bait station to eliminate any risk to your pets and children. It is made of strong plastic and features a child-resistant sealing cover. Use multiple bait stations, 40 feet apart, for greater results.

Gas killer

You use the gas killer if squirrels have dug holes that suggest dwelling or hiding their food or themselves there. For the most part, gas killers and related biological materials are compressed gas that can be burned inside squirrels, gophers, and when the squirrels are in their tunnels and the other side of holes is covered or filled. They perform a great job of destroying these pests in their underground burrows.

This works for almost all the rodents except flying squirrels, which generally live in a nest. It may also be used while it’s down in a burrow and works up to a long distance. You can use this outside, but you should remove your pets, children, and, more crucially, your car, bike, or anything flammable. Aside from that, it contains no poison or anything harmful. However, it should be kept away from minors.

How to make use of the gas killer

  • First, determine the location of the squirrel. Check to see if it’s in the burrow.
  • Move the vehicle from the garage to the driveway.
  • Secure the rubber coupler to the exhaust pipe.
  • Attach a hose to the coupler and stretch it to the rodent hole.
  • Remove dirt from apparent mounds/burrows to reveal the hole.
  • Start the engine, insert the hose into the hole, and fill any gaps with dirt.
  • Run the engine for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Do not rev up the engine.

When do I need to hire a professional?

When all other approaches fail, or you suspect that the squirrels are nesting within wall or ceiling cavities, a professional exterminator may be the best option. Without the techniques and materials utilized by professionals, it will be quite difficult to get rid of these hidden squirrels.

If you do employ an exterminator, make it clear that you only want the animals to be live-trapped. Some exterminators may employ spring traps that kill the squirrels where permitted.

Final words

In conclusion, whatever harm squirrels have caused, whether large or small or simply if you dislike it because of its destructive nature, never pull the trigger or shoot them unless you have a permit. If you want to get rid of them, you must follow the rules, especially in cities and urban regions.

Last update on 2022-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API