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  • Chicago Squirrel Removal - Should You Kill Squirrels?

Chicago Squirrel Removal - Should You Kill Squirrels?

NOTE: We actually never kill squirrels. We humanely remove them with live cage traps, or even better yet, one-way exclusion doors, which allow them to exit the building but not get back in. Below is an article about what we DON'T do:

How to kill a Squirrel - While most think these animals are fuzzy and adorable they can quickly become a pest if they are trying to invade your home or garden. While killing a squirrel is not the most effective method to solve a squirrel problem it is an option. Below are a few ways you can bait and hunt a squirrel:

1. Shooting- Using a gun to kill a squirrel is dangerous and requires gun training and skill. You should never attempt to shoot a squirrel in an urban area or in your home! Shooting is a suitable method only in secluded areas, far away from homes and people. Shooting a squirrel is easily explainable but difficult to carry out. What you will need

  • a. Rifle/shotgun
  • b. bullets
  • c. Bait
  • d. Patience and a steady hand


You will start by placing bait into the center of and open area (FYI: squirrels love nuts, seeds and peanut butter) and find a spot to hide; find an area where you can see the bait and squirrel, but you will not be seen. This is where patience comes into play, it may be hours before your squirrel appears. Once the squirrel shows it is important to be quiet and steady. Line the animal in your sights and when you feel you have a clear shot, shoot the animal. If you are a great shot (or luck was on your side) you will have killed the animal the first try and not injured it. If you missed you will have certainly scared off the animal and will have to try again.

2. Body Traps:
Body traps (also known as Conibear traps) are a lethal style trap designed to kill the animal quickly. They can be set two ways; open, with bait placed inside, trapping the animal by its body once it reaches for the food or over a path so when the animal crosses through it, it snaps shut, killing the animal. This style trap is extremely dangerous and not as effective as other humane traps. If you chose to use this style make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and exercise caution while assembling and setting the body trap. Never set a trap where a child or pet could access it!

3. Poison:
There are many options here; all inhumane, dangerous and hard to use it is strongly advised to use another method. But if you feel poisoning is the best way the most effective poisons are listed below:
  • Rat poison
  • Antifreeze
  • Cholecalciferol
Poisoning is an inefficient, disgusting method of getting rid of a squirrel. Not only could the squirrel not die and just be severely sick in your yard (or home) but you will have to be dealing with a dead rotting squirrel carcass which could be difficult to find. As frustrating as squirrels can be killing them by shooting, trapping or poisoning is not the most effective method. Using a flip door trap is much more effective, humane and no mess. Once the animal is secure in the trap you can take it to the wild and release it far from your home. Always be careful when dealing with a wild animal even if it is in a cage. Below are different styles of humane traps:

1. Single Cage Traps:
A closed cage made of steel where bait is placed inside and you wait for the animal to enter, once the animal has entered for the bait the door flips shut keeping the animal inside. When you are picking a trap make sure it has handles (either on top or on the sides) with a guard on it. The guard should be wide enough to cover your entire hand that way you can pick up and transport the trap, with the squirrel inside, without risking a bite.

2. Double Door Cage Traps:
A double ended door trap is more effective than the single door trap and doubles your chances of catching the squirrel. Like the single door trap the double door trap is the same design, steel cage walls where bait is placed inside and once the squirrel enters the doors flip closed keeping the animal inside. The double door trap is just simply open on both ends creating what looks like a tunnel to the squirrel, which is less intimidating.

3. Dog proof Leg Traps:
Dog Proof Leg Traps are a modern leg trap that are humane and very effective, it is a tube style trap that has bait (again a nuts/seeds are a great choice) placed inside and set. When the squirrel reaches into the trap for the bait it locks its paw inside without injuring it. This style trap is effective and is much safer than the old style JAW traps which break and mangle animal’s leg. Also a dog, cat or child will not be injured by the device if they touch it because their hand will not fit in the trap.

Important reminders:
  • Squirrels carry diseases transmittable to humans! Never touch or attempt to handle an animal without gloves, even if it is dead or in a cage!
  • If you are bitten by a squirrel go to your doctor immediately!
  • Check with your local laws before trapping or hunting an animal.
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