Are you having trouble sleeping lately because of continuous tapping noises from your attic? And are there pellets of feces all over your backyard? It would help if you kept an eye on your property because there might be a squirrel on the loose.

Squirrels are tiny, agile rodents with a long furry tail. These creatures dig holes and budge underground. They are fun to look at, but you will agree with me on this that squirrels are also a complete nuisance and chaos when they invade your acreages. Squirrels can ruin your shipshape garden and muddle it up.

So, a person must do what he must do to save his land, that’s why most people resolve to severe measures. Shooting the squirrel seems like the most trouble-free alternative. But doing this without proper knowledge of the laws regarding shooting a squirrel in your backyard can lead you to some grave trouble.

Before moving on to the focal topic, let us discuss how to know that you have a squirrel problem.

Signs That Say You Have a Squirrel Living in Your Yard

Shooting Squirrels in Backyard

Many rodents and insects can come in your way when you are busy creating a perfect backyard for yourself. But distinguishing squirrel mischief from all others is not that difficult. Look for the following sign to make sure that the creature causing the havoc is a squirrel:

Walnuts piled up: As you may have seen in movies, squirrels love shelled nuts. The presence of acorns and nuts is a characteristic sign of squirrel invasion. You can see these nuts piled up anywhere in the garden or stashed up in hole dug by them.

Small footprints: On days when you water your garden, you will be able to appreciate distinct small prints, with teeny tiny four fingers and a toe, on the cement area.

Attack on Vegetation: Squirrels, on their adventure, may cause damage to your plants by picking their leaves and trying to climb them. They also ruin the grass by running over it.

Bird Feeder Incursion: `Squirrels can have their share from the bird feeders. You can notice the bowls getting empty quicker than usual.

Pellets of feces: If squirrels are playing around your bush, then the souvenir they leave behind is going to catch your attention. You will see pellets of excreta, which will be like multiple smelling beads all over the garden.

Tapping and other noises: Mostly at night, you will hear odd sounds coming from your attic, backyard, and storage rooms. You can follow these noises to know the squirrel’s familiar visiting places and can set traps there to catch them.

Holes in the ground: Squirrels save food for winters and keep them guardedly in a small pit in the field, which they dig themselves. The frequency of stashing food is highest in Fall. It is a known fact that the squirrels always bury more food than they can ever recover.

Spotting them yourselves: Yes, the most confirming sign of all is to see them yourselves climbing that tree in your backyard.

Squirrels do not have excellent hiding skills and will quickly catch your eyes. Knowing that you have a squirrel problem is not the hard part of the whole situation; getting rid of them is.

Do Squirrels Come Under Endangered Species?

Squirrels in Backyard

No, squirrels do not come under endangered species. They are not threatened or come under the Red list. There are more than 200 species of squirrels in which the population of grey squirrels is around 2.5 million worldwide.

Squirrels are more like protected species per se. It means that hunting them is not illegal or banned all over the world but rather depends on your state laws. In some places, there is a specific season for hunting them, and shooting them other than this time is a punishable deed by the law.

Laws Regarding Shooting Squirrels

As stated earlier, different countries and states have their laws regarding shooting squirrels. The DNR or the Department of Conservation is responsible for imposing the rules regarding wildlife.

Some places like Marysville and Kent State University honor these creatures and give them a special place in their hearts and lands. You cannot treat them as game animals in these locations. You must resolve to the alternative of trapping them, taking them to a far-off place, and then liberating them there alive, which is, by the way, is a great option.

But still, if this option is not working for you, then you can take pictures of the harm caused to your property and submit it to the DNR. Doing this may get you official help or a special permit to kill the squirrel.

As opposed to this, other places allow you to kill and get rid of squirrels once and for all. But still, do your homework correctly. Before pressing the trigger, make sure that your gun is licensed, and shooting in your backyard is not illegal wherever you live. Actions can be taken against you if shooting is illegal in your state, or your gun is not licensed, even if killing the squirrel is permitted.

Things to Know While Planning to Shoot a Squirrel

After you have decided to take matters in your own hands, there are certain things you must keep in mind. You can either trap the squirrel using bait and then shoot it, or you can shoot it while it is steady and still on the ground. Do not try the later if you do not have a good hold on the firearm, and your aims are not that spot on.

Here are some tips for a more trouble-free experience:

  • Choose a proper firearm which has a short firing range. Doing this will prevent any unwanted collateral damage.
  • Squirrels come out more at dawn and in the late afternoon.
  • Let squirrels come closer to you for a better aim.
  • Do not shoot above ground level, for example, when the squirrel is on the fence or climbing trees as you can hit a non-targeted animal or person.
  • Check on the weather. Always head out to shoot in clear skies and still air, as the wind can alter the bullet trajectory.
  • Make sure there is no one else on the ground, especially not a child playing. Also, inform your neighbors just before you go to shoot the squirrel and ask them to get inside their homes safely.
  • Practice your aim properly because you might not get another chance as the squirrel will get scared of the gunshot noise and may not come near you again.
  • Squirrel furs and tails are used to make stuff like paintbrushes, so you can sell the squirrel if you could find a buyer nearby.

Many things can go wrong while trying to shoot a squirrel, and proper planning is imperative. But if someone is not willing to take the risk, then there are other alternatives as well. I have listed some of the most accepted and effortless ways to kill this gnawing animal.

Popular Ways to Kill Squirrel Other Than Shooting

There are three other ways to kill a squirrel without having to pick up a gun. These alternatives are:

  • Poison
  • Traps
  • Other weapons


The easiest and hands-free method of killing the chaos maker is poisoning him to death. The best way is to mix the poison in food and put it in the most explored areas of the squirrel.


  • No violent measures are required.
  • Minimum labor to get the task done.
  • Poison is cheap and readily available, as opposed to a gun and ammunition.
  • Less traumatic mentally.
  • Trade the dead squirrel for money.


  • There is a risk that other animals might feed on the poisoned food and die. Not a good idea if one has pets.
  • Wrong poison might not kill the squirrel. Instead, it will make it chronically sick.
  • Children at home might get their hands on the poison or poisoned food by mistake.


One can catch the squirrel in a small metal cage by using bait and leave them alive somewhere else. Or one can use trap and snares to kill the squirrel as soon as it steps on them.


  • No violent measures are required.
  • The only labor is to set the trap, which is relatively easy.
  • Less traumatic and silent.
  • Trade dead squirrel for money if not using live trapping.


  • The cage may cost some bucks if you do not have one already, and it will probably be useless afterward.
  • Other animals can also get trapped.
  • There might face trouble finding the cage with the right dimensions.

Other Weapons

If shooting is not allowed in your state or if you do not have a gun, then you can try other weapons as well, like bow and arrow or a big knife.


Before shooting the squirrel in your backyard, make sure that shooting and killing both are legal in your state. If not, there are other alternatives as well, as are mentioned above. Just take precautions and revise your ploy.


My name is Mark Wilson and I am the founder and author of HomeDems. This is your one-stop-shop for everything home decor related. As a professional property manager, I have handled hundreds if not thousands of residential and commercial real estate units with great success over a career of 35+ years.

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