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I'm not sure, but I think this squirrel was killed by poison - it's actually very rare that poison works.
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ONE - There are no registered squirrel poisons available. Poisoning squirrels is illegal.
TWO - Most available poisons, (like Warfarin, Bromethalin, Cholecalciferol) are designed for rats, and don't work with the same effectiveness on squirrels.
THREE - Squirrels almost never eat rat poison (assuming that's what you want to use) - they are seed eaters, and they only eat outside.
FOUR - The attic usually has several squirrels. If by chance one of the squirrels eats the poison (not likely) and dies from it (unlikely), then you still have a few other squirrels to deal with, making the poisoning of just one of them pointless.
FIVE - THE BIGGEST PROBLEM: If a squirrel does eat the poison, and it does die, it'll most likely die inside the attic, causing a big odor problem. That's why I was called to the house with the dead squirrel in the above photo. The owners did manage to kill the squirrel with rat poison (rare, because I've been to dozens of homes in which people have tried to kill squirrels with poison, but after many weeks, it did not work), and in this case, the squirrel died in the attic, and started to rot, and caused a terrible odor problem. And it only killed one squirrel, and several live ones remained, and I had to trap them anyway.
A far better approach to solving a squirrel problem is to either use a one-way exclusion door that allows them to exit the attic and not get back in, or to trap (ready my squirrel trapping guide here) and remove and relocate them. Posion is a dumb approach, that barely ever works, and can cause dead squirrel odor problems.
You can catch all the squirrels at once, and make sure they are out, with a trap like this.
If you absolutely must know how to kill squirrels, there are lethal traps, but I guess I'd just use a powerful BB gun, first. Plenty of people do. Although that won't solve a more complex problem, like squirrels in the attic, because there are several animals involved, and entry points, and other things to consider. And if you put poison in the attic, it won't get eaten. I don't actually know what form most poisons come in - I know about bait blocks and poison seeds and nuts, and I guess there is spray and liquid poison and tracking powder poison. These are used for rats and mice - rodenticides. Even though a squirrel is a rodent, it's not the same as a rat or mouse. If you must know how to poison squirrels, I'll just say again that anything is better than poison, because they just don't work for squirrels. But solving a squirrel problem is easy! - Most exclusion and live-trap methods are a heck of a lot easier and cost effective, I guarantee it.
You can also try squirrel prevention techniques instead of lethal products to keep squirrels away.
Antifreeze Squirrel Poisoning - Many people want to get rid of squirrels but do not want to spend the money and energy on buying either live traps or electric traps. They just want to get rid of the squirrels and do not care how it is done. The item that most home owners and car owners have readily at hand is ethylene glycol. Antifreeze will kill a wild animal easily. Animals usually like the sweet tasting liquid and lap it up without a problem. They will stumble around, in a drunken manner and perhaps vomit up the greenish liquid. If enough of the antifreeze has already been absorbed into the bloodstream, there really is no hope for the animal. Antifreeze will damage the liver and kidneys to an irreparable extent. It is metabolized in the liver and kidney, that's why those two organs are mainly affected. In the process of metabolizing antifreeze, ethylene glycol becomes hydrolyzed into glycolate and oxalate. The resulting pH imbalance will in most cases be fatal to the squirrel. It may take less than a day, perhaps even only a couple of hours after ingesting the antifreeze until the squirrel dies. This timetable obviously varies depending on the amount the squirrel has ingested. If you are looking to poison squirrels in your home you are better to use poison from the store.
How to Kill a Squirrel with a BB Gun - yes, you can shoot a squirrel with an air rifle. A 1000 FPS gun will certainly kill squirrels. Although as with all cases of shooting, aim is important. A bad shot might merely maim the animal and leave it to suffer.
Some people ask me where to put the poison. In general, any area of high activity, such as places with squirrel feces or urine is a good indicator of where the animals spend their time. But again, poison is the wrong idea.
Reader Email: Three months ago, I heard and saw a squirrell knawing a huge hole in the side of my rental house. It got in within three days. Then the noises weren't so bad and I let it go. However they live exactly on top of where my head rests on my pillow. No sleeping in or daytime naps for me any longer. So today, it's late March. Animal Contol says no way they don't deal with squirells in attic, only in the house. So I called your Mike friend for the DC Wildlife board. My landlord is not willing to pay for the cost of removal. I have to pay for the first hour of all issues with home. A Control told me no Be Be rifles. Poisen will cause a smell to ruin my summer The hole is three and one half stories up so no ladder tall enough. Please advise on costs. What is the cheapest way to do this. I will poison them with no guilt. where do I get the poison. The attic is impossible to get through to where they are. All insulations stuffed everywhere from a lousy slumlord type. I am a clean person and fix repairs on this house at my expense but this one along with Air Conditioning and Furnace are too steep. So I need Mike's prices or alternatives. How to use the poison to kill ALL the family up there now. Where to buy the one way door. The house is all cedar wood so they will just naw different hole. So I want to kill them all and replace the board where they got in. I have no idea how much scat is up there now but after three months the noise and the damage is becoming severe. Please advise. Sincerely, A squirrel killer in the making - Priscilla
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