Squirrels may be cute and cuddly looking from afar, but if they get into your home they can wreak serious havoc. In some cases, squirrel infestations can even be dangerous.
Not only do they procreate rapidly, but squirrels are intelligent, mischievous animals who can cause structural damage, electrical damage, and even carry deadly diseases in their feces.
That said, using squirrel poison is not always the best method for squirrel removal. Furthermore, squirrel poison is even illegal in many regions throughout the United States. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t use other methods of removal and that doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives to using squirrel poison.
What You Should Know About Using Squirrel Poison
Squirrel Poison is often illegal, which means it can also be difficult to come by.
Squirrel poison is just what it sounds like – it is a poison designed to kill squirrels and eliminate them from your property. But if you’ve done any kind of research recently looking for squirrel poison, you’ve likely hit a roadblock.
This is because there are currently no available squirrel poisons on the market made to kill squirrels except for a poison designed to kill ground squirrels known as Ditrac. This poison will not target tree squirrels, which are probably the type of squirrel you’re here inquiring about.
But in case you’re not, let’s take a moment to learn about Ditrac squirrel poison.
Ditrac Poison Bait
Ditrac is a ground squirrel poison that also works to exterminate pests like rats and mice. This poison will not work against tree squirrels, as we mentioned above.
If you do use this poison for ground squirrel extermination, we recommend using it with a bait station that is tamper-proof and child safe, as this squirrel poison can be harmful for children and pets.
We should also note that this type of squirrel poison is not legal in all regions. For example, it is not available for sale in California. Before purchasing this poison, be sure to do research to ensure it is legal to use in your area.
What To Know About Using Rat Poisons To Kill Tree Squirrels
If you’re considering using rat poison to kill squirrels, save your money. Rat and mouse poison will not work to kill tree squirrels, which means your best bet of squirrel removal is not going to be poison at all.
In fact, most experts agree that the best way to remove squirrels is to use repellents and baited catch and release traps. Not only are these methods legal and more humane, they are also most effective.
If you still want to use poison to kill squirrels causing you problems and squirrel poison is legal to use in your region, we suggest you first consider the pros and cons.
Pros of Using Squirrel Poison
- Squirrel Poison Can Be Effective
Squirrel poison can work quickly, but it may only be a temporary fix.
- Squirrel Poison Is Inexpensive
If you use Ditrac, you’ll find that it’s inexpensive and an effective form for getting rid of ground squirrels. However, it doesn’t work against tree squirrels, as we now know.
- You Can Make Your Own Squirrel Poison At Home
If you’re savvy, you may be able to make your own squirrel poison at home using common household ingredients, but this is only recommended if using squirrel poison is legal in your region.
- Squirrel Poison Is Easy To Use
When it comes to pest control, using pest control poisons are often some of the easiest methods to use. This is because you can often simply set the baited poisons and leave it to do its job without much work.
That said, and as we’ve mentioned, the cons of using squirrel poison to get rid of squirrels may outweigh the pros.
Cons of Using Squirrel Poison
- Squirrel Poison is illegal In Many Regions and Is Thus Hard To Find
This may not come as a surprise, considering poison is poison and lethal to these mostly beneficial and protected animals. And since using squirrel poison for tree squirrels is actually illegal in most regions, it is not easy to find at many stores or even online.
- Squirrel Poison Can Be Dangerous to People and Pets
Depending on the type of poison or brand you use, some squirrel poisons can be very dangerous. If you have children or pets in the home, it’s important to use squirrel poison only as directed.
- Squirrel Poisons May Kill Unintended Targets
Any time you’re using a pest control method, you should consider that other unintended targets could be harmed. Again, this is another good reason you should look for alternatives to squirrel poison or repellents that are specifically designed to only allow squirrels access.
- You May Wind Up With Dead Squirrels In Your Walls
When you use poison as a form of pest control, you’re risking winding up with dead animals in your walls, crawl spaces, basements or attic. This is especially true for squirrels, who like to build nests in secluded spaces indoors.
- Squirrel Poison Is Not The Most Effective Form of Squirrel Control
If you can’t find squirrel poison or if squirrel poison is illegal in your region, don’t sweat it. Squirrel poison isn’t the most effective form of squirrel control anyway, so don’t waste your time.
Instead, many experts agree that it’s better to use other methods for squirrel control like repellents, sprays, netting and sound machines.
But before we talk about these products and alternatives to squirrel poison, let’s first cover the legalities of killing squirrels in your region.
Before You Use Squirrel Poison – The Legalities of Killing Squirrels
Did you know it is illegal to kill squirrels in many regions? This is why it is nearly impossible to find squirrel poison for tree squirrels sold commercially.
Before you dedicate yourself to using squirrel poison, it’s important to look into the legalities of doing so in your region. In some states and counties, it is illegal to kill squirrels and you’ll instead be required to use alternative methods like catch and release traps, repellents, and professionals.
Luckily, there are many alternatives to using squirrel poison and many pest control options that work more quickly when used properly. In fact, squirrel poison is often used as a last resort when squirrels are overwhelming in their invasion or when you cannot seem to get rid of them with other methods. Furthermore, squirrel poison is often only available to professionals with a license who have exasperated other methods of removal.
If you do have access to using squirrel poison, there are a few steps experts suggest you attempt before you use it.
If You Have Squirrels In Your Home
It’s quite common for squirrels to get into your home through vulnerabilities in your roof, siding, attic or chimney. When they get into your home, squirrels can cause serious damage to electrical wiring and your home’s structure.
Before using squirrel poison to remove these squirrels, try and repel them from your home. This will reduce potential dead rodent smell or other issues should squirrels die in your walls.
Use repellents and make sure you close off any potential entry and exit points except for the main one. You can also use methods to make it easy for squirrels to get out but not back in.
Then we suggest using repellents like sprays, sound machines, and even home remedies to make your home less inviting to these pests.
If You Have Squirrels In The Yard
Squirrels, like all pests, are attracted to habitats that provide safety, shelter and food. You can keep squirrels at bay by making your yard less hospitable to them. Remove bird feeders and pet food, tidy up landscaping, and use repellents like squirrel sprays, sound machines, and even predator decoys to get rid of squirrels.
If Alternatives To Poison Don’t Work – What To Do Before Planting Squirrel Poison
If you feel that squirrel poison is your best option for squirrel removal and it is legal in your area, it’s important to do your best to first locate the squirrel nest, especially if it is inside your home. Once you’ve located the nest, next try and determine if you have babies in the nest.
If you do find that there are infant squirrels inside your home or walls, you might consider contacting a professional. A professional can help you remove these squirrels with the least amount of damage possible and will help reduce the chances of you winding up with dead rodent smell inside your home.
If you don’t have infant squirrels in your walls, we suggest you consider using poison baited traps. This way, the baited poison will lure the squirrel into a trap where it will kill the squirrel and allow you easy access to the body so you can remove it quickly.
Of course, it is going to be difficult to find legal squirrel poison. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best alternatives for squirrel poison on the market.
Best Alternatives to Squirrel Poison For Homes
It is safest to use alternatives like sprays and traps for squirrel removal in homes.
When using squirrel repellent or traps in your home, we suggest using repellent sprays or non-lethal baited traps to lure and trap pesky squirrels without harming them.
We have listed some of our favorite alternatives to squirrel poison for homes below for you to consider.
Nature’s Mace Squirrel Repellent
Nature’s Mace is a non-lethal squirrel poison that repels tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks and more. It is made with natural ingredients that covers up to 1,400 square feet inside or outside of your home and is safe to use around children, pets and other wild animals like birds.
You can even use this squirrel repellent on plants or in flower beds. The spray comes in different sizes and orders depending on your needs and is completely legal and safe to use in and around your home as a non-lethal squirrel poison repellent.
Faicuk Heavy Duty Catch and Release Trap
As we mentioned above, using catch and release traps for squirrel removal is often more effective than using squirrel poison. These methods are also humane and legal, though you should still use caution when using them.
The above trap is one of our top picks because it works for squirrels, chipmunks, rats and other large rodents causing problems. It is also designed to prevent damage from frightened animals, including squirrels who are known for their incredible chewing powers.
The door is spring-loaded to prevent escape and the outside includes a covered roof and handle for easy capture and relocation. You can use this trap indoors and out, and we suggest baiting it first using peanut butter, oats or peanuts.
Harris Catch and Release Humane Animal Trap
Another catch and release trap we recommend in place of squirrel poison is a live trap by Harris. This trap is best for larger rodents like rats and squirrels, but can also be used for mice.
It is a reusable trap that catches one squirrel at a time and works using a trigger and spring-loaded bar that you set manually. If you have a larger squirrel problem in and around your home, we recommend ordering more than one of these traps for best results.
Best Alternatives To Squirrel Poison For Your Yard
Use caution when using squirrel traps or repellents in your yard to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these products.
Some squirrel poison alternatives and rodent control options can harm plants and accidently target other animals, which is why it’s important to do plenty of research before deciding which squirrel poison alternative is right for you and your yard.
Again, we recommend using squirrel poison alternatives that are safe to use around people and pets and that will work to repel squirrels without killing them.
Take a look.
Exterminators Choice Small Animal Rodent Defense
A great alternative for squirrel poison in the yard is the above spray by Exterminators Choice. This spray works for squirrels, rats, mice, and other nesting and chewing pests you want to keep out. While you can use it inside, we like this spray for outdoor use and use in areas where squirrels tend to nest or eat like around your veggie gardens, lawns and trees.
It is natural and safe to use around people and pets as well and even has a pleasant smell that people love but rodents hate.
Rodent Sheriff Peppermint Spray
Rodent Sheriff Peppermint Spray not only works for squirrels, but it also helps control ants, raccoons, mice and possums. The spray uses natural peppermint oil and can be used inside and out, but we like this spray for the garden because it works for so many other outdoor pests as well.
This squirrel poison alternative is made with natural ingredients but it should be used only as directed and kept out of reach of children. You can also order it in orders of two or three, and spray this directly on garden plants safely.
This product is even safe enough to use in kitchens or areas where food is stored and prepared.
Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator Trap
One of the reasons you may have looked into using squirrel poison is because you’re dealing with an overwhelming number of squirrels on your property. If so, you’re in luck. The above squirrel trap is an excellent alternative to using squirrel poison to control a number of squirrels because it can catch up to 25 squirrels at once.
When properly set and baited, you can use this trap to catch a yard-full of squirrels in just hours. The trap is safe and humane for squirrels and makes relocating easy. It is also good for using both inside and out.
Other Alternatives To Squirrel Poison
Alternatives to squirrel poison can include anything from investing in a cat to using ultrasonic sound devices.
There are plenty of methods you can use for squirrel control that don’t involve using lethal poisons or snap traps. And if you’re not a fan of catch and release traps or squirrel repellents that emit a strong odor, there are other alternatives you can use as well.
Some of our favorites squirrel poison alternatives include the use of ultrasonic sound machines, squirrel proof products, and predator decoys.
Dogs and cats can help repel squirrels, as can using used kitty litter and store-bought predator urine. But some of the top rated squirrel repellents and removal products are listed below for your consideration.
Ultrasonic Sound Repeller
There are several types of ultrasonic sound repellers on the market, but for squirrels we recommend the above T5-S Triple Ultrasonic Sound Repeller. This repeller works best for larger rodents and pests like squirrels, mice and rats.
It uses ultrasonic sounds that are harmless to people and pets but highly irritating to squirrels. This repellent is also very low maintenance, easy to use and comes with different settings to make it as effective as possible.
Droll Yankees Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
Another alternative to lethal squirrel poison is to use a squirrel proof bird feeder. Since squirrels are often attracted to yards with easy access to food, you can make your yard less hospitable to them by ensuring they can’t reach the bird seed.
The above bird feeder will provide easy access to the birds you love to watch while keeping those pesky squirrels from being able to climb poles or hang upside down from the tree branch and feast.
Besmon Owl Decoy
A predator decoy is also a good alternative to using squirrel poison. These decoys can work to repel squirrels and keep them not only from your yard but also from your home. The above owl decoy is waterproof and weatherproof and designed to be placed outside.
It also helps repel other rodent pests like mice, rats, ground squirrels, moles, voles and more.
How To Make Your Own Legal Squirrel Poison Repellents
Cayenne pepper and other household ingredients can be used in a pinch to make your own squirrel repellent at home.
Since poisoning squirrels is often illegal and inhumane, we instead suggest you go about making squirrel poison alternatives like DIY repellents. The good news is that repellents are super simple to make at home, as squirrels are incredibly sensitive animals.
Some of our favorite squirrel repellent recipes are easy to make, inexpensive, and the ingredients are likely already in your kitchen pantry.
Cayenne Pepper Powder Squirrel Repellent
- Cayenne Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper
This squirrel poison repellent does not actually harm squirrels but repels them, so it’s perfectly legal to use. The powder repellent is best used when you combine it with bird seed in a bird feeder and helps to keep squirrels at bay while still inviting birds.
This is because birds cannot be harmed by hot spices like cayenne, as their taste buds do not produce heat.
Simply combine equal parts of the above ingredients and mix them with the bird seed you use in your bird feeder daily.
Squirrel Repellent Pepper Spray
- 1 ½ Quarts Water
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Diced Fresh Jalapeno
- 1 Diced Fresh Onion
- 1 Pot
- 1 Spray Bottle
In a pot, boil your water and combine the above ingredients, and allow the mixture to simmer for around thirty minutes or more. Then set the mixture aside to cool. Wait until the mixture is lukewarm and strain the liquid form the solid, separating the liquid into a spray bottle.
Then spray the mixture outside of your home in areas you have noticed the most squirrel activity. Be careful not to use this repellent in areas where children and pets play, and repeat as needed.
Wash your hands after use and avoid getting the mixture in your eyes.
Hot Sauce Squirrel Repellent
- 4 Cups of Water
- 3 Drops of Liquid Dish Soap
- 1 Ounce of Hot Sauce
Combine the above ingredients in a clean spray bottle and seal it. Shake the bottle until the liquid inside is sudsy from the soap, and spray this mixture around the perimeter of your home outside. Refrain from using this mixture inside unless you use it in attics, crawl spaces, or basements where people and pets do not frequent. Of course, be sure and wash your hands after use.
Also keep this mixture out of areas where children and pets play as it can irritate their eyes and nose.
Tips on Repelling Squirrels In The Future
Repelling squirrels means you won’t have to invest in squirrel removal or contact professionals in the future.
Repelling pests is often much easier and more affordable than trying to get rid of them once they invade. And since squirrels not only cause tons of costly damage but are also illegal to kill in many regions, we highly suggest using preventative measures to keep them at bay.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to keep squirrels out. See for yourself below.
Keep Up With Routine Landscaping
Squirrels prefer overgrown yards with lots of grassy areas, shrubs and debris in which they can hide. To keep them at bay, it’s a good idea to keep your grass trimmed short and to remove excess debris in your yard. Also try and keep sheds clean and tidy, and keep bushes and shrubs trimmed and neat.
Keep Trees and Branches Away From The Perimeter of Your Home
Squirrels can get into your home using makeshift ladders and bridges provided to them by trees and branches. To reduce your chances of dealing with squirrels getting into your home to build their nests, keep trees away from the perimeter of your home.
Trim back branches and keep shrubs and other vegetation at least three feet from your home’s siding.
Invite The Predators
Rodents like squirrels have plenty of predators, and the more predators you have around your home the less likely you are to have squirrels and other rodent pests invade. Make your home less hospitable to squirrels and more hospitable to other animals like dogs, cats, birds of prey, fox and coyotes.
Keep Up With Routine Home Maintenance
You won’t have to use squirrel poison inside your home if you keep squirrels out. To ensure they can’t get in, be sure to routinely check your home for vulnerabilities. Pay special attention to your home’s siding, windows, chimneys, roofing, crawl spaces and window sills.
Remember, squirrels can squeeze into holes as small as a quarter so stay vigilant.
Other Ways To Keep Squirrels At Bay Include The Below:
- Keep Pet Food, Bird Seed, and Other Attractants Out of Your Yard
- Refrain From Feeding Squirrels
- Protect Your Vegetable Gardens With Squirrel-Proof Netting
- Use Commercial Squirrel Repellents and Sprays
- Stay Consistent
And remember, it’s not always legal to use certain methods to remove squirrels. Before deciding which method is right to get rid of the squirrels causing you problems, be sure to do plenty of research, know the laws, and consult with a professional in your area.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to get rid of squirrels using squirrel poison and other methods. Now we want to hear from you. Have you ever had to use traps or repellents to remove squirrels?
Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.