Flying squirrels are the most elusive and difficult-to-find squirrels of all, but they can still be a pest. These squirrels are known for moving into the attic of houses and causing structural damage, and they can also be noisy and smelly. So if you’ve been wondering whether it’s legal to kill flying squirrels that have become a nuisance, you’re not alone.
It is illegal to kill flying squirrels. These animals are widely protected and are endangered in many areas, which makes killing them illegal. Using deterrents and live traps are legal options for removing these squirrels but contacting animal control to remove them is the best option.
That said, some states, such as California, consider it illegal to relocate squirrels, so you’ll want to check the municipalities regarding wildlife in your area.
There are many reasons to kill or remove pesky flying squirrels, but the truth is that it may not be as straightforward as you think.
So let’s explore the legalities of killing flying squirrels to determine if you can and what to do if killing these animals is not a viable option.
Is It Legal To Kill Flying Squirrels?
Flying squirrels are not thought of by many as a pest, but if you live in a location or region with a high population of these rodents, they can be very problematic.
These squirrels are challenging to catch as they are entirely nocturnal.
They can also reach locations that regular squirrels cannot, making them especially pesky.
If you find yourself with a frustrating infestation of flying squirrels and are looking for a way to deal with them, you may consider trapping, poisoning, or shooting these animals to remove the issue.
However, it is not always legal to kill animals like this, which may leave you wondering if it is legal to kill flying squirrels.
Flying squirrels are protected in most areas, as many natural populations of flying squirrels are threatened by deforestation and a decline in natural flying squirrel habits.
These squirrels are classified as endangered in many areas internationally.
The endangered status of many flying squirrel species combined with the protected status of others, coupled with the fact that it is illegal to kill nongame species in some areas, means that it is not legal for anyone to kill a flying squirrel.
If you have a flying squirrel problem and decide to take matters into your own hands by killing them, you will likely be liable for serious legal charges and significant fines.
Flying squirrels can be a nuisance, but they are protected in most areas and illegal to kill outright.
Is It Always Illegal To Kill Flying Squirrels?
Flying squirrels exist in a much larger population than most people realize, as these animals are almost entirely nocturnal and only active for short periods during the night hours.
Due to this high population, killing these rodents has not always been illegal. For example, there used to be a significantly higher number of wild flying squirrels in many different countries than there are today.
Still, a rapid rise in deforestation and human expansion has removed much of the natural habitat of these creatures.
This is why in recent years, the flying squirrel has been placed on the list of protected or endangered species, even if there still appear to be many of these creatures in some areas.
It is never legal to kill these animals, especially in areas where they are protected, and it is always best to seek alternative means of dealing with these problem rodents that do not include killing them.
There are several alternatives, even if they are not as fast as simply killing them. Still, protecting these animals in their natural environments is critical as they play a vital role in local ecosystems and keep the environment stable.
How To Deal With Invasive Flying Squirrels?
If you have a frustrating flying squirrel problem, it is never good to kill the animals. Still, alternatives can always be just as effective, even if they require some extra time to execute correctly.
Let’s explore the legal ways of dealing with flying squirrels that do not include killing them.
Use Baited Live Traps
Among the most effective, easiest, and humane ways to deal with problematic flying squirrels is to use baited live traps. These squirrels are particularly susceptible to these traps and work very well without harming them.
Install baited traps in well-secured, elevated, out-of-the-way places, and you are sure to catch these squirrels to remove them from the area safely.
If there are several flying squirrels that you are struggling with, the very best option is to contact professionals.
The city where you live is likely to have an animal control service than is well-adept at removing these animals, and there are several paid services that you can hire to solve the issue.
These services will humanely capture the squirrels and remove them quickly, and if the service is good enough, they may solve your squirrel problem within a day or two.
Deter The Squirrels
If trapping the squirrels is not an option, if there are no services you can hire for pest removal, the next best thing is to deter the squirrels from the area.
Effective methods include getting a cat and giving it access to the area where the squirrels are, blocking all holes, gaps, drains, and vents in the building where they have moved in, and diffusing scents that the squirrels do not like into the area.
The scent diffusion option is surprisingly effective and very easy to execute. However, rodents, including flying squirrels, find the lavender scent very offensive and will move away from it if it is heavily present in an area.
Diffuse strong lavender into the building, plant several lavender bushes or buy large bunches of fresh lavender to scatter around the area.
This scent will likely cause these squirrels to move out of the area.
Killing flying squirrels in most places is illegal because these animals are largely protected or endangered. Therefore, if you need to rid yourself of a flying squirrel problem, killing them is not a legal way to do so.
Other, more humane methods to get rid of flying squirrels include live bait traps, contacting pest or animal control services, or deterring the animals from entering the area.
Flying squirrels can be a nuisance, but you are generally forbidden to kill them.
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