The Beehive State consists of over 15 million acres of forestland. Utah’s landscape consists of mountains, plateaus, foothills, and flatlands, making it home to diverse wildlife. Many Utahans wonder if it’s legal to hunt squirrel and what to do when dealing with pests.
According to the Administrative Rule R657-19 legislature, the Sciuridae family’s squirrels, marmots, and prairie dogs are classified as non-game animals. That said, it is legal for homeowners to remove them when they become a nuisance. There are no bag limits, seasonal closures, or required licenses. However, you can not pursue, hurt or kill the spotted ground squirrel, Albert’s squirrel, or the Utah prairie dog.
If you’re interested in small game hunting, you must hunt rabbits and other small upland game animals. You’ll find a list of some of the small game animals below.
However, as a homeowner, it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations for controlling nuisance squirrels.
According to pest control companies, the Eastern Fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) is the most commonly found squirrel throughout the state and the most nuisance.
If you’re having squirrel problems, knowing the legalities, which species are protected, and how to protect your property from damage is essential.
Let’s find out how to legally protect your property in Utah. But before we get into the laws and regulations, let’s look at Utah’s most common types of squirrels.
Types of Squirrels Found In Utah?
There are over 65 different species of squirrels throughout the United States, including 24 species of ground squirrels.
Utah is home to three common types of tree squirrels.
American Red Squirrel
The American red squirrel is about 12 inches long and can be found throughout the United States in the forests of Alaska, the east coast north of Georgia, and the Rocky Mountains.
Red squirrels have long, bushy tails and pointed tufts of fur over their ears. Their fur is typically grayish-red or rust-colored, with a white belly. Sometimes a black stripe can be seen on the sides.
They are diurnal mammals that feed on conifer cones and can be found in parks and suburbs. Their primary habitats include coniferous and deciduous forests.
The Fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), native to Utah, is the largest species of tree squirrel found in North America.
They have distinctive rusty-red or orange-brown fur on their backs, with a white underbelly and a long, bushy tail. Fox squirrels are typically larger than gray squirrels, weighing between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds and measuring up to 30 inches long, including their tail.
Like their cousins, their diet consists primarily of nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and small animals.
Southern Flying Squirrels
The Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) is a small, nocturnal tree squirrel found in North America, including Utah. They have brownish-gray fur on their backs, with a white underbelly and large, dark eyes.
One of their unique features is a furry membrane called a patagium, which extends between their front and rear legs that helps them glide from tree to tree.
These nocturnal animals consume eggs, fruit, nuts, mushrooms, small birds, carrion, etc. Unfortunately, not many people are lucky enough to see them in their lifetime because they only come out at night.
Can You Hunt Squirrels In Utah?
Utah does not classify squirrels as small game animals. Therefore, there is no legal hunting season that allows hunters to hunt them.
Utah is popular for big game animals, but if you’re interested in hunting small games, here’s the list of animals you can hunt when the season opens.
Small Game Animals
Utah offers hunters the opportunity to hunt a variety of small game animals during the regular hunting season, which includes:
- Cottontail Rabbits
- Chukar Partridges
- Gray Partridges
Can You Hunt Tree And Ground Squirrels In Utah?
Ground squirrels are not classified as game mammals, meaning it is illegal to hunt them. Contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for details on controlling nuisance ground squirrels on your property.
Is Trapping Legal In Utah?
Live trapping squirrels is legal. However, homeowners must adhere to local ordinances or regulations concerning trapping and wildlife control.
Place traps in areas frequented by squirrels, such as near trees, fences, or buildings.
This will increase the likelihood of capturing the target animal and minimize the chance of trapping non-target species. Proper baiting and positioning techniques can also help maximize trapping success.
Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In Utah?
It is generally illegal for homeowners to shoot an animal in their backyard unless they are in immediate danger and need to defend themselves or others.
The state has strict hunting and firearm use regulations, and discharging firearms within city limits is usually prohibited.
Can You Poison Squirrels In Utah?
No poisons, toxins, etc., are registered for legal use against fox, gray, or red squirrels.
If caught using poisons can result in harsh penalties and fines. In addition, if the poison kills other animals, it can be considered animal cruelty, and you may face criminal charges.
How Do I Get Rid of Squirrels Permanently?
If you need to get rid of squirrels on your property, contact a wildlife control specialist who can help you safely and legally.
These professionals will have the necessary equipment, knowledge, and experience to remove the animals without causing any harm.
Below are some tips to help protect your home and yard from these rodents.
1. Seal up any potential entry points: Inspect your home for any holes or gaps in the exterior, and seal them up with caulk or mesh wire. Also, pay attention to areas around the roof, eaves, and attic vents.
2. Remove food sources: Squirrels are attracted to bird feeders, so consider taking them down or using squirrel-proof feeders. Also, keep trash cans tightly sealed and remove fallen fruit from trees.
3. Use repellents: Several natural and commercial repellents can be used to deter squirrels, such as hot pepper spray, predator urine, and mothballs. Place them around areas where squirrels are active.
4. Install barriers: Install metal barriers around trees and bird feeders to prevent squirrels from climbing up. Also, use mesh wire to create a barrier around gardens or other areas where squirrels may be digging.
5. Call a professional: If you are having trouble keeping squirrels out of your home or yard, consider calling a professional wildlife removal company. They can help identify entry points and develop a plan to safely and humanely remove squirrels from your property.
Can You Relocate Squirrels In Utah
Trapping and relocating a squirrel to another area is illegal because fox squirrels carry diseases that can spread to new areas. Also, preventing catch and release helps control the squirrel population. When using a trap, you must euthanize the pest.
Professional Squirrel Removal Services In Utah
The best way to get rid of nuisance squirrels damaging your yard or home is to contact a professional.
There are several squirrel removal companies throughout Utah. Below are some companies that deal with pest removal, including squirrels.
- Utah Critter Control Of Provo
- Critter Control of Salt Lake City
- Critter Control of Southern Utah
These professionals are trained and experienced in dealing with nuisance wildlife. They can help you remove the animals safely and humanely.
Before hiring a wildlife control company, make sure they are licensed to do business in your state.
You should also check for reviews online and ask for references. This will ensure that you’re hiring a reliable company.
Other Nuisance Wildlife In Utah
With 15 million acres of forest land, unfortunately, homeowners will experience conflicts with several types of wildlife.
Below are some of the nuisance animals you will find throughout the state.
- Ground Squirrels
- Pack Rats
- Stinging Insects
While it can be frustrating if they set up shop in your backyard, following the laws and regulations when attempting to remove them is essential.
The same laws and regulations that protect squirrels also apply to these animals.
Therefore, it is essential to follow local guidelines when dealing with these nuisance critters.
It is legal to trap, shoot, and euthanize fox, gray and red squirrels when they become a nuisance without a permit. Squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots are classified as non-game animals, and it is illegal. Therefore, it is illegal to hunt them on public lands.
It is illegal to hurt or kill the spotted ground squirrel, Albert’s squirrel, or the Utah prairie dog.
In most cases, the most economical way to reduce nuisance problems with squirrels and other animals is to create physical barriers and use one or more of the repellent options listed in this article.
If all else fails, contact a licensed wildlife control company. These specialists are trained to safely and humanely remove pests from your property.
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