The Pelican State borders Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico. It is the 31st most extensive state, with forestlands covering over 50% of its land. This makes it the perfect environment for nuisance animals such as; squirrels, alligators, and other wildlife. Louisiana has implemented laws and regulations for controlling and dealing with nuisance squirrels when damaging property.
Gray squirrels and fox squirrels are classified as small game animals. It controls the squirrel population by allowing licensed hunters to trap and shoot squirrels during the regular hunting season. Squirrel hunting season runs two times throughout the year, the fall and spring.
According to several pest control companies, more people and wildlife conflicts exist between fox and gray squirrels in Louisiana.
These rodents are commonly found in urban and suburban settings causing property damage, digging up gardens and yards, and invading attics. As a result, Louisiana has implemented nuisance animal regulations to help homeowners manage and control species from damaging their property.
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 eliminate these pests and the legalities, licenses, and penalties for residents. But before we get into the laws and regulations, let’s look at Louisiana’s most common types of squirrels.
Types of Squirrels Found In Louisiana?
There are over 65 different species of squirrels throughout the United States, including 24 species of ground squirrels.
Louisiana is home to three common types of tree squirrels.
#1 Eastern Gray Squirrel
The Eastern Gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is Louisiana’s most common type of squirrel. It can be easily identified by its gray fur. This species can grow up to 20 inches long from head to tail and weigh around 1 pound (453 grams)
This type of squirrel is found throughout the state in deciduous forests, parks, cities, and open grassy areas. They prefer hardwood trees with nut-producing species, such as hickory and oak.
Eastern gray squirrels have a unique nesting behavior; they construct nests in trees or other elevated sites. They typically build their nests out of twigs and leaves to provide protection against predators and the elements.
The Eastern Gray Squirrel is an omnivore that eats nuts, seeds, and other plant matter.
Some black squirrels are black!
#2 Fox Squirrel
The Fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) is Louisiana’s second most common type of squirrel. It can be identified by its orange-brown fur with white patches on its belly. This species grows between 19 to 24 inches long and weighs 14 – 21 ounces.
Fox squirrels are found in the same environment as the Eastern Gray squirrel. Still, they can adapt to several different habitats.
These rodents are known for their bold behavior and can often be seen foraging on the ground instead of in trees.
They are also well adapted to suburban areas, which makes them a nuisance animal when they enter residential properties looking for food and shelter.
#4 Southern Flying Squirrels
Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) are the smallest squirrel species in Louisiana, with adults measuring 10-12 inches long. They have grayish fur on their back and white fur on their bellies, and they are also known for their large eyes and ability to glide through the air.
These rodents live primarily in deciduous forests but can also be found in suburban and urban areas. They are nocturnal creatures that feed primarily on nuts, fruits, insects, and other small animals.
Can You Hunt Squirrels In Louisiana
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, hunters can legally hunt the gray and fox squirrels throughout the 13 hunting zones in the state. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunrise.
Hunting red squirrels, flying squirrels, and any other nongame species listed as rare threatened, or endangered is illegal.
Below is a table of the small game animals and the hunting seasons.
|Season||Dates||Bag||Daily Possession Limit|
|Spring||May 6-28||3 Daily||9|
|Fall||October 1 – February 28||8 Daily||24|
Other Small Game
Louisiana offers other hunters the opportunity to hunt the following small game, during regular hunting seasons, which include:
Consult the Louisiana hunting seasons and regulations website for a detailed and updated table of the hunting seasons, daily bag limits, etc.
Can You Hunt Tree And Ground Squirrels In Louisiana?
At the time of this writing, the fox and gray squirrels are the only species classified as small game animals. Hunting any animal that is not classified as a small game or large game animal is illegal.
Is Trapping Legal In Louisiana?
According to the Louisiana Code tit. 76 § V-125, homeowners can legally trap squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, otters, minks, and other nuisance animals that destroy property without a permit.
You must use humane traps and methods when trapping live animals. All live animals must be released within 12 hours of capture, and traps can only be set during daylight hours.
Do You Need A License to Hunt Squirrels In Louisiana?
Anyone 16 years and older must possess a valid hunting license to hunt legally in Louisiana.
Depending on your age, the state may require you to pass an online hunter safety course before applying for a hunting license or permit.
At the time of this writing, Louisiana residents can purchase the following types of hunting licenses:
- Louisiana Resident: Anyone who has lived in Louisiana for six consecutive months.
- Non-Resident Hunting License: A non-resident is anyone who resides in another state or has lived in Louisiana for less than six months. Anyone born in Louisiana and moved to another state can purchase the Louisiana Native license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website.
- Youth Hunting License: Residents and non-residents under 16 can legally hunt without acquiring a license when accompanied by a licensed adult hunter.
- Senior Hunting License: Residents 60 years of age and have lived in the state for two consecutive years are not required to have a license.
- Military and Veteran License: Active duty military members stationed at any of the four military bases can purchase a resident license.
- Migratory Waterfowl Requirements: Anyone 16 and older must purchase the Louisiana Duck License and the Federal Duck Stamp to legally hunt migratory waterfowl.
Hunters can purchase licenses and permits yearly beginning June 1, and expire June 30 the following year.
You can purchase a hunting license online by visiting the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries website or by calling 1-888-765-2602.
The table below shows the license type and fees associated with each license.
Hunting and Permit Fees
Fees are subject to change, so please check the website for the updated and correct fees.
|License||Resident Fees||Non-Resident Fees|
|Senior Hunting & Fishing||Free||N/A|
Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In Louisiana?
According to the Louisiana Code tit. 76 § V-125, homeowners can legally shoot nuisance animals (including squirrels) causing property damage without a permit during daylight hours.
Owners must comply with local and municipal laws, including shooting hours and distances from residential areas.
Failure to comply with the local and municipal laws may result in a violation of the Louisiana Code tit. 76 § V-125, punishable by law.
Can You Poison Squirrels In Louisiana?
Using rodenticides on any animal is illegal, excluding mice and rats. Louisiana has no registered fumigants or poisons for controlling tree or ground squirrels.
Even though it is illegal, several homeowners will use rat traps and other poisons to try to kill squirrels.
Before using rodent control products, read the label and follow all instructions. In addition, homeowners must take precautions to ensure no other pets, children, or wildlife will be exposed to the toxicants.
When using poison or rodenticides, use them in areas without the risk of other animals or people being exposed.
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.
If you decide to take matters into your own hands, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
It is illegal to trap the gray wolf, furbearing animals, or unprotected animals, except unprotected rodents such as; pocket gophers, ground squirrels, mice, voles, etc.
Second, even if you can trap and remove the animals from your property, they will likely just come back unless you take steps to prevent them from returning.
The most effective way to keep squirrels away for good is to eliminate any food sources that are attracting them to your property in the first place.
This may include removing bird feeders, sealing up any holes or cracks where they get inside, and keeping your yard clean and free of debris.
Flying squirrels are the most common nuisance for attics. So, it’s crucial to identify and seal the entry point with metal sheeting or wire mesh.
Can You Relocate Squirrels In Louisiana?
Homeowners can legally trap and relocate squirrels to suitable habitat without a valid permit. However, it is illegal to release squirrels on private property without the landowner’s written permission.
You must release the animal within 10 miles of where it was captured, in suitable habitat, and away from densely populated areas. Relocating squirrels should be the last, as most squirrels don’t survive relocation due to shock, stress, and the inability to find food.
Professional Squirrel Removal Services In Louisiana
The best way to get rid of nuisance squirrels damaging your yard or home is to contact a professional squirrel removal service.
These professionals are trained and experienced in dealing with nuisance wildlife. They can help you remove the animals safely and humanely.
Several services throughout Louisiana specialize in animal removal. Here’s a list of state-approved Nuisance Wildlife Control operators.
None of the wildlife control operators are state employees, so make sure you do your diligence before spending your hard earned money on their services.
Check Yelp, Google reviews, and other online resources for customer feedback.
Other Nuisance Wildlife In Louisiana
Several Louisiana wildlife control operators can help deal with conflicts between people and wildlife. Unfortunately, the state has a large region of swamps and wetlands, making it the perfect environment for nuisance wildlife.
The most common nuisance wildlife include:
- Tawny Crazy Ant
- Gray Squirrels
- Fox Squirrels
- Feral Hogs
- Formosan Termites
Remembering that all these animals are integral to the ecosystem and merely trying to survive is essential.
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.
The state has implemented the Louisiana Code tit. 76 § V-125 makes it legal for homeowners to hunt, trap, and shoot nuisance animals, including fox and gray squirrels.
Trapping and relocating squirrels is legal but should be considered a last resort. It is illegal to release them on private property without the landowner’s written permission.
They must be released within 10 miles of where they were captured in suitable habitat.
If you can’t handle the problem yourself, contact a state-approved wildlife nuisance operator, or search online for a reputable pest control company offering squirrel removal.
By following these tips, you can ensure safe and humane squirrel removal from your property for good.