What To Do With A Dead Squirrel In The Backyard? [Disposal Tips]

what to do with a dead squirrel in the backyard

We all enjoy wildlife and may even come to know certain animals that frequent our backyards. For example, squirrels are common garden visitors in some areas. It is an unpleasant surprise to find the dead body of a squirrel in your yard. It cannot be left there but disposing of it can be a tricky question, and it would help to have some tips. 

Always handle dead squirrels with gloves to protect yourself from disease. Use a rake or spade to scape the carcass off the ground. Bury the dead squirrel in the yard. It can also be sealed in a plastic bag and disposed of in the trash. The department of sanitation may remove dead wildlife. 

As a society, we are not always sure what to do when faced with a dead animal that appears on our property. This is not something taught in school. However, there are a few options and some helpful guidelines if faced with this situation. 

Safety Precautions Necessary For Handling A Dead Squirrel?

It is best to use gloves when you need to handle an animal that has died from unknown causes. Ideally, these should be disposable gloves so that you feel no qualms about tossing them in the trash once you have finished disposing of the body. 

Keeping the gloves to use at another stage would give bacteria, viruses, and pathogens a chance to stay longer on your property. 

You can also use a spade or rake to pick up the dead squirrel. Use a stick or other implement to scrape the squirrel’s body onto the spade. You can move the body safely without coming into contact with it.  

If you are concerned that residual germs may be left on the ground where the squirrel died, you can sanitize the area. A cheap way to do this is to use a twenty percent bleach and water solution. Pour this over the area where the squirrel’s body lay. 

The bleach solution, together with sunlight, is quite effective at getting rid of most pathogens. 

Ensure your dogs do not get hold of the dead squirrel as they could contract a disease from contact with the body. However, do not panic if your dog has grabbed the dead squirrel. 

Dogs are natural scavengers and have more resistance to many pathogens than people. 

Make a note of when your dog had contact with the dead squirrel. Then, monitor the dog’s health for the next week to ten days, and contact your vet if you have any concerns.   

Can I Bury a Dead Squirrel In My Backyard?

Most people think of burial when faced with the challenge of what to do with a dead squirrel. However, this is an acceptable and natural way to dispose of a wild animal that has died. 

Burying the squirrel allows the natural decomposition process to occur, with the animal becoming nutrients for other life in the ecological cycle. 

Some people may be unsure of how deep to bury the squirrel. The main aim is to bury the squirrel deep enough that decomposition happens underground with no offensive odors or pathogens at the surface. 

A hole two feet (60 cm) deep is optimal for burials. You will not have any bad smell from the decomposing body if it is buried at this depth. Fortunately, squirrels are small, so the hole should be easy to dig.  

If you are worried about your canine friends digging up the squirrel’s body, place a large stone or heavy plant pot over the grave.  

Can I Put a Dead Squirrel In The Trash?

It may be difficult to bury the dead squirrel because the ground is frozen or extremely rocky. Another alternative is to place the body in a heavy-duty trash bag and seal it as securely as possible. The bag can be put into the trash for collection on trash removal day. 

This is permissible in most states, with the only proviso being that the bag must be fully sealed. 

Who Will Collect A Dead Squirrel From My Backyard?

If you are squeamish or unable to remove the dead squirrel for some reason, there is another option. In some areas, the local Department of Sanitation will collect and remove the bodies of dead wildlife. 

The Department of Parks and Recreation sometimes also assist with the removal of dead squirrels. A few telephone calls should help you find the correct department in your area. 

People sometimes contact Animal Control, but removing dead squirrels does not fall under their scope of practice.  

What To Do If I Keep Finding Dead Squirrels In My Yard?

You may be unfortunate enough to find multiple dead squirrels in your backyard over a short period. If this happens, it may indicate disease in your area’s squirrel population. However, it may also result from someone deliberately poisoning the squirrels. 

If you find dead squirrels often, it is best to contact the Department of Environmental Conservation. They will have a Wildlife Health Unit that will investigate your concerns. 

Squirrels carry diseases that may be passed on to people, so it is essential to report any problems. 

Poisoning wildlife is illegal in some areas and can cause hazards to pets and children. So if someone in your neighborhood is poisoning squirrels, it is best to inform the authorities.

Dead Mother Squirrel – What To Do With Her Babies?

You may find yourself in the unfortunate position that a mother squirrel dies in your backyard and leaves a nest of babies. This situation leaves you with the dilemma of how to help the babies.  

It is best to place the baby squirrels in a warm, secure cage or box. Place an old towel or suitable blanket in the box for the babies to burrow into. Cold baby animals die rapidly, and it is imperative to keep them warm. 

Contact a squirrel rehabilitation or rescue group. These people are well equipped to raise the baby squirrels and release them back into the wild. You can find squirrel organizations in your area via the Internet.

Alternatively, take the baby squirrels to your local vet, who will know the right people to contact. 

Who Do I Call To Dispose Of A Dead Squirrel In A Yard?

Some states have Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) offices you can contact for information on how to dispose of a dead animal. In some states, the DEC office will send someone out to examine the carcass if depending on how it died.

Unfortunately, the homeowner is responsible for disposing of the carcass. There are no right or wrong ways to dispose of a dead squirrel, just don’t throw it in your neighbors yard or out in the road.

Final Word

You can dispose of a dead squirrel by burying it or sealing it in a heavy-duty bag and placing it in the trash. You can also contact the Department of Sanitation or Parks and Recreation.  

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