How to Dispose of a Dead Squirrel in Your Backyard Safely

It’s a very common thing to find dead animals in your backyard. Squirrels, especially, are a popular target for hunters and other predators. If you happen to come across one of these furry little guys in the future, take heed before you dispose of it. Dead squirrels can be dangerous if not disposed of properly!

In this blog post, we will show you how to deal with such an unfortunate circumstance in a manner that ensures the safety of you and your family.

How Do Squirrels Usually Die?

The most common reason for a squirrel to die is old age. As squirrels get older, their bones, joints, and teeth become less durable which can lead to fractures or other injuries in their back during an escape from predators.

The next most likely cause of death is when the trees in which they live are cut down by people. This leaves them vulnerable to cats and other wildlife who might hunt for them for food, leaving the unfortunate squirrel out in the open.

So if you find a dead squirrel in your backyard, chances are it’s an old one.

Why Is There a Dead Squirrel In My Yard?

Squirrels are hard to kill and they have a lifespan of up to 24 years. So how is it that a squirrel could end up dead on your property? There are three main ways a squirrel could die on your property.

  1. It may have been a meal of a hawk, which dropped it on your yard either by mistake or because it was done eating.
  2. If you or your neighbors are using rat poison, then a squirrel could ingest it and die a few moments later.
  3. Although this may be hard to believe as squirrels seem like agile animals, a large percentage of squirrels die from falling off trees. So it could be just a jump gone wrong.

How to Dispose of a Dead Squirrel In Your Yard

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, dead squirrels need to be disposed of carefully. There’s no knowing what disease the animal carried. So the first thing you should know is that whatever you do, don’t touch it. Otherwise, you risk catching and spreading diseases and bacteria among other things.

So how then should you get the animal off your yard?

You have three options to safely dispose of a dead squirrel in your yard.

1. Scoop and Throw It In the Trash

The first and most obvious way to get rid of a dead squirrel is by scooping it up with a shovel, placing the animal in a plastic bag, tieing the bag shut, and then throwing it away in your dumpster.

Although it’s an easy solution, it’s not as simple as most people think. 

There are some problems that come along with this method. The biggest one is that since you don’t want to touch the animal, if you pick it up with the help of gloves or a shovel, there’s always the risk that some of its blood may remain back and transfer onto other areas of your yard.

To counter this problem, you should wear gloves, a face mask, and clothes that cover your entire body. Then pick up the squirrel, place it in a heavy-duty plastic bag, and dispose of the bag. Now, return to your home, take a shower and change your clothes. 

2. Give It a Burial

If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, then you give the little guy a burial.

Simply take the precautions we discussed in the previous method and then dig a hole deep enough that the body won’t be found by animals or children.

This way, you can ensure that no one else will get sick from coming into contact with it and the smell of death in your yard will dissipate quickly when covered. If you’re still worried about smells though, then consider using a shovel to create an indent in the ground where you can place leaves or sawdust for extra odor protection.

3. Call An Animal Pick-up Service

If you don’t want to deal with the body at all, then simply call an animal pick-up service and pay them a small fee.

They will take the dead squirrel off your hands and dispose of it in a more efficient way than either of the first two options we mentioned above.

As you may have guessed, this is the safest option.

How to Deal With the Smell of a Dead Squirrel

Although it might seem like a good idea to just get rid of the dead squirrel and never think about it again, you need to know that there is still going to be some sort of smell left behind.

Even if all your neighbors can’t notice anything wrong with their noses, chances are at least one or two will complain. So how can you deal with the smell of a dead squirrel?

One way to combat this is by using peppermint oil that can be purchased at most department stores. Simply place some drops on cotton balls that you should then place around the area where it died. The scent will help mask any unpleasant smells and act as an air freshener for your yard.

This is a good way to get rid of the smell and keep your neighbors happy about it.

There are also other air fresheners you can use such as spray cleaners that will do the trick just fine, but they’re not quite as efficient or natural-smelling as peppermint oil. If you want, you could even try using leaves or sawdust to help get rid of the smell if you buried it in your yard.

The point is, there are many different things you can do that will all work just fine. You should simply choose one that seems like the ideal option to you.

Conclusion: Here’s What to Do With a Dead Squirrel In Your Backyard

If you find a dead squirrel in your backyard, there are three ways to dispose of it. Scooping and throwing the animal into the trash is an easy way but can be messy if not done properly.

Calling an animal pick-up service will take care of all the dirty work for you so that you don’t have to touch any blood or guts at all, but they typically cost more than just scooping and throwing away.

Burying the animal with leaves and sawdust is another option that provides extra odor protection while still allowing animals access when necessary; however, this method takes some time because digging a hole large enough for even one squirrel usually requires some effort on your part.

Whichever option you choose, just make sure to take precautions to ensure you don’t catch any germs or diseases.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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