Safe and Proper Disposal of a Dead Squirrel: A Comprehensive Guide

Paul West/ Backyard Maintenance

Stumbling upon a dead squirrel in your backyard isn’t exactly the highlight of anyone’s day. But it’s essential to know how to handle such situations. Why? Well, improper handling can lead to potential health risks.

You might be wondering, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a dead squirrel.” But remember, it’s not just about disposing of the body. It’s about ensuring your safety and the cleanliness of your environment.

So, what should you do with a dead squirrel? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This article will guide you through the proper steps to take, keeping health and safety at the forefront.

Check the Local Regulations

You’ve discovered a dead squirrel in your backyard and you’re wondering what to do next. One vital step is to check your local regulations for handling and disposing of animal remains. Different areas may have unique rules in place, and it’s up to you to familiarize yourself with them.

Most municipal guidelines, health departments, and wildlife agencies emphasize safe and sanitary methods for the disposal of dead animals. The key point is to prevent the spread of diseases that deceased animals could potentially transmit to humans or other animals. These guidelines are especially common in urban areas where there’s a higher likelihood of animal-to-human transmission due to the close proximity.

Here’s how you can find relevant local regulations:

  1. Visit your city or county’s official website. They probably have a section for waste management or public health.
  2. Contact your local health department directly. They can provide current advice on handling and disposal of dead squirrels.
  3. Reach out to local wildlife experts or pest control companies. They’re likely to have first-hand experience and give you specific advice based on your situation.

Take note, knowingly or unknowingly violating local regulations could lead to legal consequences. Even small routine tasks can influence the ecosystem negatively if not handled with proper care. It’s fairly easy to maintain a balanced backyard ecosystem when you’re aware of your actions. So, no matter how insignificant it may seem, obeying local rules is an essential part of your responsibility as a property owner.

As you’re guided on how to handle and dispose of a dead squirrel, it’s imperative to prepare yourself. Safety should always be your highest concern. Stay on your toes not to risk your own, or anyone else’s health in the process. In the next part of this guide, you’ll find essential tips on maintaining safety while dealing with animal carcasses.

Wear Protective Gear

Alright, let’s investigate deeper into the safety measures. Wearing protective gear is a non-negotiable part of dealing with a dead squirrel. Seriously, it’s in your best interest not to handle any animal remains with bare hands. You need to ensure that your skin isn’t susceptible to pathogens that may linger on the squirrel’s body.

Get Your Gloves On

First off, you’ll require a sturdy pair of gloves. Heavy-duty gloves like that in gardening or construction would work fine. The key is to go for something that’s not penetrable easily. So, the likes of latex or nitrile gloves for medical use, unfortunately, aren’t going to cut it.

Also, remember, the gloves have to cover not just your hands, but also your wrists. You’ll want to make sure there’s no room for any direct contact with the squirrel.

Protective Glasses and Face Mask

Next on the list should be high-quality safety glasses and a face mask. They act as a barrier against airborne pathogens which can become airborne during the removal process. A regular pair of glasses won’t provide enough cover. Safety glasses cater to all angles to shield your eyes properly. A face mask, on the other hand, prevents you from breathing in potentially harmful particles.

Coveralls or Protective Clothing

Finally, wearing a disposable coverall can reduce the risk of any contamination sticking to your everyday clothing. But, if you don’t have access to one, you can put on old clothes that you can wash thoroughly or dispose of later.

By now, we hope it’s clear how crucial this attention to safety is when it comes to handling deceased animals like squirrels. So, don’t skip this step. Protect yourself first. Stay tuned as we tackle the essential steps towards the actual disposal process in the next segment.

Decide on Disposal Method

Once you’ve taken the necessary precautions and are fully geared up, the next task is determining the best disposal method for the unfortunate squirrel.

There are several choices that you could look into. Ranging from burying it in your backyard to having animal control coming and take it away. Let’s investigate into the pros and cons of each these methods.

Burying in Your Backyard

Burying a squirrel in your backyard is an option you might want to consider. Keep in mind that this has to be done in a specific way for it to be safe for your surroundings.

To bury a squirrel in your yard:

  • Dig a hole at least 3ft deep to prevent other animals from getting to it.
  • Place the squirrel at the bottom
  • Cover with dirt

Remember to use your protective gear during the process.

Allowing Nature to Take Its Course

Mother nature has her way of dealing with such matters. You can simply leave the squirrel out in the open and let scavengers take care of it. This method but, does come with its risks. Hedging on this method might attract unwanted scavengers to your property.

Contacting Animal Control

Finally, if the above methods don’t suit you, you can simply contact your local animal control. They are usually equipped to handle such matters, and this way ensures the squirrel is disposed of safely and humanely.

Now that these disposal methods are clear, let’s discuss some potential restrictions and legal implications you should be aware of before making your choice. Remember, these laws and guidelines may vary depending on where you live, so it’s always best to verify the information with your local municipality or wildlife agency.

In the next segment, you’ll get to go over individual preparations for each method and gain further insight to help you make your decision.

Clean the Surrounding Area

So you’ve done the unthinkable. You’ve rolled up your sleeves and faced the dreaded dead squirrel. You’ve chosen your disposal method and followed it through. Good for you! Your job isn’t done just yet. After disposal, it’s crucial you clean the surrounding area. This essential step prevents the spread of diseases which rodents often carry. You may ask why it’s so vital? Well, let us get into that.

Whether the squirrel died of natural causes or from an illness, it’s body might be harbouring parasites. From ticks to fleas, these pesky critters don’t die with the host. In fact, they’re on the lookout for their next victim. By cleaning the area, you decrease the chances of these parasites switching hosts – to you, your children, or pets.

You might notice a foul odor lingering after the squirrel removal. That’s the smell of decay attracting other creatures. The smell might attract other squirrels, rats, or even larger scavengers, resulting in an increased issue. Don’t worry, we can meet it head-on. Let’s break down the process.

Gather your materials

First, gather what you’ll need for the task. Always remember, safety first.

  • A pair of disposable gloves
  • A face mask
  • Bleach or a strong disinfectant
  • A brush and shovel
  • Warm water

Start the cleansing

Once your tools are in place, it’s time to begin cleansing. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Put on your protective gear: Don your gloves and face mask before getting started. This protective gear shelters you from the germs in the area.
  2. Remove remaining debris: Using your shovel, carefully clear away any leftover squirrel remains or debris.
  3. Sterilize the area: Mix your bleach or disinfectant with warm water as per the manufacturer instructions. Use this mixture to thoroughly cleanse the spot.
  4. Scrub the area: Using the brush, scrub the disinfected area thoroughly to remove any residue.

This section will transition into the next topic, “Post Clean-Up Tips”. In it, we’ll explore preventive measures you can put in place to guard against future squirrel-related issues.

Properly Dispose of the Squirrel

Now that we’ve emphasized the importance of thoroughly cleaning the surrounding area post-disposal, it’s crucial we backtrack a bit and address the disposal itself. How can you properly dispose of a dead squirrel?

First and foremost, always wear protective gear when handling a dead animal. This includes a pair of solid gloves, safety goggles, and yes, that face mask too. You’d be surprised at the number of diseases that can be transmitted through close contact.

Next up: Removing the Squirrel. Using a shovel, carefully scoop up the deceased squirrel taking care not to make direct contact. Remember, safety can’t be overstressed. Slip the squirrel into a plastic bag, preferably double bag to further prevent the spread of potential diseases.

Bear in mind, your regular trash bin won’t suffice. This disposal requires a bit more tact. Many municipalities have specific rules and regulations about disposing of deceased animals to both protect sanitation workers and limit disease transmission. Make sure to check your local regulations. Whether it’s city sanitation or a local animal control agency, place a call and request a pick-up or drop it off at designated locations.

More importantly, the disposal should never be a spontaneous act. It’s not enough to toss it in a nearby bush or a wooded area. This could propagate the disease or parasites it may carry to other wildlife, and in turn, back to your yard. Keep yourself, your family, and your neighborhood safe!

Stay tuned, we’re going to jump into some post clean-up tips in our upcoming section as a final step to safeguarding against future squirrel-related issues. While we cannot completely avoid these incidents, it’s always best to be prepared and informed.


So, you’ve learned the right way to handle a dead squirrel. It’s all about safety first, using the right gear and following the correct steps. Remember, it’s not just about you, but protecting your family and community from potential diseases. And don’t forget, it doesn’t end with disposal. There’s more to do, like the “Post Clean-Up Tips” we’re about to investigate into. This way, you’re not only dealing with the present situation but also preparing for any future squirrel-related incidents. It’s all about being proactive and responsible. After all, it’s your part in keeping our environment safe and disease-free.


Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!