What to Do With a Dead Squirrel? 6 Steps to Dispose UK, US

If your interaction with the squirrel is only limited to watching it browsing something by sitting on the wall of your house and running after each other, you will be shocked and surely not know what to do with a dead squirrel, if found in your house.

If you find a dead squirrel in your proximity, you can either dispose of the dead animal by yourself or ask for the services of town management authorities. Most of the time, you have to help yourself. You can dump the dead body in the ground or put it in plastic bags to dispose of in the trash.

Their death can be due to poisoning, attack of predators, health complications, or many other conditions.

If you are shocked to see a dead squirrel in your garden, backyard, or wall and don’t know what to do with it, here are the answers to all your questions.

Table of Contents show

Dead Squirrel 101: How To Tell if a Baby Squirrel is Dead?


You should have information about the signs of a dead squirrel to tell if it is dead or not.

Dead Squirrel Signs:

The most obvious signs of a dead baby squirrel are following:

  • Absence of respiration
  • Loss of eye reflex
  • Droopy lifeless cold body
  • Soft gums and tongue.
  • Rigor mortis (Stretching of body)

What to Do With a Dead Squirrel? 6 Steps to Dispose A Dead Squirrel in the UK and USA

Would you double bag the dead squirrel in the grocery bag and throw it in the bin, or just get rid of the unpleasant smell of the dead body by burying it anyway?

Whatever your preference may be, it’s advisable to know the pros and cons of these methods.

You can follow any method depending on your situation.

1. Leave the Dead Squirrel Alone

It’s not a good idea to leave the dead body alone to be torn by wild animals. If you decide to do so, it will only work if the predators near your area quickly approach and get it away. 

2. Burying it in the Backyard

Burying the dead squirrel is also not recommendable.

If you bury the dead body in your garden, your dog may grub it up while playing due to its inquisitive nature. So, disposing of the dead squirrel properly in an outdoor trash bin is the best option.

3. Throwing it Away

The best and most recommended way to get rid of dead squirrels is to throw them in the garbage. You should follow these steps before doing this:

Towel and Gloves


First of all, take a towel and gloves to pick the squirrel up and put them in the carrier bag.

Put on Your Gloves

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Put on your gloves before touching a dead squirrel to avoid carrying numerous dangerous bacteria from it.


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With the help of a shovel, pick the carcass.

Carrier Bag

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Place the dead body in the carrier bag and put the first carrier bag (with the dead body inside) in another bag to ensure maximum protection, and tie a secure knot on the top.

Trash Bin


Dispose of it in any out-of-door trash bin. 

Wash Your Hands

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Discard the gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with any hand-wash.

What to Do With a Half-dead Squirrel?

Let me guess; you find a squirrel in your backyard and are asking yourself, “Is it half-dead or dead”? Don’t worry; check all the signs of half-dead squirrels here.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lesions and scabs on body parts
  • Very cold on touch
  • Drowsy and lifeless behavior
  • The bald pattern on the body
  • Injured body parts
  • Diarrhea
  • Harmful Tumors

All the signs mentioned above tell that a squirrel is struggling for life.

In severe pain, squirrels curl around their belly like a ball. You should follow these instructions to help the situation:

1. Give it a Predator-free Shelter

If you find a dead squirrel, first of all, make sure to provide him with a safe and secure shelter, like it may be a shoebox. Make sure to place that box outside, a place where predators have no access.

2. Provide a Warm Nest Box

After providing a protective shelter, you should give little warmth to that miserable creature in the form of bedding material. It ensures that the squirrel will stay warm and feel relaxed to recover soon.

3. Keep it Hydrated

One reason for the squirrel’s abnormal condition may be dehydration, particularly in summer. So, rehydration with water or fluids like Pedialyte is the best solution.

You can also give it a homemade drink by mixing 1 tablespoon salt, 2.5-3 teaspoons of white sugar, and 1 cupful of water.

4. Feed it Properly

You must be very careful while choosing the diet of an ill squirrel. Don’t try to feed it whatever you want.

The injured or half-dead squirrels need proper vitamins and minerals.

5. Give a Thorough Inspection

After giving emergency care, give a thorough examination to the squirrel. Take a bowl full of warm water and a few clean washcloths.

Thoroughly observe the skin, nose, lips, and mouth. If you find parasites, like flea-beetle or ticks, pull them off.

Check the condition of the squirrel’s limbs to see if there is any twist in the legs and feet. After a thorough inspection, you can go for a veterinary check-up.

If you want to get more information about “dying squirrels,” you can find a related article here.

How Long Does it Take For a Dead Squirrel to Decompose?

The time which a rodent takes to decompose depends on numerous factors, like the size of the squirrel, temperature variations, moisture in the air. Overall, you have to wait for 3-4 weeks or even more than this to observe complete decomposition. 

What diseases kill squirrels?

  • Squirrel Fibroma Virus: The main reason behind squirrel’s death is the Squirrel Fibroma Virus, also called the squirrel pox virus. The virus develops skin tumors on the body parts. This tumor does not affect the squirrel as long as any other secondary skin infections develop. 
  • Toxoplasmosis: It is an infectious disease in which squirrels experience neurological disorders, depression, and anxiety, leading to death.
  • Bartonella: It is a bacterial infection commonly referred to as cat scratch. Cats can get this disease from fleas, mites, and ticks that carry Bartonella bacteria. These diseases can be transmitted from a cat to a squirrel.
  • Animal Distemper Virus: It is a life-threatening infectious disease that squirrels may get from fecal matters of any other infected animal.
  • Fungus and Mites: Fungal infection may lead to baldness in squirrels. In this condition, the mites penetrate the squirrel skin and make it more prone to many fungal infections.

Can you get diseases from squirrels?

Squirrels are generally not dangerous and rarely attack humans unless they feel fear and life threat. However, they are the carrier of many diseases that squirrels potentially transmit to you:

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Squirrels are almost never found to carry and transmit Rabies but some risks still exist.

Humans should take necessary precautions if a squirrel attacks or scratches their bodies. Early signs are lack of sleep, depression, paralysis, numbness, and headache.

Some other diseases which can be transmitted to humans from squirrels are Salmonellosis, Lyme disease, Tularemia, Leptospirosis.

Dead Squirrel in Yard Meaning

If you encounter a dead squirrel in your backyard, It indicates one of the following things.

Squirrels may die after falling from a very high tree. There may be a pest control campaign in your surrounding area and squirrels can come and die in your yard in the search of water. If you spray any poisonous chemical to eradicate the garden pests, you might have unconsciously killed the innocent squirrel too.

A Dead Squirrel in Front Of House Meaning

If you find a dead squirrel in front of your house, it means that dogs, cats, or other predators might have attacked her.

As squirrels are agile and love to climb, but which can also put them in life-threatening situations sometimes.

Electric power lines, wild animals and sometimes being hit by road vehicles can cause the death of squirrels in front of your house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions.

Do squirrels play dead, or was it really dead?

Yes, sometimes squirrels take on the appearance of being dead acting like a “playing possum”. When they play dead, you will see a squirrel badly falling out of a high tree in one moment and lying flat for a few seconds. In the very next moment, it gets up and continues jumping.

What happens if you touch a dead squirrel?

You should avoid touching the dead squirrel, as the carcass carries many parasites like maggots, fleas, and ticks. These can cause severe diseases in humans like typhus and leptospirosis etc.

Who picks up dead animals?

If you find a small dead animal in or near your home, you can dispose of it yourself. If you find any large dead animal, you can take the services of Animal Control Services for disposal in some countries.

Should I report a dead squirrel?

Yes, you can report the death of a squirrel if you are not sure about the reason for its death, like if you think it has been poisoned by pesticides or killed consciously to the local council.

Why are there so many dead squirrels in my yard?

Some reasons for squirrel’s strange death in your backyard may be viral disease, poisoning, attack of predators, pest control drive in your neighbor, or electric shock.

Why would a squirrel suddenly die?

The cause of sudden death in squirrels is a defective inner organ that cleaves and causes abnormal bleeding inside their abdominal cavity.

Is it safe to touch squirrels (alive)?

No, it’s dangerous to hold an adult squirrel with bare hands. A stressed squirrel with incredibly sharp claws may instantly bite or scratch your body, maybe followed by transmitting disease.

Do squirrels bury their dead?

Squirrels usually do not engage in the practice of burying their dead. They often bury nuts and vegetables to use later, but they are not involved in burying their dead.

Do squirrels mourn their dead?

Squirrels and many small animals do mourn when they lose their loved ones. Studies reveal that all rodents, including squirrels, exhibit a similar brain structure and a specific area in the brain that prompts sadness, happiness, and grief, etc.

My dog has a dead squirrel in his mouth. What to do?

A dead squirrel can be dangerous for a dog, especially if it was poisoned or infected. It could also carry a bacterial infection that can be transferred to your pet. So, it’s advisable to not allow your dog to consume a dead animal.

How do most squirrels die?

There may be various reasons behind their death, like aging, infections, and other diseases.

Do dead animals carry diseases?

Yes, in fact, dead animals carry more diseases than those who are alive. When dead animals decompose, the number of harmful bacteria increases many folds which can be transmitted to individuals in contact.

Are dead squirrels dangerous?

Yes, the dead body of a squirrel may transmit numerous diseases which can cause health concerns for you or your pet animals.

What does it mean if a squirrel stares at you?

Prey animals like squirrels need to stay alert and keep a watchful eye on their surroundings. So, if a squirrel stares at you, he is observing your movements and trying to make sure that you are dangerous for it or not.

What to do if you find a dead squirrel in your pool?

Close the pool for swimmers and properly remove and dispose of the dead squirrel as soon as possible. Don’t forget to take personal protective equipment like gloves. And disinfect the water using chlorine. For further details, check out our exclusive article covering the title, “Dead rodents in the pool”.

Why do squirrels go crazy?

When the summer ends, you may have observed the squirrels crawling on the grass, or even biting and scratching themselves, or just acting insane. There is a reason behind it. The disturbing skin irritations make them act crazy.

Do squirrels have feelings?

It’s unpredictable whether squirrels have feelings or not. Though it was observed that they chatter their teeth, they don’t show any particular facial expressions to display their sadness, fear, anger, stress or surprise, etc.

How do you tell if a squirrel is hurt?

Like all living things, squirrels do hurt. They show their pain by running in circles, lying on their sides, exhibiting lethargic behavior, etc.

Why do squirrels stop moving?

As you know, squirrels are prey to a lot of predators. So, they suddenly stop moving if they see, smell, or hear any kind of danger. Once the fear is gone, they run abruptly again to reach the safe place.

Final words

With all said, if you find a dead or injured squirrel in your house, don’t panic. It’s time to take control of your nerves.

Thoroughly examine to confirm if that poor creature is still alive. If a squirrel is struggling for life, provide her with a comfortable environment and first aid.

On the other hand, if you find a dead squirrel, dispose of it properly using our what to do with a dead squirrel guide. Hopefully, it will help you and prevent surrounding individuals from its prospective hazards. 

SmallPetsX.Com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim to help small pet owners understand their pets a little better so that they can provide their pets with the life they deserve. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.

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