How Far Away Should You Release a Squirrel?
You’ve caught a squirrel, but aren’t sure where to release it. It may seem like a simple task, but young squirrels are unable to navigate the local environment. They don’t know the predators in their area, where to find food and water, and whether or not the other squirrels in the area are friendly. A quick trip to the pet store or grocery store can save it from a life of suffering.
Identifying a squirrel
Identifying a squirrel before trapping is vital to prevent suffering and wasting money. While trapping can save money and prevent unnecessary harm to the animal, the most humane method is relocating the squirrel several miles away. While this method is more efficient, most of the squirrels do not survive the relocation process and will die if not relocated to a new location. If you cannot locate the squirrel’s nest, contact a wildlife rehabilitator to help you relocate it.
If a female squirrel has been caught in a trap, it is likely she is carrying a litter. If this is the case, the female should be removed from the trap. Identifying a female squirrel can be done through her nipples. Female squirrels prefer warm and dry areas to raise their kits. Female squirrels are more likely to be trapped than males, and live trapping is only effective when the animal is not carrying a young. Then, the squirrel should be reintroduced back into the same area.
Using a live cage trap
When attempting to catch a squirrel in your home, you will need a live cage trap. These cages are made to trap a squirrel in a small area and can be difficult to set up. One trap is a body grip trap. These are designed to snap closed around the squirrel’s neck, and can often cause injury if not used properly. The WCS Forestry Supplies lethal tube trap is made with heavy-gauge alloy steel and rust-resistant coating. Unlike other cages, this cage has only one door and requires only a few minutes to set up.
The bait in the trap should be placed deep enough for the squirrel to reach it, and must be able to lure the animal into the trap. The bait must also be tasty enough to entice the animal to step on the trap’s trigger plate. Nuts or peanut butter are popular baits for squirrels. Fruits such as apples and pears also work well. When setting the trap, make sure to wear gloves, as the scent of human skin can attract the squirrel.
Using a lethal trap
If you’re having trouble catching a squirrel in your attic or on a roof, consider using a lethal trap to capture it. These types of traps are more dangerous than regular ones and should only be used by professionals. Before you can successfully trap a squirrel, however, you must know how to safely use a lethal trap. Here’s how to set up a squirrel trap.
First, decide where the squirrel is coming from. Choose a spot where the squirrel is most likely to travel. Tree bases, fences near bird feeders, and walls near damaged houses are common areas for squirrels. A squirrel’s natural route is up and down a tree trunk, so a convenient location would be near these areas. If you have a backyard that’s not close to trees, you can place the trap in a place that squirrels don’t frequent.
Releasing a squirrel
Releasing a squirrel after trapping is illegal in most jurisdictions, but not always. Most states have a “no-release” law, which makes re-releasing a squirrel on private property a bad idea. You cannot release the squirrel in public areas, and there are also restrictions on where the squirrel may be released. You should check with your local wildlife department for more information. Release the squirrel as close to the hole as possible, as the animal will most likely become a prey item before it has a chance to get away.
The most important part of rereleasing a trapped squirrel is finding a suitable release location. Leaving the squirrel behind on a property more than two miles away is a poor idea, as a squirrel may not have the strength to return to the same area. Release the squirrel a few miles away if possible, and try to leave it far enough away that it cannot find its nest. This method is not humane and many squirrels die after being relocated. However, there are wildlife rehabilitators that can help you find a suitable release point for your squirrel.
Releasing a squirrel in another squirrel’s territory
Releasing a squirrel into another’s territory is not humane. If you have a squirrel that’s threatening the safety of your house, it’s likely that it has a nest there. You want to keep it safe and make it as hard as possible for it to get in, but relocating it will likely create problems. Here are some tips to help you avoid squirrel problems in your house:
Releasing a squirrel in another squirrels territory may be illegal. It may be necessary for the squirrel’s survival. However, the area where you release the squirrel should have plenty of trees for the animal to climb. A human neighborhood is a great temptation for the squirrels. You can relocate the animal in another person’s territory, but you can’t make it a part of your family.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.