Squirrel Overpopulation


Recently, in the City of Santa Monica, California, officials came up with a novel way to control the squirrel population in Palisades Park. County officials are concerned that the squirrels pose a danger to public health, but the city wants a more humane solution to the problem than the usual method of euthanasia. Instead, they are opting to give the squirrels a contraceptive vaccine.

Public officials in North Carolina figured out a good way to deal with this problem a long time ago. In the 1760s, the General Assembly passed a law requiring certain citizens to kill the squirrels and crows who came across their paths. The law, entitled “An Act for Destroying Crows and Squirrels in the Several Counties therin Mentioned,” put a bounty on the heads of these pests. North Carolina legislators figured that with a little financial incentive, they could get all citizens to help in the efforts to solve the squirrel overpopulation problem.

To provide proof that they had done their civic duty, plantation owners and overseers in certain counties were required to bring at least seven crow heads or squirrel scalps to a justice of the peace for each taxable in his or her household. The penalty for a householder not killing his or her quota of pests was four pence for each animal, and the reward for killing more than the requisite number was also four pence per animal.

5 thoughts on “Squirrel Overpopulation”

  1. Squirrel overpopulation is now a growing problem in Clemson, SC. They have been blamed for the destruction of trees, “at least one major power outage”, and could possibly carry diseases. Many are horrified by the use of euthanasia on 200 squirrels. The method of a contraceptive drug is being considered, but the $100,000 cut out in the budget has many worried. Are there any other ways to prevent squirrel overpopulation?

  2. I have also noticed the squirrel overpopulation in Clemson, SC. I have noticed more and more squirrels roaming the lands and have seen the more destructive side effects they have on our community. Like my colleagu…e said, at least one major power outage has been directly attributed to our squirrel “problem”. Can we prevent any of this destruction in a safe and humane way?.

  3. I had heard that we had already implemented the contraceptive experiment on the squirrels some time (years) ago. Is this true and if it is, is there data to show improvement or relevance?
    As far as preventing the destruction of the trees I’d heard relocation of the squirrel population and behavior modification as possible options.

  4. Are there any other ways? Why yes, there’s a simple and inexpensive solution that wouldn’t even be phased by a $100,000 cut; shoot them. BB guns, .22s, pellet guns, all of these tools are made for the job. In the hands of a retired war vet or boy scout one could reduce the poplulation significantly in a matter of weeks, without worrying about anything or anyone else getting shot. There’s no need to implement expensive contraceptive measures, dead animals can’t procreate either!

  5. Yes, you can trap them and carry them away to the deep woods, many miles away, in the last few month I have trapped 32 squirrels, 5 raccoons, 4 possums 1 rabbit 1 cat, 6 birds, and my mother in-law, just joking about the mother in-law. and I live in the city, or I thought I did. and I still see many squirrels around my home.

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