Does zinc phosphide kill squirrels? (2023)

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Zinc phosphide is a highly toxic substance that will kill its target after a single feeding, and there is no antidote. When zinc phosphide comes into contact with stomach acid, it hydrolyzes, releasing phosphine gas. But does zinc phosphide kill squirrels?

Squirrels can be killed with zinc phosphide. It can reduce squirrel populations faster than anticoagulants after just one feeding. Zinc phosphide, on the other hand, has a distinctive odor and taste that squirrels seem to avoid.

The zinc phosphide that squirrels occasionally eat is sublethal, which means it makes people sick but does not kill them. For more information on squirrel poisoning, read the article.


  • 1 What is zinc phosphide?
  • 2 Does zinc phosphide kill ground squirrels?
  • 3 How long does zinc phosphide kill squirrels?
  • 4 What is the best poison for ground squirrels?
    • 4.1 warfarin
    • 4.2 Bromodiol
    • 4.3 Defamation
    • 4.4 Strychnine
  • 5 What is the best ground squirrel repellent?
  • 6 Can squirrels survive poisoning?
  • 7 How is squirrel poisoning treated?
    • 7.1 Warfarin poisoning
    • 7.2 Strychnine poisoning
  • 8 What are the symptoms of a poisoned squirrel?
    • 8.1 Zinc phosphide
    • 8.2 Bromethalin
    • 8.3 Strychnine
    • 8.4 Colecalciferol
  • 9 What is the best bait for squirrels?
  • 10 Consider using one of the expert recommended squirrel baits
    • 10.1 Peanut butter
    • 10.2 Nuts
    • 10.3 Cereal grains
  • 11 Conclusion
  • 12 references

What is zinc phosphide?

The inorganic compound zinc phosphide is a mixture of zinc and phosphorus. Trizinc diphosphide is the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) chemical name.

Zinc phosphide is a gray powder with a garlic odor. Phosphine is a colorless and highly flammable gas. Technical or industrial phosphine gas smells like rotten fish or garlic, but phosphine itself has no odor.

Zinc phosphide-based rodenticide baits must be ingested to be effective. They are used to control commensal rodents for humans. Found in rodenticide baits. Zinc phosphide is converted to phosphine by stomach acid when an animal eats the bait.

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Phosphine formation is responsible for the toxic effect of zinc phosphide. This also applies to aluminum and magnesium phosphides. When phosphine gas enters the gastrointestinal tract, it is absorbed along with zinc.

Will zinc phosphide kill ground squirrels?

Yes, zinc phosphide kills ground squirrels. Zinc phosphide is a powerful poison that can be used to kill ground squirrels. It kills ground squirrels after a single meal, so it can reduce populations faster than anticoagulants.

Zinc phosphide, on the other hand, has a distinctive taste and odor that many ground squirrels seem to avoid. On rare occasions, ground squirrels ingest zinc phosphide in sublethal doses that sicken but do not kill humans. This causes aversion to the bait in the ground squirrel population.

Zinc phosphide broadcast applications can be used where ground squirrel populations are large or cover a larger area. This may be an efficient and inexpensive way to control this species on a large scale.

when he is sick,Squirrels usually retire to their burrows.and die there, although up to 20-30% of ground squirrels may die above ground.

How long does zinc phosphide kill squirrels?

Ground squirrels succumb to zinc phosphide toxicity within 15 minutes to 4 hours after ingesting a toxic dose, demonstrating how quickly the drug works.Acute symptoms of zinc phosphide consumption are loss of appetite leading to seizures, paralysis, and death.

By poisoning ground squirrels with phosphine gas, zinc phosphate acts as a deadly rodenticide. When squirrels consume zinc phosphide, their stomach acid chemically converts it into toxic phosphine gas. Ground squirrels that cannot vomit respond well to baits that contain zinc phosphate.

The phosphine in the squirrel's stomach enters the cells of the body and stops the cells from making energy, causing the cells to die. Zinc phosphide acts on all cells in the body, but especially on the vital cells of the heart, lungs, and liver.

What is the best ground squirrel poison?

Chemicals that kill rodents are known as squirrel poisons or rodenticides. Today, most rodenticides are anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners. They do not dilute the blood; it's just a common mistake. The term anticoagulant is used interchangeably.

Any substance that prevents blood from clotting or interferes with the process of stopping bleeding, also known as clotting, is an anticoagulant. Some of the earliest rodenticides were derived from drugs intended for human use. Current rodenticides typically contain one of three active ingredients.

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Along with pindone, diphacinone, and chlorphacinone, warfarin was one of the first blood thinners used to kill squirrel populations.


Bromadiolone is a blood thinner used primarily in rodenticides to kill rodents such as squirrels.


Diphacinone is a vitamin K antagonist and an anticoagulant.


Strychnine inhibits the glycine neurotransmitter in the spinal cord.

What is the best ground squirrel repellent?

Some of the most effective ground squirrel repellents include.

Castor oil is an effective squirrel repellent

There is castor oil that is used to repel ground squirrels.

2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap and 1/4 cup of good quality castor oil. Pour this mixture into the water. Connect the water source to a spray mechanism.

Pepper spray squirrel repellent

Pepper spray is an inexpensive, non-toxic way to keep ground squirrels away.


First, heat a cup of hot water over low heat. The mixture must be soaked for 12 hours, after which a cup of hot red pepper flakes must be added. Then mix some dish soap into this mixture and put it in a spray bottle.

Can squirrels survive poisoning?

Yes, squirrels can survive poisoning, but in most cases the poisoned squirrel dies. Even if the poison were still present in the squirrels' livers, if they were alive after being poisoned, they would probably survive.

When consumed by a poisoned squirrel, it undergoes long, agonizing spasms and contractions. Painful symptoms in squirrels last from one to 24 hours or more, with the duration and severity of their seizures increasing and their ability to breathe hampered by spasms of the abdominal and respiratory muscles.

How is squirrel poisoning treated?

The following methods of treating poisoned squirrels are based on the type of poison they ingest:

warfarin poisoning

Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, although there may be no symptoms for two to three days. Symptoms of internal bleeding include red/purple/dark blue patches of skin and gums.

Pale green stools can be an early warning sign, as venom is often that color. To help blood clot, give your squirrel a shot of between 5 and 20 mg of vitamin K, depending on its weight.

strychnine poisoning

Strychnine poisoning causes seizures, dilated pupils, and muscle spasms in squirrels. Depending on the size and weight of the squirrels, the prescribed treatment is an injection of diazepam (Valium).

What are the symptoms of a poisoned squirrel?

Signs of rodenticide poisoning vary more widely and are affected by substance and dose.

zinc phosphide

When zinc phosphide comes into contact with stomach acid, it releases phosphine gas into the bloodstream. Nonspecific clinical signs may include anorexia, dizziness, bloody and bloodless vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.


If bromethalin is taken in high doses, convulsions and other clinical symptoms such as muscle tremors, hyperexcitability, and increased reflexes in the hindlimbs may occur rapidly.



Strychnine inhibits the glycine neurotransmitter in the spinal cord. Neurological symptoms such as muscle spasms, stiff neck, dilated pupils, seizures, and hypersensitivity may occur within an hour of ingestion and indicate poisoning.


Cholecalciferol vitamin D3 increases serum phosphate and calcium levels, which can lead to renal failure, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, and other nonspecific clinical symptoms.

What is the best bait for squirrels?

Squirrels are omnivorous and their favorite foods are nuts, grains, seeds, herbs, and soft fruits and vegetables. When ground squirrel populations are high, poison baits are often the cheapest method of control. Poisoned grains or pellets that are approved as bait are considered bait.

Consider using one of the expert recommended squirrel baits

peanut butter

Peanut butter is the most effective squirrel trap bait. Squirrels are naturally attracted to nuts. Peanut butter is a really good bait for squirrels because it makes it harder for them to grab it and use it to escape, forcing them to interact with the trap hard enough to make it pop.


Squirrels prefer "raw" nuts that are still hanging from the tree or have just fallen to the ground.

cereal grain

Sprinkle a small amount of untreated grain, such as oats, near the burrows.


Zinc phosphide is a blackish-gray powder that smells like garlic. Phosphine is an extremely flammable colorless gas. Zinc phosphide-based rodenticidal baits must be consumed to be effective. Zinc phosphate acts as a deadly rodenticide by poisoning ground squirrels with phosphine gas.

Squirrels consume zinc phosphide, which is chemically converted to toxic phosphine gas by the acid in their stomach. When ground squirrel populations are high, they can be poisoned by their favorite foods, such as nuts, grains, seeds, herbs, and soft fruits and vegetables. This is usually the least expensive way to control them.

Zinc phosphide toxicity kills ground squirrels within 15 minutes to 4 hours after ingesting a toxic dose. Although squirrels can survive poisoning, the poisoned squirrel usually dies. Even if the poison remained in the squirrels' liver, if they were alive after the poisoning, they would survive.


Doğan E, Güzel A, Ciftçi T, Aycan I, Celik F, Cetin B, Kavak GO.Zinc phosphide poisoning. Fallrepräsentant Crit Care. 2014

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Abdel Rahman M. El Naggar, Nashwa M. El Mahdy,Zinc phosphide toxicity with a study of tranexamic acid in its handling, Journal of Advanced Research, Band 2, agosto 2, 2011.


How quickly does zinc phosphide kill rodents? ›

Death usually occurs in 3 to 48 hours. Clinical signs include lethargy, vomiting, and rapid, stertorous breathing.

What kind of poison can I use to kill a squirrel? ›

What's the Most Effective Squirrel Poison?
  • Strychnine. This is a very dangerous substance that is used for killing pests. ...
  • Just One Bite. This is a well-known brand that offers a rather powerful bait that is specially designed for mice elimination, BUT it also works for squirrels.
Dec 7, 2022

Should I poison squirrels in my attic? ›

You should never use poison for squirrels in attics. Squirrels are not so easy to convince with poison. Rodents as a whole are scavengers, and generally “taste” their food to see if suitable for eating. Poisons with any funny odors or strange flavors have a high probability of being discarded by the squirrel.

What is the best way to kill ground squirrels? ›

Poison bait is usually the most cost-effective method for controlling ground squirrels, especially when numbers are high. Bait consists of grain or pellets treated with a poison registered for ground squirrel control.

How long does zinc phosphide last in the ground? ›

Zinc phosphide baits may remain toxic for several months until degradation by weathering or decomposition of the carrier, or removal of the grain by insects occurs. Loss of toxicity in the field proceeds at a rate of 6% per day due primarily to weathering. Dry baits must be considered to be toxic indefinitely.

Will zinc phosphide kill raccoons? ›

Several types of poisons can kill raccoons, including strychnine, zinc phosphide, and cyanide. While the substances are highly toxic, none of them are lethal to harm humans.


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