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What kills zombies ( Top 14 ways to kill a zombie )

What kills zombies? There are several methods to kill a zombie but all of them have one thing in common which is destroying their brain. No matter how you destroy a zombies brain it will die, you can use blunt force trauma, burning, decapitation, starving them out or even letting them kill each other.

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What kills zombies

While a zombie apocalypse is highly unlikely some people are preparing for it. Trought our history humanity has been struck by several plagues most of these have been eradicated due to modern medicine and vaccines. We live in an era where traveling thousands of miles from home at least once a couple of years has become normal, during these travels a lot of people get in contact with foreign diseases and once they come home they might infect the local population.

You might think that a zombie apocalypse could never happen as it is considered a fictional story for books and stories. However, in our modern era, we are at a point where we store and reproduce long eradicated viruses and diseases. Not to mention the hundreds of viruses created as biological weapons from unscrupulous governments, and as history has taught us something is that accidents or foul play may happen in even the most secure situations.

There is no telling if there is an actual zombie virus in some laboratory, but there are viruses and fungi which take control of an animals brain such as rabies. Zombie movies have taught us that the easiest way to kill a zombie is by destroying its brain, however, you might not be able to do this if you do not have some sort of weapon, in this case, your other option is to either incapacitate it or to outsmart the zombie.

The human skull has one of the thickest bone structure of the human body, it has evolved to be able to absorb impact and without a melee weapon or fire weapon, this will be difficult. Just remember that in the case of a zombie apocalypse your main goals will be to get to safety as fast as possible, if you come across several zombies there is no need in killing them if they do not attack. You can not kill all zombies and by trying to do that you risk your self and others in your group.

Would vegans turned into zombies eat meat?

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Blunt force trauma

With one quick bash to the head of the zombie will do enough damage not only to the gray matter but also the smaller primitive brain located in the center of the brain. Just be careful as you need a lot of strength in order to crack the skull, and you will put yourself in harm’s way by doing this. In addition to this zombies do not have a set pattern of movement and they move erratically, and as you are in close range in order to be able to hit him just one unpredictable move from a zombie might make you miss.

If the zombies are fast you will not have enough time to swing once again your bat or you might miss the skull and hit his jaw which is kind of pointless. The shape of the object also plays a vital role on how effective you can be with it, usually, any tool will be good especially if the center of gravity is at the end of the tool, this way you will apply the maximum force to the zombies head. Weapons like a baseball bat or a mace are ideal for this, but odds are you will not have them in a zombie SHTF and in this case, you will have to be able to improvise with whatever you can. In my article 8 most likely crisis scenario examples, you will find similar SHTF scenarios to a zombie apocalypse like a pandemic.

The easiest way to kill a zombie with blunt force trauma is to sneak up behind him and hit him before he even notices you, this way you will avoid triggering the other nearby zombies. Another very important thing is that do not try this if there are more zombies coming for you, there is a limit on how many fatal blows you can give before you tire yourself out or you become overrun by the other zombies.

Fighting several zombies at a time is also not very effective as you need only one mistake to be bitten, one wrong swing and it is over. Odds are if you are fighting several of them you will exhaust yourself to the point where running away is not a viable option, once this happens you will panic and make a wrong decision ending up in you being surrounded or trapped by the zombies.

Penetrating trauma

Penetrating trauma is when you use an object such as a knife to penetrate the zombies skull and damage the brain. This can be used by any sharp tool or weapon and even by ranged weapons such as bows. Odds are if you are surprised in your kitchen by a zombie your best weapon will be a knife, although this way you will be extremely close to the zombie you could still kill it. The easiest way to damage the brain with a knife or even something as simple as a screwdriver is through the eye socket.

Do not try to pierce the skull of the zombie with a knife as due to its thickness and shape you will probably end up just cutting the skin on the head. If you have something like a hatchet you can go for the head as this will easily penetrate the skull and even if you miss you can use the hatchet to block the bite off the zombie by making him bite the handle of the hatchet. If you are familiar with zombie movies you probably noticed that in most of these movies the preferred way to kill a zombie is with a bow or a crossbow.

Bow’s give you a lot of flexibility and range, although they are not ideal for close range. In a situation where you find yourself attacked by a zombie and you only have your bow with yourself you can still use the arrow to kill it, just stick it right in their eye socket and the zombie will be dead in no time. In the case of a major zombie SHTF event, odds are that most cities will be filled with them, and as in all SHTF events, you will have to find some way to get food and water.

Using stealth in addition with a bow and a hatchet for close range combats will be vital.


Although not recommended you can still kill zombies by setting them on fire. It is not recommended as zombies are attracted by light and noise, setting a zombie on fire will inadvertently trigger any nearby zombies, and as your surroundings start getting lit by fire you might trap yourself. If you are in a close combat situation trying to set on fire a zombie will probably do more damage to you than to the zombie, as zombies only stop when you destroy the brain and with fire, this could take awhile.

While on fire a zombie will still attack you as nothing has even happened, now imagine yourself trying to fight off a zombie with your hands which is also on fire. being trapped in a house full of zombies on fire will leave you with few options to escape, either jump out a window or face your worst nightmares which you can’t even come close to due to the heat the fire is making.  Another factor to think of is that in case of lighting a zombie on fire does not guarantee he will die.

As the human body is over 70% water odds are that the fire will not be able to use the zombie’s body as a fuel source and the fire will die off. In addition to this, you need a specialized tool to make an effective weapon of setting zombies on fire, carrying a makeshift flamethrower is not practical at all, you should be instead of using all that fuel to power your vehicle to get to safety. There are only two scenarios where you could use fire to kill a zombie, if you have no other option or in the case you have built some sort of trap where the time which takes the zombies to die will not put you in harm’s way.

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Blowing them up

As in the case of setting them on fire, this is also not recommended due to the noise which they create. Although in most cases blowing them up with some sort of explosives will kill them instantly, but this is not viable in a close quarters situation. In addition to this finding explosives in a zombie apocalypse will be rather difficult, and if you do not have the skills on how to use them safely you might end blowing yourself up.

If you have seen Rambo you probably have also seen his bow with explosive arrows, this is a good way to take out several zombies with one shot from a safe distance. Blowing zombies up is also an excellent crowd control, you just need to be careful using explosives indoors as the shock from the explosion might end up hurting you or might set your surroundings on fire.


By far one of the easiest ways to kill a zombie is with a decapitation, but you need the right kind of tool for it. Something like a machete or a katana would be excellent, with some practice chopping the head off a zombie will be easy. In order to decapitate a zombie you have to apply enough cutting force to the neck area that the head pops right off their shoulders, this probably sounds easier than it is done.

Do not think that you can pull this off with any sword or cutting tool, you need to have specialized tools which were meant to be used in battles and not in your kitchen. Having a big sharp sushi knife is a good item to have but having the ability to cut a zombies head off with it is another thing. In addition to killing a zombie instantly with a decapitation, it is also a good way to stay stealthy as killing them this way will not alert the other zombies.

Just keep in mind that even after you have decapitated the zombie his head might be still alive as you have not damaged the brain yet, in this case, you have probably incapacitated him. You should still cut the head open even after the decapitation just to be extra sure, you never know when someone might pick it up and think it is perfectly safe and gets bitten. In Australia where the aborigines people frequently hunt poisonous snakes, after they cut off their head they bury it as you can still be poisoned if you step on its head even if the snake is long dead.


You probably have not thought of this when it comes to killing zombies, but as the zombie was still a human body and a brain which functions on a more primal basis, lethal injections will probably still work. If your profession in the medical field you can probably think of several substances which once injected in the zombie’s body will kill it. The injections don’t even need to be lethal, a good dose of a sleeping substance will render the zombie useless and if enough of the substance has been injected will probably kill it.

In the case that your only way of killing a zombie is with an injection try and stick it into the eye socket as this way the substance is instantly injected in the brain and if you have applied enough force the needle will also damage the brain. In the case that you are still thinking of zombies as humans and you stand by your Hippocratic oath, try to find the zombies vein and pulse in order to inject it, this is a more human way. Please do let me know how well that goes for you!

Herd mentality

If you are familiar with zombies you probably noticed how their primitive ways, see a person means fresh brain to eat. There is nothing more important for a zombie than food and you can use this to your advantage. You can use other people as bait, in a zombie SHTF situation only the smart and ruthless will survive. If you come across hostile people you can make as much noise as possible to attract the zombies.

This way you can escape and your enemies will now focus on the zombies instead of you, basically, you will kill two bird with one stone. In addition to this, you can use their herd mentality against them for your traps. As primitive man has driven wholly mouths to their deaths from elevated cliffs so can you do it with zombies? If you are next to a cliff, surrounded by zombies and you have an RC car, put some blood on it and drive through the herd of zombies.

Make a couple of circles around them while making as much noise with your RC car as possible, once you see the majority of the zombies chasing after the RC car just drive it off the cliff and see how all the zombies following it fall to their deaths.


Somehow during the transformation from human to a zombie, they forgot how to climb ladders, not only ladders but anything steep enough where a normal human being would use also his hands for support. The best thing about ladders is they are meant for one person at a time usage, this way you only have to deal with one zombie at a time. Once the zombie is near the top of the ladder you can give his head a strong welcome with your boot.

You can also use any blunt or penetrating tools to kill them while they are on the ladder. A word of caution, depending on how tall the building you are on, the bodies of the zombies could pile up fast if at any point the pile of bodies will reach the top of the building you better run az the zombies will use them to climb on top. While on the ladder you can also try and push them off one by one, letting gravity do all the work.

Let them kill each other

Zombie movies and books have taught us that the smell of blood is irresistible for them. Yet I have never seen a movie or a book which uses this against them. If zombies do attack anything with the smell of blood on it why not spray all the zombies with blood and let them kill each other. I know that this seems like a 200 IQ way of killing zombies, but think of it like this, if you are injured and making noise the zombies will attack.

What if you cover the zombies with blood after they attack the zombies usually make very loud noise attracting other zombies. During the time they are attacking each other several of them will get stained with blood, this way the zombie killing will be somewhat perpetual and you can take out a lot of zombies this way.

The more blood the stronger the smell, at this point I am even starting to ask myself if a zombie is covered by blood and the smell of it makes your human smell less noticeable. Will the zombie try to eat himself in this case?


As all zombies have been an actual human with human needs at one point, I am fairly sure they still need oxygen to function. You do not need an Olympic pool to asphyxiate a zombie, a thick bag on its head should be able to do the job. Using your hands to choke a zombie is also a viable option although you do need a lot of force for it and there is no information as for how long a zombie can go without oxygen.

Do not try to cover a zombies mouth and nose to try and asphyxiate them, your best option is a bag or a small body of water. Although this is more of a hands-on approach to killing zombies, this is a very dangerous way to do it as you will be in close proximity to the zombie. If you are using your hands or a rope to do the job you need to be extremely quick and precise as you are inches away from the zombie’s mouth.

One mistake and you could end up with your hands in the zombie’s mouth, and at that point, it is already too late.

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Destroying the spinal cord

We have all seen zombies in movies cut in half and still moving, although less threatening they still are dangerous. Destroying the spinal cord with a sharp or a blunt weapon is not meant to actually kill the zombie but to incapacitate them, this way is easier to be killed. After you have incapacitated the zombie destroying his brain will be easy as it will be very difficult for him to fight back at that point.

Destroying a zombie’s spinal cord which passes information from the brain to the extremities is easier said than done. Not all tools are good for this practice and you need to know where to strike and what kind of weapon to use for it. Keep in mind that zombies are stronger than people and do not underestimate their strength even if they are more or less incapacitated.


This is the fastest way to kill a zombie, a simple headshot will do the job. Firearms are made for different combat scenarios from close range to long range, no matter for what range they are meant to be used you can use all of them in close range. While sniping a zombie from far away might seem a good idea, there is actually no reason to do it. The sound of you firing will be loud and even louder for sniper rifles, all you have done is you killed a zombie but attacked several zombies to your location.

In my opinion, a shotgun is the best way to deal with a zombie. It is loud but you almost don’t even have to aim, just point that shotgun towards a zombies head and off his head goes. Shotguns are only viable for close ranged combat, the further away a zombie is the less damage you will make if even any. Pump shotguns are the best, they are easy to reload but they lack the shots per minute capacity of assault rifles.

In a zombie apocalypse making as less noise as possible is vital, although firearms do a lot of noise there are several attachments which you can equip to make them more silent like a silencer. Being silent and having ample firepower in a zombie apocalypse will ensure your survival, from the zombies at least till you have bullets. One of the big drawbacks of using firearms is that you need bullets, and depending on how long there has been no rule of law due to the zombie infestation you will find it harder and harder to get ammo.


There are a lot of people thinking that using vehicles is a good and easy way to kill zombies. Although this is true this will depend on your vehicle, if your zombie killing vehicle is an SUV you might find that after killing just a couple of zombies your SUV almost totaled. Modern day vehicles are not made to withstand impact, instead, most of them absorb the impact in order to protect the driver.

This is why most cars are full of plastic and aluminum, just a couple of hits and they are no longer usable. If you think to zombie-proof your vehicle is a good idea, think again, having spikes and armor plate on it will slow down the vehicle and will cause higher fuel consumption. In addition to this, the car’s skeleton is not made to withstand high impacts no matter how well armored it is from the outside.

The only viable vehicles for killing zombies are military vehicles which are made for actual combat. Although driving a tank is probably not the best idea there are several armored vehicles which you can still use for killing zombies. You need to also keep in mind that if there are several zombies, hitting all of them will slow you down and you will do less and less damage the slower you go. It will be only a matter of time till your vehicle comes to a complete stop and with a couple of zombies stuck beneath the vehicle, it will be impossible even to reverse.

Starving them out

This is probably what will kill most of the zombies, as there will be less and less human flesh and brains for them to eat as time passes by. Although we do not know as for how long a zombie could live without brains, but that doesn’t even matter.  One year, two years or even if it is five years they will still die, and most likely the zombie apocalypse will end in the same ay as it has started… fast…

You simply can not kill all of them with melee weapons and firearms, and once there is no more government and rule of law outliving them will be the best option for the survival of the entire human race. As time passes by and the zombies will become more malnourished they will be even easier to kill and killing them will not be such a big risk factor as at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.


While not everybody agrees but in most cases zombies are only attacking humans. This means that in the long run, natural predators like wolves and bears will start viewing zombies as a potential food source. Predators in the wild usually tend to hunt for injured or sick animals, picking up the scent and their slow movement. Zombies also exhibit these signals for predators, they have a foul smell and predators can smell from miles away, they are slow and as they are not attacking any animals as these will be a prime target for any predator.

While nobody knows what effects will be eating zombie flesh have on animals, one thing is sure that these predators will be a good counter against the zombies. You don’t even need to rely on predators as there are several domesticated animals which can act s predators against the zombies such as dogs and even pigs. You can train any dog to attack the zombies, but you can also do this with pigs which have a strong enough stomach to even digest the zombie’s bones.

larger predators such as alligators and crocodile will also take a toll on the zombie population.

In Conclusion

No matter if you are actually prepping for a zombie apocalypse or not, you should still know this information as you never know when the next rabies hybrid, bird flu or mad cow disease comes. Odds are it will never happen, but these odds are getting worse and worse every single day. Keep an open mind there is no certainty in tomorrow and in the case of a zombie apocalypse always aim for the head.

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