Ground squirrels are small rodents that can cause significant damage to gardens, lawns, and crops. They are known for their ability to burrow extensively, creating tunnels and holes that can undermine foundations and destabilize structures. In addition, ground squirrels can carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to humans and pets. Therefore, it’s vital to take action to get rid of ground squirrels if they are causing problems on your property.
One way to get rid of ground squirrels is to install physical barriers. These barriers can prevent the squirrels from accessing areas they are not wanted, such as gardens or yards. The most effective physical barriers are usually made from materials the squirrels cannot chew through, such as hardware cloth or welding wire mesh.
To install a physical barrier, determine the area you want to protect. To keep squirrels out of a garden, you may need to fence off the entire area. You can use individual cages or covers if you only try to protect specific plants.
Once you have determined the area to protect, measure it and purchase the appropriate amount of hardware cloth or welded wire mesh. You will also need posts to hold up the barrier and any necessary hardware to secure it.
To install the barrier, begin by driving the posts into the ground around the perimeter of the area you want to protect. Then, attach the hardware cloth or welded wire mesh to the posts using the appropriate hardware. Ensure the barrier extends at least 2 feet underground and 3 feet above ground to prevent the squirrels from digging under or climbing over it.
Physical barriers can be practical, but they can also be costly and time-consuming to install. Additionally, they may only be practical in some situations, such as in large open spaces or areas where aesthetics are a concern. In such cases, other methods may need to be considered.
Trapping is an effective way to eliminate ground squirrels but can also be time-consuming and requires patience. Different types of traps are available for catching ground squirrels, including live traps and snap traps.
When using traps, choosing the right size and type of trap for the ground squirrel species you’re trying to catch is essential. Ground squirrels can vary in size, so choosing a trap that can accommodate their size and weight is essential. Additionally, bait selection is critical for trapping success. Ground squirrels are attracted to seeds, nuts, and fruits, so using these types of bait can increase the likelihood of capturing them.
It’s also crucial to place the traps in the correct location. Ground squirrels are more likely to travel along established paths, so placing the traps near their burrows or in areas where they are known to frequent can increase the chances of trapping them. Once the trap is set, it’s essential to check it regularly, at least once daily, to ensure that any captured squirrels are removed promptly.
Trapping is a humane and effective way to get rid of ground squirrels. By using the suitable traps, bait, and placement, it’s possible to catch and relocate these critters away from your property. However, trapping requires time and effort, and it’s important to follow local regulations and laws regarding the trapping and relocation of wildlife.
Repellents are an alternative way of getting rid of ground squirrels. They work by producing an unpleasant smell or taste, discouraging the animals from staying in the area. There are several types of repellents available, including natural and chemical options. Choosing the right repellent for your situation is crucial, as some may be harmful to other animals or plants.
One of the most common natural repellents is the use of predator urine. This can be purchased from outdoor stores or online and applied to the affected area’s perimeter. The scent of predator urine sends a message to ground squirrels that a predator is nearby, causing them to flee. Another natural option is to plant garlic or other strong-smelling plants around the area’s perimeter. The odor of these plants can be unpleasant to ground squirrels and may help to deter them.
There are also chemical repellents available that can be applied to the affected area. These repellents work by producing a strong odor or taste that is unpleasant to ground squirrels. Some examples include capsaicin, castor oil, and ammonium soap. These chemicals can be sprayed directly onto the soil or plants in the affected area. It is essential to follow the instructions carefully, as these chemicals may harm other animals or plants in the area.
Another option is to use electronic repellents, which emit high-pitched sounds or vibrations unpleasant to ground squirrels. These devices can be placed around the affected area’s perimeter and may help keep ground squirrels away. However, it is essential to note that electronic repellents may not be effective in all situations and may not work on all types of ground squirrels.
When using repellents, it is essential to remember that they may not be effective in all situations. It is also essential to follow the instructions carefully, as some repellents may harm other animals or plants in the area. If you are still determining which repellent to use or how to apply it, consulting with a pest control professional may be helpful.
Habitat modification involves changing the environment to discourage ground squirrels from inhabiting an area. This can be done by altering the habitat to make it less attractive to ground squirrels, reducing their food and shelter sources, and creating barriers to their movement. Here are some ways to modify the habitat to control ground squirrels:
Reduce food sources
Ground squirrels are attracted to areas with a lot of vegetation or crops they can eat. To discourage them from inhabiting an area, removing any unnecessary vegetation or crops they might be feeding on is important. Additionally, removing fallen fruit or seeds from trees is crucial, as these can be a food source for ground squirrels.
Ground squirrels are known for burrowing underground, so it is important to create barriers preventing them from entering an area. This can be done by using fencing or netting around the area’s perimeter. Additionally, filling any existing burrows with soil and rocks can make it more difficult for ground squirrels to enter an area.
Ground squirrels often seek shelter in dense vegetation or under piles of debris. Removing any unnecessary vegetation or debris that may provide shelter is essential to discourage them from inhabiting an area. This includes removing any piles of leaves, sticks, or rocks.
Use habitat modification devices
Several devices can be used to modify the habitat and discourage ground squirrels from inhabiting an area. One example is a predator scent device, which releases the scent of a predator into the environment, causing ground squirrels to stay away. Another example is a vibration device, which creates a vibration that ground squirrels find uncomfortable, causing them to move away from the area.
Implement habitat management practices
Managing the habitat to be more attractive to ground squirrels can help prevent them from inhabiting an area. This includes mowing the lawn regularly, maintaining a clean and tidy garden, and planting ground covers that are less attractive to ground squirrels.
Utilizing natural predators is an effective and eco-friendly way to control ground squirrels. Natural predators are animals that naturally feed on ground squirrels and help keep their population in check. By encouraging the presence of these predators, you can naturally reduce the number of ground squirrels in your area. Here are some strategies to attract and support natural predators as a means of ground squirrel control:
Birds of Prey
Birds such as hawks, falcons, and owls are natural predators of ground squirrels. Encourage their presence by installing perching poles or nesting boxes in strategic locations around your property. This provides a suitable habitat for these birds to nest and hunt, helping control ground squirrel populations.
Dogs and cats are natural predators and can help control ground squirrel populations. If you have a dog that enjoys chasing small animals, it can serve as a deterrent to ground squirrels. However, it is vital to supervise pets to ensure their safety and prevent harm to wildlife.
Overall, the best way to get rid of ground squirrels will depend on the specific situation and the severity of the problem. It’s always a good idea to consult a pest control professional if you need help determining which method is best for your property. By controlling ground squirrel populations, you can protect your property and prevent damage caused by these small but persistent rodents.