Let’s face it – getting rid of ground squirrels is nothing short of a Herculean task. Their cute, fluffy appearance and Disneyesque appeal are the first underwater stone you’ll face in the upcoming battle. One simply can’t eliminate ground squirrels in cold blood.
Even if you felt the necessity to deal with the infestation and set on acting tough finally, the number of potential solutions would be out of this world. Yes, a plethora of options at your fingertips may seem like a good thing, but in our case, it’s more of a burden. Diversity leads to uncertainty.
To add insult to injury, there are some options that either don’t work putting you back in square state, or which is even worse, are capable of harming other animals and one’s pets. Ground squirrel control is not to be trifled with. Luckily, this guide is designed to arm you with the necessary knowledge, weapons, and skills.
- Set one of the traps: Bait Trap, Zap Trap or Body Grip.
- Use trap bait.
- Use gas infusion.
- Spray plants with a ground squirrels repellent.
- Sprinkle your yard with Cayenne pepper or paprika.
- Decorate your lawn with mulch, gravel, or decorative rocks.
- Fence your lawn with a mesh/fencing option.
What Are Ground Squirrels?
Ground squirrels are the members of the squirrel family of rodents that prefer to live on the ground rather than nesting high in the trees. These animals are known for digging complex networks of tunnels under the ground and harassing hard-working farmers.
Where Do Ground Squirrels Live?
Many animals live underground. Several species of rodents and even some types of snakes enjoy the cozy, moist suburbs under your backyard. How can you tell to whom a particular cavern belongs?
Most animal-made holes have distinct characteristics. The difference is obvious to an attentive eye.
What Do Ground Squirrel Holes Look Like?
Ground squirrels will use your lawn as a storage facility. Their tunnels hold a wide array of foods and supplies the little rascal has stockpiled for the colder months. This means a squirrel will do its best to camouflage the entrance to prevent others from feasting on the fruit of the pest’s hard work.
The entrance to a ground squirrel hole doesn’t surpass two or three inches. The hole will seem shallow, and there’ll be little to none surrounding soil. These caverns are hard to find, but if you stumble upon at least one, it is very much a telltale sign that an underground squirrel infestation is around the corner.
What Are the Risks a Squirrel Infestation Poses?
Squirrels are not as nasty as rats. They are not as threatening as termites. However, their fluffy fur hides as many dangers. Squirrels carry many fleas who, in turn, are known for spreading a variety of lethal diseases.
A squirrel hole can be as deep as 30 feet. Imagine what a couple dozen holes under your house can do to the foundation.
Lastly, squirrels love to get their tiny clawed hands on as many foods as they can. This poses a real threat to your crops and even decorative plants you’ve spent years growing from the tiniest sapling. How to deter ground squirrels, you may ask?
What Do Ground Squirrels Eat?
These rodents are not picky eaters. They’ll munch pretty much anything they can find; however, the animals prefer:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
How to Kill Ground Squirrels and Humane Extermination Options
I’ve had a friend who moved to a woodland area some time ago. He faced his most fearsome enemy there – squirrels. The pests have been devastating his little hand-made garden for months. Jerry tried using a BB gun to control their population to no effect. Not only did two squirrels come in the place of their one fallen comrade, the hunting process as a whole felt inhumane.
Despite being an amazing shot, Jerry couldn’t stand the sight of a dead animal. He tried hosing the pests then – Jerry simply opened a valve and flooded their holes. They have escaped the watery hell only to return in a couple of weeks. Jerry still had food.
The man decided to do what we, humans, do best. He adapted. My friend quickly learned how to trap ground squirrels. And he switched to a more professional selection of pest extermination solutions.
The value of traps combined with effective squirrel poisons was now his to wield. Do I need to say the problem appeared no more?
We will focus on some of the tools Jerry used in his fight against the fierce wilderness a little bit later. For now, we will discuss the kinds of squirrel traps that are available to you.
The science behind this trap is simple. You’ll be using a container or another mechanism with food in it. The bait lures the prey, and you claim the trophy. It’s as simple as that. It’s the most humane option.
These devices usually contain two metal plates and a battery. The point is to electrocute a pest once it is inside. These traps are usually covered with plastic in order to protect the insides from rain.
A body grip is a trap you place outside a squirrel hole. It is triggered once the animal pokes its head out of the burrow. The solution is effective, but somewhat grisly so avoid it if you are faint of heart.
This is one of the most effective methods you can use to get rid of ground squirrels. It is similar in nature to flooding with the exception of using gas or smoke instead of water. The gas will also leave a scent that is unpleasant to animals so you’ll be safe from rodents for a while. Do note that this method requires extreme caution as you probably don’t want to spoil the land.
Best Ground Squirrels Control Remedies
Now that we’ve covered the “who” and the “why” issues, let’s answer the most important question most of you have probably asked by now – how to do it? How to get rid of ground squirrels in my yard?
These remedies should do the trick. They’ve helped me over and over again throughout the entirety of my career in pest control, so I am sure they will do the trick for you as well.
1. Bonide Repels-All Ready to Use – the Best Ground Squirrel Repellent
- Active ingredients: dried blood, egg solids and garlic oil
- Application Type: Spray
- Item Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 4 x 2 x 12 inches
- Target Species: Rabbits, Squirrels, Raccoons, Armadillos, Skunks, Deer, Chipmunks, Dogs, Cats, Porcupines, Birds, Mice, Rats, Groundhogs, Voles, Moles, Shrews
The Bonide (BND238) Repels-All Animal Repellent is designed to protect your plants from several species of animals including elks, deer, chipmunks and, of course, ground squirrels. A single bottle is enough to spray 1000+ 1-foot-high plants.
The repellent is safe for humans so you can apply it to fruit and vegetable plants. However, I would suggest against spraying it over edible species.
Bonide is best applied before the animal browse begins so use it at the very beginning of the growing season. The solution is to be reapplied every two weeks, otherwise, the effect will wear off.
The formula is based on dried blood and vegetable oils producing sticky scent most animals dislike. Repels-All is made in the US.
2. Gonzo 100518702 – the Best Ground Squirrel Trap
- No Poisons Or Gases
- Material: Plastic and Steel
- Item Weight: 12 ounces
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Target Species: Gophers, Moles
This rust-resistant squirrel trap plays a trick on the animal’s survival instinct. The device is shaped like a tube – a naturally safe place most rodents will run into to hide. In addition to being resistant to rust, the trap is armor-coated to prevent it from weather-related wear & tear.
The tube is small in diameter which is great news for dog lovers. Your fluffy friends will not be able to stick their noses into the tube trying to reach for the dead squirrel. The trap is painstakingly simple in use, and it is as reliable as an iron hammer.
Do note that this trap does not simply capture pests. It is lethal to every rodent deciding to stroll inside for a quick snack. Judging from my personal experience, a single trap will catch you two to four squirrels per week.
3. Contrac Blox Rodent Control Rodenticide – the Best Poison Bait for Ground Squirrels
- Active Ingredient: Bromadiolone 0.005%
- Number of pieces: 288 x 1 oz blocks
- Item Weight: 18 pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 12.35 x 13.5 x 11.35 inches
- Target Species: Rats and Mice
This poison offers the perfect balance between good-smelling bits of yummy rodent food and paraffin – a particularly effective, yet safe-ish pest killer. The bait lasts for a long time. There is no need to refill traps for one and a half to two months.
Paraffin is safe to the touch, and it is not toxic. The formula has little to no effect on non-target animals.
4. Tomcat Bait Station – the Best Ground Squirrel Bait Station
- Material: Plastic
- Number of Pieces: 15
- Item Weight: 0.13 Pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 3.38 x 9.69 x 6.25 inches
- Target Species: Rats and Mice
A decent rodenticide and a bait station might be the best way to get rid of ground squirrels hustle-free. And Tomcat is one of the superior solutions the market has to offer.
Open the lid, add the bait, put the trap near the place of squirrel activity, and feel free to enjoy a sip of well-earned, ice-cold lemonade. The lid is designed with protection against children and animals, so you are safe to leave the station in your backyard.
5. Atlas Giant Destroyer 00333 Gas Bomb – One of the Best Gas Bombs for Exterminating Ground Squirrels
- Contains: 4 cartridges per card, 2 cards per pack. 8 total tubes
- Cartridge Size: 2 oz each
- Item Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 12.3 x 9.2 x 7 inches
- Target Species: Gophers, Moles, Woodchucks, Rats, Skunks, and Ground Squirrels
These gas bombs are designed for smoking pests from their underground tunnels. The gas does not damage plant roots. Moreover, the cartridges can be extinguished with water if lit accidentally. The gas bomb is a quick and effective solution to deal with an ongoing infestation.
How to Get Rid of Ground Squirrels Naturally?
Except their peculiar teeth, rodents are known for their survivability. Therefore, getting rid of an infestation with non-lethal force is a particularly tedious process.
The first thing you are to remember as a humane squirrel hunter is that these pests will always return as long as there’s “free food” within their grasp. So if you or anyone from your family has a particularly kind heart and is feeding the cute little fuzz balls, the squirrels will never leave.
On the other hand, a slight twist on the formula can do miracles. Choose a fitting spot that’s far from your home and repurpose it into an all-you-can-eat squirrel buffet. There won’t be a reason for the rodents to invade your property if there are nuts, acorns, and other snacks lying around in the woods.Then sprinkle your yard with Cayenne pepper or paprika. Most animals can’t stand the smell of pepper.
Alternatively, you can decorate your lawn with mulch, gravel, or decorative rocks. There can’t be any ground squirrels if there’s no ground to dig holes in, right?
Lastly, there’s the netting/fencing option. On the bright side, you’ll keep your precious fruits and vegetables safe from squirrels, birds, and pesky neighbors. On the downside, a fence might not fit into your home’s design. But hey, at least your ground squirrel problems are over!
Do Squirrels Dig Tunnels?
Some species of squirrels do dig holes in the ground in order to store food. Ground squirrels in particular are known for digging entire labyrinths of caverns.
How to Fill Ground Squirrel Holes?
One cannot fill a squirrel hole with ground, as it is merely an entrance to a larger underground maze. It is better to use a combination of water and a sand solution in order to fill the tunnel in its entirety.
How to Get Rid of Ground Squirrels Without Killing Them?
Getting rid of squirrels without harming them is a tedious process, but it is possible. Use a combination of natural pest control practices such as sprinkling your yard with cayenne pepper, covering the area with mulch, gravel, or decorative rocks, and installing netting or fencing.
Can Digger Squirrels Harm Your House?
These tiny critters do not harm one’s household directly, but they are always hungry and happy to get more food stocked for winter. Therefore, these pests are capable of harming your trees, plants, and vegetables.
More on the matter, these squirrels are rodents. They are categorized by their continuously growing teeth. A squirrel can chew sprinkler heads, wires, or cables simply to scratch an itch.
Are Digger Squirrels a Threat to Humans?
A single squirrel is potentially harmless. A healthy specimen will run away from humans.
However, a larger population poses a threat to human health. Squirrels carry a plethora of diseases and fleas, which, in turn, can be a source of the devastating bubonic plague.
Will Rat Poison Kill Squirrels?
Depending on the type of the active poison in the formula, a solution designed for killing rats may kill squirrels. That being said, rat poisons are not designed for this purpose, ergo it may be ineffective.
Let the Hunt Begin!
Ground squirrels may look cute, but a rodent infestation poses a serious threat. From spreading contagious diseases through fleas to damaging the structure of your home’s foundation, the squirrel fever is not a force to be trifled with.
Luckily, now you know about the dangers behind the fluffy tails of cute squirrels and, more importantly, you are armed with the arsenal of lethal and natural solutions to your liking.
Which tools would you prefer? Are you a fan of natural anti-squirrel measures or would you rather tend to lethal force in order to keep your home safe and sound? Or, maybe, you haven’t made up your mind just yet? Don’t hesitate and ask if you still have any remaining questions.
- Ground Squirrel (University of California):
- Squirrels (Michael Mengak, University of Georgia):
- Rodents (Michigan State University Pesticide Education):
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