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Ground Squirrel Removal
updated: Jul 18, 2014, 2:15 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

HELP !!! i have ground squirrels under my shed. they have 2 burrows, and i need to get rid of them without killing them. EDHATTERS, I NEED YOUR HELP !!! thank you !!!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 536721P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 02:36 PM

Please call SB Wildlife Care Network and ask them. Thank you for not killing wildlife.



 COMMENT 536725 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 02:37 PM

If the access point is relatively small, a Scarecrow by Contech may do the trick if you're creative when setting it up. Solved our raccoon problem.


 COMMENT 536727 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 02:39 PM

Play Barry Manilow music nonstop; they will soon leave. Or, make sure they have departed, then block the openings. Or, you can borrow my Beagle! She'll chase them away.


 COMMENT 536728 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 02:40 PM

Surround it with wire mesh.


 COMMENT 536750 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 03:27 PM

OK, this is weird but it works...clean out your cat litter box and empty the waste in the burrows. This has worked for me many times. If you don't have cats I'm sure someone in your neighborhood would love to donate to the cause.


 COMMENT 536757P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 03:50 PM

Actually, it's the cat litter with pee clumps.... NOT the poop clumps. Cat & Dog poop contain a lot of protein, which rodents will eat, if desperate.

I've done the cat-pee cat litter clumps into gopher holes and it does work, but only moves them over to a new hole. Will not get rid of them.


 COMMENT 536772 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 04:15 PM

It's one thing to preserve wildlife whenever possible, but there's more than one reason ground squirrels are considered vermin:

a) They cause a huge amount of damage to landscaping by their interconnected burrows and by eating ornamental and food plants.

b) Most importantly they are highly susceptible to bubonic plague - even if you don't have close contact with the squirrels, their fleas may infest any nearby pets and transmit the disease to you that way.

And you folks who think you're doing a good thing by leaving food and water out for wildlife really are playing with fire - with the cost of medical care having gone completely through the roof, I really don't understand why anyone would risk so much catering to wild animals.

The fact is that animals have survived droughts in this area for eons, and the Indians certainly weren't so foolish as to encourage wildlife to share their living space the way supposedly modern humans do.


 COMMENT 536788 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 04:38 PM

Call Steve with Eraticators he will be able to remove them without killing them, super nice guy as well! 805 451 7287


 COMMENT 536797P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 04:45 PM

Am told that's how the Sydney Australia Botanical Garden rid its trees of bats - thought it was an urban legend - but maybe not - playing Barry Manilow music is what they supposedly tried after many other failed efforts.


 COMMENT 536832 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 06:15 PM

Rattlesnake. Then Peafowl to get rid of the rattlesnake. Then catch the bird and dump it in Hope Ranch.


 COMMENT 536854 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 07:27 PM

Borrow any kind of Terrier from a neighbor. Suckers will dig those raskaly rodents out in mere minutes. If you are quick...you can stop the mutt from rag dolling their catch.


 COMMENT 536864 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 08:01 PM

For God's sake, kill them. They are well known for the spread of a number of very serious illnesses, among them, bubonic plague and tularemia. Do us all a favor and dispatch them.


 COMMENT 536888P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 09:26 PM

In the past 10 years there have been an average of five cases per year of bubonic plague reported in the entire USA. Most cases were not even attributable to rodents of any kind. Hardly sounds like some horrifying pandemic necessitating that we all declare war on squirrels. Honestly. Some people.

As for the vacuous argument that local Native Americans (Indians? Really?) weren't "encouraging wildlife" . . .Gee. I wonder how many mountain lions, bears, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, rabbits, rats and squirrels there were, back in the day, per capita? Do you think the locals were outnumbered by much? Do you think their activities had anywhere near the impact on wildlife that our activities do now? Silly.


 COMMENT 536889 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-18 09:29 PM

Mothballs! Several thrown under my house repelled ground squirrels and skunks. Just don't use so many they repel you!


 COMMENT 536905P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 12:12 AM

Don't use loose mothballs, please.
Put them in an old sock or panty hose and tie a long string to the package so you can retrieve it. Mothballs may be effective.

I've used Steve the Eraticator for other mammals, please do call him!
I totally agree with borrowing a dog. Beagle good, terrier best! Hope you can find a Jack/Parson Russell Terrier. The perfect physical and mental exercise for the dog, let them do what they were bred to do.

I agree that disease is not much of an issue. If you're concerned, do real research, like through the CDC. Talk to your vet if you have pets.

As pro-animal as I am, I have never found or heard of a successful way to control ground squirrels aside from killing them. Just don't use poison. (Mothballs are poisonous, that's why you want to be able to retrieve the poison. They act as a deterrent not a killer.)
Maybe the rat zapper will work. This would be a good choice.

Google "ground squirrel control"


(Sorry. This discusses poison)




and tons more


 COMMENT 536906P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 12:16 AM

Oh this is amazing. And very funny. Shows what you're up against:


"Ah yes. Ground squirrels. The bane of my existence for two long years. Every day I found more holes, some of them under the slab floors of the pole barns, where they excavated so much sand for their burrows that the concrete cracked. We had fleas in our yard for the first time and I had to have it treated. And of course you know those little bas****s were out there laughing at the dog and I each time I came home. And then they started to eat the house. I don't know what it was, but they'd climb onto the cedar siding with their little devil-like claws and gnaw away, I'm sure trying to infiltrate. It finally became apparent that I would have to do something to the cute little creatures when I came home one day to find almost a dozen of them out on the lawn. They scattered when I let the dog out to their respective homes, but I knew this gang of terrorists would be back.

That night, dreams of chipmunks and ground squirrels ran through my head; all of them sitting in lawn chairs on my lawn drinking tiny little bottles of beer and laughing at the dog and I. I vowed to get them the next morning, reasoning that I, a much larger and more intelligent creature, would have no trouble ridding my world of these horrid little things.

So, armed with my superior intellect and trusty dog, we set out. Our first plan was to scare them away; so I stuffed everything from rat poison to salt down their holes. I used hair, human and dog (I brushed the dog so much I thought she'd go bald). I used vinegar. I tried ammonia. I tried bleach. I tried bleach and ammonia and had my own version of WWI mustard gas (long day that was). I tried commerical killers and homemade ones. I used everything I could find in the kitchen cupboards, garage, and under the sink to drive them out (being careful, of course, not to poison the groundwater by doing something stupid, like using oil or gas). I tried salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and even sprayed some of the holes with Mace. Nope. They used the condiments on the tree parts they had ripped down and were now feeding on. Probably used the ammonia and bleach to clean out their dens, and the poison was ineffective.

By this time, of course, I was really racking my brain to figure this one out. The dog and I pondered than... [ more ]


 COMMENT 536908P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 12:21 AM

"By this time, of course, I was really racking my brain to figure this one out. The dog and I pondered than decided to get mean. I tried flushing them out with water. Well, the first hole took forever to fill (those things can be big), so I turned up the water pressure. When the hole filled, the chipmunk ran out, up my leg, up my chest, and jumped over the dog to another hole. So, I got a shovel. After I filled up the next one, I got ready to bean him (her?) when it ran out. Slowly the hole filled, and finally out popped the squirrel. Just as I started down with the shovel, who steps in to get it but, of course, the dog. I narrowly missed plonking my own dog in the head, and of course this one got away. So on the next hole, when it came out, I let the dog chase it. So, after about three minutes of this ridiculous circus of a 100 lb. dog chasing this little thing, I of course had to jump in. So there are the two of us running around trying to get it. Finally we did. After weeks of planning and operations, we had, with great expenditures, managed to get one of the enemy. But, I must say, it was quite unpleasant, and my wife was mortified.

So, her idea was to capture and relocate them (which I'm against simply because you're basically relocating your problems to someone else). So, out came the hav-a-hart traps, which worked very well. You can get them at Home Depot. I'd set two every morning, baited with animal crackers (that I found to be rather ironic), and each evening, I'd have two. Then my wife would relocate them to the back the woods (3/4 mile). This went on at great length for quite a while until I noticed one day, a particularly surly and tough looking ground squirrel who I thought I'd seen before. He had the "evil squirrel" eyes and a big head. So this one I marked with marking paint. She reloacted them. Two days later, guess what--I had an blaze orange, surly looking chipmunk trapped again. Enough I said.

Oops. Posted enough for now. I'll post back tonight how I finally got rid of them."


 COMMENT 536909P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 12:28 AM

Just too good and well-written a story not to finish:
(OP, you are in for a ton of work!)

"I'm back to finish this twisted and macrabe horror story. By now, of course, I had the things everywhere; under the workshop, the garage, next to the house, the well...and so on. Things were getting desperate.

I tried a couple other measures; I used M80's, which didn't faze them, I thought about capturing them and then drowning them, but that was too horrid even for my mind. But I was close.

The first thing I did was to go around and fill all the holes in the "non-lawn" with concrete. The holes around the well, around the workshop and garage and house...any area that had a hole but wasn't part of the lawn (I didn't want to try and "mow" the concrete, and I didn't want this permenant patch of grey--I could forsee a future time when it was nothing but a patchwork of grey and grass across all of my yard). I used a big funnel and a 7/8" tube connected to it, mixed a slurry of sand mix and entombed the little creatures. We continued to trap; two a day, including Mr. Surly, and the wife transported them to much more distant locations (sorry folks, broke my own word. Don't know where she left them, but my line in the sand was at least five miles). Then, I talked my neighbor (without a dog), to start feeding a couple very large stray cats that were in the neighborhood. He left food and water for them, and these two Toms (they must be--they are huge), begin the prowl. Dog and I went around for two long days finding little squirrel holes and filling them with dirt, rocks, sticks, dynamite (sorry, that was my fantasy), and salt on both my and my neighbor's property. Like I said, the first couple days were long.

We continued this each evening for several weeks; I'd walk the yard and Dog would point out any likely holes. I'd fill them. We'd trap the critters and move them. And I think that the cats did what they were supposed to do."


 COMMENT 536910P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 12:29 AM

The end:

"In all honesty, I think it was the harrassment and "removal" that did them in; removing the trapped ones to somewhere else (you could "dispose" of them if you so choose), and then constantly filling in their holes, pouring crap down them, and so on is what caused the few remaining to move on. However, it took a long time, and I have a sneaky suspicion that the two cats are one of the main reasons we don't see a resurgance. Anyhow, that's my sordid tale; harrassment, removal, and killer animals seem to have done the deed for me. But I check, everytime I mow our here in the country or walk around with the dog. Like the Exorcist Devil, I'm afraid that one day they'll be back."



 COMMENT 536911P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 12:46 AM

I love this story! Thanks for posting it.

Good luck to the OP. Go ahead and rent the movie Caddyshack. You'll know you are in good company.


 COMMENT 536912P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 01:16 AM

Plague info from CDC:

Plague is transmitted by fleas. Rodents harbor the bacteria. It is treatable, thank goodness. CA news covers cases when they occur, it's usually campers. Guess sleeping on the ground, even in a tent, has something to do with that. (Don't forget the original Hantavirus outbreak and hysteria. Hanta is still out there too. http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/)

"Fleas become infected by feeding on rodents, such as chipmunks, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, mice, and other mammals that are infected with the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Fleas transmit the bacteria to humans and other mammals during a subsequent feeding. The bacteria survive a few days in the blood of rodents and for longer periods in the fleas.

Between 1900 and 2010, 999 confirmed or probable human plague cases occurred in the US. In recent decades, an average of 7 human plague cases are reported each year.

Plague occurs in rural and semi-rural areas of the western US; most common in the southwestern states, particularly New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado."

Plague is a rare but treatable illness. Hard to control chipmunks & squirrels without killing them. It's not like they're endangered.

Be afraid of bats. If one ever gets into your house, get out. Many have rabies and most people don't know they've been bitten by one. Nasty stories in the CDC's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. A bat got in my place once, I told my roommates not to go near it. We got it shut in the bathroom without chasing it, opened the door a few days later and found it dead. It was rabid, it was picked up and tested. There's a great thing our city & county animal control and public health does! Dammm, that was scary, even more so in hindsight.


 COMMENT 536931 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 07:15 AM

I've only seen one in 25 years at my house, it was in my 18 lb. cats mouth trying to bite him. Soon rocky the squirrel was dead. Our neighborhood has lots of cats, hence no squirrels. It's nature, and death by nature is accepted. I'd like to kill all the coyotes tho, they're taking one cat per week it seems.


 COMMENT 536974P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 08:46 AM

Buy the large containers of coarse ground pepper and/or crushed red peppers at Costco and put a half cup down their burrow holes, then cover up. More importantly, if you keep a bird seed feeder in your yard, there will be squirrels. As a note, the pepper around your fence line also discourages skunks and raccoons for several weeks.


 COMMENT 536975 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 08:48 AM

My favorite story about bat bites is the time when one of the waiters at the old 11-29 restaurant was out on the deck of his home in Mission Canyon laying on a lounge chair in the early evening and was bitten by a bat. He had to go through the rather painful rabies shots (needles to the torso) and was out of work fo two weeks. In a playfull mood, the day he returned to work for the first time, his clever co-workers had surrounded the etire U shaped bar and services stations in the restaurant with little wooden crosses illuminated by the little table candles.


 COMMENT 536987 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 09:16 AM

Up here in rural San Luis Obispo County we are blessed with a limitless supply of ground squirrels and gophers, in spite of plenty of hawks, gopher snakes and coyotes. What keeps them sort of at bay on my place are feral cats that have a large colony that we feed and fix. It's hard to know which group is the most difficult to deal with, but at least the squirrels and gophers aren't having lawn parties - and for the first time in 20 years, no mice in the house. The cats DO have lawn parties. Just down the road from me there's a house with an actual ground squirrel habitat built by the owner and the squirrels that you have to see to believe. Very entertaining and so obviously just mini prairie dogs! A go with the flow approach.


 COMMENT 536990 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 09:21 AM

send them to a restaurant


 COMMENT 536996 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 09:35 AM

Take a small live animal trap like the "Have A Hart".

Leave door open and bait with peanuts.

Squirrel starts to eat the peanuts.

Set the trap door.

Next time the squirrel goes in to eat, the door closes behind it.

Now what you do with the live squirrel is up to you.


 COMMENT 537001 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 09:55 AM

My 5 acres are overrun with ground squirrels who wreak havoc in the corrals with their enormous holes (very dangerous for the horses). I have barn cats, cat litter, dogs, hawks - nothing works, they multiply way too fast. The only
thing that slows them down is a cage contraption called the Squirrelinator (amazon). Works like crazy. You can kill or relocate (why???) them. Chicken feed works best as bait. Could probably solve your problem since your area is small.


 COMMENT 537189P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-19 08:47 PM

They're ground squirrels. They are prolific, damaging, and a pest. This "thank you for not killing" is bunk when it comes to pests. We help numerous organic farmers kill their ground squirrels (by shooting them). 1 squirrel eats the equivalent of 3 bushels of produce a year. It's like thanking someone for not killing a mosquito. Some animals are really good at overpopulating, and we really don't need to save every one.


 COMMENT 705585P agree helpful negative off topic

2016-05-25 03:12 PM

We inadvertently created an ideal ground squirrel habitat. Andy Lockwood was the person who got our problem under control. He knows his stuff, listens, is easy to work with, and is responsive and reliable. He's at thewildlifetrappersb.com 805-794-9289


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