How to get rid of ground squirrels?

How to get rid of ground squirrels

Ground squirrels seem cute when you watch them in movies or cartoons. But don’t be fooled; these creatures are not as cute and harmless as they seem.

These rodents can wreak untold damage on your farm, lawn, or garden, leaving you to wonder if they’re the same cute, cuddly creatures.

We’re sure you are reading this article because you agree with us. Ground squirrels can constitute a nuisance and need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

But how do you get rid of ground squirrels?

First of all, let’s discuss how to identify these rodent pests.

Table of Contents

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What Does A Ground Squirrel Look Like?

Ground squirrels are rodents, meaning they are mammals and have pronounced incisors. All rodents have the same facial appearance, so that a ground squirrel may look like a giant rat or a chipmunk.

But unlike rats, they have a bushy tail covered in fur.

Their fur is usually dark-colored. It could either be a deep shade of gray, brown or have mixed coloration. Some ground squirrels have a strip of darker fur running from their head to their tails, like the 13-lined ground squirrel.

Like the Barbary ground squirrels, other ground squirrels have strips of dark brown fur run from their head to tail against their pale white coat. So ground squirrels can have different appearances, depending on their species.

Like other rodents, they have eyes at the side of the head and pronounced external ears.

Ground squirrels can also stand upright, even though they move on all fours. They have sharp claws too, which they use for scratching and holding objects.

How to get rid of ground squirrels

 

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Are Ground Squirrels Harmful to Humans?

  • Yes. Ground squirrels are harmful to humans and pets.

    These rodents host many diseases like rabies, plaques, ringworm, and the bubonic plague. If the ground squirrels contact you or your pets, they would likely spread these diseases to you.

What Damage Do Ground Squirrels Cause?

Apart from gnawing on your outdoor decorations or wiring, what other damage can ground squirrels do?

Well, you already know that they make their homes by burrowing.

They could dig up your lawn and garden by making burrows which could make your space look untidy. As they burrow, they damage plants in that area.

For example, if they want to make their home in your garden, they will destroy your plants with reckless abandon by uprooting them.

Ground squirrels are also known for eating flowers, fruits, and seeds. Anything growing in your garden is in danger of these pests.

Now, when ground squirrels burrow close to your house, it can cause an even bigger problem. They can result in problems for your house’s foundation by causing cracks in it.

These cracks can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. If not dealt with promptly, these cracks can interfere with the structural integrity of your home.

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When Is The Best Time to Deal with Ground Squirrels?

If you have a ground squirrel problem, it’s best to treat it in the summer or the spring.

This is because most squirrel activity is seen during summer. They hibernate during winter, so it will be tough to spot and deal with them by then.

As for spring, the ground is usually still moist and will absorb most poison bait and pest control methods.

Since ground squirrels can birth around 30 baby squirrels per year, it’s essential to start treatment as soon as you notice 2 or 3 in your yard.

If you stall for a month or two, you might wake up to a full-blown squirrel infestation.

How Do I Get Rid of Ground Squirrels Permanently?

You know how ground squirrels look like now. 

You’ve also seen that a ground squirrel problem should be dealt with immediately, primarily because these pests can cause a lot of damage to your property.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of ground squirrels, there are a plethora of ways you can do this.

Some people don’t feel comfortable killing squirrels, and that’s fine.

There are methods you can use to eliminate them without killing them

For those who don’t like chemicals, there are natural/ organic methods to eliminate these rodents.

Let’s look at the methods that do not involve killing the squirrels directly before we move to the more gruesome ones.

1. Noise

Ground squirrels might be annoying and unruly, but one thing they run away from is noise. Just the way rats scamper at the slightest noise. Ground squirrels also move away from the noise as much as possible.

Now, it would be time-consuming for you to sit on your lawn making noise to chase ground squirrels away. What you can do is purchase some vibrating stakes and an ultrasonic repeller.

Vibrating stakes are small devices, usually solar-powered. They are sold in packs of four, six, or eight. You don’t have to make any killing, and the squirrels will surely leave your ‘noisy’ yard alone.

The Thanos® Solar Sonic Ground Squirrel Repellent uses sonic audio pulse waves to penetrate the earth and generate a particularly unpleasant sound for burrowing pests, including the ground squirrels.

No longer will they invade your garden, ruin lawns, and destroy flowerbeds.

2. Water

Water is an effective way of getting rid of ground squirrels without killing them. All you need to do is to connect a hose to a water source like a tap.

Make sure the water comes out with enough pressure because that pressure will go deep down into the burrows to chase out the squirrel. Position your hose at the entrance of the burrow and release a jet of water into it.

Within a few minutes, you will see the wet squirrels running out of their burrows. After chasing them out, you can use any of the things we listed out in the latter part of this article to fill their holes.

3. Smelly fish

Squirrels do not like the smell of stale fish because of its strong smell. You can take advantage of this by putting stale fish around your property.

While this might not be practicable every day, you can combine it with another method or use it once in a while. The squirrels will run once they perceive the smelly fish.

4. Certain plants

There are certain plants that ground squirrels would not even like to touch. Plants like mint, Narcissus, and crown imperial are repulsive to them. Plant these “squirrel-repelling” plants around your yard and watch how squirrels would avoid them.

You can also plant them near areas you notice ground squirrels enter your yard. These plants will act as a natural hedge for your space.

5. Castor oil

Castor oil is a natural pest repellant suitable for getting rid of ground squirrels. The castor oil works by repelling the squirrels with its scent.

To use castor oil in your yard, mix half a cup of it with a tablespoon of washing liquid. Then, mix this solution in half a gallon of water. The mixture can be used anywhere on your lawn or around your yard as it is not harmful to plants.

5. Fencing

Fencing is not a method of eliminating squirrels but rather a way to control ground squirrels.

Fencing involves using mesh or hardware cloth to secure your plants or areas you don’t want the squirrels to trespass.

The fencing material must go down into the soil at least 7 inches to prevent ground squirrels from borrowing their way through to the other side of the fence.

Although this method could be expensive, it is suitable for gardens as it prevents other pests from ruining your garden too.

 

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Can I Use Coffee Grounds for Ground Squirrels?

  • No.

    You should not use coffee grounds for grounds squirrels because they are ineffective. Coffee grounds will not deter or chase away these animals as the smell doesn’t affect them in any way.

    Moreover, it is not proven that coffee grounds are effective against ground squirrels. 

  •  

  • You could use coffee grounds for other things on your lawn, like adding organic matter or nutrients, but for ground squirrels.

 
 

Can Gum Kill Ground Squirrels?

  • No. Bubble gum cannot kill ground squirrels.

    A school of thought believes gum kills ground squirrels after they ingest it, but so far, there is no evidence to show that gum works.

What can I put in a ground squirrel’s hole?

  • There are many things you can use to fill up a ground squirrel’s hole or burrow openings.

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  • You can start putting back the earth they dug up into the hole till it is completely covered. You can also put mothballs into their holes.

    Mothballs will chase a ground squirrel and gophers away.

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  • But if you’re looking to fill up their home, you have to get a lot of water and sand.

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  • Squirrel holes can be very deep, so it will be hard to cover every inch of them.

 
 

Conclusion

  • We’ve shown you how to get rid of ground squirrels. It is pretty easy once you follow the instructions highlighted in this article.

    Remember, you have first to eliminate them before you prevent them. If you try to prevent them without getting rid of them, you would only be wasting time as they will always come back.

    It’s not advisable to use the natural predators of ground squirrels like hawks and snakes to get rid of them. This is because these predators usually do more harm than good to you and your pets.

    Instead we recommend to use Thanos sonic repellent.

    The Thanos® Solar Sonic Mole Repellent uses the solar power to send out bursts of strong sonic pulse waves at the exact frequency burrowing pests are highly susceptible to.

    This drives them from the area the device is located in and keeps them away for the duration it’s active.

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