How to get rid of ground squirrels? Every living thing is designed in its own unique way to contribute positively one way or the other to the ecosystem. Squirrels are beautiful and amazing creatures until they start wreaking havoc in your yard or even in your home. You are probably worried about squirrel infection or impending intrusion of the rodent in your environment. There is no need to worry as this post will furnish you with the necessary details you need to get rid of the rodent as well as prevent future intrusion.
What Is A Ground Squirrel?
A ground squirrel is a small to medium sized rodent in the class Mammalia and family Sciuridae. Although squirrels are indigenous to Eurasia, America, and Africa, they were introduced to Austrailia by humans. The creatures are short-tailed and are mostly patterned in brown. The largest living member of the family Sciuridae is known as the alpine marmot, which weighs about 8 kg and measures about 73 cm in length.
Ground squirrels may be found in fields, golf courses, rocky outcrops, pastures, hillsides, parks, and even cemeteries. Some species that prefer to burrow may be found in trees or in holes under the ground. Although squirrels are considered as pests in many countries, it is not allowed to kill the rodent without a permit in others. Ground squirrels are considered omnivorous animals because they feed on a variety of food including fruits, fungi, nuts, insects, seeds, eggs, and even smaller animals.
Does A Ground Squirrel Pose A Threat To My Health?
A ground squirrel will not physically attack you in any way unless it is threatened. The creature is wise as it will do everything possible to avoid direct contact with you, thanks to its swift movement. This is a good thing but it does not prevent some species of the creature such as chipmunks from entering your home. Although they do not come into your home to bite you, they may be carrying a disease that they can pass through the urine or stool or even by just roaming around the house.
They also try to find food like fruits and nuts in your kitchen thereby causing damage to your utensils and food as well as making them unsafe to use. Ground squirrels sometimes nibble on the wooden frames and furniture in your home thereby causing damage that may cause leakage or expose your building to other types of pest.
Ground Squirrels May Damage Your Yard
Squirrels in your yard may dig holes that may be detrimental to you and your family. This should be treated more seriously if you have kids that love to play in the yard. Ground squirrel holes may lead to accidents especially if you are unaware of their presence. Their hole may range from small to a medium size – a tactic to prevent the intrusion of bigger predators.
A large number of squirrels in your yard may disturb the soil thereby preventing your lawn from thriving well. In Addition, the creatures are famous with seed as may dig up the seeds you plant in your garden so as to store it for future consumption. The activities of a ground squirrel are what can be described as a typical nuisance rather than directly dangerous.
Benefits Of Ground Squirrels
If you are currently experiencing the nuisance associated with the activities of ground squirrel in and around your home, it may be hard for you to agree with the information contained in this section. Notwithstanding, the rodent may have a few benefits for you and your environment.
For instance, it has been found that ground squirrels sometimes feed on smaller rodents as well as other small animals like snake, and lizard, just to name a few. The rodent may help prevent the activities of another rodent and snakes that may pose an even stiffer threat on your health. It does this directly by feeding on them or indirectly by scaring them away.
How To Check For Ground Squirrel Infestation
First, if you are only worried about the prevalence of ground squirrel infestation in the region you stay and neighboring houses, you should consider taking a tour around your yard, attic, basement, and crawl spaces. In your yard, you should try finding their holes, which is not hard to spot if you look closely. However, you may be looking for a totally different thing indoors such as their stool, urine, and damage caused to wooden shelves, frames and furniture.
Secondly, if luck shines on your path, you or any member of your family may spot the creature as it is known to stand upright every now and then in search of an approaching danger. This makes it easier to spot from a long distance compared to other creatures. However, spotting may not be the best way to confirm a ground squirrel infestation, since the creature has a habit of hibernating itself for up to 250 days in a year.
How To Prevent Ground Squirrels
So, how to get rid of ground squirrels? You may either opt for DIY methods to get rid of ground squirrels or employ the services of professionals. This is highly dependant on the number of ground squirrels in or around your home as well as a matter of personal preference. However, it is important that to state that most professionals will resort to any means in order to complete their task which may include shooting where there is a large population of the rodent or poisoning.
Poisoning may negatively affect the plants in your lawn and garden as well as other useful creatures in the soil. It may also have adverse side effects on you. Poisoning is considered inhumane as there is no means of escape for the creatures. Additionally, it doesn’t scare them and may not prevent the future infestation of your property. So, how to get rid of squirrels? Here are a few DIY ways to get rid of ground squirrels:
1. Build A Fence Around Your Garden
You should consider building a fence around your garden or lawn to keep squirrels out. This is one of the most effective methods when looking for a way to get rid of the creatures in your yard. The method is easy and it will go a long way to protect your home from infestation with other pests. Also, it does not involve the use of any toxic chemical that may be harmful to you, your kids, pets or the environment. There are many different fencing materials on the market and the best one will be dependent only on your personal preference.
However, it is important to make sure that the material you intend to use will do a good job of preventing the furry creatures from getting access to your plants. It is also important to go for a durable one that is designed to keep the fence standing for a really long time. To further fortify your yard against squirrel invasion, it is advised to spray a squirrel repellent on the ground next to the fence. This will help you to make sure that they don’t dig their way through.
The downside of using the fence method of getting rid of squirrel is that it is somewhat expensive compared to other methods of getting rid of the pest. Setting up the fence may also require homeowners to dedicate an ample into the project thereby rendering the method unideal for busy homeowners. Without professional help, setting up the fence may not be an easy task for many people. Also, the fence may not be effective in keeping the creatures out since they just find other ways to gain access to your yard.
2. Purchase A Ground Squirrel Repellent
This is another effective way to get rid of ground squirrel. There are many repellents on the market specially designed to get rid of squirrels. Unlike the fencing method, the squirrel repellent method is inexpensive. The method is also relatively effective and easy to use. Most ground squirrel repellents are made from natural ingredients that may be safe to use in your yard without any posing any harm to you, your kids or your environment.
A renown natural ground squirrel repellent is the FoxPee. The repellent is made of pure pee of the fox. The FoxPee is widely used by homeowners because it is believed to be effective in scaring the rodents thereby keeping it away from your yard. This is because FoxPee and other similar repellants are designed to produce odors that are similar to that of the urine of predators thereby making the creature believe that there is a predator around the corner.
The repellants may be sprayed around your building and other areas you don’t want the creature to invade. However, it is important to state that the repellent will not be effective for keeping ground squirrels away from areas that the repellent wasn’t sprayed. For this reason, it advised to spray it all around your home and in areas through which the creatures gain access to your home.
3. Make Your Own Pepper Repellent
The pepper repellent is another effective method used to keep ground squirrels at bay.
It is common knowledge that ground squirrels do not like pepper. Just like the predator pee method, this method is inexpensive since you may find most of the ingredients in your kitchen. It is easy to use and all you have to do is mix all the ingredient together and spray. The method is also safe for you, your kids, pets, and your environment since it does not involve the use of any toxic chemical.
To effectively use the pepper repellent to get rid of ground squirrel, you will need to get ground cayenne pepper, chili pepper, and black pepper as well as water and a spray bottle. Mix the peppers in the spray bottle and add water. After that, spray the mixture around the areas you wish to protect will do a good job in keeping the rodent out. Alternatively, you may spray a mixture of ground chili, cayenne, and black peppers without adding water which is equally effective in keeping ground squirrels at bay.
Bitter Creams and Gels
The bitter get method of getting rid of ground squirrel is another effective method you should consider trying. There are different types of bitter gels and creams formulated to keep squirrels away from your property. The wisdom behind using this method is that these repellents are usually bitter and bad tasting. They are usually applied on the bottom of tree, decks, and fences.
Ground squirrels love to nibble on wood but after tasting the bitter gel, the creature may be discouraged to cause any more damage and maybe eventually decide to relocate. However, it is important to state that this method may not be the most effective one available to you as it may not be of much use in terms of a heavy ground squirrel infestation.
Also, the method is only used to protect trees, fences, decks and the likes. This invariably means that it does not protect other parts of your yard from the destructive effects of the activities of the pests. With this method, the ground squirrel may just choose to avoid the tree and continue with their normal activities in other parts of your yard.
Trapping is an easy and highly effective method you should consider trying out. Squirrel traps are considered more humane than other means such as shooting and poisoning because the equipment allows you to captures the creature alive. This leaves you with an option to either kill the rodent or relocate it to somewhere far from your home. There are many squirrel traps on the market and the good thing is that they are relatively inexpensive.
Another advantage of using squirrel traps is that you may not be left to clean the remains of the creature since you don’t get to kill them. Also, you don’t have to worry about breaking any law by killing a protected species. Most squirrel traps on the market are reusable thereby allowing you to use the product to manage the future infestations in your yard.
However, it is important to state that the method may not be effective in keeping squirrels at bay. This is primarily because of the creatures are known to be intelligent and mischievous which may allow them to avoid the traps. You also need to check from time to time to see if the trap has caught any squirrel which some people may find tasking. But if you don’t check regularly, you may be left to clean up the smelly remains of a dead squirrel. Also, most people may find it difficult to correctly set up the trap.
Employ a Professional Exterminator
If you have tried any or all the methods listed above without success then you should consider hiring the services of a professional exterminator. This method is ideal if your yard is heavily infested with ground squirrels. You will find this method fast and effective since exterminator are trained and experience to get rid of pests.
However, compared to other methods, this method may be expensive. Also, professional exterminators usually resort to the use of firearms or poison to get rid of ground squirrels which is inhumane. It is advised to avoid resorting to extermination as much as possible if there are other ways to get rid of pests without killing them. This is because you may be harming a protected or endangered species. Furthermore, they will probably use toxic chemicals that may be harmful to you, your family, pets and even the environment.
Other Methods Of Getting Rid Of A Ground Squirrel
There are many other safe and effective DIY methods of getting rid of the rodent. First, you may resort to using gas or fumigants to keep ground squirrel at bay. Flushing out, using animals like cats, seal up cracks in your basement, windows, doors, attic, and garage as well as planting mint in several places around your home, may also help you get rid of the creatures.
When taking steps to protect your environment from ground squirrels you should remember to keep the environment clean thereby getting rid of their food source. The major cause of most pest infestation is the natural urge of the creatures to move closer to their source of food. If you cut out these sources in your yard, ground squirrels will be left with no choice to abandon your property and search for another with plenty of food source.
An advantage of cutting food supply is that it may be beneficial for getting rid of other pests in your yard. It will also go a long way to keep your yard clean and tidy thereby preventing the reinfestation with ground squirrels or that of other pests in the near future.