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 wrecking 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 Grounds
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 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. Here are a few DIY ways to get rid of ground squirrels:
Build A Fence Around Your Garden
You should consider building a fence around your garden or lawn to keep squirrels out. Make sure to use a material that will do a good job of preventing the furry creatures from getting access to your plants. You may spray a squirrel repellent on the ground next to the fence to further ensure that they don’t dig their way through.
Purchase a Ground Squirrel Repellant
This is another effective way to get rid of ground squirrel. There are special repellants on the market such as FoxPee, which may scare the rodent and thus keep it away from your yard. FoxPee and other similar repellants are designed to produce odors that are similar to that of the urine of predators. The repellants may be sprayed around your building and other areas you don’t want the creature to invade.
Make Your Own Pepper Repellant
It is common knowledge that ground squirrels do not like pepper. Spraying a mixture of ground chili, cayenne, and black peppers around the areas you wish to protect will do a good job in keeping the rodent out.
Bitter Creams and Gels
There are different types of bitter gels and creams formulated to keep squirrels away from your property. These repellents 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.
Squirrel traps are considered more humane than other means such as shooting and poisoning because the equipment captures the creature alive. This leaves you with an option to either kill the rodent or relocate it to somewhere far from your home. Squirrel traps are relatively inexpensive but may not be an effective method.
Other Methods of Getting Rid of a Ground Squirrel
Other DIY methods of getting rid of the rodent include flushing out, gas, fumigation, keeping the environment clean, getting rid of their food source, 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, amongst other things.