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Ground Squirrels in the Winter - Hibernate or Not?

It's February and the Ground Squirrels Are Not Social Distancing!  In California, the governor has lifted the Stay at Home Order. Too bad ground squirrels considered themselves essential diggers and never took a break from their destructive ways. There are numerous reports of g round squirrels running all over the place, destroying land, devouring crops and gathering in groups. Ground squirrels are out in the winter for different reasons. In higher elevations and colder areas, they are more likely to hibernate. In Northern California, the male ground squirrels, hibernate a month earlier than the females and young. They also wake up a month earlier. When the weather is warm like it has been, they postpone and sometimes even avoid hibernation altogether. The young males are more likely to skip hibernation. So is the excessive digging all to be blamed on the boys? It could be, but the winter has been so dry and warm this year, that in parts of California, the females skipped hibernati
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Ground Squirrels Are Digging Up My Driveway!

For such little diggers, ground squirrels can sure cause a great deal of destruction. Often, I receive calls and emails like these from homeowners, groundskeepers and ranchers: "The ground squirrels are undermining my driveway!" "Ground squirrels are digging under the sidewalks!" "Those ground squirrels are destroying my road!" "I'm afraid the ground squirrels will ruin my patio!" I left out the colorful language, but I'm sure you get the idea. Ground squirrel get under people's skin when they start digging under their stuff.  What begins as an unsightly mess with dirt and rocks all over, can rapidly deteriorate to a safety and liability issue. Children and adults can be seriously injured tripping in an unexpected hole. Causing sprained and broken ankles, and even broken legs - ground squirrel holes are an accident waiting to happen. As if safety concerns weren't enough of a reason to get ground squirrel problems under control, it

3 Resources to Help Eliminate Ground Squirrel Problems

It can be overwhelming when you discover your property has been overtaken by ground squirrels. The destructive devouring diggers act like your place is their personal buffet and demolition playground. When ground squirrels  are beyond being a simple nuisance - they quickly become a dangerous and costly liability. What do you do if you find your property, business, farm, or school overrun by ground squirrels?  First, do not panic! No need to take out the explosives and act like Carl Spackle in Caddy Shack. Check out these resources to take you on the path of safely controlling ground squirrels.  3 Resources to Help Eliminate Ground Squirrel Problems 1.  Educate Yourself Before you can fight the ground squirrel battle, you need to arm yourself with knowledge so you know what you are up against - and verify they are actually ground squirrels and not another digging rodent. Once you understand their behavior, biology and habitat, you have an advantage in getting rid of them yourself or fin

Rodents Stressed Out During COVID-19 Pandemic

Everyone is experiencing stress during this COVID-19 Pandemic - even the rodents! No, they aren't freaking out because they have to wear little masks and shelter place. The problem is that we humans are not following our usual routines and they miss us. The ground squirrel's rodent relative and fellow pest, the rat, is on the move during this time of COVID-19. Rodents often rely on human food for survival and with restaurants closed and people staying home, rats and other rodents are challenged with finding new sou rces of food. Their usual dumpster buffets and trash can food carts are empty. It's gotten so bad for with the rats, that the CDC - Center for Disease Control, has issued a warning about aggressive rats seeking out food. For more ravenous rat info, check out the videos below: This video from Inside Edition has their "Rat Patrol" Reporters showing rats out in full force: Like their relative, the rat, ground squirrels haven't been obeying the Shelter

5 Ground Squirrel Facts We Bet You Don’t Know

Ground Squirrels Do More Than Dig 1.  Ground Squirrels Climb Trees They don't spend as much time in trees as Tree Squirrels do, but they do run up trees to escape predators. Ground Squirrels also strip the bark of of young trees and eat fruit and nuts. 2.  One Acre of Land Can Be Home to 100 Squirrels It's like an over-populated underground squirrel city! Imagine all of the burrows and holes - and rodents! Large populations of ground squirrels lead to disease, erosion, and their holes are a dangerous liability. 3. Ground Squirrels are Cannibals They are not vegans. A small part of their diet is cannibalizing their own kind, and eating road kill. Quail and pheasant eggs are also on their menu. 4. Ground Squirrels Can Fight Snakes - and Win      (Warning - the video below shows an actual fight and it's violent & bloody.) 5. You Can't Trap & Release California Fish and Game Code specifies it is illegal to release ground squirrels elsewhere with

The Ground Squirrels Disappeared and Now They Are Back

Where did the ground squirrels go? Last week it looked like the neighboring ranch was raising ground squirrels and this week there are no squirrels to be found. The neighbor isn't treating for those nasty diggers, so where did the ground squirrels go? Blame it on Hibernation or Estivation The squirrels didn't actually disappear; California ground squirrels may go dormant two times a year. Hibernation - when most of us think of hibernation, bears come to mind. In California, like some bears, ground squirrels usually hibernate during the winter. If the weather is mild, like in Southern California, they may skip hibernating. The amount of time spent underground varies. Some emerge from their burrows at the end of January and others wait until March. Often the male ground squirrels emerge 10 to 14 days before the females.  Estivation  is like hibernation but in the summer time. When it is a super hot or dry time, the ground squirrels typically stay in their burrows

Dogs, Cats & Ground Squirrel Hunting

Looking for the perfect gift to show your love on Valentine's Day?  This kind of sweetie isn't impressed with a sappy heart-shaped card and flowers. They also, absolutely adore you, love to cuddle and are always happy to see you.  You know what they want - your undivided attention. There's also nothing like a new squeak toy, rawhide bone or fresh catnip to say I love you! One of the super cool things about your relationship with these furry loved ones, is that they enjoy surprising you with gifts - and it doesn't even have to be your birthday or Valentine's Day! They see you tripping in those ground squirrel holes and struggling to catch those destructive burrowing rodents. They want to please you, so you may find a ground squirrel or two at your door step. Below is a surprise that we received on Ground Hog's Day. What does it mean when the  ground hog can't see its shadow, because it's dead?!! Oh, this isn't a ground hog, it's