Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Do Not Feed The Ground Squirrels

Even if they look cute and furry,

From the Grand Canyon - National Park Service https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/nature/wildlife_alert.htm

But the squirrel likes me! It ran right up to me and begged...

The squirrel looked hungry...

The signs are for other people - not me.

It's okay, I know what to feed them.

Squirrels know how to read?
In an attempt to get park visitors to read the warning sign and take it seriously, the above park went to extreme measures - the sign was written to the animals.

"Oh the ground squirrel is so cute," is not a good reason to feed it. Some "people" food can be toxic to animals and they can become dependent upon food from humans. This can lead to aggression and attacking people to get food.

Do you know what animals is considered the most dangerous animal in Grand Canyon National Park? The rock squirrel. Every year, dozens of visitors are bitten when they attempt to feed these squirrels. By the way, it is illegal to feed the animals at National Parks.

The bottom line...obey the signs.

Be safe & have fun outside!


Coyotes and Badgers - Hunting Buddies

Are you dealing with ground squirrel or prairie dog problems? Maybe you should consider inviting a coyote and a badger to your place for a hunting trip.

Burrow Blocker uses no poisons - keep coyotes and hawks safe.
Coyote striking a pose while ground squirrel hunting on our ranch. He couldn't find any, so he went to the neighbor's.

Coyotes like to hunt and chase down ground squirrels. Badgers like to hunt and dig up ground squirrels hiding in their burrows. Since coyotes are best at the above ground hunt and badgers excel at digging up their prey, the two make excellent hunting partners. 

Native American's observed this unlikely pairing of badgers and coyotes and wove it into their folklore. Scientists have studied their association and have found witnessing these hunting buddies is a challenge because they prefer to stay clear of human interaction. 

Here's some rare and amazing video footage showing coyotes and badgers hunting together:

Here's a video from Animal Planet showing the Badger and Coyote Hunting Buddies:


If Ground Squirrels or Prairie Dogs are a big problem on your property and you're not up for having a Coyote and Badger hunting party visit, call or email me and we can figure out a green solution that won't harm the coyotes, badgers and other predators.

Lisa (925) 634-9204
Burrow Blocker
Ground Squirrel & Prairie Dog Control
No Poisons, No Gases, No Chemicals

***Visit me at the PAPA Seminar next Wednesday, August 17th, in Riverside, California! I'll be sharing organic and green methods to control ground squirrels. 

Burrow Blocker - Ground Squirrel Control - Keep other animals safe
Can you spot who the llamas are watching?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Natural Ways to to Control Ground Squirrels

Ground squirrels driving you crazy? What if you want to get rid of them, but really don't want to do anything. 

How can you have nature solve your solve your ground squirrel problem?

Encourage Predators

Rattlesnakes and Gopher snakes eat ground squirrels. The snakes go after the young squirrels because the adults are not easy prey for them to devour. Adult ground squirrels have even been known to fight and bite snakes, including rattlers! I'll share more info on their fights in another blog.

Here's an idea...if you see a gopher snake on your road, safely relocate it to the nearest ground squirrel hole. The snake will have a safe place to hide and may discover dinner inside.

Coyotes enjoy eating ground squirrels - when they can catch them. Sometimes they'll try to dig for them like this video of Mike's black lab, Pepper. Hopefully, a coyote would be hungrier than Pepper, and catch the destructive rodent.


Raptors like the Red-tailed hawks, kestrels and golden eagles eat ground squirrels, too. Although, if you have a small dog, remember raptors been known to snatch them up - so keep an eye on Fifi.

Do you have any snags on your property? It's a good thing if you do. Snags are standing dead trees. They make great perching sites for numerous bird species and provide cavities for nesting birds. Snags and perches can provide a strategically-located vantage point for raptors. By making perches available, you may make it easier for them to hunt the ground squirrels on your property.

If you don't have any snags, artificial perches can be installed to benefit the birds. Materials can be wooden or metal posts, branches and dead trees. Artificial perches can also be purchased online. Different heights and structures attract different bird species, so variety is a good idea. Since, you don't want the birds to have to stare into the sunrise or sunset, to provide an optimal view for the raptors, orient the perch so that the cross pieces point east and west. Below is a photo of a kestrel on an installed perch from the Contra Costa County, California website. 

Remove Brush Piles & Debris

This requires work, but at least it doesn't require you to chase down a squirrel. Ground squirrels usually live in open areas, but at times the use available cover. By getting rid of the brush pile, you may remove the rodents' hiding places and make it easier for the predators to do their job.


If you have a small yard or dog that's an excellent squirrel hunter, a dog may be all you need. Unfortunately, dogs can't make much of a dent in established squirrel populations. 

Ground Squirrel Control, Get Rid of Squirrels, Burrow Blocker, Dog hunts squirrels

Naturally controlling ground squirrels is not the most effective solution for controlling ground squirrel populations. Quite simply, the predators can't keep the squirrel levels low enough for the home gardener. If you plan on letting nature take care of a ground squirrel over-population, you need to get used to having squirrels around.

If you have any questions or if you just want to talk about ground squirrels, or if you are looking for an effective green solution to ground squirrels, email or call me at (925) 634-9204.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Best Way to Fill a Ground Squirrel Hole

get rid of holes on athletic fields
Ground squirrel holes! They can destroy beautiful landscaping and make athletic fields and pastures hazardous. Ground squirrel holes are much more than an unsightly nuisance, they can cause serious injuries.

How do you get rid of ground squirrel holes? 

Often people grab a shovel and start pushing the dirt surrounding the hole back in. That's usually not enough dirt on the outside, so they get more dirt and keep shoveling it in until it looks full. Surprise! The next day the hole is back.

After trying dirt, rocks are often the next choice. Again, the next day, the hole is often back. 

Why doesn't filling in ground squirrel holes using a shovel work?

Shoveling in the holes is often unsuccessful, because the ground squirrel is hiding in a lower portion of the tunnel system and they dig their way out.

What is the best way to fill ground squirrel holes?

The Burrow Blocker machine is a fast, easy, and effective way of filling in ground squirrel holes.The patented machine pumps a slurry of sand and water into the hole. The water is absorbed into the soil and all that remains is the sand. The burrows and tunnels are completely filled from the bottom up.

prairie dog, black lab, ranch life
Mike & Pepper using the Burrow Blocker machine to fill a ground squirrel hole.
get rid of prairie dogs, fill holes with sand slurry
The slurry looks like dirty water. See the handful of sand?

Paw print in sand, ground squirrel hole eradication
The water is absorbed into the soil and all that is left is the sand.
This filled hole has Pepper's paw of approval!

Getting rid of ground squirrel holes is a form of habitat modification. By completing filling the hole, the ground squirrel's home along with its stored food and bedding is gone. 

Call (925) 634-9204 or email me if you have any questions on how to get rid ground squirrels and their holes using green solutions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A New Machine for Tackling Ground Squirrel & Prairie Dog Problems

Introducing Burrow Blocker 2200 - "The Red Burrow Blocker"

Eliminate prairie dog and ground squirrel holes with the Burrow Blocker
Pepper sitting next to the Red Burrow Blocker
Not everyone has hundreds of ground squirrel holes. Some customers requested a smaller Burrow Blocker to use on their property that could be towed by their small truck or ATV. They wanted something easy to operate, affordable and effective. The Burrow Blocker 2200 - The Red Burrow Blocker, is designed to tackle ground squirrel and prairie dog problems at smaller ranches, farms, schools and parks. 

Get rid of ground squirrels and get rid of prairie dogs

Like the original Burrow Blocker, the Burrow Blocker 2200, effectively fills ground squirrel and prairie dog holes with a slurry of sand and water. The water is absorbed into the ground and the sand is left, eliminating the hole and the rodent's food and home. By getting rid of the burrow, re-infestation by another rodent is drastically slowed. Also, no hole is left for a person or horse to step in and be injured.

It's all about keeping people and their animals safe. Call or email me if you have any questions about ground squirrels or green solutions to controlling their populations.

(925) 634-9204

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Lives in that Hole?

Get rid of ground squirrel holes, no poisons,

Admit it. Holes can be mysterious. When we see a hole, we wonder what lurks below. Even Alice found the rabbit hole intriguing.

Maybe it's because we know that there is more than meets the eye. It may not be Wonderland, but ground squirrel burrows can be 6 feet deep and 35 feet long. They have multiple entrances and have nursery, food and sleep chambers. A kit fox's home often has a key hole shaped entrance. A badger's entrance is often shaped like the letter D and gophers can make a crescent, C-shaped mound. If only all holes could be identified with a letter from the alphabet at their entrance!

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S IN THAT HOLE? Unless you are some nature TV host getting paid the big bucks, it's not such a good idea to just stick your hand in the hole to reach for whatever is inside.

1.    OBSERVATION - Start by getting a comfy lawn chair, a cool drink and sitting back and relaxing awhile. Observe who goes in and out of the hole. Pay close attention. That snake you see gliding into the hole is probably just looking for lunch and chances are it's not his permanent address. Even if you see snake skin outside the hole, it could be from a ground squirrel. Those smart little critters sometimes gather up shed snake skins to disguise their scent from hungry snakes.

2.    SCAT - Take a closer look around the hole entrance for some poo. Scat can be very revealing. If you see bones, feathers and seeds in the scat, you might be outside a fox's den. If you see little brown round pellets, it could be from a rabbit. That white wash splatter outside the entrance could mean you are looking at the home of a burrowing owl. Check out the following site if you want to know more about scat. WARNING - for those who prefer to avoid looking at poo, there are photos: http://m.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/identify_scat.cfm

3.    ODORS - Follow your nose to discover the inhabitant of that hole. Fox holes sometimes smell musty. In the spring, if you think you smell a chicken stock aroma coming from a hole, it might be home to a woodchuck. You might also see flies above the entrance to a woodchuck's burrow. Surprisingly, your nose might not lead you to a skunk burrow. Apparently, those little stinkers can have an odor-free home.

4.    FUR & TRACKS - Check for tufts of fur around the entrance to a hole and look for paw prints. Identifying the animal fur and tracks is a great way to find out who lives in that hole. There is even an app for that: CritterTrax - Wild Animal Tracks & Scat at the iTunes store.

5.    HOLE SHAPE & SIZE - Chipmunks' holes are about the size of a silver dollar. Gophers usually have a mound of dirt and not a defined opening like a ground squirrel's. Badgers holes are large and lots of dirt on the outside. http://icwdm.org/inspection/GroundHoles.aspx

gopher mounds, get rid of burrowing rodents
Gopher Mounds
6.    HOLE LOCATION - Rabbits prefer areas with good drainage, so their burrow is often alongside a bank or hill. Coyotes often live in the hollow of a tree and skunks like to make their homes under sheds or porches.

7.     TIME OF DAY DAMAGE APPEARS - Pay attention to when new holes appear. If the damage happened overnight, chances are the critter is nocturnal. You'll see ground squirrels out foraging during the the day. Gophers, badgers and fox are nocturnal. 

8.    THE HOLE COULD BE HOME TO MORE THAN ONE SPECIES - Don't be surprised if you've identified the hole as part of a badger's sett and then you see a fox, rat, or bunny hop out of it. They're often neighbors and they can share the maze of tunnels. Burrowing owls, snakes, and rats like to live in ground squirrel holes. Spiders, lizards and frogs also live in abandoned holes. Gophers sometimes  follow a mole's path underground. Pay close attention when identifying holes and think of it all as part of the mystery of a hole.
ground squirrel holes, dog helping catch ground squirrels,
If you want a helper, remember, dogs enjoy identifying the active burrows.
For more detailed info on identifying burrows, visit:

If you need to Get Rid of Holes on your Property,
Remember...Before Filling that Hole:

Check with your local State Department of Agriculture or County Agriculture Adviser for information on identifying animal holes and knowing your local protected animals.

For more info or if you just want to talk about burrowing rodents, please contact me.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Everything is BLOOMING - soon the Ground Squirrel Population will be BOOMING!

Burrow Blocker, Ground Squirrel Control, Get Rid of Ground Squirrels

A Little Lesson on
Ground Squirrel Reproduction
To better understand the pending ground squirrel boom, we need to talk about sex...ground squirrel reproduction that is. Their mating system is officially called: polygynandrous. That means they are promiscuous litter critters that mate with up to 4 others. If you were wondering why you haven't seen them on their dates, it's because they copulate underground. 

When ground squirrels emerge from hibernation the first thing on their mind is sex. Is it surprising that the males emerge a few weeks earlier than the females? They just can't wait. This is their big chance because the females only produce one litter per year. (I've heard from a few biologists that they sometimes mate again if they lose their litter, but I can't find that in writing.)
In California, breeding season runs from December - April. The further south, the sooner the ground squirrels start breeding. After 25-30 days gestation, the female has a litter of 1-15. Yes, you read it right...up to 15 ground squirrels! Fortunately for us and the female, they usually have 7-8. Could you imagine caring for 15 little rodents underground? It's bad enough dealing with 8 of them above ground.

Burrow Blocker, Ground Squirrel Control, Get Rid of Ground Squirrels
Now is the time to prepare for the new wave of destructive diggers. After 6 weeks of growing up in their burrow, the litters will emerge from their nests. The young look like miniature lighter colored versions of the adults. They stay near the nest until about 6 months of age. Then young ground squirrels will move into old abandoned burrows or scatter off to new territory. Ground squirrels have been known to travel up to 5 miles to start a new colony.

After they find the best location for their burrow, most ground squirrels will then get ready for hibernation. Then they get to repeat the cycle all over again. Let's just hope that it isn't repeating on your land. Oh, and I forgot to mention that ground squirrels live up to 6 years in the wild.

Need Help Preventing the Ground Squirrel BOOM? 
Call or email me @ (925) 634-9204 or lisa@burrowblocker.com

Until then...enjoy the beautiful blooms & spring weather!