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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 sources 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 in …
Recent posts

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 without a written permit. That mean…

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 until temperatures ar…

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 a ground squirrel. No…

No Ground Squirrels Under the Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, is that a Squirrel I See?


A ground squirrel as a Christmas gift? 

Farmers, ranchers and groundskeepers would be thrilled! Imagine them trapping ground squirrels and selling them at roadside stands. They'd dress them up in little squirrel sweaters, hats and mittens - hoping to make up for all of the losses they've incurred due to the ground squirrels destroying their crops and land. 

Don't start knitting those squirrel mittens, quite yet. In California, ground squirrels are a keystone species and an important part of the ecosystem. They are also legally labeled as pests. And it is against the law to feed ground squirrels and keep them as a pet or "emotional support" animal.

People battling ground squirrels on their property may find it difficult to see them as providing emotional support - especially when these digging rodents make them act like Bill Murray's Caddyshack character, Carl Spackler.

Not familiar with the term emoti…

Is it a Tree Squirrel or a Ground Squirrel?

Question: 
How do you tell a Tree Squirrel & Ground Squirrel apart?

Typical Answer: Duh! If the squirrel is in a tree, it's a Tree Squirrel. If the squirrel is on the ground, it is a Ground Squirrel.
Too bad it's not that simple!
See those 3 squirrels in the above photos? Notice, that they are all on the ground. You guessed it - they are all actually Tree Squirrels! Just to make things more interesting, Ground Squirrels often climb trees for food or to get a better view. 
How to Tell if it's a Ground Squirrel or Tree Squirrel
1.  Be Scary! The easiest ways to tell if it's a Tree Squirrel or a    Ground Squirrel, is to scare them. Say boo - or however you prefer to be scary, and then watch and see what happens. Typically, Tree Squirrels will climb up a nearby tree and Ground Squirrels will scurry off into a hole.
Squirrels are so tricky and well, squirrelly, so you may need another way to tell them apart.
2.  Look for Markings. Squirrels look similar, but if you look closely…

The Squirrel Guy & Squirrel Lady

"Hey! You're the Squirrel People!"
It's been 5 years since someone first called Mike and I that at a school facilities conference. We weren't quite sure how to react - at least they knew who we were.


Now we are used to being the Squirrel People. Mike is the Squirrel Guy that builds our patented Burrow Blocker and directs the Burrow Blocker service team. You'll also see Mike with Pepper, his black lab, in our videos and flyers.
I am the Squirrel Lady that you'll find at PAPA Seminars, County Ag and AgSafe classes, providing continuing education for pest control licensing. Contact me if you want to learn more about ground squirrels and organic ways to deal with them or if you want to learn how the Burrow Blocker machine can solve your ground squirrel or prairie dog problems.

My brother, Mike Tikalsky, and our Dad, John, invented and patented the Burrow Blocker machine. We have a family ranch in beautiful Northern California that's home to horses, llamas, py…