Thursday, November 10, 2016

Home Remedies for Ground Squirrels

People like to share with me their "Do It Yourself" Remedies for Ground Squirrels. Here are a few that I've recently heard. I can't guarantee if they work, but they're at least creative!


Home Remedies for Ground Squirrels & Prairie Dogs

GUM - Not ordinary gum, but Bazooka Bubble Gum. You know, the hard squares of gum that as a kid almost broke your jaw on the first bite? 




Once a week, this guy's neighbor puts 1 square of Bazooka gum in every ground squirrel hole on his property. He has almost 100 holes, so I doubt if he takes the time to read the comics wrapping each gum square. The neighbor says it works well at eliminating the young ones because they can't digest the gum. According to an expert, Jim Knight, a Montana State Extension Wildlife Specialist. "Bubble gum might sometimes clog a ground squirrel's intestines or burst its stomach, but no one has conducted scientific studies on its overall effectiveness. It's hardly cheap," he said.

Does it work? Not sure
The guy who told me about his neighbor using gum couldn't have much faith in it, because he purchased a Burrow Blocker 2500. Other people I have talked with say Juicy Fruit gum has worked for them, but they still have a ground squirrel problem.


STATUES OF PREDATORS - Place statues of coyotes and dogs in the ground squirrel infested area.


The idea behind this one is that ground squirrels will run from animals that want to eat them for dinner. No one has said how many statues to put out or if they should be life-like.

Does it work? Doubtful
Ground squirrels that live on the same property as dogs don't run and hide until the dog gets close. Chances are, the squirrel can probably tell if the predator is a fake or a real threat. A city park in my area tried statues to keep the geese away. A park manager told me that one morning, he saw a few geese cuddling up to the statue.

URINE - Spray urine around burrow entrances.


No photo available. You're welcome. ;)

You can purchase coyote urine in a spray or granule formula. Last week, a lady told me that they have been so desperate to get rid of the ground squirrels that are digging under their big oak tree, that her husband has been peeing around every hole. 

Does it work? Maybe for a little while.
From what I've heard, the coyote urine needs to be reapplied every few days and it may seem to work for a little while, but in less than a week, the ground squirrels start digging again. How did it go for the lady with her husband trying to personally deter the ground squirrels? Well, she called me looking for help and we had a good laugh about her husband's dedication to getting rid of their squirrels. Guys will use any excuse to go outside! 

Let me know if you've tried any home remedies to get rid of your ground squirrel problems.

If you are in the Madera, California area and need continuing education units, I'll be talking about ground squirrels at the Madera County Agriculture Office this Monday, 11/14/16. Call or email me for more info.

Lisa
(925) 634-9204

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Is That Athletic Field Safe?

Kids are encouraged to go outside and play! Play soccer, football, softball or even a game of tag! Before running on that field, we need to ask, "Is it safe?"

Can you spot the ground squirrel hole?


Burrow Blocker Ground Squirrel Control
Add caption

Ground squirrel or prairie dog holes can make running across a field, a dangerous game.




Kids have broken or sprained their ankles, and even broken their legs in ground squirrel/prairie dog holes.

Burrow Blocker - Ground Squirrel Control - Fills the holes

Imagine playing soccer on this field...keep your eye on the ball and watch for holes! Soccer tournaments and other athletic events have been cancelled on school fields because the officials refused to allow the kids to play under such dangerous conditions.
Burrow Blocker - Prairie Dog and Ground Squirrel Control - Fills holes



The Burrow Blocker is the one-step effective green method that many schools, universities, cities and counties, use to eliminate ground squirrels/prairie dogs and their holes. Check with your local schools and parks to make sure they are doing their part to prevent injuries on their fields.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Do Not Feed The Ground Squirrels


Even if they look cute and furry,
DO NOT FEED THE SQUIRRELS!

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?
http://www.thereluctantadventurerblog.com/2011_06_01_archive.html
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!
Lisa

burrowblocker.com

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:

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/animal-planet-presents/videos/top-10-odd-animal-couples-badger-coyote/

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

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.

Dogs

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.

Lisa


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.