Thursday, August 30, 2012

Controlling Ground Squirrels in Lakeport County

This summer, I got to know Peter Breen. He is concerned about the environment and actually does something about it. Along with his lovely wife, Ione, and his son, Leon Ingebrigtsen, he runs Lakeport Farms. They grow organic walnuts and grapes in Lakeport County, California. Peter is a highly intelligent, high energy guy that always makes me smile.
When Peter called inquiring about the Burrow Blocker, I felt like he was selling me on the concept behind the workings of the machine. He loved the idea of controlling the ground squirrels through habitat modification. It wasn't long before John and Mike were on their way up to Lakeport to deliver a Burrow Blocker to Peter, Ione and Leon.   
Peter & Ione Breen, Mike Tikalsky, and Leon Ingebrigtsen at Lakeport Farms - August 1, 2012.
Better than having me try to explain Peter's experience with ground squirrels and the Burrow Blocker, read it in his own words:

"We have nine acres of walnuts and some 100 grape vines (Lakeport Farms). We were being overrun with ground squirrels this year. We would drive down the driveway and it appeared that the whole farm was moving about. There were squirrels everywhere. They were under the trees in the roots, coming over from Highway 29 which borders our place, and digging in the grapes to the place where one could not safely walk between the vines without looking down for the huge holes they dug. They would jump into the trees and steal green nuts and take them back to their burrows."
Leon loading the Burrow Blocker with sand.
Peter and Leon getting ready to fill ground squirrel holes.
"We looked, over the years, at all the ways to rid the place of squirrels. Since we are "organic" we could not use any poisons. Shooting is very limited as there is a small school day care yard about 500 yards from our place. Trapping was simply silly, as we caught maybe one a day, leaving his/her burrow for a homeless relative to move in. Gas/flooding does not work as only works for a minute or two. There seemed to be no way that worked. I caught Burrow Blocker's ad in the California Farmer, called them for a demo and we went over to see how it worked. The process is so simple, yet the machinery to make it work properly, is ingenius in its construction. We purchased the machine. We have done our place and achieved almost 95% elimination. Our biggest hole so far took 450 gallons of slurry!  Ironically, no squirrels were home."
Peter, Ione and Leon have taken care of their ground squirrel problem. They were so excited with the results, that they decided to help others. Very soon, they will be offering ground squirrel control services using the Burrow Blocker. I am looking forward to announcing the grand opening of their new business, Humane Ground Squirrel Control, in the near future.

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