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Showing posts from 2013

Plague Infected Ground Squirrel Found in California

Is it a Plague Infected Ground Squirrel or a Zombie?   Okay, so this isn't a photo of the ground squirrel with the plague.   Wouldn't it be cool if it was?   Scary squirrels might prevent people from trying to pet  or feed them. A zombie-looking ground squirrel would also make identifying those infected with the plague easier. The squirrel could be removed and the area could be quarantined and treated.   When it comes to the plague, the fleas are the real bad guys - the ground squirrels just happen to be the carriers. This week, parts of the Angeles National Forest were shut down and campgrounds closed because a plague infected ground squirrel was discovered. People were forced to change their summer vacation plans so the ground squirrel burrows and area could be dusted for fleas. For more info see the article from the LA Times:,0,3215912.story   Unfortunately, some people see ground s

Surprising Ground Squirrel Facts

Did you know that California Fish and Game Code specifies it is illegal to release ground squirrels elsewhere without a written permit [11, 18, 20]?    Ground Squirrels are considered agricultural pests.   More Facts about Ground Squirrels:   That might be a "ground" squirrel up in that tree. They are excellent climbers. During 1 season, a pair of ground squirrels and their offspring can remove about ¼ acre of wheat or alfalfa. 20 squirrels eat as much as one grazing sheep. 200 squirrels eat as much as a 1,000 pound steer foraging on grazing land. In California, ground squirrels cause $30 to $50 million per year in agricultural and other damage Ground Squirrels are opportunistic feeders: Grains:   alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye, and barley Fruits:   apples apricots, peaches, prunes, oranges, and tomatoes Nuts:   walnuts, pistachios, and almonds. Vegetables &am

Ground Squirrel Control in FARM SHOW Magazine

The BURROW BLOCKER is in the latest issue of FARM SHOW!  The article, "Burrow Blocker" Fills Gopher Tunnels with Sand, is an excellent summary of the Burrow Blocker machine and how it was developed by my dad, John, and my brother, Mike.   Those of you familiar with the Burrow Blocker, know that the article title is a little misleading. The Burrow Blocker is used to fill Ground Squirrel holes. Gophers tend to back-fill as they dig and often dig just under the surface. The Burrow Blocker is most effective on the holes of deep digging rodents with well defined tunnels.   What makes it all confusing, is that some people call ground squirrels, gophers. In Canada, the Richardson ground squirrel is often referred to as a gopher. The other problem is that sometimes people just don't know what is digging up their property. All they care about is that it stops! To learn the differences between ground squirrels and gophers, read my popular blog post, Is it a Groun

A Rat in a Ground Squirrel Hole?

What happened to this ground squirrel's ears? He looks like one of our dog, Rocky's, stuffed animals - except this little guy still has stuffing. Since I didn't have any luck searching online for the possible cause of his unusual ears, I'll just have to make up something. :) I blame a rat . Last year, while I was on a Burrow Blocker service job, marking ground squirrel holes with the grounds superintendent, we heard a nasty fight in one of the holes. We thought it must be some ground squirrels fighting. Soon, a bloody faced ground squirrel raced out of the hole and at the entrance we saw a red mouthed rat. The rat had won the battle and claimed the hole. When I wrote "What's in that Hole?"  for an April blog last year, I forgot to mention that rats also like to live in ground squirrel holes. The guys had told me about a Burrow Blocker service at a large dairy that had a huge ground squirrel problem. When they started filling the holes, they soon rea

Meet the Squirrel People

 Mike at the Burrow Blocker booth - CASH 2013 "Oh! You are the Squirrel People!" The first time someone said that to Mike and me, I wasn't sure how to react. After I thought about it, at least they knew who we were. Last week, Mike and I became known as the "Squirrel People," at the C.A.S.H. 34th Annual Conference on School Facilities. We had a great time meeting superintendents, facilities managers and maintenance supervisors for California school districts. Ground squirrels are a serious problem for schools. As we all know, kids run across fields for their sports and just for fun. The last thing anyone wants to see is them tripping in a ground squirrel hole. We met people from schools that shared how students have sprained their ankles and even broken their legs because of ground squirrel holes. What really impressed me is the number of school districts that are getting away from using baits, poisons and gases. They care about the environment and

No Girl Dogs Allowed?

A magnificent sunrise walk with Daisy. Maintaining a lush and beautiful lawn can be a challenge. Some people are annoyed by the gophers criss crossing their yard with tunnels, and killing their grass along the way. Others are frustrated by the ground squirrels digging so many holes, that they've considered creating their own put-put golf course. I can help you find solutions to your burrowing rodent problems. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to deal with this new lawn destroyer. Who is this invader that is causing problems? Dogs. Actually, not every dog, just the female dogs. Apparently, this is such a serious problem in The Lakes community, in Discovery Bay, California, that in a recent newsletter, they advised residents to not let female dogs urinate on the lawns. I've never noticed it with my dogs, but I guess some people find that urine from female dogs, "stains" the lawn. (For the full article, read the Eye on the East Bay section of the Contra Cost