Skip to main content

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, you'll notice that Ground Squirrels may have markings like white rings around their eyes or stripes down their backs. Tree Squirrels often have lighter-colored undersides and no markings.

3.  Check out the Tail. Tree Squirrels have large, bushy tails and the Ground Squirrels, not so much.

4.  Size Matters. Ground Squirrels are usually 8 to 12 inches long. Tree Squirrels measure 12 to 20 inches. Unless they are in a line-up, this can be a challenging way to identify them.

California Ground Squirrel
Why do I need know the difference between Tree Squirrels and Ground Squirrels?
If you have squirrel troubles, you need to know which critter is the causing the problem. In most states, Tree Squirrels are considered a game animal and your local Department of Fish & Game can help determine the action to take. Ground Squirrels are usually labeled as a pest and the Department of Pest Regulation or your local Agricultural Commissioner can guide you.

If you have questions or want to talk squirrels, call (925) 634-9204 or email me .


On November 13th, I'll be in Oxnard speaking at the PAPA Seminar. Stop by my table and say hi or if you need California DPR continuing education units, sign up for the seminar.


Lisa, the Squirrel Lady

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is it a Ground Squirrel or a Gopher?

Do you know the difference between a Ground Squirrel and a Gopher?
If you are battling burrowing rodents on your property, after awhile you might just start channeling Carl Spackler, Bill Murray's character in the movie, Caddyshack.
Remember when Sandy McFiddish, the head groundskeeper of the golf course told Carl, in his rich Scottish accent, "Carl, I want you to kill all the golfers on the golf course."?
Carl replied, " Correct me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they'll lock me up and throw away the key."
Sandy yelled, " Not golfers, you great fool! Gophers, rodents! THE LITTLE BROWN, FURRY THINGS!"
Carl replied, "We can do that. We don't even need a reason."


Remember that destructive dancing gopher in Caddyshack? (Be patient...it has a long intro.) Most of the people that visit this blog, do have a reason. They want those destructive diggers to just stop destroying their land and devouring their crops. The …

The Best Way to Fill a Ground Squirrel Hole

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…

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 s…