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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 & Field Crops: beans, peas, sugar beets, and peas -often taken at the seedling stage.
    • Injure trees by gnawing on bark
    • Prey on ground nesting birds’ young, such as quail and pheasant eggs.
  • Create runways and burrows that eliminate vegetation and cause erosion.
  • Burrows can be 5 to 200 feet or more in length.
  • Some places can have up to 100 ground squirrels in 1 acre!
  • A small part of their diet is cannibalizing their own kind and eating road kill.
  • Ground squirrels gnaw on and damage drip irrigation lines.
As you can see from the list, these destructive diggers can cause incredible amounts of damage and frustration. This leads some people to take extreme and dangerous measures to get rid of them. There are safe and green solutions available. Call or email me to discuss ground squirrels and the best ways to control their populations.
(925) 634-9204
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