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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


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