This blog is a place to share, learn and sometimes laugh about ground squirrels and prairie dogs. My days are spent talking about ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and other burrowing rodents. I am also a Speaker at Seminars throughout California, educating people on IPM and organic methods of controlling their populations.
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4 Reasons Hay Farmers Hate Ground Squirrels
For Hay Growers, ground squirrels and prairie dogs impose frustrating, costly, and dangerous situations. Here are 4 reasons that make nice farmers hate ground squirrels:
1. A Bumper Crop of Ground Squirrels is Not the Goal
Have you ever heard of anyone with a ground squirrel farm? There are too many farms that look like they are raising burrowing rodents. Predators like hawks, snakes and coyotes might think it's a good idea for a restaurant, but farmers don't have a use for them. If the area predators can't keep them under control, over-populations of ground squirrels and prairie dogs mean lots of hungry rodents devouring the hay. Besides eating away profits, these rodents pose a health risk to humans through the spread of disease, such as the plague.
2. Ground Squirrel Mounds Dull the Cutting Blades
When ground squirrels and prairie dogs dig burrows, they bring soil and rock to the surface. The end result is mounds of dirt near the burrow openings. The longer they live in an area, the more extensive their burrow system becomes. These destructive rodents continue to enlarge their burrow systems by digging additional entrances and constructing new tunnels. The more they dig, the more mounds and holes destroy the fields. These numerous large holes and mounds of soil can make harvesting difficult, dangerous and costly.
A Nevada alfalfa grower said that they cut the perimeters of the field at the end of the day because they will have to sharpen the blade after they encounter the mounds. Besides the time and hassle it takes to resharpen the blades, it's dangerous for the equipment operators to drive over the massive mounds and holes.
3. Heavy Bales are Good - Unless the Bales are Heavy with Dirt & Rocks
The excavated ground squirrel burrows leave mounds of dirt that can get scooped up when baling the hay. Heavy bales are a good thing, unless they are heavy with rocks and dirt.
4. Farmers' Don't Install Irrigation Lines to Provide Ground Squirrel Water Fountains
Ground squirrels treat irrigation lines as their own personal water fountain. Chewed up irrigation lines are a costly problem for farmers. Besides the labor and expense of replacing the lines and wasting water, squirrel damaged lines cause erosion. Ground squirrels also contribute to erosion by diverting irrigation water with their extensive burrows systems and mounds.
Farmers will tell you that the ground squirrels aren't always in the center of the field. If the perimeter of the hay fields look like they're surrounded by small bomb craters, there's a serious problem.
From the planting acres lost, to the damage of equipment and the amount the hungry rodents devour, it all adds up to huge financial losses for the hay farmers!
If you have a ground squirrel or prairie dog problem you'd like to share, please contact me.
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 mac
Do you know the difference between a Gr ound 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
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 hardl