Ground squirrels are rodents that live underground in tunnels throughout California and much of the United States. Their unique, brown and gray spotted coat that is peppered with white flecks gives away the identity of a ground squirrel. Tiny ears and an elongated tail are also key features of a ground squirrel’s anatomy.
Many homeowners find evidence of ground squirrels when they spot mounds around their lawn, or even see the actual squirrels running around their back yard. By tunneling through your yard, ground squirrels can damage anything in their path. Fruit trees, nut trees, and tree bark are also ground squirrel favorites, which is why they are so abundant in our area. These highly adaptable squirrels live underground unlike their tree-dwelling squirrel counterparts. When they are frightened, ground squirrels will retreat back underground whereas the common Western gray squirrel will quickly climb up into the trees.
What attracts ground squirrels to my yard?
There are two things that need to exist on your property to drawn in ground squirrels: food and soil. A ground squirrel’s diet consists of most anything they can get their paw on. This includes avocados, walnuts, apples, oranges, and peaches for example. When their desired food falls from its tree and is accessible on the ground, they will be on the move. Tree bark is also susceptible to ground squirrel destruction.
Are you finding ground squirrel burrows popping up around your yard? Areas that aren’t frequently utilized are ideal for ground squirrels. They burrow large networks of tunnels with mounds that pop up at the surface, growing in numbers as the colony grows. Ground squirrels live in burrows, sometimes up to 20 at a time! The longer you leave ground squirrels to their own devices, the more they will reproduce and cause destruction to your property.
Are ground squirrels dangerous?
If ground squirrels live on your property, your garden and ornamental plants are at risk for damage and destruction. They feed on fruits, nuts, shrubs, and tree bark. Due to their strong teeth, vegetation that has attracted ground squirrels will not survive.
Several health risks are associated with ground squirrels that can harm your family and pets. Many ground squirrels are infested with fleas that carry the bubonic plague.
Because of their burrowing nature, ground squirrels have been known to break underground sprinkler and irrigation systems, destroy decks and patios, and cause even more damage if they burrow underneath humanmade structures. It can also be frustrating when you have to avoid their burrows like land mines because it’s easy to step into them.
How can I prevent ground squirrels from destroying my yard?
Natural predators of ground squirrels include hawks, snakes, and even outdoor pets. They are diurnal and can be seen running around, scavenging for food on your property. The best way to prevent ground squirrels is to remove possible food sources. Clean up debris and pick up any fallen fruit around your yard. Remember, ground squirrels don’t feed up in trees, so eliminating low-lying food will help deter ground squirrels.
Similar to gophers and other wildlife, ground squirrels are especially challenging to remove without the proper tools and training. Many homeowners are left frustrated and at a loss when they try DIY tactics, which is why it’s imperative that you trust the wildlife professionals at AAI Pest Control for proper ground squirrel removal and control. If you find ground squirrels or their burrows on your property, call us right away before the problem gets out of hand.