Ground Squirrels

There are five species of ground squirrels that are native to California. The ground squirrel that is most likely to be encountered is the California Ground Squirrel also known as the Beechy Ground Squirrel.

How Do I Know if I Have Ground Squirrels and not Tree Squirrels ?
The California ground squirrel can be identified by physical as well as behavioral characteristics. Adult ground squirrels can reach an overall length of 18-20 inches with the body slightly longer than the tail. California ground squirrels are gray with lighter flecks distributed over the surface of the back and sides. The nape of the neck has a pair of dark triangular patches that extend just beyond the shoulders. A noticeable white fringe adorns the sides and tip of the tail. When frightened they always seek shelter in an underground burrow. Ground squirrels live in unplugged burrows in the ground that are approximately 4 inches across and are active only during the day.  If you see a squirrel run up a tree when frightened this will be a tree squirrel which do not burrow and usually do not get removed from property unless eating fruit or causing other problems.  Tree squirrel removal is a rare all for us to get it is almost always for ground squirrels.

Squirrel Damage
Ground squirrels damage many fruit and nut trees as well as vegetables and ornamental plants. They may damage young trees, shrubs and vines by gnawing bark, girdling trunks, eating twigs and leaves, and burrowing around roots. Ground squirrels will chew on plastic sprinkler heads and irrigation pipe. They also feed on the eggs of ground nesting birds, such as pheasant and quail. Their extensive burrows damage landscaping and undermine structures, roads, dams, and slopes contributing to erosion. When populations become unnaturally high, their burrowing and feeding activities may serve to degrade an area’s biodiversity, sometimes leaving it a pockmarked moonscape.   This is why people want to hire a professional pest control company to remove squirrels from their property.

Squirrel Control
California ground squirrels do very well in areas disturbed or altered by man which border a natural setting. In fact, in these areas ground squirrel populations may increase to many times the level it would be in a truly natural environment. It is in these situations that control frequently becomes necessary.

The last technique is an option that a homeowner can have limited success with.  However, due to a change in US EPA labeling requirements, poison baits distributed by the County Agricultural Commissioner offices are no longer available for sale to the general public.

Squirrel removal is best performed by a professional who knows how to remove ground squirrels for each unique situation and can buy the effective bait.  How to get rid of ground squirrels is half the battle, having the correct equipment to get rid of squirrels is also key, but the experience  is what separates the professional from the homeowner and makes hiring them worth it.

Legal Status
Ground squirrels are classified as nongame mammals by the California Fish and Game code. Nongame mammals which are found to be injuring crops or other property may be controlled at any time or in any manner that is legal and humane by the owner or tenant of the property. They may also be controlled by federal, state or county officers or employees while acting in their official capacities.  If you are not sure the best way to get rid of squirrels call us to take care of the problem for you.

Rodent Guys Pest Control
We will choose the best and most effective manner to get rid of ground squirrels from your property.  To get rid of squirrels we have to come up with a game plan that is safe for non target animals and pets as well as the homeowners family and property.  Trapping can get a population lowered in a few days to a few weeks depending on population.  Baiting is normally the most cost effective strategy for squirrel extermination and can give long term control if used as a monthly maintenance program.  A combination of the two methods is a super fast and effective game plan to get rid of ground squirrels fast.

Wikipedia sources

County of LA Ag Commissioner
California Dept of Pesticide
County of SB AG Commissioner
County of Riverside AG Commissioner
County of Orange AG Commissioner
County of San Diego AG Commissioner
County of Ventura AG Commissioner

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