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How to Get Rid of Ground Squirrels Quickly

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Do you need to get rid of ground squirrels?

Have you been dealing with an influx of ground squirrels recently?

How to get rid of ground squirrels

Are they taking over your garden, eating all your fruit, and generally making a mess?

Well, never fear! There are ways to get rid of these pesky little critters quickly and easily. Read on for some tips.

Identify if you have squirrels and what type they are

Ground squirrels are notorious for being difficult to identify but have no fear – they almost always give themselves away.

Squirrels tend to leave dirt mounds all over your yard, a telltale sign of ground squirrel activity. They also create tunnels with large holes in the ground. These holes are dangerous people can easily fall into them and break an ankle or worse.

Ground squirrels enter your garden to eat the plants and fruit. They will even take over bird feeders! You do not want these furry little creatures munching on your vegetables and eating all of your fruit.

Ground Squirrels vs Tree Squirrels

When you look at a squirrel it may not be easy to tell if it’s a ground squirrel or a tree squirrel. Here are some key differences:

FeatureGround SquirrelTree Squirrel
TailShorter less busy tailBushier tail to aid with balance in trees
HabitatBurrows in groundLives in trees


Ground squirrels are usually brown with grey tinges. They tend to have long tails, small ears, and beady eyes.

These rodents can multiply quickly, so you must take action as soon as you spot them. Just a few ground squirrels can promptly lead to a large infestation.

Grounds Squirrels Are Cute But They Carry Diseases

Ground squirrels carry diseases such as:

  • Bubonic Plague – You will get this from fleas that have been on a ground squirrel. This is a deadly disease and you must get it treated immediately, so see your doctor if this is the case.
  • Tularemia – Symptoms of this decease resemble the plague. In 1911 there was an outbreak from ground squirrels to humans in Tulare County, California. Disease is spread through bites, blood exposure, dander, and infected insects. Human to human transmission has not been documented. Painful skin ulcers, swollen lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, and diarrhea are side effects. Death is rare.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – This disease can lead to fever, headache, muscle pain, eye irritation and joint pain.
  • Encephalitis – Symptoms include neck stiffness, headache, fever, seizures, sensitivity to light and or sound, and movement disorders.
  • Rat Bite Fever – This disease will cause you to have a high fever and headache, muscle pain and weakness.
  • Chagas Disease – This one will give you fever, fatigue, body aches and muscle pains.
  • Adiospiromycosis – This disease will cause a rash on your skin, usually in the ankles and feet.
  • Ehrlichiosis – If you have this, you will feel very tired and weak with a fever as well as headaches, nausea and vomiting. You can also get swollen lymph glands from this one.
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome – If you get this, you will have a fever, tiredness and muscle aches. You will also feel nauseous, dizzy and you may vomit blood.
  • Encephalomycarditis – This disease will cause fever, headache, eye irritation and joint pain.
  • Lyme Disease – Lyme disease is spread through ticks, which may be on ground squirrels. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache and muscle pain.

These diseases can be dangerous, so get rid of ground squirrels!

If the ground squirrels in your yard carry any of these diseases and have symptoms, you must immediately seek treatment with a medical professional! This is not something that can wait; otherwise, you could end up with serious complications or even death.

Grounds Squirrels May Have Disease Carrying Fleas and Ticks

Ground squirrels maybe be infested with fleas and ticks, which can pass on to your family dogs and cats. In addition, if you have grounds squirrels in your backyard and don’t have pets, the fleas they leave behind can get on family members. This is yet another reason to get rid of ground squirrels!

Determine the extent of the damage ground squirrels have caused.

Ground squirrels are particularly nasty since they do not only eat plant material. They will dig up flowerbeds and eat your entire garden if you let them!

They are notorious for digging up young garden plants. However, due to the small size of ground squirrels, they are tough to fence out of your garden.

Ground squirrels have been known to ruin building foundations. They might eat the wood or even burrow through the walls.

These little guys are particularly stubborn, so be persistent!

Be patient but persistent in your methods of removing ground squirrels

Most people think that trapping, poisoning, or otherwise harming the squirrels is the best way to get rid of them. However, ground squirrels are easily agitated and will fight back fiercely, often digging up your flowerbeds in retaliation. So be patient, as some ground squirrels are very good at avoiding traps and poisons. Catching ground squirrels may take a while but don’t give up.

Look into humane ways to get rid of ground squirrels

Here’s a video of me finding
three grounds squirrels
that I trapped at the same time.

Try some of these methods to get rid of ground squirrels

  • Traps – The best way to get rid of ground squirrels is to trap them and then humanely dispatch them.
  • Poison – Some people choose to poison ground squirrels.
    • This is only a good solution if you have a way to make sure the animal dies in an area where other animals cannot get to it.
    • Most poisons do not kill quickly and ground squirrels may go elsewhere to die, poisoning other creatures in the process.
    • If you are going to use ground squirrel poison baits make sure kids and other animals do not have access to the poison.
  • Repellants – Ground squirrels can be repelled and deterred through the use of repellents and deterrents. The repellents can be applied directly to plants or areas where squirrel damage is occurring, while deterrents work by emitting a noise, alarm, or other stimulus to make the area undesirable for ground squirrels.
  • Ground Squirrel Burrow Blockers – A mixture of water and sand is pumped into ground squirrel burrows at the burrow entrance. Some states may regulate this practice. Read more about it here.

I recommend purchasing a Squirrelinator Trap to Control Your Ground Squirrel Population

If you’re looking for a humane, easy-to-use ground squirrel trap, I recommend the Squirrelinator.

This trap helped me catch 32 California ground squirrels and got rid of my ground squirrel infestation before significant damage was done to building foundations.

This trap is my favorite because it’s simple to set up and is a repeating trap, so it can catch more than one ground squirrel a day without the need to reset it.

The Squirrelator trap is highly effective and doesn’t damage the animal in any way.

Have you tried trapping ground squirrels using a Squirrelinator trap?

Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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