What are ground squirrels?
Ground squirrels are common rodents and part of the Sciuridae family comprised of small and medium-sized rodents. Ground squirrels are one of the more common Sciuridae rodents in our area. They can grow up to 11 inches in length with brownish-gray fur and a bushy tail, and look similar to the tree squirrel.
Signs of a ground squirrel infestation
You can identify the ground squirrel by their behaviors and the type of damages they cause:
Ground squirrels dig new burrows in open grassland, orchards, and around building foundations, patios, decks, and gardens all over the state of California. Ground squirrels will also happily re-inhabit old burrows.
At many schools and parks, these pests create large holes that present a huge hazard to children and adults. These holes or burrows can easily fit a foot, sometimes allowing an entire leg to descend into the opening, which poses a risk of broken ankles and legs.
Activity Outside Burrows
In our region, ground squirrels are active year-round and especially spring through fall. It is very common to find them sitting on rocks and hanging out in large groups chattering away. In addition to their social gatherings, ground squirrels will raid gardens and orchards. In fact, these pests often eat all the grapes right before a harvest.
Ground Squirrel Damages
Scrape marks on trees and vines, sheds, and garages as well as gravel scraped out from under concrete are common squirrel damages property owners in California notice when these pests have become a problem on their land.
Ground squirrels also cause damage to foundations, pool, and other structures. In fact, in the video below, you'll see ground squirrel damage to a walkway at a school in Santa Clara, CA.
Tips for preventing ground squirrels
Preventing ground squirrels can be extremely hard as these critters are adept climbers, excellent diggers, and there are a lot of them, one ground squirrel burrow could have as many as 10 squirrels in it! They can go to great lengths to access food including digging under fences.
Removing potential food sources and filling old burrows can help deter activity but if you’ve noticed ground squirrels on your property, we recommend seeking help early on.
How Smith’s can get rid of ground squirrels
For effective ground squirrel control, contact Smith's Pest Management. Serving the San Francisco Bay area, the Monterrey Bay area, and Sonoma County, Smith’s has helped evict ground squirrels from orchards, schools, and other commercial environments as well as residential properties.
Visit our ground squirrel control page to learn how we get rid of these pests or simply give us a call!