Ground Squirrels

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Ground squirrels are ruining our lawn and burrowing under cement patio slabs, thus potentially weakening them. Any ideas for "encouraging" them to leave? We don't want to use poison because of our dog.

-- Kay in Palm Springs, CA (calmedia@earthlink.net), August 17, 2001

Answers

you have a dog,, and it cant keep the squireels out??? Get a faster dog. a 22 works for me,, traps will also,, can put those in the trees so nothing else gets caught

-- STAN (sopal@net-port.com), August 17, 2001.

One word: Ammonia. Pour a few dribs and drabs down their holes, they'll move out. We had a chipmunck who kept digging up a hole in the driveway, causing a huge potfull. I'd shovel it back in, he'd dig it back out. So....I soaked a couple paper towels with ammonia, put that in the bottom of the hole, and shovelled it in. No more hole.

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), August 17, 2001.

oops....potfull was supposed to be pothole.

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), August 17, 2001.

Many people have advised used kitty litter down the holes. I assume ammonia works because it's like that. I suspect the kitty litter would be more convincing, but the ammonia is an interesting idea.

Another possibility - we used to fumigate burrows of feral rabbits with sulphur (or in your case sulfur?). You might try getting powdered / flowers of sulphur, digging out the upwind and uphill end of a burrow to get a more or less direct approach to it, putting in some sulphur, then playing a blow-torch over it, blasting the smoke into the burrow for two or three minutes. When that's finished, drop some sheetmetal over it - any sulphur left will go on burning slowly, and topping up the fumigant. Be warned - you don't want to be breathing this - it is poisonous in quantity, and if you can't get fresh air it's deadly. That's why you picked an upwind end of a burrow. However, it's also heavier than air, so once you've filled the burrow you can stop and it won't flow out further than the lowest burrow entrance. When you spot the smoke coming out of the downhill burrows, then drop a shovelful of earth over them. Best to do it when neighbours are not home, too, if they're close to you.

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), August 17, 2001.


Rent a hawk. Only kiding of course, but since a Red Tail took up residence in our woods, we haven't seen a ground squirrel, mole, skunk, rabbit or ground hog. Now for a deer remedy (no legal hunting allowed in this area)

-- Kathy (catfish201@hotmail.com), August 17, 2001.


Sure, everyone is coming up with a solution to get rid of the problem. We have found that if you leave nature alone, it will solve itself. We used to have terrible mole problems mounds everywhere. So we decided to take the matter in our hands.

Then we realized what they were doing helping us. It seems that they were eating "grubs" that were destroying our plants, our worms, etc. Instead of chasing them away, we encouraged to them to stay and help us, so we don't have to rely on poisons. We now see their "trails" and are glad they are their.

Working with nature makes a lot more sense instead of working against it.

But if you find that they are doing more damage than necessary, find out why. It might be because your patio is harboring some sweet delite

-- Michele Bryant (micheleb@aol.com), August 17, 2001.


Don, you sound like hubby with the groundhogs up at his farm. When they couldn't shoot them, they used gasoline and blew them out of the holes. Poured a cupful of gas down 2 or three of their holes, waited a few minutes for the fumes to connect, then used a fuse to light it. Ka-BOOM! Blew them right outta the ground. Sounds terrible, but the force of the explosion would kill them instantly, and was more humane than taking the chance of shooting them and not getting a good shot the first time so that they'd crawl down the burrows and take a couple days to die.

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), August 18, 2001.

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