Quantcast Ground Squirrels and Chipmunks

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soffits, joints of siding, knot holes, openings where
utility wires or pipes enter, chimneys, and flashing.
Squirrels may gnaw directly through siding and
A number of species of squirrels and chipmunks
shingles, too.
occasionally become pests in and around buildings
Heavy gauge l/2" hardware cloth or
The major concern is their burrowing around
sheet metal can be used to seal most
foundations, in lawns, on golf courses, and in gardens.
The ground squirrels in particular can have extensive
Make other suitable repairs as for
burrows with large mounds, especially along roads and
ditch banks. On occasion, burrows beneath buildings
Squirrels can be stopped from travelling
have caused structural damage.
on wires by installing two-foot sections
Ground squirrels can carry diseases (such as
of 2-3 inch diameter plastic pipe. Split
tularemia and plague), particularly when populations
the pipe lengthwise, spread the opening
are dense.
apart, and place it over the wire. The
Both ground squirrels and chipmunks are active
pipe will rotate on the wire and the
during the day and are easily seen when foraging. But
squirrel will tumble off. Be careful near
they spend much of their time in their burrows.
high voltage wires.
During winter months, most ground squirrels and
Squirrels often use overhanging branches as
chipmunks go underground and stay inactive. In some
highways to rooftops. Tree branches should be
areas, ground squirrels will go into a summer
trimmed back 10 feet from the building. If the
hibernation when temperatures are at their highest.
branches can't be trimmed, a two foot wide band of
Ground squirrels are primarily vegetarians,
metal flashing fastened around a tree, six to eight feet
feeding on grasses. When vegetation dries up, they
off the ground, keeps squirrels from climbing up the
switch to seeds, grains, and nuts. Chipmunks eat both
tree and jumping to the building.
plant and animal material, from seeds to nuts, from
Repellents. Naphthalene has been used (in the
insects to worms -- to songbirds and frogs.
same way as for bats) to keep squirrels out of attics,
particularly in summer homes and camps that are
unoccupied in winter. There is at least one sticky
Management and Control
repellent product for squirrels. It is similar to the
Depending on your state's laws, ground squirrels
sticky repellents used in bird control. Apply it to
and chipmunks may or may not be protected.
ledges, gutters, window sills, and the like, to keep
squirrels off.
Ground Squirrels
Trapping. Live trapping with box or wire traps
Control is usually only required in severe
can be used to remove one or a few squirrels from a
infestations. Several important steps must be taken if
building. Traps should be left open and unset for a few
a control or management program is to succeed:
days, surrounded by bait, so that the squirrels get used
Correctly identify the species causing
to the trap. Good baits include peanuts, nut meats,
the problem.
peanut butter, whole corn, sunflower seeds, or rolled
Alter the habitat, if possible, to make
oats. Then the trap can be set. Good trap locations
the area less attractive to the squirrels.
include the roof, the base of nearby trees, or in the
Use the most appropriate control
attic itself.
Squirrels are nasty biters. Handle them carefully.
Establish an inspection or monitoring
Experts differ as to whether squirrels should be
program to detect reinfestation.
released or killed. If they are released, do so at least
Ground squirrels are generally found in open areas.
five miles away so that they do not return.
However, they usually need some kind of cover to
Where lethal control is permitted, rat snap traps
survive. Removing brush piles and debris will make
can be used to kill squirrels in attics. The bait should
the area less attractive to the squirrels and will
be tied to the trigger and the trap nailed or wired to a
facilitate detection of burrows and improve access
beam. Live trapping is not legal in all locals. Check
during the control program. Ground squirrels can be
with game authorities first.
controlled with traps, rodenticides, and fumigants.
Module Three Chapter 5, Pg 5


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