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#4640915 - 01/20/18 11:59 AM How to deal with ground squirrels
SLO_Town Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 665
Loc: California's Wine Country
Folks:

We live in a semi-rural area in California's Central Coast wine country. I have a very large, beautifully landscaped, park-like back yard. It's pretty enough that my oldest son got married in that yard, along with 125 people in attendance for a massive outdoor BBQ and sit down dinner. It really is a gorgeous space. Besides doing 100% of the landscaping myself, it takes me a day and a half per week just to keep it looking perfect.

This past summer we were invaded by ground squirrels. They are truly destructive! Out of desperation I resorted to poisoning their underground holes with strychnine (this is a legitimate and legal method). Although I achieved partial success, my biggest fear was accidentally killing the many hawks and falcons that live in the immediate area.

I am now considering trapping them. The question is, what do I do with them after I've trapped them? I considered moving them to an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere location, but have been told this is both illegal and it poses a health risk for me (fleas). I called a pest control guy and he said to have a water filled garbage can handy and drop the trap in there and drown them. I hate that thought. The place I bought the traps from, I asked the nice woman who sold them to me - she said she caught 15 of them one time in her large trap. She left the trap out in the sun and let them die of heat stroke. I hate that thought even more. I'm not convinced of life after death and the possible consequences, but that is seriously bad karma.

I've considered sitting out in the yard with my 22 rifle, but having tried that a few times and come up empty handed, it's a big waste of time. I've thought about shooting them in the cage, but that doesn't sound like a viable solution either.

My biggest problem is, I love animals.

Ideas?

Scott
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#4640923 - 01/20/18 12:05 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
JLTD Offline


Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 641
Loc: US
Natural predator? Maybe the introduction of a non poisonous snake will take care of them in Mother Nature's way.

No poison, no karma worries, birds and you are safe.
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#4640924 - 01/20/18 12:07 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
Al Offline


Registered: 06/08/02
Posts: 18033
Loc: Elizabethtown, Pa
You have only so many choices. Legal or not you can transport. Drowning them is the best way.
When I was a kid when I caught something in my trap I would either club it or drown it by holding it underwater with my foot. If I caught a groundhog I would just shoot it. In those days..no one cared if a 16 year old carried a holstered pistol..lol.
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#4640929 - 01/20/18 12:15 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: Al]
Egg_Head Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 283
Loc: North Carolina
A couple of questions:

1) What may have changed that introduced/brought them into your backyard?
2) Describe the destruction, just curious.
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#4640934 - 01/20/18 12:21 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: JLTD]
SLO_Town Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 665
Loc: California's Wine Country
Originally Posted By: JLTD
Natural predator? Maybe the introduction of a non poisonous snake will take care of them in Mother Nature's way.

No poison, no karma worries, birds and you are safe.


We have King snakes in the area, and on occasion I've unexpectedly come across a few while digging around out there. Scares the heck out of me!

Long story short, at one time we had two outdoor cats and three indoor dogs. They took care of things. Our last pet died of old age this past year (a sweet girl dog, Lizzie). At this stage of my life (I'm 64 and retired), I am not interested in having any more pets. I've had a dog or dogs my entire life, literally so, I've never been without one until now. It's really nice leaving the house for a week and not having to worry about pet care - plus my inside housecleaning requirements have been greatly reduced.

Scott
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#4640936 - 01/20/18 12:24 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: Egg_Head]
SLO_Town Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 665
Loc: California's Wine Country
Originally Posted By: Egg_Head
A couple of questions:

1) What may have changed that introduced/brought them into your backyard?
2) Describe the destruction, just curious.


1) We no longer have cats and dogs.
2) Hundreds of holes throughout the yard. Several large shrubs have been killed, the roots literally eaten away. Damage to the turf.
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#4640946 - 01/20/18 12:32 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
NibbanaBanana Offline


Registered: 05/23/16
Posts: 292
Loc: New England
The fleas are in your yard already right? Anyway, as far as I know, fleas won't leave an animal on mass, unless it's dead and the body temperature starts to drop. That's how Bubonic plague spread afaik; fleas jumping off dead rats.

Just catch, transport to remote location, and release. Local regulations are one thing. The universal law of khamma is another. Intentional killing of another sentient being is going to come back to you in this life or another. You are the owner of your khamma. He answers two questions about killing here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXTg0sRr6UA&index=13&list=PLWY_DgicYlqwbLW1EBWWUO2gKwHY0rKT8
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#4640955 - 01/20/18 12:49 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20444
Loc: Upstate NY
transport 5 miles away.

what kind of vehicle?
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#4640957 - 01/20/18 12:50 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: Egg_Head]
Langanobob Offline


Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 206
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: Egg_Head
A couple of questions:

1) What may have changed that introduced/brought them into your backyard?
2) Describe the destruction, just curious.


The darn things live by some sort of natural cycle. Some years we’re over run with them, other years we only have a few. Even a few will take every single peach or apple off of a large tree. Wouldn’t mind sharing with them if they were willing to leave us something.

I’ve been taking them far away and releasing them. Neighbors laughed when I first started transplanting them, saying they would return. I put a small spot of yellow paint on a couple of them and they were back within 24 hours. Interesting that they were smart enough to find their way home but not smart enough to stay out of the same trap that caught them the day before. You have to take them several miles to permanently get rid of them.


Edited by Langanobob (01/20/18 12:52 PM)

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#4640959 - 01/20/18 12:51 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4212
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
I might think about having a dog or two again. Any reason why you don’t have them anymore?
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#4641009 - 01/20/18 01:39 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7471
Loc: S California
A dog. Do some research for a suitable breed and start looking at animal shelters.

Snakes don't do well against squirrels.

Cats can be hit or miss. If a cat is trained by the mother to hunt and fight then it's a match for a squirrel. A tame kitty is not. I have a feral cat that I rescued and now that she is healed up I'd say she would do just fine against squirrels. I've seen her kill a couple of gophers. They're tough because they fight back and have big teeth. She dug one out and caught the other one out in the open. She's a bit different than a house kitty. She took to gophers to a safe place under the house and ate them. If you interfere with her eating she'll make you a blood donor.

Just remember, squirrels are really tough, smart, persistent and difficult to deal with.

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#4641019 - 01/20/18 01:46 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: OneEyeJack]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10128
Loc: OH
Had a cat that mamed a squirrel by biting it and breaking one of it's front legs. So it was limping in the driveway kind of going in circles. I was thinking of flinging it in the lake. Called the vet, this is on a weekend and she said I could take it to a wildlife hospital. Then I thought let nature take its course.

This was at my parent's house and they were out of town. Stopped by to let the cat out for a bit and that's what she did. She was prob 17 at the time and lived till 20. Some neighbors were walking their dogs down the street and told me what happened.

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#4641025 - 01/20/18 01:52 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: Donald]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2730
Loc: Wet side WA
Originally Posted By: Donald
transport 5 miles away.

what kind of vehicle?


For sure share the wealth with someone else. They are Plague carriers enjoy the [censored] out of those furry little critters.
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#4641041 - 01/20/18 02:03 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
sleddriver Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 4597
Loc: Central Texas
While you may love animals, what you're dealing with are wild, destructive varmits. As such, treat them as such.

I'd trap, shoot them, then fling the carcass into nearby woods or brush for the eagles/hawks/owls/other birds of prey you've ID'd to find them. Soon, they'll start hanging around looking for the fast food tearing up your yard.

Problem solved.
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#4641050 - 01/20/18 02:13 PM Re: How to deal with ground squirrels [Re: SLO_Town]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1345
Loc: toronto
They say it's the best meat in the woods, just saying.

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