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How To Get Rid of Ground Squirrels [Methods of 2022]

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  • Post last modified:September 29, 2022

How to get rid of ground squirrels? My friend George asked me in an urgent tone. Without giving a second thought I suggested to use poisons.

‘But’ George said again “I want something ecofriendly, you know. It doesn’t feel right to hurt other animals too. It seems like to punish everyone for the mischief of one. So dear friend, tell me how can I get rid of ground squirrels without killing them?”

This hit me hard. Never in my life I felt the need to think this way. However, after this conversation I did enormous research along with George.

And we found some sure-fire ways to get rid of ground squirrels without hurting the mother nature. So let me have the opportunity to share it with you guys.

Before knowing how to get rid of ground squirrels, I think it would be better if you know what exactly a ground squirrel is (if you don’t know already), why do you need to get rid of it and then we can discuss the methods to do so.

Therefore, here are the relevant questions that you may want to know for your own benefit:

What is a ground squirrel?

As you can assume from the name itself, unlike a squirrel, a ground squirrel lives under-ground. Having said that, if appearance is concerned, a ground squirrel can be 9-11 inches long with a tail of approximately 5-9 inches.

It is mostly covered with brownish-grey fur with a tinker of off-white on the back. Till date, scientists have discovered 26 species of ground- squirrels.

ground squirrel traps

Where do they live?

Though it can climb tree, this rodent likes to live under meadows, grain-fields, pastures etc. Also, it can be found near commercial and residential buildings.

What harm ground squirrel does?

Often time I hear people asking “Do ground squirrels dig holes?” the straight answer is yes, it does. And that’s probably the major concern with this ground squirrel thing.

This cute, innocent looking furry thing can dig up to thirty-feet deep tunnel under the ground. So imagine, a bunch of ground- squirrel digging burrows under the foundation of your basement! The whole foundation of your house will be at stake in no time.

Moreover, it causes bubonic plague and it can be really harmful for your garden, since this area is on the top of its favorite list. At times, you also have to be careful about your cushions on the deck furniture as it has a knack to tear those apart.

What are the food of ground squirrels?

The food of ground squirrel is hard to specify since they munch on anything and everything they find. Yet it particularly likes nut, vegetables, fruits and grains. 

How to get rid of ground squirrels : 2 Effective Ways

Now that you know the basics, let’s try to know how you can get rid of ground squirrels without causing much harm to the nature:

Trap to get rid of ground squirrels

To save your garden from the rampage of ground squirrel, placing traps will be most effective. Let’s have a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of using trap to get rid of ground squirrels:


  • Most importantly it’s eco-friendly. You will only be targeting a specific animal unlike a pesticide which almost kills anything and everything.
  • It’s not a seasonal option, rather you can use this method throughout the whole year.
  • It’s easy to follow.


  • It isn’t really effective for a large number of squirrels.
  • Placing the bait in the right place may feel overwhelming.
  • Once the rodent is caught, you need to find a place to re-locate it. And highly recommended not to touch the being since it spreads plague and other lethal diseases.

How to trap ground Squirrels

Now that you know trapping is the option you are looking for, you need to know how to trap these little chipmunks. First of all, inspect the suspected areas. 

If you see a not so large amount of gophers, you certainly can install a trap in attic, basement or garage or anywhere you have seen them to be mostly active. You can use zap trap, bait trap or body grip whatever the kind you like.

At this point you may ask me what is the best bait for ground squirrels? The answer is pretty much simple. It should be either peanut butter or nut. Also you can use the combination of both.

But for the bait trap, remember that you are not supposed to keep it in a bushy place, where rodent might not see the bait. Also, it is suggested not to keep the bait station in reach of your pets.

Noise and smell in the rescue 

Ground squirrels have a reputation of being a quiet animal. They are not really fond of noisy neighborhood. 

So what you can do to deter the squirrel is, hang a wind chime or place a moving lawn ornaments in the backyard. So that from the vibration they get irritated and leave the place ad lib.

If you are looking for some home remedies to get rid of ground squirrel then an effective way is putting some smelly substance (animal waste, dryer sheet, crushed moth balls, leftover fish scrapes) in front of their entryway.

Also pepper, peppermint and garlicy type smells will do the job efficiently as ground squirrels despise bad odor.


  • Humanly and effective.
  • You won’t harm any other animals.


  • It can be very time-consuming.
  • You may feel irritated by the noise sometimes.

How to Prevent ground Squirrels Disturbance

Once you have re-claimed your power on your property over ground squirrels, be careful not to lose it any sooner. To get rid of the squirrels permanently, follow the few steps:

  • De-clutter your yard and clean all the debris, leaf litter or whatever it is as soon as possible.
  • If you don’t know how to fill ground squirrel’s holes, let me tell you that caulk will do the job perfectly. Therefore, not only seal the holes but also seal all the potential entry point of the squirrels with caulk.
  • Fill out the holes with copper mesh wiring.
  • Inspect basement, garage and attic time to time. See if there are any hole left to fill out.
  • See if there are any lingering tree bark beside the residence. If so, the cut it down so that squirrels don’t get to reach your roof.
how to prevent ground squirrels

Common FAQ

What poison kills ground squirrels?

Though poisoning is the cheapest and most effective among all the methods, it is not often suggested to use. Because it opens the possibility of risking the lives of kids, pets and other non-target animals.

Moreover, poisoning is time specific and can be done only in summer to autumn as this time of the year gophers feed on the seeds.

However, if you are interested in only getting rid of the rodents you can put some zinc phosphide and strychnine into the burrow of the squirrels. But remember that you will be needing permission to use both of these poisons.

What is the best way to repel ground squirrels?

To repel ground squirrels without killing you may use apple cider vinegar, motion sensor sprinklers, moth balls, jalapeno pepper vinegar spray etc. Keeping your yard clean and clutter-free also helps in this regard greatly.

final Note

To tell the whole story short, it is best to use trap or any other home-remedies if you want to get rid of ground squirrels and save other animals at the same time.

Always keep your surrounding clutter-free and don’t forget to check on your pets and kids when using a trap. Best of luck! adieu

Brian Pierce

Brian Pierce is a professional gardener who has vast experience in gardening and home decorating. Being cultivating his skills, he has been to many home and garden related seminars of typical fashion. So, now he has decided to share his years of knowledge, experience, opinions, tips, and above all his hobby on the internet. Find him on Twitter here. Happy Reading!

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