How to Catch a Ground Squirrel
Catching a ground squirrel is a labor and time intensive process, requiring patience and good traps. Killing squirrels to be rid of them is another option with its own pros and cons.
How to Catch Ground Squirrels
Step 1 - Determine Where Your Squirrels Live
Unlike their tree dwelling cousins, ground squirrels live in burrows in the ground, among rocks or in brush. Look for burrows, holes around foundations in concrete slabs, and around rocks.
Step 2 - Bait Your Traps
Use a small dish or plate to bait your trap. Set your bait on the plate and place it at the end of the trap where the animal will have to cross the trip plate to get to the food. Set the trap spring (as detailed in the trap's instructions).
Step 3 - Set Your Trap Out
Set the trap near any burrows, holes, or apparent tunnels squirrels are using. Check it at least once every 24 hours. When the squirrel crosses the trip plate to get to the food it will release the trap's door, which will slam shut, trapping the animal inside. You may hear a yowling, chattering, or noise as the animal tries to escape. They are not harmed, just angry.
Step 4 - Release Your Animal
Once live trapped, your animal will need to be transported at least five miles away if you don't want them returning. It is illegal in some states to release ground squirrels on someone else's property. Where it is legal, transport and release your squirrel.
How to Kill Ground Squirrels
Step 1 - Determine What Method to Use
There are several methods you can use to kill your squirrels. The most popular and effective kill methods are poisons, particularly anticoagulant baits (chlorophacinone or diphacinone). Other methods, such as gas sticks, electrocution pads, and kill traps are also options. Check with your local hardware store for particulars on each method. You can also purchase traps which kill the squirrel on contact.
Step 2 - Set Out Your Bait Station
Grain baits can't be broadcast or spread out on fields. You must use bait stations. Place your bait in the station and set out the stations around your yard or field, using a spacing of no more than 100 feet between stations. Squirrels hibernate and will not feed early in the season. Don't set out your bait until after the month of May. Baits must remain out at least five to eight days, since squirrels must feed on the grain for at least five days for the bait to be effective. Squirrels will return to their burrows and eventually die.