Ground Squirrel Characteristics
Unlike tree squirrels, ground squirrels spend the majority of their time at or below the surface of the soil. With their dexterous hands and sharp claws, these burrowing pests dig tunnels four to six feet deep and up to 30 feet in length. Due to the animals' secretive nature, many people are unsure whether they are actually active during all four seasons.
Where Do Ground Squirrels Hibernate?
In fact, ground squirrels do hibernate within their warm burrows to survive the winter months. Unfortunately, the pests often choose less than ideal areas for hibernation. The tunnels they dig along foundations, fencing, walkways, and tree roots can compromise structural in tegrity, creating dangerous collapses and costly repairs.
When ground squirrels hibernate, they are also light sleepers. On warmer days, they leave their burrows to forage through garbage bags and stored pet food in nearby garages and woodsheds. This creates unpleasant messes requiring clean- up, which is made even worse by the cold winter weather.
Problems & Damage
Ground squirrels hibernate from September to March, emerging from their slumber with gigantic appetites. They forage for food near their burrows, but will also gnaw on sprinkler heads, garden hoses, and irrigation lines. It's not uncommon for the pests to chew through siding and insulation as well.
Mounds of dirt near their burrows make cutting the lawn a pain, and their four-inch-wide tunnel entrances are dangerous traps that can result in twisted ankles and damaged knees. To rid yards of ground squirrel infestations in any season, call on the experts at Critter Control.