Ground squirrels are troublesome pests for homeowners and gardeners alike. They forage above ground for their food, usually within a 75-yard radius of their burrows. Since their diet revolves around green grasses and plants, a ground squirrel can do serious damage to a lawn or garden. Most active during the day, the pests rob gardeners blind in broad daylight if not controlled.
Recognizing Ground Squirrel Damage
Most ground squirrel damage to gardens revolves around the destruction of food-bearing and ornamental plants. Grains and nut and fruit trees, like apple, orange, and walnut, are especially vulnerable. Ground squirrels will devour vegetables in their seedling stage and damage young shrubs, vines, and trees by gnawing bark, girdling trunks, and burrowing around roots.
Ground squirrel damage in the lawn is the result of their burrowing habits. Capable of digging up to four feet deep, the pests create several interconnected tunnels that can become tripping hazards and damage lawn care machinery. Additionally, burrows around shrubs and trees can dry out roots, while those beneath buildings weaken structural integrity. Ground squirrels also gnaw on plastic sprinkler heads and irrigation lines.
Prevention and Removal
Putting up fences around gardens might save plants from ground squirrels, but they must be buried at least two feet deep and stand three feet high to be effective. Likewise, lightweight plant netting can keep these pests from devouring gardens. However, these methods are not guaranteed to stop problems from occurring. At the first sign of ground squirrel damage, contact the professionals at Critter Control to safely handle removal.