Identifying ground squirrels requires much more than looking out the window and observing a squirrel on the ground. 

Ground squirrels are much larger than other tree squirrels. Their weight ranges from 3 to 15 or more pounds. They have fur that resembles the colors of the earth to help them blend in and hide. Their tails are thinner and less bushy than most other squirrels.

As their name indicates, these squirrels mostly stick to the ground even though they are excellent climbers. Ground squirrels make shelters underground and dig extensive tunnels, which can lead to problems on properties with expensive landscaping or crop fields.

How to Get Rid of Ground Squirrels from Yard

Working with a wildlife control expert is best for ground squirrel control and removal. For example, you will receive several options when you call to inquire how to get rid of thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Below are examples of the various options available:

Habitat Modification

If not done correctly, modifying the habitat of ground squirrels can lead to other problems. It’s imperative to get expert advice. For example, squirrels avoid thick vegetation. Allowing areas on your property to grow will keep the squirrels away but may also attract other nuisance wildlife. Creating flooded areas will deter squirrels but may waste much-needed water. A wildlife technician can help you find the proper modifications for your site based on your specific ground squirrel problem.


Using repellants to create an invisible fence around your property can help with ground squirrel control. Scents and sounds are recommended for repellants. The smell of coyote urine makes squirrels feel threatened. However, if it is placed in the wrong location, near an excellent food source, or burrows, it will not work.

Applying different sound repellants can keep ground squirrels away. Depending on the issues you are experiencing, an expert can recommend things like predator sounds and ultrasounds. They can also help you determine if you need daytime or nighttime repellants, motion-activated, and remote control.

Toxicants and Baits

Depending on which one, toxicants can be dangerous for humans and are not recommended for getting rid of ground squirrels. Also, you must check state laws to ensure it is legal to use the chemicals. They fall into two categories: first-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs) and zinc phosphide. Hiring an expert can help you choose which can be used in residential areas and for fields only and discuss price differences and effectiveness.

Exclusions and Fencing

Exclusions are techniques specific to each animal causing a nuisance on your property. Install sturdy metal fencing above and below ground around your garden or other parts of your property to deter ground squirrels, including the thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Also, use plastic netting and row covers to protect plants. If you must feed birds, use a squirrel barrier or fill it with the food they hate.

Other exclusion tips include decluttering your yard, maintaining the lawn, installing tree barriers or netting, and keeping branches trimmed.

Ground Squirrel Trapping

Companies such as Critter Control have a safe and humane trapping system that protects you, the squirrel, and the technician. Different types of traps include bait and cage. With both types, you must know which bait to use, where to place the traps, and how to avoid attracting wildlife other than the ground squirrel.

You must also understand local and state laws regarding trapping squirrels. Some are considered fur-bearing game animals and require hunting and trapping licenses. Because they may have diseases, it is illegal to relocate a squirrel to another area. Therefore, you must have a plan for what you will do after ground squirrel removal. Another thing to consider includes regulations regarding testing the squirrel for diseases.

A wildlife expert, like the technicians at Critter Control, can help you each step of the way, from inspection to exclusions.


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The Critter Control team went above and beyond to make sure that NO CRITTERS could get into my home. We thought we had conquered the problem, but we still heard squirrels getting in, so they returned to reassess and finish the job. They actually pulled up our deck boards and found that the critters were getting in because of a rotted board underneat the cantilever. They replaced the insulation, rotted boards, and put a metal sheeting over everything so NO squirrels or critters could chew their way in! If you need critter control - you need to contact them. They stand behind their work 100%.... Thank you Rodney & Team!! Great Job. Ellen R. Haslett, MI
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