Are Ground Squirrels Making Tunnels in Your Yard?

Ground squirrels are timid little creatures that seem harmless, but ground squirrels can wreak havoc on a lawn. The underground tunnels and holes ground squirrels make can turn a beautiful lawn into an unsightly disaster. Walking across a lawn invaded by ground squirrels is like walking on a grass covered sponge. The ground squirrel tunnels that appear as raised lines in the lawn cave in beneath the feet, and these tunnels are just as annoying as they are unattractive.

Anyone with a ground squirrel problem in their yard knows how much of a problem these furry little pests really are. Even though ground squirrels are a major problem for some homeowners, most people don’t like the thought of killing them. After all, digging tunnels comes naturally to ground squirrels, and killing them wouldn’t be a pleasant task. Although ground squirrels who have taken up residence in a lawn might seem to be a permanent problem for those who don’t want to kill them, ground squirrels can be removed effectively, safely, and humanely. It is possible to get rid of ground squirrels without killing or harming them.

Safe Ground Squirrel Trapping

You can build a free foolproof no-kill ground squirrel trap using an empty gallon jug and a half gallon of water. My husband demonstrated this ground squirrel trapping technique, and I have to admit, if I hadn’t seen it for myself I wouldn’t have believed it really worked. I was truly amazed.

Thoroughly rinse out a plastic gallon milk jug, save the cap, and fill the jug halfway with lukewarm water. Be on the look out for your pesky lawn inhabitant. When you see the ground squirrel enter his underground tunnel, it’s time to serve a watery eviction notice!

After spotting a ground squirrel in your yard, go out to his underground tunnel armed with the milk jug of water. Find the opening of the tunnel he just ducked into. Uncap the milk jug and place the mouth of the jug firmly over the hole. Allow the water to fill the tunnel while tightly holding the jug. It’s important to hold the jug tightly because the jug will soon be holding the evicted ground squirrel. To keep from drowning, the ground squirrel will be forced to run into the milk jug. Have the jug cap close at hand so you can quickly recap the jug. The wet ground squirrel won’t be happy!

Ground Squirrel Relocation

After the soaking wet ground squirrel is contained in your tightly capped plastic milk jug, it’s important to relocate him as soon as possible. He will be nervous, but be assured he won’t go nutty inside the jug or die of fright. He just needs enough air to make it to his new destination. Depending on how far you have to go, there should be enough air in the jug to sustain the ground squirrel long enough for relocation. If you’re concerned the ground squirrel won’t have sufficient air while relocating, carefully create several small holes in the top of the jug using an ice pick or similar tool.

Be kind to your neighbors. Even if you don’t care for your neighbors, don’t take the ground squirrel to the end of the block to release him. If you do that he will either come back to his old tunnel, or make a new tunnel in a neighbor’s yard. Likewise, the local park won’t appreciate ground squirrel tunnels. The ground squirrel should be relocated in an uninhabited location such as a forest preserve or other wooded area uninhabited by humans.

When you reach the ground squirrel relocation destination, lay the milk jug on its side, and remove the cap. The ground squirrel may not come out right away, so be prepared to wait a few minutes while he discovers the way to freedom.

If you have a chronic ground squirrel problem, this ground squirrel removal technique could become a fun and interesting hobby. It’s like ground squirrel hunting with no casualties. Everyone wins! The ground squirrel is relocated to a more appropriate location, and your yard is free of unsightly ground squirrel tunnels.

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