Now that you've realized you have a ground squirrel problem, they're probably further along than you think. The destruction and disease they bring into your yard make them enemy number one!

We have 250 acres of fertile agricultural land where we grow olive trees and grapes. The ground squirrels were cute at first. Fuzzy babies and all. That lasted about 5 or 6 months. We now realize that they're as gross as rats with fluffy tails! Maybe worse since ground squirrels will eat other dead squirrels. Nasty! They're not mourning out on the highway, they're snacking! When we look back at the 25 weekly man-hours wasted on these things, we wish we'd had this oxygen and propane Rodent Blaster then! Explode the ground squirrels right out of their tunnels. Check out the Rodent Blaster You Tube Movie It is pretty funny.

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The first few years I thought we were getting a handle on the ground squirrel problem. That was until we added a couple hundred new trees. Apparently they like the fresh ones even more that our mature trees and vines. The ground squirrels dig up under the trees, eating the roots. They strip off the bark of young trees (girdling) which may kill the tree. They chew branches completely off of the tree. Obviously the size of the tree dictates how much trauma it will survive. The ground squirrels dig huge 15-30 foot long boroughs that contain their winter food, babies, waste, flees, ticks, disease, etc.……….It's easy to see why we wanted them gone!

The first line of defense I tried was ground squirrel poisoned bait. The oats come in 50-pound bags, and we used 10-14 per season, not cheap. It does work if they eat it, and it is relatively safe if in the proper bait stations, but squirrels prefer fresh grass, almonds or grapes. We joke about how they climb over the oats to get to the trees, but it's not a joke when pets or other wildlife get into the oats, it's deadly for them as well.

The next line of defense is the .22 rifle. Fun, but slow, and they catch on pretty quickly. What's not fun is; smelling the rot and watching them feast on each other. No kidding.

Next is the "body trap". These get them coming and going from the active holes. We used about 40-70 at a time and they worked okay, but you have to check and empty them daily or you're back to that smelly, not to mention gooey mess. They're a little risky on your fingers as well, don't get caught!

We wasted money on electronic squirrel repellents that supposedly emit noise squirrels hate. I have seen them shaking their groove thing while eating our crops. I have also tried liquid repellents like coyote urine, but country squirrels seem immune, they just aren't that sensitive.



A Pocket Gopher can kill dozens of grapevines and 10-15 young trees per year. I probably had 50-75 gophers per acre.

I have tried gopher traps ( Big pain. You need 2 traps per tunnel, plus you have to hook a chain to them both or you lose them down the hole! I also wish we'd known about this propane and oxygen Rodent Blaster , (picture) back then! Explode the gophers right out of their tunnels expolder. Check out the Rodent Blaster You Tube Movie . I have one now and love it. Takes about 6-7 hours to make a pass thru the 250 acre property.

I have also tried poison baits( strychnine and zinc phosphate ). They worked okay, but are very dangerous to any other animals. Domestic animals will die if they eat the bait or eat gophers that have ingested the poison bait.

These gophers take a lot of time to get under control. They travel at night above ground and will dig into a new area when they find soft dirt (lawn and gardens!). You have to get them within a day or two or they borough too deep and they start damaging plants.


I do realize that some people find these little rodents cute, and killing them seems troubling or even barbaric. We were educated by our county agriculture office, which baits local roads with oats in an attempt to control them. In addition to their destruction of foundations of all kinds, they carry fleas, ticks, and in a high enough population, the bubonic plague. The idea of relocating them is nice, but illegal due to the spreading of disease. To those who would like me to relocate these pests , please send me your address and I will deliver them all to your property : )

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Then you will understand why they must be killed.