Some methods for controlling ground squirrels are trapping, fumigation and toxic baits. Certain control methods are more effective in some circumstances than others. For example, toxic baiting works best in summer and fall, because ground squirrels feed on seeds during this period. Fumigation is effective in the spring because moist soil seals gases in the burrow system, killing squirrels before they can reproduce.
Several types of traps kill ground squirrels, including tunnel traps, box traps and Conibear traps. The user should place traps near squirrel burrows or runways, baiting them with oats, barley, walnuts, almonds or melon rind.
When fumigating, the user should treat all active burrow systems by placing lighted gas cartridges into the burrow as far as possible, then sealing the opening with soil and tamping it down.
To poison ground squirrels, the user should place anticoagulant bait boxes near runways or burrows. If the pest population covers a wide area, the user should space the boxes at 100- to 200-foot intervals.
A ground squirrel's body measures 9 to 11 inches, with a 5- to 9-inch tail added. Their fur is brownish gray, with off-white speckles along the back. Ground squirrels look like tree squirrels and can climb trees, but will always retreat to a burrow when in danger, while tree squirrels will climb a tree or tall structure.