Do I Have a Ground Squirrel Infestation?

April 15, 2023

If you are seeing large open holes on your property then it is possible you have ground squirrels! 

 

Ground Squirrel Burrows

Ground squirrels live in extensive underground burrows, the entrances to which are about the size of a grapefruit or larger. It is most common to see these holes on hillsides or near the base of trees.

 

Examples of Ground Squirrel Burrows:

     

Since ground squirrels leave their underground burrows to find food you will also likely have seen them running along the surface. 


Ground squirrels live in large colonies so if you see one burrow or one squirrel then it is very likely that there will be more on the way. They can cause damage not only to your gardens and landscapes but also entire hillsides, foundations, driveways, and other structures.

 

Ground Squirrel Appearance and Behaviors

Ground squirrels have 9-11 inch long bodies with long, slender tails. They are typically a mottled grey/brown color in order to better blend in with their typical habitats. They are capable of climbing trees but you will most often see them on the ground near their burrows. If the squirrels you are seeing have large bushy tails and primarily stay in the trees then those are tree squirrels. Tree squirrels also tend to be a warmer brown in color.

Ground squirrels are very social so they tend to live in colonies ranging from just a few to 20 or more squirrels. They only have litters once a year but they can have 5-8 per litter so if you have a large adult colony they can produce a large amount of offspring.

It does not get quite cold enough in the Bay Area for ground squirrels to need to hibernate but they will stay in their burrows more often during the colder, wetter months. They are most active during the warmer seasons and during the mornings and afternoons.

 

Ground Squirrels:

      Ground Squirrel in dirt

Tree Squirrels:

Tree Squirrel on Fence    Tree Squirrel in Tree

 

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