Control Ground Squirrels as Temperatures Warm

Control Ground Squirrels as Temperatures Warm

April 10, 2009

Although it may not feel like it, spring is coming, and thirteen-lined ground squirrels will be emerging from hibernation. If you've even been surprised by how many tender little crop seedlings they can devour in a day, this would be a good time to implement control measures in fields where you've had a problem.

Treated grain-based baits are most effective in controlling thirteen-lined ground squirrels when used soon after they emerge hungry from a long hibernation. Ground squirrels emerge as soon as the ground warms enough to permit digging. Males emerge one to two weeks before females so wait a week after you begin seeing the first few before initiating control.

As always, follow label instructions carefully. Small areas can be controlled with trapping. Just be sure the traps are placed near the holes and inside a box to prevent non-target capture. Empty bait stations make excellent boxes for rat traps.

If you have questions about the control of this or any other wildlife species, visit the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management or contact me by calling (402) 472-8961 or emailing

Stephen Vantassel
Extension Wildlife Damage Project Coordinator

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