The name itself says they live on or in the ground. They are usually medium in size.
The larger squirrels are known as Marmots, when the small squirrels with less bushy
tail are known as chipmunks. Together they are the part of the ‘Marmots Tribe”.
Scientific name: Sciuridae
They are variable in size and habitus. Ground squirrels rise up in their hind legs
when they feel danger and then they send messages to the other family members.
Ground Squirrels may transmit diseases to humans and it’s very necessary to get
rid of them as early as possible. They are also known for destructing human habitation
by tunneling underneath.
Scientific Name: Otospermophilus beecheyi.
They are the most commonly seen squirrels in western United States and the Baja
California Peninsula. They are commonly seen in California and Oregon. They are
now extended over Washington and North Western Nevada.
The Upper parts of the Californian Squirrels are mottled. The Fur is a mixture of
Gray, Light brown hairs. The bottom part is little lighted than the top and it is
grayish yellow. There is white fur around the eyes and the fur around the ear is
black. They look very similar to a Fox Squirrel.
Californian Ground Squirrels live in self-made burrows. Generally, they live with
the community and the entire burrow is occupied by them. But the thing to see it
each ground squirrel has its own separate entrance. They usually survive from the
leftovers by the humans and you can see them around the 50 meters from their burrows.
Depending on the location they hibernate. If they live in cold area they hibernate
for several months, But when there is no cold they remain active for entire year.
Since they often damage the plants in your garden and parks, they need to be controlled.
Here are some ways you can get rid of.
Foxes, Raccoons, Eagles, Rattlesnakes, badgers and weasels are the most common predators.
The California ground squirrels are found to be using so many tactics to reduce
The Scientific name: Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.
The thirteen-lined ground squirrel is also known as the striped gopher, leopard
ground squirrel, squinney. They are usually found in grass lands and prairies of
Length: 17 to 30 cm
Tail: 6 – 13 cm
Head: 2 – 5 cm
Weight: 11 – 27 cm.
The thirteen-lined ground squirrels are found only and only during the day time
and they are especially active during warm days. The hibernation
starts from late summer. They enters in nests in October, they rolls into a stiff
ball and decreases its breathing from 100-200 breaths per minutes to one breath
every five minutes so that they can use the stored fat during hibernation process
in cold. They start emerging in March during warm days.
[Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel]
[Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel]
The size of the burrow varies around 15 to 20 feet. It has many
entrances. Most of the burrows are within one to two feet of the surface, with only
the hibernation nest in a special deeper section. Shorter burrows are dug as hiding
places. This ground squirrel's home range is two to three acres.
Its primary diet includes grass and weed seeds, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and
crickets, but it may also eat mice and shrews; it will viciously attack and consume
cicadas if able to catch them. This squirrel also damages gardens and nearby your
home area by digging burrows and eating vegetables. The only good thing is they
devour weed seeds and harmful insects.
It is well known for standing upright to survey its domain, diving down into its
burrow when it senses danger, then sometimes poking out its nose and giving a bird-like
trill. It has a maximum running speed of 8 mph (13 km/h) and reverses direction
Scientific name: Spermophilus parryii.
The Arctic ground squirrel is another species of Ground Squirrel. They are found
Facts: Arctic ground squirrels are found on the tundra. The common
predators are Arctic Fox, the Red Fox, wolverine, lynx, the Grizzly Bear, and eagles.
They do hibernate just like their close species named the marmots. During warm season
they are busy looking for food. The diet includes tundra plants, seeds, and fruit
to increase body fat for its winter hibernation. By late summer the male arctic
ground squirrel begins to store food in its burrow so that in the spring it will
have edible food until the new vegetation has grown. The burrows are lined with
lichens, leaves, and muskox hair.
During hibernation, its brain drops to just above freezing, they can reduce their
body temperature from 37 °C (99 °F) temperatures down to -2.9°C and its heart rate
drops to ~1BPM. Peripheral, colonic, and blood temperatures become subzero by means
of super cooling.
How do they look? The Arctic ground squirrels are has white spotted back with tan
coat. Their face and ears are comparatively small. They have a dark tail and white
fur around its eyes. They do change their fur coat during summer to winter. Summer
coats are of red/yellow colors and in fall silvery fur. The length of an Arctic
ground squirrel is around 40 cm. Adult females weigh around 750g, and males generally
are around 850g.
Diet: Common diet of Arctic Ground Squirrels includes grasses,
sedges, mushrooms, bog rushes, bilberries, willows, roots, stalks, leaves, flowers,
and seeds. Sometimes this squirrel carries food back to its den in its cheeks.
Mating time: Between mid-April and mid-May after winter hibernation.
Mating includes male-male competition for access to females, and litters
are typically sired by multiple males. Gestation Period: approximately
25 days, and results in a litter of 5 to 10, 10 g (0.35 oz) hairless pups. After
6 weeks the pups are weaned.
Sound and Communication: Communication between squirrels is done
through both vocal and physical means. When they meet, nose to nose contact is made
or other body parts are pressed together. The "tsik-tsik" calls are made in response
to threats and vary as between different predators. Deep guttural sounds are used
to indicate land-based predators while short "band whistle" chatter indicates danger
from the air.
To know about various effective Squirrel Control Techniques and Traps