(1) Ground Squirrel

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”.
Ground Squirrel, California Ground Squirrels Picture
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.

(2) California Ground Squirrel

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.

Description:
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.
California Ground 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.


Predators:
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 predation.

(3) Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel

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 North America.
Facts:
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]
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 if chased.

(4) Arctic Ground Squirrel

Scientific name: Spermophilus parryii.

The Arctic ground squirrel is another species of Ground Squirrel. They are found in Arctic.

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.
Arctic Ground Squirrel

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.
Reproduction:
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.


(5) Ground Squirrel Control

To know about various effective Squirrel Control Techniques and Traps click here.