How to Make a Squirrel Bait Station
This article covers how to make a squirrel bait station. It includes instructions on how to place the bait in a ground squirrel’s burrow, how to use multiple-dose anticoagulant baits in a bait station, and how to dissuade nontarget animals with a tamper-resistant bait station. The final section describes how to dissuade nontarget animals. This article is part of a series on making and using squirrel bait stations.
Using a bait station to make a squirrel bait station
The Wilco 39000 Ground Squirrel Bait Station is made of heavy duty, dark green plastic. It is designed to deter non-target animals from accessing the bait. Its child-resistant cap makes refilling the station a snap. You can also use anchor points to secure the bait station to the ground. Place the stations 50 feet apart in order to deter non-target animals.
Bait Stations are designed to deter ground squirrels from stealing the bait. The bait is placed in a well-ventilated compartment, so non-target animals won’t be able to get in. This bait station is constructed from heavy-duty plastic and is 12″ x 10″ x 4″ tall. It comes with a child-resistant cap, provisions for ground anchoring, and a recessed entrance.
Placement of baits in ground squirrel burrows
One way to kill ground squirrels is to place baits in their burrows. These rodents generally live in areas of cultivated crops, such as pulse/seed crops. The baits should be placed directly in the ground squirrel burrows, but you can also install bait stations. For the most effective trapping results, place baits in at least two burrows. Once the traps are set, rebaiting may be necessary. If the infestation continues, a third visit may be needed.
If baits are not effective, try applying a live-trap instead. Live-traps like the Black Fox repeating trap are particularly effective for capturing several ground squirrels at a time. They feature wired-open doors, which allow for pre-baiting for several days. The doors also close automatically, making it difficult for ground squirrels to escape. For baits, try pistachios, walnuts, oats, barley, and many fruits.
Using multiple-dose anticoagulant baits in squirrel bait stations
Anticoagulant-filled bait stations are commonly used to control rodents in rural settings. The anticoagulant bait is designed to be difficult to access by livestock or pets, although they are not tamper-proof. Anticoagulant-type bait stations are typically used to control ground squirrels, Norway rats, and muskrat. Some bait stations are specifically designed to exclude certain endangered species, such as California ground squirrels.
Anticoagulants work by inhibiting the formation of blood clots. They cause smaller capillaries to rupture and cause internal bleeding. The animals die over a period of days to weeks, depending on the dosage. The residue left in the carcasses is unknown, and scavengers can consume the remains. Multiple-dose anticoagulant baits in squirrel bait stations are most effective for controlling ground squirrels.
Discouragement of non-target animals with a tamper-resistant bait station
Rodenticides are used in the field to control rodent populations in rural areas. To minimize non-target animal exposure, bait stations should be tamper-resistant and secure to permanent masonry or 40-pound concrete blocks. Rodenticides should never be placed in a location where children or pets can access the bait. Only rodenticides that are approved for use outdoors may be used with bait stations.
Tamper-resistant squirrel bait stations have two purposes: to protect the toxic bait from non-target species and to provide a safe feeding area for rodents. The bait placed inside each station varies from 6 oz for house mice to several pounds for rats. Tamper-resistant bait stations must be constructed to keep children and other small animals from removing the bait or accidentally tampering with it.
Cost of poisoning ground squirrels
To get rid of ground squirrels, you may want to use a poison bait station. These devices contain diphacinone or chlorophacinone poison. The poison is designed to exclude other animals, including larger ones. However, it’s important to use a safe poison to protect the environment. Zinc phosphide is not recommended for use in a bait station.
In a 1,000-square-foot area, dozens of ground squirrels can quickly become a nuisance. With less natural predators, urban squirrel populations can explode. These animals cause great damage, stripping bark from trees and eating plants, as well as digging holes that can compromise structures above them. The cost of poisoning ground squirrels at a bait station can be high, but the benefit far outweighs the negative impact on the environment.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.