How to Determine What Size Box Trap For CA Ground Squirrels
If you want to catch a ground squirrel, determining what size box trap you need to set will help you get the job done. Unlike live capture traps, which have to be set each day, box traps can be set on a regular basis and remain effective for a long time. Here are some tips for getting the job done:
Live capture traps
When setting up live capture traps for ground squirrels, you must choose the type of catch that will work best for your area. Live traps should be positioned several feet from the entrance of the ground squirrel’s burrow. It should be staked to a solid object for stability. Live capture traps are a good option if you live in a wooded area, where the ground squirrels forage for food.
Made of galvanized steel, these traps are sturdy enough for outdoor use. They can withstand extreme weather conditions, and are designed to keep the animal trapped in the trap. The design features a double-lever arming system and a high spring force, so the animal is likely to be caught. A sensitive trigger is included, so the trap will be effective even if the animal tries to escape and steal the bait.
A common method for catching ground squirrels is to use a Conibear trap. These lethal traps are often used in combination with box traps. A box trap is placed inside the opening of the ground squirrel’s burrow, and the conibear is inserted into this trap. A similar trap may be placed in the ground squirrel’s trails or burrows. A bait is not required if the trap is placed in the burrow. Only a professional should set these traps.
One way to trap ground squirrels is to place several traps in a row, and place them near the entrance to their burrows. Place bait in the trap well behind the trigger. Tie a wire or other suitable object to the trigger, and then leave the traps unset for several days. After the ground squirrels have become accustomed to the bait, you can set the traps.
California ground squirrels are a nongame mammal, and their management is up to the property owner or tenant. Tree squirrels, on the other hand, are considered game animals and have hunting seasons. To protect these animals from harm, the best way to get rid of them is to shoot them, which is legal in most cases, or euthanize them. There are methods approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that can be used to kill ground squirrels.
California ground squirrels live throughout the state. They are found in almost every part of the state, from the coastal regions to the desert areas. The species has one subspecies, which occupies most of northern California. Its scientific name is Spermophilus beecheyi. These ground squirrels are found throughout California, with the exception of the Owens Valley and the southern desert. Shooting a box trap is a viable option in most cases.
Fumigation of box traps for CA ground squirrels should be done only if the area is a breeding site. Inactive burrows will be filled with old straw and leaves, and the entrance will be covered with cobwebs. The bait must be fresh, and it should be replaced after a few days. These rodenticides are registered in the U.S., and there is an antidote.
The most effective time to perform fumigation is spring, when the California ground squirrels feed mostly on seeds. Spring is also a good time to perform fumigation, because the soil is still moist. The gas is more likely to be sealed in the burrow system due to the moisture. However, the winter season is also effective, and trapping is effective through the entire year, until late autumn.
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.