Ground squirrels are a common pest in many parts of the United States, and their burrowing habits can cause damage to lawns and gardens. One way to address this matter is by filling in their holes. This guide will discuss the steps and materials needed to correctly fill ground squirrel holes and deter pests from digging in the same spot again.
What Tools are Needed To Fill Ground Squirrel Holes?
You will need a few essential tools how to fill ground squirrel holes effectively. The first tool that you will need is a shovel. It is necessary to dig out the hole and remove any loose soil or debris. A standard garden shovel with a sharp edge will work well for this task.
Next, you will need a rake to level out the area around the hole after filling it. It will ensure that the surface of your lawn or garden is smooth and even. A leaf rake or a garden rake with wide tines will work well.
Another essential tool is a tamper or compacting tool.
A small hand trowel may also help fill small holes. It will allow you to reach tight spaces and compact the soil more effectively.
Additionally, wear gloves to protect your hands while digging and filling the holes. It will prevent blisters and other injuries from occurring on your hands.
In summary, the tools required for ground squirrel hole filling are a shovel, rake, tamper/compacting tool, small hand trowel, and gloves.
Why is it Important To Locate All Holes Before Filling?
It is essential to locate all holes before filling them for several reasons:
- Ground squirrels often have multiple burrows and may create new holes after old ones have been filled. If you only serve one or a few spots, the squirrels will move to another location and continue to cause damage.
- Only filling holes with locating them can lead to complete or adequate pest control. For example, if you fill the void squirrels do not use, you will have wasted time and resources without achieving the desired results.
- If you don’t locate all the holes, you might miss one, leading to future damage, and the ground squirrels might start digging new holes in the same area.
- By locating all the holes, you will have a good understanding of the extent of the problem and can develop a more comprehensive plan to address it.
- Lastly, it is also essential to locate all the holes to ensure that you are not accidentally filling in gaps used by other wildlife or beneficial insects.
How Can you Deter Ground Squirrels From Digging in The Same Spot Again?
There are several ways to deter ground squirrels from digging in the same spot again:
- Filling the holes with a mixture of dirt and concrete or asphalt can create an inhospitable environment for the squirrels and make it difficult for them to dig in the same spot again.
- Using a repellent, such as a predator urine-based repellent or a hot pepper spray, around the area can help to deter ground squirrels from returning.
- Installing physical barriers, such as a fence or hardware cloth, can prevent ground squirrels from accessing the area and digging new holes.
- You are using a humane trap to catch and release ground squirrels far away from your property.
- Using a combination of different methods, like filling holes with a repellent, will increase the chances of keeping ground squirrels away.
- Regularly mowing the lawn and removing debris can make the area less attractive to ground squirrels and encourage them to dig new holes.
What kind of Material is Suitable For Filling Holes?
Several materials can be used to fill holes, including:
- Wood filler: A thicker, heavier filler that is designed specifically for use on wood surfaces. It can be sanded and stained to match the surrounding wood.
- Epoxy filler: A two-part filler that is very strong and durable. It is often used to fill large holes or gaps and is suitable for use on various surfaces, including metal and concrete.
- Bondo: A type of automotive body filler often used to fill dents and holes in cars, it can be used for various surfaces and is sandable and paintable.
It depends on the hole’s size, location, and surface.
How Deep Should The Holes be Filled?
The depth of the hole should be filled so that the filler is level with the surrounding surface. If the gap is more profound than the surrounding surface, it should be filled in layers, allowing each layer to dry or cure before applying the next. It will prevent the filler from cracking or shrinking as it dries.
It is also main to note that, when filling a hole, it is best to slightly overfill it and then sand it down once it’s dry. It will ensure that the filler is flush with the surrounding surface and that the repair is less noticeable.
Should Holes be Filled in The Morning or Evening?
It is generally best to fill holes during the morning or afternoon when the humidity and temperature are lower. It will allow the filler to dry and cure properly, preventing cracking or shrinking.
If the holes are filled in the evening, the filler may not have enough time to dry or cure before the temperature drops, which can cause problems with the repair. Additionally, high humidity can slow down the drying process and affect the curing of the filler.
It’s also important to note that some fillers, like epoxy filler, require a specific temperature range and humidity to cure correctly. Hence, it’s always important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using it.
Can a Repellent be Used in Combination With Filling The Holes?
It depends on what type of holes you are trying to fill and what is causing them. If the spots are caused by pests, such as termites or carpenter ants, using a repellent in combination with filling the holes may be beneficial.
For example, termite repellent can be used when filling holes caused by termites. Several types of repellents are available, including sprays, dust, and baits. These repellents can be applied to the surrounding area before filling the holes to prevent the pests from returning.
However, if the holes are caused by other factors such as water damage, or general wear and tear, repellent would not have any effect, and filling the gaps would be the best solution.
Identifying the root cause of the holes and addressing them to prevent them from happening again is essential.
How Often Should Holes be Checked and Refilled?
The frequency at which holes should be checked and refilled depends on the cause of the hole’s environment they are located. If the spots are caused by pests, such as termites or carpenter ants, it is essential to check for new holes regularly, as these pests can continue damaging the structure.
If the holes are caused by water damage, it is essential to check for new holes and signs of water damage regularly, as moisture can lead to further damage if left untreated. In this case, it is also essential to address the source of the water damage, such as fixing a leaky roof and refilling the holes.
If the holes are caused by general wear and tear, they should be checked periodically and refilled as needed. The frequency of checks will depend on the area’s use and traffic.
It’s important to remember that if the holes are refilled but the root cause of the spots is not addressed, they will likely reappear.
What Are The Long-term Effects of Ground Squirrel Holes on Lawns and Gardens?
Ground squirrels can cause significant damage to lawns and gardens, as their burrowing can lead to holes and mounds of dirt throughout the area. The long-term effects of ground squirrel holes on lawns and gardens can include the following:
- Damage to roots and underground plant structures: Ground squirrel burrows can damage the roots of plants and other underground facilities, making it difficult for plants to absorb the necessary nutrients and water to grow. It can lead to a decline in plant health and even death.
- Erosion: Ground squirrel burrows can cause deterioration in the soil, as their digging can create channels for water to flow through. It can lead to uneven ground and make it difficult for plants to grow.
- Disruption of the soil structure: Ground squirrel burrows can disrupt the soil system, making it more difficult for plants to establish roots and grow properly.
- Increased water retention: The holes made by ground squirrels can increase water retention in the soil and cause waterlogging, leading to fungal growth and other issues.
- Aesthetics: Ground squirrel holes can also affect the appearance of lawns and gardens, making it challenging to maintain a tidy and attractive outdoor space.
Preventing ground squirrels from burrowing in lawns and gardens is usually the best way to avoid these long-term effects. Methods can include using repellents, trapping, or fencing. It’s also important to remember that control methods must be humane and legal in your area.
Can Professional Help be Hired For Ground Squirrel Hole Filling?
Yes, professional help can be hired for ground squirrel hole filling. Many pest control companies and wildlife control specialists offer services to help control ground squirrel populations and repair damage caused by their burrowing.
These professionals can use various methods to control ground squirrels, including trapping, exclusion, and repellents. They can also help repair damage caused by ground squirrels by filling in holes and smoothing out mounds of dirt. They may also recommend changes in landscaping or other strategies to discourage ground squirrels from returning.
Hiring a professional can be a good option if you have a significant ground squirrel problem, are not comfortable dealing with wildlife, or have concerns about safety and legal issues. They can also help you identify the root cause of the problem and recommend the best course of action.
It’s essential to research and choose a reputable company or professional that has experience in dealing with ground squirrels and that follows humane and safe control methods.
How do you seal a squirrel hole?
To seal a squirrel hole, you can use a heavy-duty mesh or hardware cloth to cover the gap, secure it with nails or screws, and fill the edges with caulking or expanding foam to prevent the squirrels from gnawing through it. Checking for other openings and sealing them to keep squirrels out is essential.
How do you keep ground squirrels away?
To keep ground squirrels away, you can use repellents, fencing, trapping, and exclusion methods to create barriers and discourage squirrels from entering the area. You should also remove food sources and little vegetation and eliminate potential nesting sites. It’s important to remember that control methods need to be humane and legal in your area.
What is the best bait for ground squirrels?
The best bait for ground squirrels can vary depending on the location and the specific species of squirrels. Some effective tricks include sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, corn, oats, wheat, and other grains. You can also use sweet baits like apple, carrot slices, or peanut butter. It’s important to note that using a trick that is not legal or safe in your area is not recommended.
Filling ground squirrel holes can be made by first locating and blocking all active burrows, then using a mixture of dirt and clay to fill the hole, and finally, covering the area with sod or grass seed to blend it into the surrounding landscape. It is important to note that ground squirrels are protected by law in some areas, so check local regulations before attempting to remove them or their burrows. Additionally, it may be more effective to address the root cause of the problem, such as providing an alternative food source or making the area less attractive to ground squirrels.