Wood and brush piles often provide shelter for ground squirrels and other unwanted vertebrate pests. The presence of wood and brush piles may not have any influence on Belding’s ground squirrels. Removing these shelters can help discourage the activity of ground squirrels and many other pests. It can be done in conjunction with other control methods to enhance the overall effectiveness of pest management programs.
Modifying Agricultural Habitat
Ground squirrels often occupy field margins. Deep cultivation, as close to field margins as possible, disrupts ground squirrel activity and may help to limit their numbers.
California ground squirrels dislike lush vegetation. This may be because they desire line-of-sight vision to detect approaching predators. Thus, management that avoids mowing, grazing, and burning can discourage the presence of ground squirrels.
Flood irrigation can help limit ground squirrel activity in orchards, alfalfa, and pasture lands. Areas surrounding the flooded fields must also be managed in order to prevent reinvasion. However, due to water conservation issues in California, flood irrigation may not be an efficient option.
For both California (above) and Belding's ground squirrel (below), habitat modification can be implemented at any time.