How to Get Rid of Ground Squirrels in Illinois

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Most squirrels range from 7 to 8 inches long and weigh about 8 to 14 ounces, according to the ThinkQuest website. In Illinois you can find ground squirrels like the thirteen-lined ground squirrel and the Franklin ground squirrel, which live in burrows underground. Ground squirrels can populate quickly and cause a great deal of damage to the land and plants around your home and some can even penetrate your house. Franklin ground squirrels are endangered in Illinois, and you are not allowed to kill them. The thirteen-lined ground squirrel, however, is not protected. Regardless, you can still rid yourself of ground squirrels in a humane way.

Things You'll Need

  • Cage trap, 3 to 5 inches square and 18 to 20 inches long
  • Tennis ball
  • Tablespoon
  • Peanut butter
  • Large paper bag
  • Car
  • Watch the area where the ground squirrels inhabit. Pay attention to which of their burrows are the most active.

  • Test the cage trap with a tennis ball. Roll the tennis ball into the open door of the trap and check the entrapping mechanism to make sure it is in working order.

  • Scoop out a generous tablespoon of peanut butter and put it in the back of your cage trap.

  • Place the trap near the burrow. Depending on the type of trap that you bought, you might have to place the trap beside the burrow, or with other traps, you might have the opening of the trap pressed against the opening of the burrow. Regardless, make sure that the ground squirrels can easily access the trap.

  • Walk away from the trap and out of sight. Ideally, go into your house or other building and watch from the window. Look for signs of movement. The trap will begin to shake and rattle once you have caught a ground squirrel.

  • Take the trap, place it in a large paper bag and transport it 5 to 10 miles away to a nearby forest. Repeat this process with other burrows and other ground squirrels until there is no sign of them.

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