How to Trap a Grey Digger

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"Grey Digger" is a common name given to the California Ground Squirrel. Grey diggers range the length of California up into Oregon and across to Nevada. They thrive in farmlands, but city parks and yards attract them as well. They are classified as a destructive pest throughout their range, causing considerable damage to crops and landscapes by way of their aggressive burrowing and eating habits. Trapping is an accepted means of control throughout their range.


Grey Diggers are destructive to farm crops and landscapes

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Things You'll Need

  • Rebar Wire

  • Trowel

  • Steel Traps, Size 1

Step 1

Locate the burrows used by grey diggers. Fresh dirt piled in front of a hole in the ground with tracks in the dirt indicates an active grey digger burrow.


Step 2

Trowel out a1/2-inch-deep hollow 6 inches in front of the burrow hole. Place the set trap in the hollow with the jaw hinge pointing toward the hole so the grey digger steps between the trap jaws and not over them.

Step 3

Twist one end of a strand of rebar wire to the trap chain ring and the other end of the wire fastened to a solid object. Cover the trap lightly with dirt from the burrow.


Step 4

Set a trap in the same manner surrounded by scattered seeds or nut meats, which are attractive foods to grey diggers. Grey diggers will find the food and step in the trap when coming to eat it.

Step 5

Check traps every day to remove any animals that are caught.


If catching non-target animals is a concern, place a solid cardboard or wooden box over the burrow entrance and trap that allows only the burrowed grey digger access to the trap.

The small-size killer type traps can be used by placing the trap over the burrow entrance.


Before trapping in a city or urban area, check the local regulations for trapping.

Do not use leg hold or killer traps in areas frequented by wandering pets. In these areas use the squirrel-size live-catch traps.