Need Training?

Click the image

National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

 Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel Control

13-lined ground squirrels can be cute and fun to watch. However, on occasions, they can be responsible for damage to lawns, irrigation tubing and seedlings. Thirteen-lined ground squirrel

Scientific Name Spermophilus tridecemlineatus


  •  Lives in dry land
  • Is Diurnal
  • Does Hibernate


Thirteen-lined ground squirrel hole. Photo by Dallas Virchow

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel hole
Description: Shows no excavated earth around opening.
Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel hole. Photo by Dallas Virchow

ground squirrel burrow
Description: shows 2 to 3 inch wide burrow in close mown grass
Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow


  • eat seeds, garden and fruit crops;
  • burrow hazards;


Habitat Modification

  • Exclude from small areas by installing 18-inch high 1/4 to 1/2-inch mesh hardware cloth (hail screen) buried 6 inches below ground.
  • Encourage tall vegetation
  • Reduce seedbearing weedy plants.
  • Keep soils moist through overhead irrigation during day.
  • Prevent digging in seedling gardens by planting cold-tolerant varieties before ground squirrel emergence in early spring.


  • None registered


  • Box trapping: Cover 50% of trap length to prevent stress to captured animal.
  • Rat sized snap traps. (Place them inside a covered box or bait station with holes 2" wide. The box is to prevent non-target capture and injury.
  • Baits include seeds. (Caution: When using seeds be sure to keep out of sight of birds to prevent bird captures).



  • Not applicable.


  • Fumigants: These should be used away from human habitation. Read label for species of burrowing rodent.
  • Toxicants: Zinc phosphide treated baits are the most common. Be sure to follow label when using toxicants.

Other Control Methods

  • Flooding


Legal Issues


Living With Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels

13 Lined Ground Squirrels--University of Wisconsin Horticultural Website


Publications & Resources



Skip Navigation Links