How the Hen House Turns: Wild Neighbors – Ground Squirrel

How the Hen House Turns
Wild Neighbors: Ground Squirrel
Column by Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.

One day, while searching for something under the house, husband Don opened one of the small doors to the crawl space and found it totally blocked with dirt. He shoveled out two full wheelbarrow-loads, but didn’t find the cause of the dirt eruption.

Two days later the same crawl space was blocked again. Another two wheelbarrow-loads had mysteriously appeared in the crawl space. Again he shoveled it out and filled the empty space, adding moth balls. The next day the dirt was piled up again, with the moth balls neatly set on top.

A bit frustrated now, Don, after digging out the next two wheelbarrow-loads, set two hoses going full blast into the hole he found beneath the dirt. It never filled with water, and we will never know where all that water went. No critter was flushed out.

Don pondered a bit, then built a barrier around the hole so the occupant had to enter a live trap if and when it emerged to dig again. Sure enough, it was a ground squirrel, who had a nice ride in the truck and was soon digging holes somewhere in the Jemez Mountains.

LOS ALAMOS

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