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One of the single most common pests Phoenix homeowners have to deal with is the rock squirrel. Sometimes called a ground squirrel, these pests can damage your garden and your entire lawn, leaving a huge mess behind.

Understanding Rock Squirrels

These are actually pretty large creatures. They are typically about 10.5 inches long, and their tails can go on for another 8 inches after that. They typically have brown fur with white spots, and their tails are quite bushy. You’ll most likely see them during the day, but you may find them at night too. They live in opened burrows in the ground, and they particularly love rocky areas. They can eat all kinds of different materials, including plants, insects, or even road kill. Because they’re desert natives, they don’t need much water to survive, so they’ll get what they need from the dew or the succulent vegetation in your yard. During the summer, they eat acorns, juniper berries, and pine nuts as well as a variety of other native plants.

Rock squirrels can usually have 5 pups at a time, so it’s possible to get quite a population of them in your yard very quickly. Most produce about one litter a year.

Awww. . .They’re Cute! What’s the Problem?

Not sure rock squirrels are a big problem? Let them tear up your lawn and you’ll quickly see what the issue is. They create huge burrows that they add to year after year. They often have lots of entrances to these burrows, and therein lies the biggest difficulty. They can weaken the structural integrity of the ground, the sidewalk above them, or even your home. You can’t walk on the area because the ground is so weak. Add that to the fact that they can transmit bubonic plague, and you have some real concerns on your hands.

If you think you might have a rock squirrel problem in your lawn, contact us today for an evaluation. We’ll take a close look, then decide what removal method might work best for your property.