Monday, April 30, 2007

Not Pocket Gophers

The recent article in the Meadows Newsletter about pocket gophers has brought in several responses and more information. Here's the first from a neighbor on El Prieto Rd:

"I believe that the so-called pocket gophers which are CA or Western ground squirrels, and the article about the "safe" poison is in error. These poisons, which are often called Bleeder poisons, cause the squirrel blood to be unable to coagulate and they slowly and painfully bleed internally, hemorrhage and die.

"The Catch 22 of "safe" poisons is they don't kill instantly leaving sick, SLOW ground squirrels around where cats, dogs and kids can catch them, play with them, ingest them. Cats and dogs being the more likely ingesters also ingest the poison and the more animals which are sickened and killed the more exposure to pets. The pets eat enough poison via the ground squirrels and "bleed out" i.e. DIE an awful death themselves.

"Now, I am NO CHAMPION of these little critters as they have decimated our back yard and hillside. And they carry diseases, most importantly in this area their fleas (often spread to other warm blooded animals, again cats, dogs, humans) may carry Sylvatic Plague. Most people have heard of Bubonic Plague and this is its dangerous cousin! So people do not want to be picking up dead squirrels or having the flea infestations in their homes.

"So far, here's been my success in the backyard. Red Pepper Flakes, bought in giant economy size and poured 1 or 2 Tablespoons at a time down the holes they make. Don't bother covering the holes with stones etc., just a bit of dirt so you don't step in the holes. It has been working for us, and only requires 5 to 10 minutes once a week. The ground squirrels are now vacating our yard and back to "nature".

Also they LOVE bird seed (which is how our yard became infested, we USED to have birdseed feeders. They climb, they jump, they go up poles that they are said not to be able to climb. They LOVE Pet Food of any kind and will eat just about any types of scraps!"

No comments: