Look out the window… Now imagine a 50 degree day in mid- to late March. See those little critters running around on the snow. Those are Richardson’s ground squirrels, and now is the time to get control of them. The males are emerging now and the females will be up in a couple of weeks. They are hungry and will take bait easily. If you wait to control them, they may already be in reproductive mode, and you will have 2-4 times as many animals more to control.
There are three main products for controlling ground squirrels. Two are restricted use, requiring a license from the state to purchase, one is general use and does not require a license. The general use product is Ramik Green.
Ramik Green is a mouse control product that has an emergency label in Montana for the control of ground squirrels. It is the only legal product for use on ground squirrels in Montana that can be used without a license. Ramik Green is a multiple dose anti-coagulant. It must be fed in bait stations, and ground squirrels must consume it several times. It is relatively safe for use around pets and wildlife if used according to label directions.
Rozol Ground Squirrel is the second product. It is also a multiple-dose anti-coagulant. It is slightly less expensive than Ramik Green, and is used in bait stations also. Rozol Ground Squirrel is a restricted use product, requiring a Montana state license to purchase and use.
The third product is ZP Oat Bait. It is a single-feeding, restricted-use product. ZP Oat Bait is a zinc phosphide product that releases phosphine gas in the ground squirrel’s system when consumed. The best way to use ZP Oat Bait is to pre-bait with feed oats, skip a day, and then apply small amounts near burrow openings. The ZP Oat Bait label allows application by broadcast spreader, although extra care must be taken to protect non-target species using this program. Users report 80% population control with one application of ZP Oat Bait.
If you need help deciding on a ground squirrel control program, come in to Ag Depot we’ll get you on the right track.