Trapping and catching ground squirrels can be labor-intensive, however, it is a highly effective approach to reducing squirrel populations on small acreages. Trapping can be effectively conducted any time the squirrels are out of hibernation, which depends on the climate in your region. For humane reasons, it is best to avoid trapping squirrels during the period when females are nursing their young, so please inquire about hibernation and birthing patterns with your local Wildlife Control Agency.
Invest in a sufficient number of traps. Because ground squirrels procreate rapidly, you will need to buy multiple traps to keep the population under control. As a rule of thumb, you should purchase one trap for every 10 to 15 squirrels that you estimate are present.
Catch ground squirrels with a pocket gopher trap. These are kill-type traps, so if you plan on relocating the squirrels, it is best to purchase a different style. However, these traps are effective as a control method if squirrels are damaging your crops. Pocket gopher traps should be placed near burrow openings found in trees or on trails where the crops are being ravaged. Bait the traps with nuts, orange slices or melons.
Use a spring-loaded jaw trap, similar to larger bear traps, another kill-trap method that does not require bait. Spring-loaded jaw traps are only effective when placed over burrow openings, however a trap box modifications are available that encase the trap jaw inside of a box. If using the trap box modification, you must bait the trap to entice the squirrels inside.
Choose a more humane live-catch wire or wooden trap to capture squirrels and remove them humanely. These common traps are widely available and often used for stray cats, raccoons and other animals. Again, you will need to bait the trap so that the squirrel will be drawn in.