How to Fill Ground Squirrel Holes {The Best Ways Explained}

Do you see holes spread out across your property and realize that ground squirrels are the perpetrators? Do you want to know how to fill ground squirrels holes the best way?

Why do squirrels dig in the ground? What is the impact of ground squirrels to the environment? You’ve come to the right place to find out the different ways and items you can use to fill these ground squirrel holes.

This article is dedicated to anyone frustrated and looking for the best way to find out how to fill ground squirrel holes.

How to Fill Ground Squirrel Holes

Try kitty litter, castor oil mixed with dishwashing liquid, fine gravel, sand, cement and consider repellent odors on top like peppermint oil, ammonia (mimicking predator urine), sprinkled coffee grounds or pepper powders to fill ground squirrel holes.

There are also burrow blocker machines and tunnel filler pellets that work extremely well. You will find the solution that works for you or you can mix and match from the choices above.

Keep ground squirrels away from your home by repelling them with odors, plants and noises they hate or trap them in cages with peanut butter as bait, then release them 2-6 miles away from your home so they don’t come back.

How to Fill in Ground Squirrel Holes With Castor Oil

Castor oil is a cheap and easy solution to fill holes caused by many rodents or insects. It’s best to mix the oil with two tablespoons of dishwashing soap. This will create a slimy, oily and repelling barrier for rodents like squirrels to choose another location and leave this previously dug hole alone for good.

You only need about a quarter cup of castor oil and pour it into the hole. Use water, castor oil and dishwashing soap in a spray bottle if you wish to create a proactive deterrent to preventing ground squirrels from wishing to dig holes. You can also sprinkle pepper powder or coffee grounds around the yard as well.

How Do You Get Rid of Squirrel Holes?

Getting rid of squirrels holes involves filling them with:

  • Castor oil
  • Dish soap
  • Sand
  • Pepper powder
  • Cement
  • Soil mixed with coffee grounds
  • Covering them with repelling plants.

Squirrels do not like plants or flowers such as Alliums, Daffodils and Fritillaries. They would also be deterred by scarecrows, statues of owls.

Your pets can help chase them away as well or the scent of predator urine such as fox urine will keep them at a distance from your property.

What Bait Works Best for Ground Squirrels?

When the ground squirrels’ holes continue and repellents do not work, it’s time to catch these ground squirrels and release somewhere far away.

Peanut butter is our favorite bait that works well to lure squirrels into an enclosure that will trap them in. You can also try pieces of fruit like apples or nuts to invite them into the trap and release mechanism.

Poisoning or killing a squirrel may attract predators or larger animals who wish to scavenge or merely investigate the foul odor from the carcass that you will have to eventually clean up.

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Do Squirrels Dig Holes at Night?

Squirrels follow a diurnal cycle meaning that they will be active during the day only and take a long break at night for rest and sleep. They will not be seen digging up your yard or creating holes at this time.

You may have to consider that another rodent such as a rat or even nuisance racoons have arrived and found a reason to dig holes. Some animals burrow while others wish to use the cover of the night to steal food and stir up gardens during their search for a quick snack.

What Do Ground Squirrels Hate?

Ground squirrels are fearful of larger, looming and potential threats. They would be scared of statues of owls or conventional scarecrows if you wish to give them a try. Otherwise ground squirrels would not like to go near:

  • Predator urine (fox urine or ammonia that mimics the urine scent)
  • Capsaicin (peppers)
  • White vinegar
  • Peppermint oil
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Dryer sheets
  • Irish Spring Soap
  • Rosemary

Sprinkle, spread or spray the items in the list above around your property and ground squirrels will seek to find another place to create a mess with their holes.

Why Do Squirrels Dig in the Ground?

Squirrels don’t burrow usually into the ground to create shelter. They would rather nest higher up where they can view any threats around them. They are digging into the ground to search for food. Squirrels can nibble on roots and flower bulbs.

Another reason why squirrels love digging holes is where they find food sources and wish to create secret food storage caches. Sometimes they dig decoy holes to trick other animals into thinking there is food or a sitting duck (squirrel) ready to be eaten.

Little do they know, there is nothing inside. Unfortunately, this all comes at your expense and time to fill the holes back up.

How Do You Deal With Ground Squirrels?

If repellents like coffee grounds or spray bottles with peppermint oil and water don’t quite cut it, ground squirrels will find their way to continue digging holes or messing up your gardens.

You can deal with them by using mothballs, ammonia, predator urine or give up and resort to poison bait. You will have to remain on guard because when a ground squirrel consumes poison bait inside peanut butter, for example, there is not much time left before they pass out and die on your property.

This is why other animals may be attracted to your yard. You are also risking poisoning other animals along the way. When the number of squirrels grows out of control, poison bait becomes the option of pest control services hired by you or employed by the city to control their populations and limit the damage they can cause.

Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Squirrels Away?

Yes. You can try Irish Spring soap to keep ground squirrels and other squirrels away from locations that you do not wish for them to enter or dwell. You can rub the soap on the underside of patio furniture or against fences.

You can also shave off pieces of this soap to repel squirrels. Irish Spring is a popular brand of soap that is a perfect example of fragrant, fresh scents that we enjoy but squirrels hate.

If you are opting to use unscented soap, you will not get the same desired repelling effects.

Ways To Fill Ground Squirrel Holes

Let’s fill these ground squirrels holes once and for all. Keep in mind that some of these holes can get deep. They try to avoid areas where flooding can damage their holes, but your building’s foundation could be at risk.

1. How Big Are Ground Squirrel Holes?

They are about 2-4 inches in diameter. They can get to 10-30 feet deep. There could be tunnels between holes where squirrels hide food, escape danger, sleep or take care of their young.

2. How Do I Know I Have Ground squirrels?

The ground squirrel activity consists of:

  • Chewed plants
  • Gnawed irrigation lines
  • Damaged crops
  • Soil splattered around
  • Garden plants or grass pulled out

3. Dangers From Ground Squirrels

Ground squirrels can damage the landscape or affect the structural integrity of foundations. In some cases they can spread bacteria or disease. Some ground squirrels carry parasites like fleas and ticks as well.

4. Best Way to Fill Squirrel Holes

Have you ever seen a burrow blocker machine? They are sold for the purpose of covering or deterring holes that rodents like squirrels can create. These machines have water and sand in their tanks.

You can help the burrow blocker machines by adding substances to the mixture to create barriers that smell replusive to ground squirrels. Add:

  • castor oil
  • pepper spray
  • mothballs
  • coffee grounds 

This way, the holes are better covered and filled to prevent them from being opened up again by ground squirrels.

5. What Are Tunnel Fills?

Tunnel fills are like pellets to fill burrows. You throw them in the holes and add water. The pellets expand in size up to 200-300 times their size. It’s like a slimy or gooey substance in the hole now that you fill with topsoil.

6. How to Prevent Squirrel Holes

Filling holes comes after the fact. You can prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some ways to be proactive and get ground squirrels to dig holes elsewhere.

  • Fumigate the soil.
  • Trap the squirrels in bait traps.
  • Install taller fencing or chicken wires made of thicker steel mesh.
  • Place tall plants or tall grass that ground squirrels avoid.
  • Use plants like Daffodils or Alliums that squirrels hate.
  • Spray or sprinkle pepper or capsaicin. 

These burrows and holes will become a problem of the past. Stay diligent and work proactively to steer squirrels in other directions that are further away from your property.


Thanks for visiting for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable