Homeowners Guide to Common Northern California Pests

With its rich heritage and mild weather, Northern California is a beautiful region that has seen rapid growth in recent years. However, the nice weather and scenery is also home to several different types of pests. If you already own property in Northern California or are expecting to buy this guide should provide a handy list of pests to look out for.

 

Northern California Pests (And Damage To Watch Out For)

 

Gophers

 

What They Are

Correctly referred to as pocket gophers, these creatures are burrowing animals that live off of plant life and insects. Their name comes from their pocketed cheeks that they use to carry food back to their nest where they store it. They are solitary animals that build large tunnel systems.  

 

Damage They Cause

Gophers leave pretty clear signs of their presence both by their mound systems and plant damage your yard. Gophers tend to favor living in moist soil, which can often attract them to nesting in lawns or gardens. They cause noticeable damage to plants by eating the root system and in some cases carrying off the entire plant. They dig up the soil around plants as they consume them. The entrances to their tunnels are blocked by mounds of loose dirt.

 

Moles

 

What They Are

Moles are subterranean mammals that have adapted to live their lives underground. The live off of insects and earthworms and dig large underground tunnels in which to live and search for food. Unlike gophers moles are not rodents and are actually members of the shrew family.

 

Damage They Cause

Moles spend their lives digging tunnel systems. This can cause noticeable damage to your property. Tunnel ridges and molehills are signs of their digging. This not only makes the ground unsightly but also causes the ground to lose its stability.

 

Voles (Also Known as Field Mice or Meadow Mice)

 

What They Are

Voles resemble smaller, stockier mice, with shorten tails. They tend to live in the abandoned burrows of other animals, making them easily mistaken for other animals such as gophers. They eat mostly plants, but can also feed off of dead animals as well.

 

Damage They Cause

Voles are mainly a threat to plant life. Aside from eating the grass around their tunnel holes, they also eat the root systems of larger plants such as trees or shrubs. They also eat the bark off of trees which can kill the tree. A vole infestation is readily apparent as they often kill a great number of plants in their environment. They also create visual eye soars with their above ground runway systems linking their underground systems together.  

 

Bats

 

What They Are

Bats are flying nocturnal mammals that mostly survive by eating insects. Their behavior varies as some live solitary lives while others form large colonies. While a very useful animal in nature due to their consumption of insects, they can be problematic if they take up residence in a home.   

 

Damage They Cause

The damage caused by bats is a result of the bodily waste produced at the nest which can cause several issues. These include damage to the building’s internal structure, odor, and respiratory illness. The bats themselves may also carry diseases.  

 

Mice

 

What They Are

Mice are small nocturnal mammals that often infest homes and buildings looking for food and shelter. Mainly an herbivore in the wild, mice have adapted living in urban areas and will eat just about anything humans throw away.  

 

Damage They Cause

Aside from damage to the building itself, mice spread over 35 diseases through direct contact or bodily waste. The signs of mice include structural damage, nesting, waste (both bodily and food), hair, and noise.

 

Opossum

 

What They Are

Opossums are nocturnal marsupials not native to California, but they were introduced many years ago from the East Coast and have since become well established throughout the state. Opossums are adaptable animals living in many areas and they eat a varied omnivorous diet. They tend to live in dark secure areas, but also like trees as well.   

 

Damage They Cause

The damage an opossum may cause depends upon the area where it has decided to nest. If living outdoors, they tend to eat your trash and may damage your yard digging for food. If they take up residence in an attic however, they can cause structural damage and leave waste. Opossums are known disease vectors by the state of California both with endoparasites and ecoparasites.

 

Raccoons

 

What They Are

Raccoons are nocturnal mammals that are omnivores. Common to rural and urban areas, they are well known for eating human trash and can live just as easily in a chimney as they can a log. Family-oriented creatures, they stay with their young for about a year.    

 

Damage They Cause

Raccoons will eat your gardens and also break into trash cans and spread garbage around as they look for food. Raccoons will also flip over turf looking for grubs and steal coy for coy pounds.  They are brave animals and often you’ll be aware of them by seeing them on your property. Raccoons are also known disease vectors by the state of California and are a source of rabies.

 

Protect Your Property From Northern California Pests

 

As you can see, pests can cause a wide variety of damage to your property. If you discover signs of any common Northern California pests, it’s best to contact a professional pest management service provider as soon as possible. The friendly professionals at Animal Damage Management have the expertise you need to keep your property safe and pest free.

 

Keeping Large Animals From Digging Up Your Lawn

This is the time of year we typically see a large amount of opossum, skunk and raccoon damage on turf. Some locations will even draw in wild pigs and the damage that they can cause is massive. Animal Damage Management recommends either spraying in or spreading in an anti grubicide similar to "Anthem" onto lawns that are affected by these types of pests. Animal Damage Management does not provide the service or the product so this is not an endorsement to enlist our services. This is just information for you to better maintain your lawn surfaces.

New Website

As we bring in the new year, we bring in a new website. Animal Damage Management has been modifying our business goals and one of them has been the introduction of a new website. We hope you enjoy the website and learn a little bit more about some of the pests that have been giving you so much trouble.