Ground Burrowing Pests
Burrowing Rodent Control
Ground squirrels are difficult pest for homeowners and gardeners. The California ground squirrel is the most common species in gardens. It’s easy to identify ground squirrels, since they forage aboveground near their burrows. Their fur is brownish gray and speckled with off white along the back; the sides of the head and shoulders are light gray to whitish. Ground squirrels live in a wide variety of natural habitats but they prefer grazed rangelands and areas disturbed by humans such as fence rows, around buildings, and in or bordering many crops. Ground squirrels live in burrows which can be 5 to 30 feet or more in length and can extend 2 to 4 feet below the soil surface. Often there is more than one opening in a burrow system. Ground squirrels live in colonies that can include several dozen animals in a complex of burrows. Ground squirrels will enter gardens and devour vegetables in the seedling stage. They can damage young shrubs, vines, and trees by gnawing bark, stripping trunks of bark, eating twigs and leaves, and burrowing around roots. Burrows around trees and shrubs can damage and desiccate, or dry out, roots; it sometimes can topple trees. Burrowing beneath buildings and other structures sometimes produces damage that necessitates costly repair. Ground squirrels can harbor diseases harmful to humans, particularly when squirrel populations are numerous. A major concern is bubonic plague transmitted to humans by fleas that the squirrels carry.
The mole is a small, insect-eating mammal. Contrary to a commonly held belief, it is not part of the rodent family. Moles live almost entirely underground in a vast network of interconnecting tunnels. They frequently create shallow tunnels just below the surface where they capture worms, insects, and other invertebrates. Moles will eat roots, bulbs, and other plant material, but generally the greatest problem caused by moles is their burrowing, which dislodges plants drying out their roots. Moles are active throughout the year, although surface activity slows or is absent during periods of extreme cold, heat, or drought. Moles can cause significant problems in landscape or garden areas, especially in turf.
Pocket gophers are burrowing rodents that get their name from the fur-lined, external cheek pouches, or pockets, they use for carrying food and nesting materials. Five species of pocket gophers are found in California, with Botta’s pocket gopher, being most widespread. For the most part, gophers remain underground in their burrow system, although you’ll sometimes see them feeding at the edge of an open burrow, pushing dirt out of a burrow, or moving to a new area. Mounds of fresh soil are the best sign of a gopher’s presence. In non irrigated areas, mound building is most pronounced during spring or fall when the soil is moist and easy to dig. In irrigated areas such as lawns, flower beds, and gardens, digging conditions usually are optimal year round, and mounds can appear at any time. Pocket gophers live in a burrow system that can cover an area that is 200 to 2,000 square feet. Feeding burrows usually are 6 to 12 inches below ground, and the nest and food storage chamber can be as deep as 6 feet. Gophers don’t hibernate and are active year-round, although you might not see any fresh mounding. Gophers feed on roots and fleshy portions of plants they encounter while digging. Gophers also will pull entire plants into their tunnel from below. Pocket gophers often invade yards and gardens, feeding on many garden crops, ornamental plants, vines, shrubs, and trees.
Burrowing Rodent Treatments
Depending on the location, time of the year, and distance from the near structures, AmeriGuard has different treatment options in order to control your burrowing pest issues. A technician will perform an inspection during the initial service and will advise if traditional pesticides should be used or if the yard is an appropriate candidate for the Rodenator service described below.
Rodenator: Blast Burrowing Pests Sky High!
We are proud to announce the newest addition to our burrowing pest extermination arsenal: the Rodenator. This tool fills the tunnel systems with a mixture of combustible gas and ignites them, creating a shockwave which kills gophers, squirrels, moles and other burrowing rodents. Proven to be 92% effective on the first treatment, the Rodenator is a non-chemical solution for large lots, ranch houses, farms and agricultural areas.