Have you heard the sounds of rodents scurrying within your walls or gnawing in your home or business? Then you may have a rodent problem and it is very important to begin rodent control immediately. Rats gestation period is around 24 days and they are in heat 4 days after pregnancy. This means they produce even faster than rabbits. Rodents chewing through wiring is one of the leading cause of house fires.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent. Inhaling dust from dried rodent urine, feces and nesting material can also result in illness. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised should be particularly careful to protect themselves from rodent carried illnesses.
In California, the most common diseases caused by rodents are Typhoid, Rat Bite Fever, Lymphonocytic Choriomeningitis, Salmonellosis, Hantavirus, and Rabies. If you think you have come into contact with rodents and are having symptoms contact your health care professional immediately.
Wild rodents can cause home damage, contaminate food and cause illness in people and pets. To avoid rodent infestation remove potential rodent food and water sources, and store food for people and pets in sealed containers. Clear debris that rodents can hide in. Safely clean up rodent droppings, urine and nesting areas, always wearing gloves and spraying material with disinfectant until thoroughly soaked before attempting to remove or clean.
The best way to prevent rodents from living space is by sealing up holes inside and outside your home or business to prevent entry. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter!
We specialize in rodent extermination and sanitization. Please contact us anytime for questions.
Gophers are heavily built, and most are moderately large, ranging from 12 to 30 cm (4.7 to 12 in) in length, and weighing a few hundred grams. A few species reach weights approaching 1 kg (2.2 lb). Males are always larger than the females and can be nearly double their weight. Most gophers have brown fur which often closely matches the color of the soil in which they live. Their most characteristic feature is their large cheek pouches, from which the word “pocket” in their name derives. These pouches are fur-lined, and can be turned inside out. They extend from the side of the mouth well back onto the shoulders. They have small eyes and a short, hairy tail which they use to feel around tunnels when they walk backwards.
All pocket gophers are burrowers. They are larder hoarders, and their cheek pouches are used for transporting food back to their burrows. Gophers can collect large hoards. Their presence is unambiguously announced by the appearance of mounds of fresh dirt about 20 cm (7.9 in) in diameter. These mounds will often appear in vegetable gardens, lawns, or farms, as gophers like moist soil. They also enjoy feeding on vegetables. For this reason, some species are considered agricultural pests. They may also damage trees in forests. Although they will attempt to flee when threatened, they may attack other animals, including cats and humans, and can inflict serious bites with their long, sharp teeth.
Pocket gophers are solitary outside of the breeding season, aggressively maintaining territories that vary in size depending on the resources available. Males and females may share some burrows and nesting chambers if their territories border each other, but in general, each pocket gopher inhabits its own individual tunnel system.
Depending on the species and local conditions, pocket gophers may have a specific annual breeding season, or may breed repeatedly through the year. Each litter typically consists of two to five young, although this may be much higher in some species. The young are born blind and helpless, and are weaned at around forty days.
There has been much debate among taxonomists about which races of pocket gopher should be recognised as full species, and the following list cannot be regarded as definitive.
- Family Geomyidae
- Genus Cratogeomys; some authors treat this genus as a subgenus of Pappogeomys.
- Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher (Cratogeomys castanops)
- Oriental Basin Pocket Gopher (C. fulvescens)
- Smoky Pocket Gopher (C. fumosus)
- Llano Pocket Gopher (C. gymnurus)
- Merriam´s Pocket Gopher (C. merriami)
- Querétaro Pocket Gopher (C. neglectus)
- Naked-nosed Pocket Gopher (C. tylorhinus)
- Zinser´s Pocket Gopher (C. zinseri)
- Genus Geomys – eastern pocket gophers; principally found in the south-western United States, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
- Geomys arenarius; two subspecies, the Desert and White Sands Pocket Gophers
- Attwater’s Pocket Gopher (G. attwateri)
- Plains Pocket Gopher (G. bursarius); two subspecies
- Jones’ Pocket Gopher (G. knoxjonesi)
- Geomys personatus; 5 subspecies including the Texas, Davis, Maritime and Carrizo Springs Pocket Gophers
- Geomys pinetis; 4 subspecies, the Southeastern, Cumberland Island, Sherman’s and Goff’s Pocket Gophers
- Geomys texensis; 2 subspecies, including the LLano Pocket Gopher
- Genus Orthogeomys – giant pocket gophers or taltuzas; found in Mexico, Central America and Colombia.
- Chiriqui Pocket Gopher (Orthogeomys cavator)
- Cherrie´s Pocket Gopher (O. cherriei)
- Oaxacan Pocket Gopher (O. cuniculus)
- Darien Pocket Gopher (O. dariensis)
- Giant Pocket Gopher (O. grandis)
- Variable Pocket Gopher (O. heterodus)
- Hispid Pocket Gopher (O. hispidus)
- Big Pocket Gopher (O. lanius)
- Nicaraguan Pocket Gopher (O. matagalpae)
- Thaeler´s Pocket Gopher (O. thaeleri)
- Underwood´s Pocket Gopher (O. underwoodi)
- Genus Pappogeomys; found in Mexico.
- Alcorn´s Pocket Gopher (Pappogeomys alcorni)
- Buller´s Pocket Gopher (P. bulleri)
- Genus Thomomys – western pocket gophers; widely distributed in North America, extending into the northwestern US, Canada and the southeastern US.
- Thomomys bottae; many subspecies, including the Botta’s, Fish Spring, Bonneville, Clear Lake, San Antonio, Pistol River, Mount Ellen, Guadalupe, Limpia, Mearns’, Stansbury Island, Antelope Island, Cebolleta, Salinas, Skull Valley, Swasey Springs, Harquahala and Limpia Greek Pocket Gophers.
- Camas Pocket Gopher (T. bulbivorus)
- Wyoming Pocket Gopher (T. clusius)
- Idaho Pocket Gopher (T. idahoensis)
- Mazama Pocket Gopher (T. mazama); several subspecies including the Western, Gold Beach, Olympic, and Tacoma Pocket Gophers.
- Mountain Pocket Gopher (T. monticola)
- Northern Pocket Gopher (T. talpoides); very widely distributed; several subspecies including the Cheyenne Northern Pocket Gopher
- Townsend´s Pocket Gopher (T. townsendii)
- Southern Pocket Gopher (T. umbrinus)
- Genus Zygogeomys
- Michoacan Pocket Gopher or Tuza (Zygogeomys trichopus)
- Genus Cratogeomys; some authors treat this genus as a subgenus of Pappogeomys.
A mole’s diet primarily consists of earthworms and other small invertebrates found in the soil and also a variety of nuts. Because their saliva contains a toxin that can paralyze earthworms, moles are able to store their still living prey for later consumption. They construct special underground “larders” for just this purpose; researchers have discovered such larders with over a thousand earthworms in them. Before eating earthworms, moles pull them between their squeezed paws to force the collected earth and dirt out of the worm’s gut.
Although the mole can be eaten, the taste is said to be deeply unpleasant.
The eyes of moles and of some burrowing rodents are rudimentary in size, and in some cases are quite covered by skin and fur. This state of the eyes is probably due to gradual reduction from disuse, but aided perhaps by natural selection. In South America, a burrowing rodent, the tuco-tuco, or Ctenomys, is even more subterranean in its habits than the mole; and I was assured by a Spaniard, who had often caught them, that they were frequently blind. One which I kept alive was certainly in this condition, the cause, as appeared on dissection, having been inflammation of the nictitating membrane. As frequent inflammation of the eyes must be injurious to any animal, and as eyes are certainly not necessary to animals having subterranean habits, a reduction in their size, with the adhesion of the eyelids and growth of fur over them, might in such case be an advantage; and if so, natural selection would aid the effects of disuse. (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Laws of Variation)
Since the modern synthesis, Darwin’s suggestion that the mole’s eye became small “probably due to gradual reduction from disuse…” is no longer fully accepted by modern biologists. The Lamarckian mechanism by which increased or decreased use of an organ could influence its reproduction, which was accepted by Darwin, has been replaced by an appreciation that natural selection and random genetic variation (genetic drift) are the primary drivers.
A mouse (plural mice) is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents