Pocket gophers (Tomomys spp.), so named for their fur lined cheek pouches located outside their mouths, are burrowing rodents.
They are serious and difficult to control pests for both the agricultural and landscape industries, as well as for the homeowner. Pocket gophers destroy vegetation, wiring, lower the aesthetic value of the landscape and create safety hazards due to foot, ankle and leg injuries.
Selection and timing of the proper control method are the most important factors in managing ground squirrel populations. Most often, long term benefits will not be realized unless a program is developed that takes into consideration several important factors: biology and behavior, history of previous control efforts, knowledge of all available control techniques and the utilization of habitat manipulation where feasible.
Rats and mice reproduce quickly. Mice can have up to 17 litters per year, averaging five young each. Roof Rats can have an average of 25 - 40 young per year with sexual maturity reached at three to five months. One can see the potential for an increase in rodent populations throughout our communities!
Rats and mice are nocturnal. They are excellent climbers. They have a keen sense of hearing, taste and smell and will travel as far as necessary in order to find their basic need of food, water and harborage. Mice tend to be more curious, visiting at least 30 sites a night looking for food whereas rats are more cautious and slower to accept new food and will visit only a couple of sites per night. Mice will eat a wide variety of foods, preferring cereal grains and plants. Rats prefer fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and will visit only a couple sites per night.
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