- Author: Elaine Lander
If you are growing tomatoes in your garden, you may not be the only vertebrate going for your hard earned harvest. Are rats feasting away in the garden? We have a couple resources we can share to help you reduce or prevent rat damage to your tomatoes.
Integrated Pest Management for Rats
Nutria are found near rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands. Their burrowing and feeding on vegetation can cause damage. In addition, they can carry pathogens and parasites.
Learn how to identify nutria and distinguish them from other native look-alikes in this fact sheet from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW). If you think you've found nutria in California, be sure to report it to CDFW. You can find more about nutria from their website.
Trapping is the safest and most effective method for controlling rats and mice in and around homes, garages, and other structures. Rodents that live in close association with humans are called commensal rodents. Rats and mice are the most frequently encountered commensal rodents in California.
Selecting the correct trap
Before trapping, make sure you know what rodent pest you have. It is a very common mistake to select the wrong size trap when you have not yet determined whether you have mice or rats (and the correctly identified rat species).
You will not catch a rat with a mouse trap, and you will not catch a mouse with a rat trap. To determine.../h2>
Gophers are well-known and certainly unwelcome pests in landscapes, gardens, lawns, and athletic turf. More correctly called pocket gophers, these rodents mostly remain hidden underground in tunnels and feed on plants from below, sometimes pulling whole plants into their tunnels. They prefer herbaceous plants but will eat a wide range of vegetation.
A single gopher can destroy a landscape quickly, so control measures need to begin as soon as the gopher is detected. Mounds of fresh soil are usually the first indication of their presence. Effective integrated management of pocket gophers relies largely on exclusion measures and trapping, although poison baits are also available.
Read more about gophers, their behavior, and...
Although they're small, cute, and furry, ground squirrels can be a real pest for California residents and gardeners. Found throughout California, burrowing ground squirrels cause damage to landscapes and structures while feeding on ornamental or food-bearing plants.
How can you get rid of ground squirrels?
There are several management options for ground squirrels. They might include:
- habitat modification
- fumigation and toxic baits
It's important to understand the life cycle and behavior of ground squirrels for.../h2>