Damage Caused by Common Yard Rodents


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Many homeowners are more concerned about rodents infesting their homes then worried about their yards. But of course, the outdoors is the rodent's natural habitat. They can cause damage to yards and gardens just by doing what they do naturally - nesting and foraging for food. There are several common that give many a homeowner and gardener a headache.

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Some of the more common wildlife inhabiting yards include rats, mice, moles, gophers, squirrel, ground squirrels, groundhogs, chipmunk, and rabbit. Less frequently seen are animals like porcupine and beaver. Many of these will never be seen by the homeowner, but they are there nonetheless, no matter how urban the area. These animals can cause all sorts of damage to yards and gardens, including:

  • Digging holes or burrows, or creating a tunnel system throughout the yard. Rodent holes in yard and garden areas might seem like a minor nuisance or just a cosmetic problem at first, but it can actually be much more than that. Some rodents create complex and extensive tunnels that can actually undermine patios, walkways, gazebos, and other structures too! If that's not bad enough, an unsuspecting person (or pet, especially a horse) could sprain an ankle or even break a leg if they step onto seemingly-solid land that collapses into a tunnel or hole.

  • They are voracious eaters. They can destroy plants (even some plants that are deemed 'poisonous'!), strip fruit from trees, devour berries and leaves, consume all your vegetables, even dig up roots. They may eat the bark off trees (eventually killing them). While a rodent fence can provide some relief, there probably isn't a way to prevent all damage to plants.

  • Rodents and wildlife could transmit parasites and diseases to the family pet or even to people. Fleas and ticks are commonly found on wildlife, and dogs can readily pick them up.

  • Some rodents, in particular mice and rats, breed prolifically. What started out as a single pair could quickly balloon out of control.

  • Rodents in the yard can be mighty tempted to move into your house instead, where it's warm, safe, and has a plentiful supply of food and water. And if that happens there is sure to be damage to the house - damage to the walls, the insulation, and the wiring is very common.

Yard rodents (and other wildlife too) are common in all yards, small and large, rural and urban. To control the population outdoors and prevent them from entering the house, preventive pest control measures should be taken. Taking these steps will help to stop them from entering the house, and make both the house and yard less appealing to them by removing easy access to what they want most: safe, warm shelter, food, and water. Prevention and maintenance are the most humane pest control methods available.