Rodent Control Services in San Diego

Our San Diego rodent pest control division provides solutions for rodent pests that can invade a home/business and destroy landscaping. We offer control methods such as baiting, habitat modification, trapping and burrow fumigants. Rodents can vector many diseases. One of the most famous being the bubonic plague which is carried by ecto-parasites (fleas, present on ground squirrels). Humans and pets can become the victims of flea bites. Some other diseases, such as the hantavirus, can be deadly to humans. Hantavirus is associated with the droppings of deer mice.

Large Scale Problems
The majority of Agricultural Pest Control Services' work is targeted at large scale situations which other pest control operators cannot or will not handle. Our experience includes control programs for parks, school districts, developers, homeowners' association, golf courses, water districts, landscapers, Cal Trans and the National Forest Service.

Controlling rodent infestations on a large-scale basis is difficult and requires the development of a site-specific plan that will allow for both reducing the existing infestation to a maintainable level and the implementation of a continuous service program to prevent future reinfestation problems, as a result of breeding and/or migration.

Control strategy is different for every site and involves researching and evaluating many variables that must be considered before implementing any program. These variables include the plant or landscape material involved, irrigation schedule, climate, soil type, time of year, migration potential, history of prior control efforts and the type and degree of infestation for each pest involved.

We also provide service for all residential settings and personal homes as well.
Our San Diego rodent control includes service for:

  • Gophers
  • Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Bird Control
  • Moles
  • Raccoons
  • Snakes
  • Opossums
  • Skunks
  • Mice & Rats
  • Wildlife Invaders


rdoent gopher control San Diego

Gopher control in San Diego. Gophers are a serious and difficult pest to control. They destroy vegetation, wiring, lower the aesthetic value of the landscape and create safety hazards due to foot, ankle and leg injuries.

Additionally, their burrowing activity on slopes causes erosion and can be a major factor in slope weakening and instability that may ultimately lead to slope failure.

A thorough understanding of gopher biology and habits is essential to a successful control program. Gophers are medium-sized rodents, with their head and body ranging in size from 6-8 inches long. They have a powerfully-built upper body, short neck, short legs, long clawed forefeet and two pairs of large incisors protruding beyond the mouth. These fossorial features are tremendous adaptations for their underground existence.

Gophers do not hibernate and are thought to be active year round even with snow on the ground; however, in very hot weather, they noticeably decrease surface feeding and mounding. They live almost exclusively underground, venturing above only to push excavated dirt from the burrow system, graze on vegetation near burrow openings or for the purpose of migrating into new territory.

Gopher Burrow System

Burrow systems consist of a main tunnel, lateral runs, pop holes and various other functional tunnels, plus enlargements, which are used for nesting, food storage, resting and eating.

The main burrow is usually 2-4 inches in diameter and is 2-18 inches below and parallel to the ground surface. Burrow of young may be small, covering only one or two hundred square feet while those of older pocket gophers may cover an area as large as three thousand square feet.

Lateral Run - Lateral runs branch off the main run and are used primarily to push excavated soil to the surface. The mounds from these laterals are crescent shaped because the soil is pushed with the forefeet out of the angled lateral to the front and sides of the opening.

Pop Holes - Pop holes usually lead straight from the surface to the main run and are used as an access for feeding on nearby vegetation.

Drainage Tunnels - Drainage tunnels are used for water runoff, thus making it difficult to drown a gopher in a well established system.

Damage Caused by Gophers

gopher damage

Ground Squirrels

ground squirrel The California Ground Squirrel is a common species in gardens and yards and can be very destructive. Their habitat includes nearly all regions of California.

Ground squirrels are troublesome pests for homeowners and gardeners. When they dig their burrows, they create large openings and make large hills of dirt and rock that buries grass or small plants. They chew on shrubs, vines and trees.

Ground squirrels forage above ground near their burrows. They live in a wide variety of natural habitats but usually avoid thick chaparral, dense woods and wet areas.

They live in colonies that can include several dozen animals in a complex of burrows. They are mostly active during the daytime. They spend a lot of their time underground in their homes where they sleep, raise their babies, store food and stay away from danger.

If not controlled, a population can quickly escalate. Infestations on a large-scale basis are difficult and requires the development of a site-specific plan that will allow for both reducing the existing infestation to a maintainable level and the implementation of a continuous service program to prevent future reinfestation problems, as a result of breeding and/or migration.


raccoons Raccoons are active all year round but may take cover in dens during periods of severe weather. They prefer wooded areas near water and in natural habitats and den in hollow trees, ground burrows, brush piles or rock crevices. They eat both plants and animals. They are active mostly at nighttime.

Raccoons have become increasingly comfortable around urban and suburban environments where they will make dens in attics, beneath decks or in accessible outbuildings.

Damage to gardens may be relatively minor compared to the potential damage a raccoon can do to a house. The female raccoons are known to tear off shingles on roof tops to get to the attic in search of a nesting site. Do not try and remove these animals as they can become very aggressive if threatened. It is best to call a professional pest management company to remove and trap them.

Raccoons are known to carry a number of diseases and internal parasites. The raccoon roundworm, an infection spread to people by the accidental ingestion or inhalation of roundworm eggs from raccoon feces, has caused increased concern in recent years. Roundworm infection can cause serious disabilities, and young children are thought to be most susceptible. Raccoons are also carriers of rabies.


rodent skunk control San Diego

There are two species of skunk found in California, the striped which is the most commonly found species, and the spotted skunk . Both are members of the weasel family and are equipped with a powerful and protective scent gland that can shoot a potent and pungent liquid as far as 6 to 10 feet. The secretion is acrid enough to cause nausea and can produce severe burning and temporary blindness if it strikes the eyes.

Skunks are nocturnal, hunting at night for insects, grubs, small rodents, snakes, frogs, mushrooms, berries and fruit, pet food, bird food and garbage. They especially have a preference for bird eggs. Ground nesting birds suffer many losses.

Breeding usually occurs during February and March for the striped skunk. Most litters range from four to six. Skunks do not hibernate, but in regions of colder weather females may congregate in communal dens during the winter. They often den in burrows and will use abandoned burrows because they do not like to dig. If dens are scarce, they will readily use brush piles, hollow logs and culverts. In urban settings, they den under decks, porches or beneath buildings.

Skunks are attracted to residential areas by the ready availability of food, water and shelter. There is cause for concern when skunks take up residence in an urban or suburban area because in California they are primary carriers of rabies, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Skunks are also carriers of other diseases including leptospirosis, listeriosis, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, Q-fever, tularemia and trypanosoma.

Control Methods

Habitat Modification- You can limit skunk activity by cutting back overgrown shrubbery and by stacking firewood tightly. Remove fallen fruit and make sure your lids are tight on your garbage cans. If you feed your pets outside, make sure you bring their food in after dark.

Exclusion- The best solution for skunk problems beneath porches or buildings is to screen or block them out. Close off all potential entrances with a 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth. This will also exclude rats and mice if installed correctly. Or just give us a call and we will take care of it for you.

Trapping- Skunks can be trapped with an enclosed cage-type, live-catch trap. Plastic box traps are best because they are completely enclosed, reducing the risk of getting sprayed while removing the trapped animal from the site. Individuals who have no experience trapping skunks should always hire a professional wildlife control operator. Skunks cannot be relocated without a permit, and because of the potential for rabies it is unlikely the Fish and Game would issue one. So it is best that you call a professional if you have skunk problems.

Odor Removal- Odor removal can be challenging because the most effective products are not readily available. The chemical neutroleum-alpha is on of the best product for illuminating the odor, but again, it is difficult to find. Do not use this chemical on pets or people. If your dog or cat has been sprayed, it is best you call your veterinarian.

Skunk Bites- Rabies is found in the saliva of infected animals. It affects only mammals and is transmitted most commonly by a bite. With the exception of bats, the disease is almost always fatal. People can survive the bite of a rabid animal, but only if medical attention is received in time. Make sure your pets are routinely vaccinated


rodents opossum control San Diego

Opossums are the only native North American who carry their young in their abdominal pouch, called marsupial.

Their size averages from 2-3 feet long (including their tail) weighing up to 15 pounds. They can carry nesting materials and even hang upside down from trees. Their feet resemble small hands with five widely-spread fingers. All of the toes have a claw except for the opposable thumb on the rear foot. They are well-adapted for climbing and use their hind feet to assist in holding on to small branches.


While their natural habitats are diverse, ranging from dry to moist and wooded to open fields, opossum prefer environments near streams or wetlands. They take shelter in abandoned burrows of other animals, in tree cavities and brush piles and beneath other dense cover. In urban and suburban settings they may make their homes under steps, porches, decks, garden tool sheds, and if accessible, in attics, garages and beneath houses.

They have complex but flexible social relationships, with overlapping home ranges that allow high populations to develop when food supply is plentiful. Opossum that live near people may visit vegetable gardens, compost piles, garbage cans or food left out for pets. They have lost their natural fear of people so they will even enter a home through a pet door in search of food. They are not aggressive so when encountering them, they may hiss, growl, and show their teeth if threatened, but will mostly scurry away.

Another characteristic reaction if threatened, is “playing possum”. The animal rolls over on its side, becomes limp, shuts its eyes and lets its tongue hang out pretending to be dead. The heartbeat even slows down. This is a nervous shock reaction, but the opossum recovers quickly and takes the first opportunity to escape.

The Problem with Opossums

Opossums are considered a nuisance in gardens and near homes when they feed on berries, grapes, tree fruits and nuts, and defecate on garden paths and patios. They get into fights with dogs and cats and can inflict serious injury with their mouthful of sharp, pointed teeth.


Opossums carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever and many others. They will also be infested with fleas, ticks, mites and lice.


To control the population of opossum, overgrown shrubbery should be cut back and trees that overhang rooftops should be trimmed back at least five feet from the roof edge. Fallen fruit should be removed frequently. Make sure your firewood is stacked tightly, leaving no major gaps suitable for a den.

Trapping and Exclusion are acceptable ways for control. It is advised to call a rodent control professional if you are having problems.


rat control in San Diego

Rat control in San Diego and Southern California. The most troublesome and destructive rats we find in California are roof rats and Norway rats.

They eat and contaminate food, damage structures and property and transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans. Rats live and thrive in a wide variety of climates and conditions and are often found in and around homes and other buildings, on farms and in gardens and open fields.

They are active mostly at night. They have poor eyesight but have a keen sense of hearing, smell, taste and touch.

They constantly explore and learn, memorizing pathways, obstacles, food, water and shelter.

Rats gain entry to structures by gnawing, climbing, jumping or swimming through sewers and entering through toilets or broken drains.

Norway and roof rats don’t get along. The Norway rat is larger and the more dominant species; it will kill a roof rat in a fight.


Roof Rat's favorite places to nest are in attics, trees and overgrown shrubbery. They rarely dig burrows because they like to live off the ground. Opposed to Norway rats who prefer the basement and ground floors to live. Unlike the roof rat, the Norway rat will dig burrows. They will not cohabitate together.


Both rat species cause damage by gnawing on electrical wires and wooden structures such as doors, ledges, corners and wall material, and they tear up insulation in walls and ceiling.

Norway rats can undermine building foundations and slabs with their burrowing activities and can gnaw on all types of materials, including soft metals such as copper and lead.


Both rats carry diseases that transmit to humans or livestock. Those diseases include murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning). And ratbite fever. Plague is a disease that both carry, but in California it is more commonly associated with ground squirrels, chipmunks and native woodrats.

Management and Control

A successful rat control strategy typically includes three elements:

  • Sanitation Measures
  • Building Construction
  • Rodent Proofing
An affordable monthly maintenance program is advised.


mice control San Diego

House mice are considered among the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States. A very adaptable species, the house mouse often lives in close association with humans and therefore is termed one of the “commensal” rodents along with Norway and roof rats.


House mice live in and around homes, farms, commercial establishments, as well as in open fields and agricultural lands. The onset of cold weather, they move into structures in search of shelter and food. They eat many types of food but prefer seeds and grain. They obtain their water needs from the food they eat. An absence of liquid water or food of adequate moisture content in their environment may reduce their breeding potential.

House mice are mainly nocturnal, although at some locations considerable daytime activity may be seen. They have poor eyesight, relying more on their excellent senses of smell, taste and touch.


House mice can dig and may burrow into the ground in fields or around structures when other shelter is not readily available.

Litters of 5 or 6 young are born 19 to 21 days after mating, although females that conceive while still nursing may have a slightly longer gestation period. Mice breed year round, but when living outdoors usually are most actively reproducing in spring and fall. A female may have 5 to 6 litters per year. Mouse populations can therefore grow rapidly under good conditions.


House mice consume and contaminate food storage and animal feed. They can be present and cause damage on farms, in feed storage structures and feed mills in warehouses, bakeries, markets and homes. They can cause structural damage to buildings by their gnawing and nestbuilding activities. They may cause extensive damage to insulation inside walls and attics. They often make their homes in large electrical appliances, and will chew up wiring as well as insulation, resulting in short circuits or other malfunctions that are expensive to repair.


Some of the diseases you’ll find from mice are salmonellosis (food poisoning), reckettsialpox, and lymphocytic choriomenignities. Mice can also carry leptospirosis, ratbite fever, tapeworms and organisms that can cause ringworm in humans. It has also been found that house mice can act as reservoirs and transmitters of swine dysentery, a serious bacterial disease of swine.

Management and Control

Effective prevention and control of house mouse damage involves three aspects:

  • Rodent-proof construction
  • Sanitation
  • Population reduction
An affordable monthly maintenance program is advised.

Field Mice

rodent mice control San Diego

Field mice are similar in appearance to pocket gophers. They have a compact, heavy body, short legs, a short-furred tail, small eyes and partially hidden ears. Their long, coarse fur is blackish brown to grayish brown. When fully grown they can measure 5 to 8 inches long, including the tail.

They are poor climbers and usually don’t enter homes or other buildings.

They spend a considerable amount of time above ground and you occasionally can see them scurrying about. However, they spend most of their time below ground in their burrow system. They generally build their system where there is heavy vegetation. They tend to dig many short, shallow burrows and make underground nests of grass, stems and leaves.

rodent mouse control San Diego

Meadow mouse runways
connect numerous
shallow burrows.

Field mice can breed any time of year, but the peak breeding period is spring; they have 5 to 10 litters per year and litter size ranges from 3 to 6. Their population fluctuates depending on their living conditions and they rapidly increase in size in favorable conditions. Once numbers begin to increase rapidly, the damage they do to ornamental and garden plants and to trees can be quite severe. They seldom live longer than 12 months.


Field mice cause damage by feeding on a wide range of garden plants including artichoke, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, spinach, sweet potato, tomato and turnip. They also damage turf and other landscape plantings such as lilies and dichondra. They gravitate toward fruit trees and can damage the trunk by gnawing on it, if they gnaw completely around the trunk or roots, it will disrupt the tree’s flow of nutrients and water.


Some of the diseases you’ll find from mice are salmonellosis (food poisoning), reckettsial-pox, and lymphocytic choriomenignities. Mice can also carry leptospirosis, ratbite fever, tapeworms and organisms that can cause ringworm in humans. It has also been found that field mice can act as reservoirs and transmitters of swine dysentery, a serious bacterial diseases of swine.


Removing or reducing the vegetative cover, making the area unsuitable to field mice.

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