Pest control isn’t just for insects! Oh sure…we take care of spiders, ants, earwigs and more, on a regular basis but we also get calls daily in regards to rodents out in the yard. Many of our customers are unaware of the type of rodent destroying their lawn and gardens. That’s where we come in. With just a quick inspection, we can determine whether it’s voles, gophers, whistle pigs or rock chucks. Each one is very different in appearance, and each one is unique in their tunneling system.
Voles are the smallest of these burrowing mammals. They a have a dark almost black coat and are about the size of a large mouse with a short tail. A tell tale sign of a vole invasion is a distinct tunneling system that’s noticeable just under the turf layer with occasional holes the size of a silver dollar. Their ravenous appetite includes eating roots, grasses, bulbs, and even tree bark in winter months. There are several methods used to eliminate voles, but baiting their holes has been the most effective way we have found. It is very effective and safe if applied properly.
Our next culprit is the common pocket gopher. These fun little guys come in a variety of colors including black, gray and brown. They are larger than voles, and have two large incisors that grow from the top of the mouth that are used for gnawing on roots and grasses outside of their entry holes. Gophers are active year round, and can destroy your lawn or pasture very quickly! You will know you have a gopher if you see large mounds of dirt in your yard. Their underground tunnels connect the mounds and can be quite elaborate. Gophers are best controlled by trapping.
Whistle pigs ( or ground squirrels) are interesting little animals. They often remind me of the arcade game, “Whack-a-Mole”. They live in large communities and if you see one, you most likely have a lot more! They have multiple tunnels with “rooms” attached that are used much like bedrooms and kitchens. Whistle pigs are carriers of many diseases and are known to destroy pasture lands in very little time. Ranchers and farmers may have their own way of controlling these varmints, while kicked back on their 4-wheelers with a .22. … but business must rely on other methods!
Lastly, the Rock chucks, also called Yellow-Bellied Marmots. You my recognize them from the movie Caddyshack or it’s cousin Punxsutawney Phil. These large rodents can grow up to 11 pounds eating mainly a diet of grass. They will also forage on insects, bird eggs, and vegetables if within their reach. They live in large groups under ground with up to 20 members. Rock chucks will hibernate most winter long and emerge when warmer weather begins again. You’ll often see the large entrances to their tunnels under rock outcroppings, under buildings, or other areas that offer a little protection from predators. Control options are limited due to their size. But Barrier Pest Control has been successfully trapping them for some time now!
If you need help with rodent control big or small… give Barrier Pest Control a call. We service the Boise area from Weiser to Mt. Home!