3 Common Yard Pests Homeowners Should Know About

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When homeowners put a lot of time and effort in making their yard look nice, pests can be extremely bothersome. They can destroy the ground, plants, trees, and more. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell which pests you should be worried about. So let’s take a look at a few common mammal pests you should be aware of.




While they’re certainly beautiful creatures, deer can cause a lot of damage in a yard. They eat plants, vegetables, bushes, and trees. They can even cause damage to trees when they rub up against them with their antlers. Fortunately, deer are fairly easy to keep out of your yard. Installing fences can make it more difficult for deer to enter certain areas. Furthermore, planting deer-resistant plants and shrubs can make it so they’re not tempted to enter your yard in the first place.


Squirrels and Rabbits


Squirrels and rabbits alike enjoy eating seeds, bulbs, and tender plants. Squirrels can also get into bird feeders, which takes feed away from birds and can cause damage to the feeder. Many homeowners often wonder how to get rid of ground squirrels and rabbits. To prevent rabbits from getting into gardens, homeowners should install a fence that goes both above and below ground, since rabbits can burrow underneath. And as for how to get rid of ground squirrels, ground squirrel traps and squirrel bait poison can help trap, remove, and repel squirrels from the yard.


Moles and Gophers


Some of the most difficult pests to prevent and catch are gophers and moles. This is because they can quickly tunnel underground. Not only does this make them difficult to catch, but their tunnels can completely destroy a yard. Furthermore, gophers and moles eat plants, chew on tree roots, and can chew through plastic pipes. To prevent damage from these pests, mole and gopher netting and traps can be installed. Netting can prevent them from tunneling further and traps can remove them from the area completely.


With homeowners planting a greater variety of shrubs, flowers, and trees, pest numbers have also increased. Fortunately, the pest control industry is increasing as well, having grown by 2.9% between 2012 and 2017. So if you are experiencing problems with any of these pests, make sure to contact a pest control company today.

New Unwanted Neighbors? How To Figure Out Which Pest You Have

best way to catch ground squirrels

So you’ve looked out into the yard and seen signs of an unwelcome guest; maybe you saw a suspicious hole in the ground or a motion in the bush. Is it a ground squirrel, or a gopher, or a chipmunk? How can you tell? If you’ve realized you’ve got some new unwanted neighbors in the form of a common pest, here’s how to tell what you might be dealing with.




Gophers can be an irritating pest that damage your plants and yard fairly quickly. Gophers consume around 60% of their body weight in vegetation every day. They love to eat roots, herbaceous plants, trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowering plants. If you see signs of yard damage from gophers, contact a gopher trapping or gopher removal service as soon as possible to prevent the damage from worsening.


Gophers typically stay more hidden than ground squirrels, as they prefer remaining underground, even to eat. It’s less likely you’ll see a gopher, instead seeing more of the damage that they cause. Gophers tend to plug their holes to help them stay hidden; these unique holes can be a sign you’re dealing with gophers.


Ground Squirrels


It can be difficult to know the best way to catch ground squirrels when they show up in your yard, but it’s important to stop them early. Ground squirrels, if left unchecked, can do tons of damage to your yard and even your utilities. Because ground squirrels can burrow several feet deep, it’s possible they might dig into your utility lines. Make sure you contact pest removal services to avoid longer-term damage to your property.


Ground squirrels are more easily spotted in your yard, occasionally standing up remarkably straight on their hind legs. Their holes usually remain unhidden and uncovered, making them more easily recognizable.


Need help identifying which pest you’re dealing with or catching gophers and ground squirrels? Contact Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service today. Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service can help you figure out the best way to catch ground squirrels, along with providing gopher removal services to help protect your yard.

3 Facts About Unwanted Gophers

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If you asked a homeowner or a property manager how to spell the word “nuisance”, what do you think the answer would be? It would probably look a little something like this: G-O-P-H-E-R. Pocket gophers burrow relentlessly, creating a problem that can be seen and needs to be manually rectified. To do this, individuals and pest control professionals need to trap a gopher.

Unwanted gophers can create havoc anywhere, especially in an area where cultivating a lawn or garden is involved. Animal and pest control to eliminate gophers is a huge business area in which this problem specifically is dealt with. You might not need to trap a gopher to eliminate the problem, though. There are other ways.

For those who might think that gophers are adorable, cuddly, fuzzy little charmers, here are three things about gophers that might make you change your mind and consider another point of view.

Gophers Cause Damage

First of all, pocket gophers dig and burrow and along the way they consume a lot of vegetation, especially in North America. Every day, they consume about 60% of their body weight. That is a lot of food! They eat flowers, leaves, trees, roots and more.

Gophers Mature Quickly

In general, gophers reproduce about once, maybe twice, per year. They do not reproduce incredibly quickly. However, after being born, a baby gopher is ready to go out on its own before it is just six weeks old! This makes it difficult not only to trap a gopher, but also to control the population.

Grassy Areas are Prone to Gophers

Pocket gophers burrow, and they need grass and land to do this. This can lead to problems in crop fields and flower beds. Also, golf courses and even your yard are both very vulnerable. But how to remove gophers? One good and non-lethal repellent to use is castor oil granules. It does not hurt gophers, it just makes them run away. The gopher problem is a threat and a nuisance that only gopher removal can solve.

So, if the problem of gopher abatement ever occurs on your property, remember to look for a professional pest and animal control company. Currently, the pest control business has about 27,000 establishments in operation in the United States.

Make sure the service is courteous, efficient, and above all, look for a guarantee of at least two years. You deserve an effective and thorough business that gives you the results you are looking for.

Easy Ways To Keep Ground Squirrels Away From Your Yard

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Ground squirrels can be a nuisance at worst and a serious threat to your yard and home at worst. If left unchecked, ground squirrels can cause damage that will require expensive repairs to your house. This might be why the pest control industry is so successful; by 2020, the U.S. pest control industry is expected to bring in approximately $13 billion. If you want to avoid potentially expensive ground squirrel removal, here are a few tips on how to get rid of ground squirrels using ground squirrel repellent methods you might already have on hand.


  • Spice it up: Getting rid of ground squirrels doesn’t have to be too complicated; one of the easiest ways to keep ground squirrels out of your yard and garden is to make your plants taste bad to them. Sprinkle spices like cayenne and red pepper around your plants that you want to keep safe; the spiciness should keep ground squirrels away.


  • Sprinkler surprise: If you’re looking to keep ground squirrels away from your yard, get a bit creative with your sprinklers. Set your sprinklers up with a motion sensor, so any unwanted rodents will be deterred by the surprising spray. Let your automated sprinklers help you get rid of yard pests, and you won’t have to do much else to manage the problem.


  • Basic ground squirrel prevention: The easiest way to deal with ground squirrels is to not let them make their home in your yard to begin with. Make sure you keep your garden and yard fenced in, and place any trash bags into closed trash cans. Avoid creating places for ground squirrels to make their home; seal up any cracks or gaps in the walls of your home, and make sure that there aren’t places that ground squirrels might start building their homes in. By making your yard inhospitable for pests, you should be able to prevent ground squirrel problems.


Of course, if your ground squirrel problem is larger or if these ground squirrel repellent methods don’t work, you’ll need to contact a professional. Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service can help you get rid of ground squirrels and other pests. If you’re looking to remove gophers or ground squirrels from your yard, contact Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service today.

Holy Moly: Here’s the Biggest Sign You’ve Got Gophers

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Do I Have Gophers?

That’s one question that no homeowner wants to ask themselves — but it’s an important one to answer. While a single gopher lives only one to three years, they can wreak a lot of havoc during that time. It’s essential to know how to tell if you have gophers so that you can take care of the problem as soon as possible. Otherwise, your yard might be done for.

Here’s how to tell if you have gophers: the holes, mounds, and tunnels they make.


Of course, gophers aren’t the only creatures who burrow underneath the earth and create holes in the ground. Woodchucks, moles, voles, and other critters dig in the dirt and cause damage to your lawn, too. But a gopher problem presents more than just an aesthetic issue. Gophers can also chew through your water and sprinkler lines, your irrigation pipes, and even your underground cabling. Not only will that make your yard look a mess, but it’ll cost you a lot to fix and could also cause a safety hazard for your family. But if you can learn to identify the particular kind of damage that gophers cause, you’ll be able to know in an instant whether they’re on your property. Once you know that, you can contact your gopher removal services for assistance — hopefully, before they do irreparable harm.


You might assume that you’d know a gopher hole by its obvious appearance. But it can be hard to know how to tell if you have gophers because the entrances to their tunnels don’t really look like holes at all. In fact, they’re referred to as gopher mounds because of how the gopher disturbs the soil as he tunnels through the dirt. His powerful little legs force the loose earth back up to the surface, which creates circular mounds of dirt amongst your healthy grass. When the soil is easy to dig through, gophers can create several of these mounds each and every day.


Although their underground tunnel system can be extensive, you’ll probably never see evidence of it on the surface. That’s why these telltale mounds are actually your best clue to the gopher’s presence in your yard. If you see little fan-shaped spots of freshly dug soil around your lawn, your gopher senses should start to tingle. If you’ve never encountered gophers before, you may not feel confident that you know how to tell if you have gophers — but at the very least, you’re likely dealing with a creature who shouldn’t be there.


More than likely, you’ll also notice the destruction of your grasses, plants, trees, and flowers. And certainly, if your water lines have been destroyed and you’ve taken note of other yard damage, you’ll probably need to invest in getting rid of gophers right away. Typically, the mounds are the surest sign of gopher activity; coupled with the other components, you’ll probably have all the proof you need.


Think you’ve got gophers in your yard? That’s what we’re here for. Gophers are notoriously difficult to get rid of, especially for amateurs, which is why we’ve made it our main mission. You don’t have to face the frustration of relentless yard pests. We’ll make certain that our encounter with gophers in your yard will be the last encounter they’ll have with anyone. For more information on our methods and our other pest removal services, please get in touch with us today.

Anatomy Of A Ground Squirrel: What Separates Them From Chipmunks And Tree Squirrels

getting rid of ground squirrels

Ground squirrels are some of the most pervasive pests in California. They ruin the look and appearance of your lawn, but worse yet, but they can also lead to significant problems in your home’s foundation.

But how do you identify a fast-moving ground squirrel? And how do they differ from other similar species like tree squirrels and chipmunks? In California, all three of these common mammalian pests are prevalent, though you might only find yourself asking how to catch a ground squirrel.

Anatomy of a ground squirrel

There are prominent visual identifiers that help you determine whether you’re dealing with a ground squirrel, chipmunk, or tree squirrel.

Ground squirrels have stripes down their back that mimic the overall appearance of a chipmunk, but a ground squirrel lacks the identifiable head stripes present on chipmunks. Additionally, these two mammals are similar in size, ranging from eight to 12 inches, though chipmunks can be as small as six inches while fully grown. By comparison, an eastern gray squirrel will be much larger, typically ranging from 12 to 20 inches in length. Gray squirrels will also have a large, bushy tail and monochromatic gray coat. These squirrels are often mixed up with ground squirrels because of the ground squirrel’s semi-bushy tail. A key element to visually identifying a ground squirrel is the presence of a white circle around the animal’s eyes.

Differences in behavior

Ground squirrels and tree squirrels are found throughout California. Though ground squirrels typically prefer farmland, they have also pervaded suburban areas to feast on green grasses and ornamental plants many homeowners grow in their yards.

Unlike tree squirrels, who live in the branches of high trees, ground squirrels are a burrowing animal that makes their home beneath the earth. Some burrows can reach up to 30 feet long and as deep as two to four feet. This is also similar to gophers who can make tunnels as long as 2,000 square feet. As such, getting rid of ground squirrels isn’t always easy.

As they form intricate tunnels throughout your lawn or farmland, this can cause danger to your home’s foundation and create ugly raises in your yard. To avoid danger, ground squirrels rarely move more than 50 feet from their burrow, while tree squirrels will venture out miles since they can escape predation in trees.

The trouble with ground squirrels

If you’re having trouble identifying a ground squirrel from a chipmunk or tree squirrel, spooking the animal the best way to determine what type of pest you have. A squirrel will typically find shelter up a tree. A chipmunk will run to shrubbery. A ground squirrel cannot climb and will run to its burrow for cover.

The best way to catch ground squirrels is by relying on the help of a pest control service. Getting rid of ground squirrels can be done through a variety of methods, including ground squirrel traps, ground squirrel repellant, and ground squirrel control poison. You should never try to use these methods of getting rid of ground squirrels on your own. Call Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service when you want to preserve your lawn and home today.

5 Ways to Prevent Property Pests This Fall

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Now that the temperatures outside are dropping, many animals are thinking to themselves, “how can I stay warm and cozy this winter?”Unfortunately for you, these creatures might choose to take refuge on your property. Whether they hunker down underground or actually make their way into your house, their presence can cause a lot of issues for your family. Even if you’re a bleeding heart who would love to care for every living thing, allowing wild animals to move in can pose a huge health and safety risk. That’s why it’s important to prevent and get rid of yard pests now before the cold really sets in. Here are just five things you can do this fall to prevent property pests.

  1. Trim Back Trees and Bushes: You don’t want to make your yard or home more inviting than it already is — at least, not to wild animals. If your trees and shrubs are overgrown (particularly if they’re close to your home), you’ll make it a lot easier for animals to get onto your roof or find another way in. You may also be providing food for certain unwanted creatures, which could encourage them to stick around. Although it’s not the best idea to prune trees in the fall, it’s still a better idea than letting your yard go wild!
  2. Inspect Insulation and Crawl Spaces: As the temperatures become chillier, it’s a good idea to assess whether your insulation is up to snuff. That way, you’ll be able to save as much as possible on your heating bills. But it’s also a good idea to check these areas because crawlspaces, basements, and attics are all prone to animal activity. You’ll want to look for nests, droppings, and other signs of pests. If you find any, you’ll want to call a pest control company — and make sure you seal any holes you find.
  3. Switch Up Your Storage Methods: If you keep a stack of firewood next to your home or keep your recycling and garbage bins in a non-secure area, you may need to get rid of yard pests in the near future. Termites, ants, raccoons, and even bears may be attracted to these areas if you aren’t careful. Move your firewood at least three feet away from your home and switch to more secure bins. Don’t move your garbage or recycling totes out of your closed garage until the morning it’s being collected to keep wild animals away.
  4. Assess Your Yard: None of us want animals to move into our homes and we don’t want them in the yard, either. Autumn is actually a good time to remove gophers and other creatures since their activity levels are a bit higher due to the need to gather food. Take a look around your property and see if you have obvious signs of yard damage from gophers or other creatures. If you see any telltale mounds, you’ll want to contact a gopher removal service to take care of the problem now.
  5. Call Your Pest Control Company: There are a lot of preventative methods homeowners can take to secure their properties. But in the end, animals might still find their way in. The U.S. pest control industry grew by 2.9% from 2012 to 2017, possibly because humans continue to expand and infringe on wildlife habitats. That may mean you’ll end up needing to get rid of yard pests sometime this year. If you do, it’s best to be proactive. Otherwise, you may end up with unexpected tenants for a long winter ahead.


When you need to get rid of yard pests like gophers and ground squirrels, we’re here to help. For more information, please contact us today.

Risky Rodents: Why Gophers Are a Hazard To Your Homestead

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Gophers may look cute and cuddly from afar, but the truth is that they can wreak havoc if they decide to make your yard their home. They can do extensive damage your lawn, flowers, and trees, of course. But they can also be a huge hazard to your family’s health and safety. That’s why it’s so important to call one of the 27,000 pest control businesses currently operating in the U.S. if you think you’ve got a gopher problem. Want to learn more about the potential risks gophers present? Read on.

Gopher mounds can lead to human injury.

The yard damage from gophers isn’t pleasant to look at, but the aesthetics aren’t the only problem. Gophers create dirt mounds during their normal activities, and these mounds of dirt can be downright dangerous. These mounds are hollow, and if you accidentally step in one, you could easily twist an ankle or sustain another injury. This risk is even greater for young children, as they could possibly break a leg if they accidentally step in one of these mounds. There’s even potential for a gopher bite to occur if you step in the wrong spot. If you want to keep your yard safe, you’ve got to get rid of gophers that inhabit it.

Gophers may cut lines and wires.

Gophers don’t only chew through grass and tree roots. They can also make their way through important components, such as your water lines, sprinkler systems, or utility cables. At best, this can be a colossal nuisance that requires expensive replacement. Your life will be disrupted and your health could possibly suffer as a result of your water or utility lines being inexplicably cut. Your family shouldn’t have to deal with this disruption, which is yet another reason to remove gophers as soon as you realize you have a problem.

Gophers can carry diseases.

There’s another reason to get rid of gophers: they could threaten the health of your family. While it’s relatively rare for a gopher to give rabies to a human, they are capable of doing so. Gophers don’t often come into direct contact with humans, which is why it’s so unlikely you could contract rabies from them. However, the risk still exists. They can carry other diseases as well, such as leptospirosis and even the plague. And if you are bitten by a gopher, the chances of you catching one of these diseases isn’t quite so rare. That’s why you should choose to work with a reliable service for gopher trapping San Francisco families can rely on, rather than trying to DIY your gopher removal.

Now that you know the risks, you probably understand why it’s so important to get rid of gophers right away. Not only will your yard look better, but your family will be protected from harm. To find out how we can help, please contact us today.

Got Gophers? Why Gophers Can Be A Problem For Your Yard

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There are thirteen different types of gopher species that reside in the United States, meaning there are plenty of different types of these little troublemaking creatures that could be wreaking havoc on your yard. What’s so dangerous about these critters? Read on to learn just a few reasons you should remove gophers from your yard if they’ve decided to set up shop there.


  • Unsightly gopher holes: It’s no secret that gopher holes are a bad look for any yard. The unsightly mounds of dirt can pop up throughout your garden or yard. If you see dirt “tracks” from burrowing, however, you might not actually have a gopher problem; these are signs of moles, not gophers, since gophers burrow deep under the ground.
  • Damage to your plants: Gophers burrow about six to eight inches underground, exactly at the level to damage the roots of plants in your garden or yard. If you have a gopher problem, it’s likely that your vegetable garden will have a problem too, since damaged roots mean unhealthy plants.
  • Damage to irrigation: Gophers can do more than just damage the roots of your plants. They can also divert irrigation systems away from the parts of your yard that need it, leaving your plants dehydrated.
  • Plumbing, electric, and other underground utilities: Probably the most important reason to get rid of gophers is the damage they can do to your underground utilities. Gophers are notorious for chewing through plastic. This can severely damage your plumbing or electrical systems, leading to an expensive repair in your future. Even then, without removing gophers from your yard, the problem is likely to occur again after you’ve made repairs.

Gophers can be incredibly damaging to your home and yard, making them incredibly important to handle as quickly as possible. Typically, the best plan to remove them is to trap them and move them elsewhere, where they won’t be a nuisance on your property. Looking for a gopher removal service to trap gophers in your yard? Contact Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service to ask about the best way to remove gophers from your yard.

Gophers Gone Wild: What to do When You Have Uninvited Yard Guests

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As a homeowner, you put a lot of thought, time, effort, and money into your yard. Whether you’re the guru of gardening or the barbecuer to beat, you take pride in your pristine yard.

So, if you were out pulling weeds by your backyard fence and noticed some odd looking mounds of dirt but no holes, you might be experiencing yard damage from gophers.

If you are trying to get rid of yard pests, one of the telltale ways to know you have a gopher problem is to look for tunnels or holes that are covered by mounds of dirt. Gophers do not leave the openings to their burrows open; an effective way to know if that particular tunnel is being actively used by gophers is to partially remove the dirt from the hole and, if it is covered up again in a day or two, you know your culprit is using that hole.

Here are three facts about gopher damage to know:

1. Gophers can cause damage to farm equipment when they burrow in fields. They will interfere with crop fields, irrigation systems, and the drainage and appearance of your lawn and garden.

2. Gophers use their burrows to hoard food. They consume over half of their own body weight each day. That being said, they could be damaging your lawn by stripping your fruit and vegetable garden, your grass, and the leaves off of your shrubbery.

3. Even if you suspect your lawn has been seized by only one or two gophers, they could still be around for one to three years, which is the average gophers’ lifespan.

Okay, so now you are ready to call the gopher exterminator. Having getting rid of your yard pests on your to-do list can be a real headache, so here are some common gopher abatement methods that your local gopher removal experts can help with.

Non-lethal preventative measures. 

These non-lethal measures are options that allow you to attempt to chase gophers from your yard. You may choose these measures if you have children or pets in your home that are frequently outside. Granular repellents and yard sprays contain tastes and smells that are highly repulsive to gophers, chasing them from your property without killing them. An additional option is sonic spikes, which are staked into the soil and emit sonic pulses every 30 seconds. The pulses drive the gophers out of your yard in a week or two and discourage them from returning.

Trap elimination.

Traps will swiftly and effectively eliminate your gopher problem with no poisons or chemicals involved, as long as the traps are placed in active gopher tunnels. Traps are durable enough for repeated uses. Gophers that are caught in traps do not suffer any pain and can be removed by your local exterminator.

Poison elimination. 

Poison is another popular extermination method that is quick and humane to get rid of yard pests. After the gophers consume the poison, they are quickly killed. Simply watch for an active tunnel and place the bait inside it, then wait. However, poison should never be used in an environment where pets and children frequently play in your yard. If that is the case, stick with repelling measures and traps.

So you were successful in your attempt to get rid of yard pests. Hurray! Even though you can now take the steps to repair the lawn that you have put so much time and effort into, it is important to incorporate some active preventative measures into your yard recovery. Keep in mind that no gopher prevention method is foolproof since the pests can burrow deeply under the surface to reenter your space. It will help to protect your garden with plastic netting or in raised planter boxes to make it difficult for gophers to access food.

After you get rid of yard pests, you may feel frustrated that you have almost no control over whether or not gophers rear their ugly head in your yard again. Just remain proactive in your yard, checking constantly for signs of burrowing or eating, to keep your lawn and yard healthy, beautiful, and pest free.