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Most Common Types of Rodents in California

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Updated: Mar 27

Rodents are everywhere in the US, and Cali is no different. In fact, SoCal seems to attract a wide array of rodents, alongside other pests, like raccoons. But this begs the question; what are the most common types of rodents in California?

The most common rodent species are rats. More specifically, roof rats and Norway rats are the most common rodents in California, followed closely by mice, squirrels, and gophers.

With these being all over the state, knowing how to identify them and why they can be dangerous to you and, especially, your house is necessary. But before we discuss that, let’s see some of the distinct characteristics of rodents.

Image by wirestock on Freepik

What Are Rodents

Rodents are mammals, just like humans. Most rodent species are small, have long tails, and love making a mess in your yard or house. Also, contrary to popular belief, animals like rats and mice are surprisingly intelligent. In turn, getting rid of them can be a nuisance in itself.

That said, the one feature that distinguishes rodents from other mammals is their ever-growing teeth. Because of their incisors, most rodents can defend themselves, locate shelter, and, of course, eat. These are also responsible for the chewed hole you might find on your roof.

It’s worth noting that animals like opossums are usually identified as rodents, even though they’re not. So, implementing rodent removal methods might not be effective when you want to get rid of opossums.

With all this in mind, let’s see some of SoCal’s most common rodent species!

What Are the Most Common Rodents in California

  • Rats

One rodent species found almost anywhere in the world is the rat. Hence why rodents and rats are usually synonymous. With an ever-increasing population due to their phenomenal reproductive rate, rats can be found in every corner of California, especially in SoCal.

The most common rats are Norway (or brown) and the roof (or black) species. There are so many brown rats in the US that we’re sure you’ve encountered one at some point. On the other hand, roof rats are slightly smaller, and, you guessed it, they are very fond of roofs.

  • Mice

Often confused for rats, mice are their little cousins. There are several mice species in California, though House Mice are the ones that will take over your house. Admittedly, mice aren’t as destructive as rats, as they avoid humans at all costs and are only active when it’s silent and dark.

  • Squirrels and Chipmunks

There’s no doubt that squirrels and their little cousins, chipmunks, are a joy to watch when they’re in your yard. Being amongst the most common rodents in California, these two can end up being destructive if they access your attic. Getting rid of squirrels in your attic is surprisingly tricky, especially if they’ve already built a nest there.

And, even if they only stay in your yard, you can be sure that any bird feeders you have will become their favorite food source.

  • Voles

Voles aren’t as easily distinguishable as other pests. This is where rodent identifications come into play. Voles look like mice but are somewhat similar to hamsters, as they’re part of the same species. Unlike most common rodents, voles like to hide underground and only come up to grab a bite of their favorite plants or seeds.

  • Gophers

For many, gophers are the epitome of rodents. They have huge teeth, make giant burrows where they store their food and make nests, and will destroy your lawn. One great thing about gophers is that they’ll stockpile so much food that it’ll end up decomposing and fertilizing your garden.

Also, gophers are pretty unique rodents. Depending on where they live in SoCal, their color will differ from camouflaging themselves against the dirt.

What Types of Rodents Are Dangerous

We’re sure that these types of rodents sound fascinating unless you’ve dealt with a rodent infestation. And while that may be true, the dangers that come with these once they get inside your house are several.

  • Diseases: Arguably, the most dangerous part of rodents is that they carry tons of diseases. Rabies, a very common one among them, can make them very aggressive.
  • Structural Damage: If a roof rat wants to access your attic, it’ll chew on everything that gets in its way, whether that’s your roof, walls, or any type of attic insulation.
  • Wiring and Plumbing Damage: Rodents gnaw on anything they can find to keep their teeth sharp. Pipes and wires are amongst their favorites, which, in turn, increase the chances of a house fire or flood.

How Can You Identify Rodents in California

Rodent identification in California is pretty straightforward. Generally, the most common rodents will leave droppings all over your attic/basement or dig holes all over your yard. Also, another clear giveaway of rodents in your house is noises you might hear during the night, chewed-up walls, insulation, food, etc.

Rodent Identification and Removal at Its Finest

With all these types of rodents in California, having an infestation is very likely. And unless you employ the best rodent identification and removal methods, you’re putting yourself and your house in danger. That’s where we can help!

At Green Rodent Restoration, we use green practices to identify and remove your rodent infestation safely and efficiently. Plus, we’ll take care of your attic while we’re at it! If you’re looking for the best rodent control methods, contact us now, and we’ll offer you a free estimate.

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