You might have rats if:
  • See rats
  • Hear noises at night
  • See droppings
  • Smell urine
  • Find shreddings of paper/insulation
  • Smell decaying body
  • Find markings on food
The Bay Area is a perfect habitat for rodents. Rats can pretty much adapt to any environment, but Northern California provides conditions that are great, providing food, harborage and a mild climate.

Populations can grow to enormous numbers in just a short amount of time. A Norway rat (usually what is found in sub areas) become sexually mature in 3-4 months. She could have 4-7 litters a year with each litter containing 8-12 pups. One rat could be responsible for 84 offspring in just one year!

It is always best to take care of rodents at first notice, rather than ignore or let the problem persist.†Damage and population growth will continue if left undisturbed. Rodents can carry diseases due to their constant urination and droppings as well as be hosts to fleas.

Fun fact: †Rats are attracted to valerian, a plant similar to nepeta cataria (cat nip). Stories describe the Pied Piper of Hamelin using both this pipes and valerian to attract rats.
Mice are spotted around food sources, usually in the kitchen or garage, where pet food is often left out. They reproduce quickly as well as damage and contaminate food.    

Like rats, they are carriers of many diseases. It is always best to address and begin trapping or baiting immediately when first noticed. (Baits should only be used as a last resort inside the home, due to the rodent going off and dying in an inaccessible area where their odor can persist and linger for a long time.)
First, letís determine what the problem is. Gophers and moles are similar in that they both live in the ground and can both be unwelcome visitors doing damage to lawns and landscape. Their damage pattern and eating habits are what easily separates them.

When gophers are present, mounds of earth are pushed up to the surface to make room in the gophers expanding tunnels. They eat plants and roots, treating landscapes a all you can eat buffet.

Moles, on the other hand, eat insects and travel in search of its next meal raising the top layer of the soil creating visible tunnels.