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- Ground squirrels
- Pocket gophers
The most common vertebrate pests in alfalfa
are pocket gophers, voles, and ground squirrels.
- Look for fresh
pocket gopher mounds each
time the field is mowed.
field edges for ground
squirrel burrows and damage
about once a month.
- Identify vole trails and
burrows and damage in late winter when the fields are dormant.
results on a map of the field.
Names link to more information on identification and management.
Click on photos to enlarge
Identification tip: Head and body 9 to 11 inches long with mottled dark and light brown or gray fur with a somewhat bushy tail about as long as its body.
Ground squirrels (damage)
Identification tip: Look for large mounds of dirt piled over alfalfa plants.
Identification tip: 6 to 8 inches long.
Brown, gray, or yellowish with large clawed front paws,
small ears and eyes and a short, scantily haired tail.
Pocket gopher (damage)
Identification tip: Pocket gopher
mounds are generally fan-shaped and have a plugged
Identification tip: Stocky rodent about 4–6 inches full grown with blunt-nose, small ears and eyes, short legs and tail, and course dark gray or grayish brown fur.
Identification tip: Look for aboveground
runways that connect the openings of shallow burrows.
For more Information, see Irrigated