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Vertebrates, Their Signs, and Damage

On this page
  • Pocket gopher
  • Ground squirrel
  • Vole
  • Mole
  • Deer

Monitor the previous crop and adjacent areas for signs of vertebrates that may invade and damage strawberries—watch for them when monitoring strawberry fields during the season.

Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Pocket gopher mound
Pocket gopher mound
Identification tip: Mound at burrow entrance usually crescent shaped, opening plugged.

Gopher mounds
Pocket gopher mounds
Identification tip: Mounds in rows or on edges of planting beds.

Ground squirrel burrow
Ground squirrel burrow opening
Identification tip: Burrow openings about 4 inches in diameter, never plugged.

Ground squirrel
Ground squirrel adult
Identification tip: Brown to gray; about the size of a small cat; slightly bushy tail; active aboveground during the day.

Fruit chewed by ground squirrel
Ground squirrel damage
Identification tip: Fruit damaged by ground squirrels often has discernible tooth marks.


Vole runways and burrow opening
Vole runways and burrow openings
Identification tip: Runways connecting numerous, shallow burrows in grassy or weedy areas; burrow openings 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.

Vole adult
Vole adult
Identification tip: Gray to brown; look like large mice; inconspicuous ears; short, somewhat hairy tail; active aboveground during the day.

Mole mound
Mole mound
Identification tip: Mound at burrow opening circular in shape; burrow opening in center plugged.

Mole feeding tunnel
Mole feeding tunnel
Identification tip: Feeding tunnels appear as ridges of soil pushed up from beneath.

Deer damage
Deer damage
Identification tip: Foliage nipped from plants.

Deer hoof print
Deer hoof print
Identification tip: Cloven hoof prints.

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