Serving all of Southern California
Wasps
Gray Squirrel

The gray squirrel is a member of the family Rodentia and has been in North America for over 37 million years.  These squirrels have persisted due to its ability to adapt to the changing conditions in its environment.  Every fall, the gray squirrel spends most of its time gathering and storing nuts and seeds.  Squirrels will move if the food supply is insufficient for their survival.  They may travel hundreds of miles to find a home and once they have found a source of food and water, they will construct a nest.  The nest is made of twigs and leaves woven together to form a ball about eighteen inches in diameter, usually built in the upper branches of a large tree.  If there are not any large trees in the area, the squirrel will build its nest in an attic or crawl space of a house.

The squirrel has a very strong jaw structure with a set of twenty two teeth.  It can crack open even the hardest nut shell.  The squirrel’s front teeth are extremely sharp.  They grow continuously throughout their lives.  To keep these teeth sharp and clean, the squirrel will chew off a small branch from a tree every day.

Gray squirrels will mate in the late winter or early spring.  The mating ritual and copulation takes between 44 and 46 days.  The males will chase each other through the trees jumping from branch to branch and the female will watch and then choose the male she believes is the strongest.   After the copulation, the male will return to its territory, leaving the female to raise the litter.  There are normally four to six born in the litter.  The female squirrel will nurse the babies for the first ten weeks.

 

Earwigs
Ground Squirrel

California Ground Squirrels have mixed gray, light brown and dusky fur giving the upper coat a mottled appearance.  A band of slightly darker fur, flecked with light gray, extends from the head over the middle of the back.  Gray fur forms a cape over the sides of the head and shoulders.  California Ground Squirrel is around thirteen inches long and have four front teeth used for cutting and grinding. They eat a variety of seeds, fruits, roots, mushrooms, and insects.

These squirrels prefer open areas with short grass and well drained sandy or loamy soils for burrows.  They are often seen in landscaping, golf courses, cemeteries, parks, and roadsides.  When creating burrows the squirrels push out large quantities of dirt and rock which can cover or damage vegetation and affect the integrity of dams, roads, and levees.  There are three types of burrows that ground squirrels make.  Hiding burrows for emergency purposes, nesting burrows for females to deliver and raise her young and hibernating burrows to store food for the winter. 

Ground Squirrels may enter a periods of hibernation and estivation, although not a true hibernation, during the winter and summer respectively.  This period of inactivity may last a month or more with short periods of activity every week or so.  Environmental conditions (e.g., ambient temperature) determine whether or not California Ground Squirrels will hibernate and for how long.  California Ground Squirrels are vigilant and ready to sound an alarm if danger is perceived.  If they are frightened, a squirrel often makes long leaps and emits a sharp, metallic alarm cry several times in rapid sequence. The squirrel may pause near its burrow and clink or it may drop down into its tunnel system.

Ground squirrels can harbor diseases harmful to humans, particularly when squirrel populations are dense.  A major concern is bubonic plague transmitted to humans by fleas carried on the squirrels.

 

Spiders
Pocket Gopher

Pocket gophers are medium-sized rodents that have fur-lined pouches located on the outside of their mouths to carry food.  They have yellowish-colored incisor teeth exposed and their size vary in length from 6 to 13 inches.  The color of their fur ranges from sandy brown to dark chocolate brown and generally matches the color of the soil where they are present.  Like many burrowing mammals, pocket gophers have poor eyesight but have other well-developed senses.  They have short hairless tails which are very sensitive and used to guide them when moving backwards in a tunnel.  They have large whiskers that are sensitive to movement and their front feet are equipped with long claws.

Pocket gophers are usually not seen because they spend most of their lives underground.  They are active all year and are most active at dusk until dawn.  In their search for food they create complex tunnels that serve different functions.  One type of tunnel is long, winding, and shallow and is used to get food from above.  The second type of tunnel is deeper and is used for shelter, for nests, food storage and latrines.  The tunnels are usually marked above ground by small mounds of earth.  When not in use, these animals plug up burrow entrances with dirt.  Pocket gophers can run backward in their burrows almost as fast as they can run forward.  Burrows may be used by the same animal for several years and spread over an acre of ground.

Pocket gophers are extremely unsocial unless at mating time.  Pocket gophers typically breed only once per year and gestation lasts between eighteen and thirty days.  Litter size varies from one to ten offspring.  Until they are five weeks old the babies' eyes and ears are sealed shut.  Offspring stay with the mother in the burrow for one to two months, and then each sets off to burrow its own system of tunnels.

 

Spiders
Cottontail Rabbit

The cottontail rabbit is a stocky animal with large hind feet, long ears, and a short, fluffy tail that resembles a cotton ball.  Their long and coarse coat varies in color from reddish brown to a black or grayish brown.  The under parts are white.

In summer, cottontails eat grasses and herbs, and agricultural crops such as peas, beans, and lettuce.  In winter, they feed on bark, twigs, and buds of shrubs and young trees.  Rabbits will also eat their own fecal pellets to increase their level of vitamins and minerals.

The cottontails breed from March through early fall with a gestation of about 28 days. There are usually two to four litters per year with about three to eight young per litter. Young rabbits are born blind, naked, and helpless but grow rapidly.  They are weaned and totally independent at four to five weeks.

Cottontails have sharp eye sight and hearing.  When they sense danger the animal will usually freeze in place until the threat has passed, but they will flush readily if approached too closely.  Rabbits normally move slowly in short hops or jumps, but when frightened they can speed up to 18 miles per hour over a short distance.  They will thump the ground with their hind feet regularly as a means of communication.  When playing, breeding, or fighting they often make low purring, growling, or grunting sounds. If captured by a predator, the animal may produce a loud, shrill scream.

 

Carpenter Bees
Deer Mouse

Deer mice are small rodents, about 5 to 8 inches long.  They are called deer mice because their fur colors resemble deer: dark on the back and white on the legs and underside.  The tail is also dark on top and white underneath.

Deer mice live in dens they opportunistically discover or create, such as abandoned burrows of other animals, beneath rocks, in stumps, in soil cracks, in debris, or in any other secluded area.  They build a cup-shaped nest of finely shredded plants and fur. They are nocturnal and active all year around.

Deer mice are omnivorous.  In the summer they eat seeds, small fruits and berries, beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, and an underground fungus called endogone.  What is eaten will depend upon what is available.

Their home range can be as small as a back yard or up to ten acres, depending upon the availability and competition for food.  Within their home range, they usually travel along the most convenient routes, which can be the trails of other animals or trails they have created over time.  Mice have even been known to trim the plants along their runways.

Deer mice are able to breed throughout the year, but most often breed in spring and early fall.  Gestation is about three weeks and the litter size ranges from 1 to 9 babies with an average litter size of 4.  Newborn mice are blind, deaf and have no hair except whiskers.  Their skin is so transparent that you can actually see the milk flowing into them when they nurse during their first 24 hours.  By the second day their skin gains color and is no longer transparent.  Newborn deer mice nurse almost constantly and grow rapidly.  By 4 days they will begin to have fur.  In one week they will have doubled their weight and in 2 weeks their eyes open and they begin to move around.  At about 7 weeks the females are able to reproduce and at about 8 weeks the males are sexually mature.

Deer mice are the primary carriers of the Hantavirus. The Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome was first recognized in 1993.  Since that time, a total of 131 people have been reported to have contracted this illness in the United States and half of those died.  In summer 2012, several people died and more became infected by the Hantavirus while visiting Yosemite National Park.

 

Ants
Wood Rat

Wood rats are medium-sized with large ears, bulging black eyes and relatively short, grayish brown white tail, and short haired.  Their average total length is 328 mm and weighs 136 to 294 g.

Wood rats are found in boreal woodlands and deserts.  They prefer cliffs, canyons, talus slopes and open rocky fields.  They are also found in abandoned buildings and mines.

The wood rat normally eats green vegetation such as leaves, needles and shoots.  It will also consume twigs, fruits, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and some animal matter.  These rodents fulfill all their water needs through the food they consume.

The breeding season is from January to September.  The period of gestation is approximately 38 days and at least two and possibly three or more litters of two or three young each may be raised.  At birth the young are helpless, weigh about 11 g, and are about twice the size of newborn house rats.  The young have specially developed front teeth that permit them to grasp the nipples of the mother and to be dragged along behind her.  They grow rapidly; the ears open on the 13th to 15th day, the eyes open on the 15th to 19th day, and they are weaned when 62-72 days old.  When the young are about 6 months old they are almost identical to their elders.

 

Honey Bees
Meadow Mouse

Meadow mice or voles are compact animals with stocky bodies, short legs and a short tail.  Their eyes are small and their ears partially hidden.  Their under-fur is generally dense and covered with thicker, longer guard hairs.  Their colors are brown or gray though many color variations exist.

There are 23 vole species in the United States but the most common ones are Prairie Vole, Mead Vole, Long Tailed Vole, Pine or Woodland Vole, Montana Vole, Oregon Vole, California Vole.

Voles prefer areas with heavy ground cover of grasses, grass like plants or litter.  They are active both day and night and throughout the year.  Voles forage on grasses, forbs, roots, bulbs, tubers, bark, snails and insects.  To find food, voles construct tunnels and surface runways with many burrow openings.  This complicated network of tunnels and burrows provide them with great shelter from the weather and protection from predators. Voles store seeds and other plant matter in underground chambers as well.

Voles may breed throughout the year, but most commonly in spring and summer.

They can produce 3 to 12 litters per year with 3 to 5 being average, litters range in size from 1 to 11 young per litter.  Gestation is usually 21 days and young are weaned by the time they are 21 days old, and females are sexually mature within 40 days.

 

Honey Bees
Roof Rats

Roof rats belong to the genus Rattus.  Other names for the Roof rat are Alexandrian rat, black rat, fruit rat and ship rat.  They prefer tropical and semitropical areas and can be found on all the continents of the earth.

Roof rats have a slender body about 6 1/2 to 8 inches long.  They weigh about 6 to 12 ounces.  Their color varies from black to brownish-gray.  Their underside varies from gray to white.  Their nose and muzzle are pointed, their eyes are large and prominent and their ears are large and cover the eyes if bent forward.  They have a hairless tail which has a uniform color and is longer than their head and body.

Their average life span is 2 to 3 years.  They are nocturnal.  They have poor eyesight and are color blind.  They primarily see light, shadow and movement.  They do have very developed senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste.  Rats use high-frequency sounds, smell, touch and body postures to communicate with each other.  Their hearing is ultrasonic.

Rats are omnivores.  They eat seeds, fruit, grains, nuts, flowers, leaves, insects, birds, reptiles, fish, eggs and fungus.  They consume about 1 ounce of food and drink about 1 ounce of water each day.  Their strong teeth are able to chew through wood, copper, cinder block, aluminum, and uncured concrete.

Rats are very social and affectionate animals.  They love being in the company of their own kind.  They like playing together and love to sleep curled up together.  They take care of the injured and sick rats in their group.  When rats don't have companionship, they can become lonely, depressed, anxious and stressed.

Roof rats reach sexual maturity at 3 to 4 months of age. The litters of 5 to 8 pups are born after a gestation period of 21 to 23 days. A female roof rat can have 4 or 5 litters per year.

Roof rats consume and destroy stored animal and human food, attack fruit crops, and take up residence in attics, hollow walls, and out-buildings. When they invade buildings they chew through wires, gnaw through plastic and lead water pipes, make holes in walls and cause other structural damage.

Roof rats belong to the species Rattus rats. Other names for the Roof rat are Alexandrian rat, black rat, fruit rat and ship rat. They prefer tropical and semitropical areas and can be found on all continents of the earth.

Roof rats have a slender body about 6 1/2 to 8 inches long. They weigh about 6 to 12 ounces. Their color varies from black to brownish-gray. Their underside varies from gray to white. Their nose and muzzle are pointed, their eyes are large and prominent and their ears are large and cover the eyes if bent forward. They have a hairless tail which has a uniform color and is longer than their head and body.

Roof rats’ average life span is 2 to 3 years. They are nocturnal. They have poor eyesight and are colorblind. They primarily see light, shadow and movement. They do have very developed senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. Rats use high-frequency sounds, smell, touch and body postures to communicate with each other. Their hearing is ultrasonic.

Rats are omnivores. They eat seeds, fruit, grains, nuts, flowers, leaves, insects, birds, reptiles, fish, eggs and fungus. They consume about 1 ounce of food and drink about 1 ounce of water each day. Their strong teeth are able to chew through wood, copper, cinder block, aluminum, and uncured concrete.

Rats are very social and affectionate animals. They love being in the company of their own kind. They like playing together and love to sleep curled up together. They take care of the injured and sick rats in their group. When rats don't have companionship, they can become lonely, depressed, anxious and stressed.

Roof rats reach sexual maturity at 3 to 4 months of age.  The litters of 5 to 8 pups are born after a gestation period of 21 to 23 days.  A female roof rat can have 4 or 5 litters per year.

Roof rats consume and destroy stored animal and human food, attack fruit crops, and take up residence in attics, hollow walls and out-buildings.  When they invade buildings they chew through wires, gnaw through plastic water pipes, make holes in walls and cause other structural damage.

 

 

Web Design Company
Computaid  Web Design Los Angeles

 

Copyright ©