If you’ve been following our blog, you already know about some of the most common rodents West Coast homeowners encounter in their gardens and why they are so destructive to plants and lawns. At Western Planting Solutions, we have developed gopher baskets with rodent mesh that are sure to keep pesky critters like moles, nutrias, voles and gophers away from gardens across the nation. Read on for the most common pesky rodents taking over the Midwestern states of the U.S.

The Midwest

The Midwestern states are known for the great plains, which stretch across parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana. With so much farmland along these regions, it’s only natural to come across burrowing rodents in search of food. Some of the most common rodents who make their way through rural farmland and gardens are gophers, groundhogs, prairie dogs, rats, field mice and rabbits.

Gophers, Groundhogs and Prairie Dogs

Gophers, groundhogs and prairie dogs all have one thing in common: they burrow along the Midwest as a way of building their habitat, searching for food and remaining hidden from predators. Gophers and groundhogs are the most destructive of these rodents, due to their habit of making themselves at home in people’s gardens and backyards. Not only do they strip gardens of any fruits, vegetables and shrubs, but they also leave a trail of bulges in their path as they force the ground upward during their underground adventures. Many Midwesterners fight the constant battle of keeping gophers and groundhogs away during the spring and summer months, as they can ruin any hope of maintaining a healthy garden or farm.

Unlike gophers, prairie dogs are far less threatening in terms of garden destruction, as they tend to build their colonies of dome-like holes in open rural land and are very skittish around humans. Prairie dogs’ diet usually consists of grasses, wildflowers, roots and seeds, so they rarely make their way into people’s gardens, though they do pose a serious problem for rural farmers. Prairie dogs are known to disrupt farm land with their colonies and can carry a wide range of diseases, including the prairie dog plague. While these diseases are not easily transmittable from prairie dog to human unless they come into physical contact, household pets and farm animals can be at risk of contraction.

Rats, Field Mice and Rabbits

People who live in the Midwest know all too well the consequences of maintaining a backyard garden or farm. In addition to fighting off gophers and groundhogs, many people experience a massive cut in their produce due to small, pesky critters like rats, field mice and rabbits. While rats and field mice are herbivores and will enjoy a tasty snack in your garden every once in a while, they are more of a nuisance when they break into your home and wreak havoc on your pantry.

Rabbits, on the other hand, are a gardener’s enemy nationwide. These insatiable herbivores are especially prominent in the Midwestern states, where they rapidly reproduce and eat anything and everything, from fruits and vegetables to blooming flowers. Aside from insects and disease, rabbits are by far the most immediate threat to Midwestern farmers and gardeners alike, as they desperately try to stay one step ahead of these pesky, but adorable fluffy critters.

If you live in the Midwest and think you’ve tried everything to keep gophers, groundhogs, prairie dogs, rats, field mice and rabbits away, think again. Contact Western Planting Solutions today or order one of our gopher baskets online and start protecting your garden!