The moderate climate of Northwest Washington supports many types of wildlife. However, some animals become a problem when they stray too close to homes. Three species, opossums, raccoons, and gophers, cause frequent issues for residents.
Opossums and Raccoons in Washington
Both the raccoon and opossum flourish in local yards with sources of food and shelter. The pests have broad diets, eating anything from insects and garden plants to trash and pet food. People that feed them, on purpose or by accident, increase the chance of seeing these animals.
Opossums in Washington rarely stick around lawns for more than a few days, but the pests may stay longer when raising their young. Crawl spaces and openings under porches make ideal dens for opossums, while raccoons often force their way into attics. Proximity to people and pets may lead to conflicts.
Pocket gophers throughout Northwest Washington cause problems with their digging habits. Dirt mounds, holes in lawns, wilted plants, and damaged underground cables suggest an infestation. In yards where soil is soft and moist, a pocket gopher can burrow year-round.