Prairie dogs are stocky, short-tailed rodents. While some people find these animals cute and fun to watch, prairie dog damage to properties can be severe. Harmful behaviors include:
- Digging unsightly burrows and tunnels
- Feeding on grass, ornamental plants, and crops
- Creating tripping hazards
- Building habitats for other pests
Eyesores in the Yard
One of the biggest issues with prairie dog damage is that it destroys a yard's natural beauty. Lawns peppered with dirt mounds and prairie dog holes look messy and untended.
Grazing can also make grass appear unhealthy, which frustrates those who keep well-manicured lawns.
In addition to causing visual damage, prairie dogs eat flowers and crops. They love to feed on buds and roots, which can completely kill garden plants, fruits, and vegetables.
The pests also prune foliage to improve their line of sight, which stunts plant growth.
On Dangerous Ground
The most common type of prairie dog damage comes from tunneling. Holes and piles of dirt make ground uneven to walk on, posing a tripping hazard for people, pets, and livestock.
Prairie dog tunnels are also a problem during lawn care, as most mowers can't handle such rough terrain.
Snakes and Spiders
Not only do prairie dogs damage yards, but their burrows also attract harmful pests.
Among the most concerning of these are rattlesnakes and black widow spiders. Both may take shelter in prairie dog holes, bringing danger close to home. A bite from either venomous pest can cause severe reactions.
Preventing Prairie Dog Damage
Homeowners may be able to use barriers to keep prairie dogs out, though special fencing is required to deter them from simply tunneling underneath. Methods of chemical control like fumigants and poisons come with their own hazards.
Only professionals can deal with prairie dogs safely and properly, so contact the experts at Critter Control for help.