Common Types of Rodents in California

When it comes to pests, rodents can be a real nuisance. They breed prolifically and tend to chew through things, and they can often be carriers of pathogens, germs, and disease. Needless to say, if you have a rodent problem, you want rid of them sooner rather than later. Today we will show you the common types of rodents in California to help you identify these toothy critters!

What is a Rodent?

A real nuisance! Rodents can multiply at a really alarming rate. While some don’t give birth to many litters per year, their young reach maturity quite quickly, allowing them to breed exponentially.

A rodent is a name given to any mammal with continuously growing teeth in its upper and lower jaws. You’ll be familiar with some of the more common types. They can only keep these teeth short by gnawing at harder objects (which, annoyingly, also happen to be things that exist in your home).

Rodents in the home and outside can be equally troublesome. If rodents chew through an electrical cable, it could cause issues within your home and even represent a significant fire risk!

Common Types of Rodents in California 

There are several types of rodents you’ll find in California. Some might look furry and cute, but if they start to call your home their home. It could lead to problems. Here are some rodents you might see and identify.


Chipmunks may look cute, but they are, in fact, rodents, meaning they will chew and gnaw their way through anything. This includes outdoor trimmings, garden equipment, and even your external wiring!

Chipmunks are small in appearance and look vaguely similar to squirrels. The main differentiating feature is that they are normally adorned with stripes running the length of their body.


The bigger cousins of the chipmunk, squirrels, are another rodent species that people like until they are invading their garden. Squirrels will think nothing of raiding bird feeders, stripping bark from trees, and damaging plants. They can also spread parasites and worms in their feces. 

Brown Rats

When people say, ‘rodent’ rats are normally what they think of. Rats can multiply at an astounding rate and are well-known carriers of parasites and disease. 

These are some of the most common rat species found in America. While they are quite obvious, they can be particularly difficult to get rid of once an infestation occurs.

Black Rats

Black rats are smaller than brown rats. But that doesn’t make them any less troublesome. Black rats are particularly fond of living in the same areas as humans. They will inhabit attic spaces, basements, and the areas between walls.

They also tend to be quite agile climbers, making them a prime candidate if you hear scratching in your roof spaces at night. 


In certain areas of California, particularly areas with rural terrain nearby, you’ll find swathes of voles. These tiny rodents look like mice. As with many rodent species found in California, they breed prolifically and will chew through any soft material looking for bedding. 

They aren’t traditionally found in the home but can be a real pest in garden spaces, sheds, and workshops. 


Mice aren’t fussy when it comes to choosing a place to live, and yes, this could include inside your home. They are often found in kitchens when stray food is left lying around.

While cutesy in appearance, they have a dirty secret. Mice urinate almost constantly as they move. If they happen to be in your kitchen, then you do not want this on your food preparation surfaces or anywhere else, for that matter.


Gophers are the common enemy of any well-manicured lawn. These little critters tend to tunnel underground but will think nothing of bursting up through the surface in search of a quick meal.

Not only is this unsightly, but if left unabated, gophers can undermine the structural integrity of things on your property. One of their favorite snacks happens to be plant roots, flowers, and grasses, meaning they will make a mess of any garden they come into contact with.

Kangaroo Rats 

While a rarity, you may occasionally encounter a kangaroo rat in California. The species gains its name from how it moves. Unlike traditional rats, who scurry on all fours, kangaroo rats get places by bounding on their long hind legs. 

One of the reasons you rarely see Kangaroo rats is because they are a nocturnal species, only coming out after dark. Their nests are often confused with those of gophers as they make small borrowed mounds in soft areas like lawns and under bushes. 

How Do You Identify a Rodent?

The snag with rodents is that they are not always directly visible. While you might spot the occasional squirrel, in most cases, the only time you’ll see a rodent is when you’ve already got a problem. Overcrowding has forced them out into the open. 

Droppings are a sure way to tell if a rodent has been loitering on your property, as they don’t have the best manners when it comes to toilet habits. However, even if you have found rodent droppings or other signs, you might find identification difficult.

So, what’s the solution?

The best advice would be to contact a professional pest control service. They normally have extensive experience in dealing with different rodent types that you might find in California. They are also experts in picking up vital clues that will help with species identification. 

It is important to identify the species, as this makes eradication easier. 

Facility pest control are experts in several common types of rodents in California. We offer a reliable, quick, and customer-friendly service. Whether it is gophers in your yard, mice in the kitchen, or the various species of rat, we’ll be able to come up with a solution. Why not check and see if Facility pest Control serves your area in California