Rodent pests of Iowa and their control
The destructive rodents which are the subject of this bulletin are ground squirrels, pocket gophers, woodchucks, rats and mice. In addition to the damage done to crops and stored products and injury to livestock, all of these rodent pests, except mice, are frequently responsible for important soil losses. Their burrows are commonly found along slopes, hillsides, ditch banks and road grades where their digging activities loosen and tunnel the ground. Heavy rains on slopes so undermined cause erosion and soil washing (fig. 1). Unless these rodents are controlled, such erosion may render the field unfit for farming.
Rats, mice and ground squirrels are abundant in all parts of Iowa. Pocket gophers are well established, particularly in the northern and western parts of the state. Ground hogs are found most frequently in the eastern and southern parts of Iowa, particularly in and near rough, wooded areas.