Rodent infestation plagues yards of Pleasanton residents pleading for city to intervene

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Thursday, July 11, 2024
Rodent infestation plaguing Pleasanton residents' yards
Pleasanton residents are experiencing an infestation of voles in their backyard. Now, they're asking the city for help.

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- Pleasanton residents are experiencing an infestation of voles in their backyard. They tried to remove them, but a recent law prevents the use of any poison.

Now, they're asking the city for help.

Steve Biro and his wife love to spend time in their backyard. They built it themselves.

"We've lived on this property for about 27 years. Built it from the top down, or bottom up," he said.

However, most of his time spent outside recently has been fishing dead voles out of his pool.

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"On an average day, I probably take out six to nine voles," he said.

When he and his wife sit outside, they hear them in the bushes. Now, they attract other animals. A heron comes by to eat the dead voles. Raccoons will swim and fish them out.

"We have hawks coming through. The list can go on," he said.

A lot of their plants are gone because of the voles. There are tracks in their front lawn from where they eat. Steve has placed over 20 traps in his yard and refills them almost every other day.

"Every other day I am spending about $30," he said. "They aren't going away."

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He can't kill with poison, because of a recent state law that banned the type he needs out of fear it could hurt other animals. He reached out to Alameda County Vector Control who came by and caught a few of them and sent them off to be tested for disease. Steve says it told him the city needs to step in.

"They came out, and they told me they notified the city," he said. "They said that it might take a week to hear back. It has been three weeks."

He has reached out to the City of Pleasanton but hasn't had any luck.

"I contacted the city three different times," he said. "I tried to contact the EOD, the engineer on duty, to try and see if we can get some answers to anything. No phone calls, no response."

We reached out to City of Pleasanton, and they said they would look into it.

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In a statement, they said:

"City staff was recently contacted by Alameda County Vector Control who advised us of a large vole population in the open space off Arlene Place and that it appears to be a temporary increase in population. Alameda County Vector Control also shared that they provided traps to residents interested in trapping voles on their property.

As this is a naturally occurring native species prone to rapid population increases, the City does not plan to use trapping or toxic baits in the open space to control the population. We are considering installing an owl box in the open space to provide a home for owls in the area, which feed on voles and other rodents."

The Biros say they won't be able to completely get rid of the voles, but they would love some help.

"I understand I have a vole problem, but the lack of response from the agencies from the state down to the local city has been appalling," he said.

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